Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Survivor Iraq" vs. "Survivor Afghanistan": Which reality show will get the top rating this year?

(Photo is of Survivor Jane, in Baghdad, wearing Mom jeans)

After five whole years of being one of the highest-rated shows on TV ever, "Survivor Iraq" is starting to slip in the popularity polls and "Survivor Afghanistan" is starting to edge up instead. What's with that? Now everyone wants to be a contestant on "Survivor Afghanistan" and no one is watching "Survivor Iraq" any more.

I want to be a contestant on "Survivor Afghanistan"! But then I want to be a contestant on "Survivor Iraq" too. Remember how at the beginning of each episode they show us photos and videos of all the contestants and flash their names on the screen? That could be me! "Jane -- Grandmother blogger from Berkeley". And the reward challenges? My mind boggles at the possibilities. First contestant to get an oil pipeline through the Khyber Pass? First to sign an oil deal with the Kurds in Tikrit? First to have a weapons manufacturing lobby in Congress? First to purchase a dispensation from Pope GWB?

Can't you just see it now -- Jeff Probst conducting tribal council inside a mock-up of a cave in Tora-Bora while wearing one of those cute little sky-blue flak jackets like the one Richard Engel wears on MSNBC?

"Survivor Iraq" vs. "Survivor Afghanistan"? Forget about them. What we really need right now is a reality show entitled "Survivor America". And just imagine the immunity challenges. Which contestant can get solar energy to replace fossil fuels the fastest? Who can drag the most Senators away from the AIPAC lobby? Who can replace the most decaying infrastructure and build the most highways, schools and hospitals? Who will be able to repair the damage done to our military by Bush and Cheney first? And here's the biggest challenge of all -- which contestant can get us SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE!

In a truly honest race for the highest reality show ratings on television, I think that "Survivor America" would win hands-down. But no network producer in Washington is EVER going to put that show on TV -- not as long as "Survivor Iraq" and "Survivor Afghanistan" can still line up so many enthusiastic corporate sponsors.