Saturday, September 20, 2003

This past summer I had one particular afternoon spent lying in a hammock in a Toronto backyard pitching reality TV ideas to my friend who was busying herself by building an adirondack chair. My friend is in the TV and film production industry and her and a group of her TO friends had decided to try to develop a pitch for their own reality show. I can't remember all the shows that I suggested but I can remember two.

One was a reverse travel show. Instead of filming a young Canadian exploring exotic lands beyond our fair borders, this show would take, for example, a young man from Mongolia and airlift him to someplace exotic in Canada (like Sarnia, Ontario) and film his adventures. I came up with this idea after watching yet another episode of Lonely Planet (now called Pilot Guides) wanders into a remote village and is immediately invited to a someone's wedding. "Like that would happen here!" I snorted. "Or would it? Hmm."

The second idea wasn't as fleshed out, but I had a great title for it: CLASS WARFARE. I think I pitched it as like a Battle of the Network Stars or Junkyard Wars but opposing teams would be from professions paired up for maximum acrimony. Builders vs. Architects. Accountants vs. Chartered Accountants. That sort of thing.

Which brings me to my latest pitch that I thought up yesterday after hearing about a possible rift in the Ontario Farmer's Market community. The show would be called SPLINTER GROUPS... or for more dramatic effect, SPLINTER! Each episode would focus on a particular community that is embroiled in a crisis of definition that threatens to break up the community.

I have a hunch that every community has such a dramatic crisis inherent in them. There is a split among civil war reenactors between those who want to forgo all modern conviences like contact lenses and cotton underwear and want to be separated those who'd rather keep some modern things close at hand. There is a rift among bagpipers - those who use kitty litter in their bagpipes and those purists who don't. The world of taxonomists is filled with lumpers and the splitters.

Incidently, my friend's group didn't use any of my suggestions. In fact, the pitch that her group decided upon was "Lesbian Dating Tips for Straight Guys".

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