The Realest Reality Television

What is the most entertaining television show? Reality TV scores huge numbers, pulling in millions of views, regardless of how much time or effort was put into them. It almost seems that even the trashier ones are many people’s “guilty pleasures”. Many of my friends love (but hate to admit it) Survivor, the show putting a group of people in a remote location to battle physical challenges, nature, and each other in hopes of winning a million big ones. I can only imagine that the biggest appeal to this is from the drama amongst the contestants who are almost always fighting through passive aggressive remarks and sass. However, I would like to make a case to bring back an old favorite, one that was popularized a couple, I don’t know, thousand years ago. Let’s just call it “an oldie but a goodie”.

In the recent years, we have seen problems start to arise in heinous crime rates, prison crowding, and most importantly, a lack of interesting content to view on public television. To kill all three birds with one stone, might I suggest bringing a colosseum warfare, hunger-games-y, show that uses prisoners as contestants in the realest reality show brought to life?
Before you click away, think about the actual benefits that this would bring to society. To begin: capital punishment, though heavily debated, is often far more cost effective to dealing with prisoners who would otherwise be serving a life sentence. Instead of making death row inmates suffer through years of life with no meaning or purpose, why not give them a reason to fight, literally? The benefits of a battle-arena could prove influential in helping to solve many of the problems that America faces today. While some contestants may come to pass, one true victor could be crowned and granted pardon for the crimes they previously committed. Their life could then be provided for, much like it would be in prison, but with more luxury. Although the winners’ lives would be costly, the hundreds of others who were not capable of snagging victory would be out of the economic system, thus saving thousands of dollars by default. And to top it off, the publication of this capital punishment could in turn decrease crime rates by bringing the reality to everyone.

Jokes aside, the idea of public execution has been tossed around as a means of which to carry out forms of capital punishment. For reasons mentioned above (prison crowding, cost of living for inmates on death row, and high crime rates), public execution could provide valid solutions. Clearly, not many people want to see or admit to wanting to see someone die, but by broadcasting capital punishment to the public, discussion and public interaction with court cases would certainly be more common. And though a TV show may push the envelope a little too far, it would certainly call attention to a controversial topic. But who’s to say that it wouldn’t become a huge hit? (Bypassing morals of course)

P.S. A social experiment in Russia involved television writers attempting to publicize their show where contestants would essentially compete in an “anything goes”, televised show. The volunteers would have to survive the elements, bears, and each other during the middle of a harsh Russian winter. “Game2: Winter”, received over 340 applications in a winner take all for 100,000 rouble. It’s worth considering the thought process of the applicants. One potential contestant, a 22-year-old south Korean Air Force veteran said, “I want to go through difficulties because it’ll make me better… The primitive instinct of fighting nature without any help is what excites me”. Maybe violent human nature is all but inevitable, or maybe others are just crazy? Who knows, but are you up for the challenge?

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Talon S

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