The coronavirus pandemic will change the way we interact in the world for years to come. Try to imagine when it will be acceptable to high five a coworker, go to a concert or slap a bag of wine in a frat basement. More than we know it, we’ve adapted to a pandemic world.
This virus has brought a shift in culture. We avoid people on the streets now — not out of social anxiety, but as a precaution against their potential illness (okay, maybe both, life has never been better for awkward introverts).
Not to be a cynic, but we could be wearing masks for the next few years, folks! When’s the next time you won’t have a mini panic attack using your bare hands to pump gas? This pandemic has brought on a ginormous culture shift and America needs an equally dramatic media shift.
We don’t need “Jeopardy” reruns to remind us of how life once was. We need media to accurately reflect the limbo we’ll be living in for the rest of our young adult lives. That’s why I, a girl who has taken exactly one (1) class on TV production, is proposing two new reality/game shows to bring to the air waves.
Make room, NBC, your world is about to quake.
Show Proposal One – “Masked Marriage”
“The Bachelor” is classic, but citizens are looking for a relatable and realistic dating show — one that’s not filled with “content creators” begging for the attention of one chiseled, overly sensitive stud. In corona-times, it’s hard to find love — and “Masked Marriage” will portray these struggles. The show pawns will be thrust into the open jaws of intimacy with a cute, overarching COVID theme.
Inspirations: “Masked Singer,” “Love is Blind” and “The Bachelor”
Concept: The pilot season will follow three couples on their journey to love. The audience will learn about their interests and childhood traumas. After introductions, the pair will get to meet each other — only they have to remain six feet away with their masks on. This is reasonable, considering it’s a pandemic. Mysterious!!
After several hours of small talk in an empty room, the couple will go on predetermined dates. These dates will include — shopping for groceries, taking a neighborhood stroll, getting tested for COVID-19. The dates aren’t necessarily a helicopter ride to an emptied out amusement park, but we’re going for realistic here.
The couple will finally reveal their faces midway through the season. After a few days of speculating what this person’s face will look like based off their eyes and nose bridge, the pair might be pleasantly surprised or disgustingly shocked!
The couple will be given a dramatic choice to continue the relationship or end it right there. If the couple advances, they will enter Quarantine Mode and live in a 400 square foot apartment for two weeks. The remaining episodes will follow their daily dramas and quirks.
Like any love-based reality TV show, there will be a proposal at the end. The couple will inevitably break off their engagement a few weeks after the show airs, and it will be the talk of the tabloids for months on end. And of course, the people involved will become Instagram celebrities and quit their jobs.
Show Proposal Two — “Dodge the Disease”
In the modern-day game show, a contestant often faces a mental or physical challenge that they wouldn’t normally encounter. Surviving in the wilderness or running up a 20-foot wall is certainly entertaining, but isn’t the least bit relatable. Americans want to watch a show and say “I could easily do that.” That’s where “Dodge the Disease” comes in.
Inspirations: “American Ninja Warrior,” “Survivor” and “Fear Factor”
Concept: This intense, upbeat game show will incorporate everyday corona activities to physical challenges. Each contestant will be challenged to complete three rounds, each increasing in difficulty.
In the first round, “Symptom or Head Cold,” the contestant will be faced with several ambiguous symptoms — a headache, cough, explosive diarrhea — and will have to determine whether or not they have the coronavirus based on their specific groupings.
The second round will be a “Get Away From Me, You Nut!” challenge. The contestant will be in a simulated crowded area, such as a coffee shop line, where people just can’t seem to keep their distance! The contestant will have to endure three full minutes of shuffling around the area, keeping six feet from others.
The third and final challenge round will be the ultimate “Dodge the Disease” experience. The contestant will have to walk down a 50-foot strip surrounded by mask-less patrons. The unmasked will be coughing, sneezing and walking at various speeds towards the contestant.
The contestant will have to successfully walk the full distance without being infected by a single droplet of a COVID germ. If they successfully reach their destination, they win and conquer “Dodge the Disease.”
Their prize will be a lifetime supply of Clorox wipes, toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
So, sure, these pitches aren’t “Wheel of Fortune” per se, but they are playful ways to mock a serious pandemic! Currently looking for producers to make this happen, HMU.