Photo: Carlos Barquero / G
We noticed Channel 4 is on the lookout for applicants for virgins who find “intimacy challenging”, for a kind of Love Island for virgins set on on a Mediterranean island. It got us thinking: Where actually is the line with reality TV shows, and when did we cross it?
Did we cross it when we had this guy talk about hoping to maybe “slip tongue” on Love at First Kiss, only for him to peck the poor girl on the cheek, embrace her for 0.4 seconds and then wordlessly walk back out of the room. Did we cross it with Beauty and the Geek (conventionally attractive woman and geeky man pair up in a social experiment) or Playing it Straight (woman has to guess which of her many suitors she wants to be with, and also, half of the guys are gay!).And there’s been way more shit besides that! There are always new lows to sink to – who’s to say where the genre will end up, let’s be honest? But we want to try. Here are some of our own reality and game show concepts, birthed from the depths of our internet-poisoned brains. Producers, call us.
A life-swap show where Gen Z compete in challenges against baby boomers. Watch as 70-year-old Margaret tries not to black out on mcat for the first time at a rave where everyone is inexplicably wearing elf ears, while 22-year-old Kai fights to not get put into a nursing home. If the zoomers win, they get to move into the boomers' homes. If the boomers triumph, they get a free heart bypass. Miriam Margoyles presents.
‘Zoomers Vs Boomers’
January 6th insurrectionists and card-carrying leftist antifa members must work together in this collaborative, teamwork-focused game show that asks the question: Are political values more important than… just so much money? Like, just more than you can imagine? Hosted by George Santos.
‘Stop The Steal’
Single polyamorous people get grouped together by experts and have to negotiate the pitfalls of modern multi-dating as they seek to cement their relationships. However, within each polycule is one monogamous person who must trick their ‘cule into believing they are poly for a chance to win $100,000. Cue suspicion, intrigue and in-fighting as each polycule must correctly oust their mono catfish by season’s end or be eliminated. Hosted by Joyce Carol Oates’s cat.
‘Polycule At First Sight’
Ordinary working people have to infiltrate a family of upper-class toffs in a race for power and privilege. Will Josh, a 24-year-old podcast producer from North London, be able to fool Lady Wilhelmina with his phony working class act? Will Stacey, a 25-year-old nail technician from Sheffield, successfully pass herself off as a dispossessed, long-lost cousin from South Africa? Loser gets burnt alive in a tower of books made from Das Kapital. The ghost of Jane Austen presents.
Contestants are pushed to their limits in this endurance competition to see who really likes fish and chips. Thrown together in a Big Brother-style, cod-shaped house, participants have to eat the classic British dish at breakfast, lunch and dinner for a month. Whoever makes it to the end wins £1 million. If multiple people make it to the end, they must do a “fry-off”, and whoever fries the best cod takes the spoils.
‘So You Think You Like Fish and Chips?’
Swingers must compete against each other in military-style drills that test the limits of their open relationship. Bear Grylls hosts in a gimp mask.
‘SAS: Who Dares Swings’
Short kings with giantess kinks get paired with very tall OnlyFans models in this playful task-based reality show, with challenges like the Carry Me, Queen sack race and Who Can Reach the Top Shelf First?. Can the men see past their raging horndog desire in order to win the $100,000 cash prize? The twist is they get squashed like a tiny widdle bug if they win, as a treat. Danny DeVito hosts.
The fab foursome take on their most fearsome challenge yet: making over some of the most worst-dressed men on the internet! Will Antoni teach them to cook up something that isn’t just rage and bile? Can Karamo help them deconstruct their toxic sense of entitlement? Will Tan and Jonathan convince them to stop mewing and start ironing their shirts and using SLS-free hair wax? Remember: It’s not about looksmaxxing, it’s about feeling good in yourself.
‘Queer Eye for Incel Guy’
Unwitting contestants find themselves stuck in a nightmare position: They’re on a plane and the pilots are incapacitated! Cue intolerable panic. What they don’t know is, they really boarded a plane-sized flight simulator complete with true-to-life LED screens for windows, and actually they’re just on the tarmac at LAX instead of 40,000 feet in the sky. Watch over the course of eight episodes as the most daring of the 173 passengers work together with traffic control and pilots on the ground to safely “bring the plane down” before fuel runs out. No prize as such, as this is a “social experiment”.
‘Can Anyone Fly This Plane?!'‘
Bear with me but basically it’s Naked Attraction, except it’s a glory hole situation and you base your decision on who you want to pair with based on whatever feels like the best fit or something??? Sorry. Bill Hader presents, in character as Barry from Barry.
It’s Is It Cake? crossed with The Circle! A bunch of lonely singletons must live in sealed-off bunkers, romancing each other only through video calls and DMs. But there’s a catch – some of them are AI-generated avatars. And worst of all: They’re really hot!! Players must beat the robots by identifying the sneaky AIs in their midst, but if they fall in love with one, they’ll be sent to the scrap heap. Mr Beast, dressed as the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz, hosts.