5 Crazy Reality Show Ideas Circulating on the Internet
December 7, 2007
Reality show ideas. You know you have them. They come to you in dreams or in traffic or during commercials. Some people ignore them, some people sue when others bring them to life, and some people head West with a treatment and a ticket to a pitch slam. Others broadcast their ideas online, hoping either to be praised, discovered, or ripped off. Here, in no particular order, are five shows you may--in some alternate universe or, hey, some slightly distant future--find yourself TiVoing.
The game is pretty simple really: You have 3 contestants in a laundromat. There are 3 machines of laundry that will be spinning. 2 of the machines have clean clothes and the remaining machine contains dirty clothes. Each contestant picks a machine. The contestants who pick the clean laundry are safe and move to the next round. The contestant who picks the dirty laundry isn't so lucky! The audience will scream, "DIRTY"¦LAUNDRY"¦!!!!!" and then the "laundry monster" (a man covered in dirty clothes) will drop from an opening in the ceiling. Upon landing, he will chase the losing contestant until he is able to wrestle him to the ground. The contestant will be pummeled into submission for around 5 minutes and then a medical staff will carry him out on a stretcher and then transfer him to a trash chute that in actuality leads to an office where the contestant will receive a gift bag and parking validation.
2. THE SHOW: 10 regular guys attempt to fight Mike Tyson
My reality show idea: Get 10 guys. Get Mike Tyson. Have each guy fight Mike Tyson at separate times. Whichever guy can stand up/maintain consciousness in a bout with Iron Mike gets $1 million. Mike Tyson's hard-up for cash and plenty of guys would want to do this. And everybody would watch. Why do you think there's always back-ups at car wrecks? You could spread the show out over 10 weeks, and maybe have a finale where the Top 2 guys fight him again. I'm telling you. This would be huge.
No really, just hear me out...it seems like everyone has an answer to this singles crisis thing (which all stems from the fact that Jews--and let's face it, almost everyone else too--are marrying and procreating later). So let's start an open application process. Apply with your idea, then we take seven winners and present them to Shmuley Boteach, who puts them through a series of challenges. The losers are dismissed with the show's tagline: "You have failed the Jewish people. But not as much as the single women in their 30s who 'chose' to stay single and could have had seven babies by now."
Premise: Six well known celebrity offenders will compete for the opportunity to have one offense, for which they have been convicted, permanently expunged from their record.
They must live together in "The Pen" (a luxury house in the Hollywood Hills decorated in a style best described as "penitentiary chic") for a period of thirty days. They will bunk three to a room. Their bed assignments will be identified by the framed renditions of their mug shots hung above, and said bed assignments will not be negotiable.
If you’ve been desperately trying to plan a Batman movie marathon with your friends, you’d better make it happen quickly. As of April 1, Netflix will no longer be streaming Tim Burton’s stylish 1989 reimagining of the Caped Crusader. (They’ll be eliminating Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin, too—though you may not care as much about those latter two efforts.) In order to make room for the dozens of new movies, TV series, and specials making their way to Netflix in April, here’s everything that’s leaving the streaming giant’s library.
Mind-bending shows like Lost and Westworld bring out the conspiracy theorist in all of us. But even less cerebral shows have a way of inspiring some absolutely bonkers ideas. The Office was a sitcom that ran on NBC for eight years. But the way some of its fans talk on Reddit, you’d think it was a piece of science fiction. Here are 12 of the wildest theories about Andy’s “alcohorse,” radon poisoning, the Loch Ness Monster, and beyond.
1. MICHAEL SCOTT IS A SECRET GENIUS.
One of the most enduring fan theories is that Michael Scott, noted idiot and jerk, is actually a brilliant businessman. A lot of people have suggested that Michael is putting on an act the whole time, making clients and bosses underestimate him so that he can manipulate them into giving him what he wants. Reddit points to the season two episode “The Client” as one example; this is the episode where Jan Levinson and Michael have a very important meeting, which Michael moves from the Radisson to Chili’s. He’s completely blowing it from Jan’s perspective, coming off as an unprofessional clown to their VIP client (Tim Meadows), but Michael’s approach loosens the guy up, allowing him to swiftly close the deal. There are a fewother examples of Michael’s possible genius. Or he could just be a lucky dummy.
2. JIM HALPERT WROTE THE SHOW.
From season one, fans were rooting for Jim Halpert to win over Pam Beesly and get out of the paper business. But one fan theory suggests Dunder Mifflin’s slacker salesman manipulated us all. Reddit user Yahnster thinks Jim actually wrote the show, which is why he comes off as the hero and the coworkers he doesn’t like (i.e. Dwight Schrute) seem so annoying. Meanwhile his boss Michael, who never punishes Jim for his pranks or for being plain lazy, is written as a buffoon.
3. KEVIN MALONE WAS EMBEZZLING FROM THE COMPANY.
Kevin Malone isn’t the sharpest employee at Dunder Mifflin. He shreds his own credit cards by accident and can’t transfer a call to save his life. In one especially mean prank, Dwight convinces new HR exec Holly Flax that Kevin is mentally challenged. Like the Michael Scott theory, some fans believe Kevin was just pretending to be dumb—in this case, so that no one would notice he was embezzling money from the company. It would explain how he was able to buy a bar, and why he makes a weird comment about insider trading. (“I had Martin explain to me three times what he got arrested for, because it sounds an awful lot like what I do here every day.”) Check out the video above for even more evidence.
4. ALL THE EMPLOYEES ARE SUFFERING FROM RADON POISONING.
Anyone who has watched all nine seasons of The Office has probably noticed that the characters get a little bit stranger as the series goes along. There’s a theory that explains this—and it’s kind of dark! There’s a running joke on the show that the office is due for radon testing. But because Toby Flenderson is always the one bringing it up, it’s dismissed. According to one theory, Toby was right—and the entire staff has slowly been developing brain cancer. Eventually, the illness begins to alter their personalities, causing them to act in demented and strange ways. It’s also why Michael is way more mature in the series finale. Moving to Colorado with Holly did wonders for his radon-poisoned brain. Once he was out of the toxic office, he could finally grow up.
5. ANDY BERNARD RUINED HIS BRAIN WITH “ALCHOHORSE.”
Reddit has piggybacked off the radon theory to explain Andy Bernard’s behavior, which is probably the most exaggerated of the bunch. While Andy could be suffering from radon poisoning, one theory suggests his brain damage is more directly the result of a fateful drink. In the season seven episode “Viewing Party,” Andy is having a hard time dealing with his ex Erin Hannon’s new relationship with Gabe Lewis. He’s processing all this while he’s in Gabe’s room, where he finds a mysterious container. Temp Ryan Howard tells him it’s full of powdered seahorse, which gives people superhuman strength. Andy dumps it in his wine and downs it all. The combination of alcohol and, uh, seahorse messes Andy up permanently. If this theory weren’t crazy enough, it also comes with a ridiculous name: “alcohorse.”
6. TOBY IS THE SCRANTON STRANGLER.
Fans might like the Michael theory, but they love the idea that HR’s milquetoast Toby is the Scranton Strangler. Seriously, there are entire videos laying out the claims (see one above). Could Toby actually be the notorious criminal who dominates the local news in later seasons? Fans have built up quite the case. For starters, he wasn’t at work when everyone watched the police chase and apprehend the Scranton Strangler. He didn’t even show up for the Glee party later that day! Then he makes it onto the jury, where he can help put the other guy behind bars. He’s pretty eager to share insider info from the courtroom with his coworkers—eager because of the attention, or because he’s getting away with murder? Later on, after the Strangler is found guilty, he tells everyone he’s not so sure they convicted the right guy. Did his guilty conscience overwhelm him? Or is Toby just a normal dude who takes jury duty seriously? You decide.
7. THE OFFICE IS ACTUALLY HELL.
No really, hear this one out: A bunch of people sincerely believe that the Scranton office is hell—but that it didn’t become a hellscape until after one key episode. “Stress Relief” is a two-parter from season five. In the first part, Stanley has a heart attack in the middle of a safety drill. He survives, and soon returns to work. But what if Stanley really died that day? The theory goes that Stanley’s heart attack kills him and he’s sent straight to hell. (He did have all those affairs, after all.) Stanley hated his work more than anyone, so for him, hell is the office. But because this is hell, all his coworkers are exaggerated versions of themselves: more annoying and more cartoonish.
8. BOB VANCE JUST WANTS SOME FREE ADS.
It’s impossible to forgot where Bob Vance works, because he repeats the name of his business (Vance Refrigeration) every time he introduces himself. But is Bob an awkward hype man, or a savvier businessman than we all suspected? One popular theory says that Bob isn’t selling his services to the people he meets onscreen, but to the people watching the documentary. It’s his way of scoring free ads, even if he does seem a little strange to Phyllis’s coworkers.
9. DWIGHT THINKS EVERYTHING ON TV IS REAL.
Dwight Schrute frequently struggles to separate fiction from reality. Here’s a quick list of examples, as documented by TimmestTim: He thinks he can raise and lower his cholesterol at will; he thinks Jim might be turning into a vampire and that his neighbor’s dog is a werewolf; he can’t tell the difference between a hero and a superhero or a Benjamin Franklin impersonator and the actual Benjamin Franklin. TimmestTim posits that Dwight has this disconnect because he wasn't allowed to watch movies growing up. Once he got older, and got very into fantasy and sci-fi (i.e. Battlestar Galactica), his brain couldn’t quite separate what he saw on the screen from real life. Since he had no exposure during his formative years, the distinction was harder, which is why he has no problem believing Jim is a creature of the night.
10. THE CAMERA CREW KEPT THE SCRANTON BRANCH OPEN.
Dunder Mifflin is never the most financially stable company. Even before Sabre buys it out, Michael’s bosses are constantly warning him about layoffs or branch shutdowns—and begging him to stop spending large amounts of money on holiday parties. Based on the wider company problems and Michael’s frequent mistakes, the Scranton branch should’ve been shuttered during the first episode. So how does it survive for so long? One Reddit user theorizes that the camera crew kept them in business. Sensing that the office antics would make for great television, the crew bought up Dunder Mifflin paper so they could keep filming, and eventually make their money back on a TV show deal. Considering the damage Michael does to the warehouse alone, it must have been a lot of paper.
11. THE SHOW EXISTS IN THE SAME UNIVERSE AS PARKS AND RECREATION AND DEXTER.
There’s a pretty convincing case that The Office is happening at the same time as Parks and Recreation and Dexter, and it all comes down to office supplies. In season six, a printer company called Sabre buys out Dunder Mifflin. A few Sabre employees became recurring characters, like Jo Bennet (Kathy Bates) and Gabe Lewis (Zach Woods), and the Scranton office suddenly has to drink out of metal water bottles, as per company policy. Otherwise, not much changes. But Sabre is important, because its products have appeared on other shows. Eagle-eyed viewers have spotted Sabre printers on Parks and Recreation and even Dexter. But some people think the connections run deeper. (Here’s a lengthier case for crossover involving Creed and a Parks and Rec cult.)
12. CREED IS TRYING TO CATCH THE LOCH NESS MONSTER.
Creed, the strangest man at Dunder Mifflin, is the subject of manytheories. But by far the best one is that he’s trying to catch Nessie. In “The Seminar,” Creed gives a speech about the Loch Ness Monster (which you can watch above), where he describes the creature and mentions the totally fake reward for its capture: all the riches in Scotland. So he’s clearly fixated on this folklore, but LaxBro316 pieced it together with another Creed non sequitur to explain his ultimate goal. “If I can’t scuba, then what’s this all been about?” he asks. “What am I working toward?” It’s unclear if Creed ever found Nessie, but we hope he’s enjoying all the riches of Scotland.