A Whole New Skins Game?

Tuesday November 13th, 2007
Victor Juhasz

The race for TV ratings seems like a silly business, but what human beings find entertaining hasn't changed for centuries: a dash of public humiliation or triumph is best, with risk of serious physical or mental injury tossed in. Not that long ago, we gathered in droves to toss rotten vegetables at some poor sod who'd been locked in the stocks for, say, playing the lute really badly. For the average poxaddled villager, an opportunity to mock the fallen warmed the cockles the same way that American Idol does today. Please, don't try to tell me that show is about winners. It relies almost entirely on stupid people who have either no friends or mean friends. ("Hey dude, I think I can sing, d'ya think I should try out?" "Go for it!")

We've had a couple of reality shows in golf, but so far none of them has had enough of the old squirmage factor to fit into the Idol category. I have high hopes for The Daly Planet, the first episode of which airs as I write. Big Johnny should leave a trail of rich white trash behind him that's visible from space, covering the humiliation aspect, and the guy's just brilliant enough to win another major.

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