Zombies Get Their Own Game Show & 5 Other Supernatural Creatures Who'd Rock Reality TV
Over the past few years, zombies have lurched their way into pop culture's every corner, from their traditional home in movies to video games, books, AMC — and now, they're improbably poised to take on reality television. On Thursday, the BBC announced its official order for a zombie-themed game show, set to air on its all-online "youth network," BBC Three, in 2015. No, it's not The Price Is Braaaains, as I had so innocently hoped. Rather, I Survived a Zombie Apocalypse is exactly what it sounds like: a group of contestants trapped in a shopping mall, who must use "urban survival tactics" (Lord help whoever knows what that means) to prevent being bitten by "zombies" (i.e., one imagines, severely underpaid extras in make-up). Basically, it's like a Walking Dead LARP meets that ending montage from Shaun of the Dead , in which televised undead slog through bouncy castles in search of steak. Or, as executive producer Andrew Brereton told The Hollywood Reporter, "It’s nice to finally have a game show where if you get a challenge wrong, you get your arms ripped off and your brains eaten out." Mmmmhmm.
Indeed, it gets you thinking, if zombies are finally taking to reality TV, what supernatural creatures might break out of fiction next? Below are five suggestions for ways in which our favorite fictional monsters might fit into the "unscripted" genre. Because, clearly, no matter how ill-advisedly, it's happening — so, here goes:
A Vampire Dating Show
Tentative title: Love at First Bite. While Jemaine Clement's vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows makes a compelling case for a vampire Big Brother-type scenario, it's clear from our current fetishistic pop culture depictions (see: Edward Cullen's sparkly, sparkly torso) that these bloodsuckers may be more suited to the romance genre. Now, the real question is, will this hypothetical show take on the Mormon-infused "sex = death" reluctance of Twilight's central love story or the fang-bang-happy spirit of True Blood? My vote's for the latter (duh) — also, for the host to be Tom Hiddleston's Adam from Only Lovers Left Alive , because, yes. Also acceptable: James Marsters as Spike. Optional: Angelina Jolie / Billy Bob Thornton-style blood vial necklaces to hand out to contestants instead of roses.
A Ghost Real World
The premise: choose a particularly spooky area, round up all of the ghosts from across the centuries who linger there, and watch them do their damndest to get along. Or, just convince a slew of famous spirits to leave their usual haunts (b-dum-chhh!) and head to a predetermined location. Think Moaning Myrtle, Casper, Patrick Swayze from Ghost, Mama from the movie Mama (sorry, is that a spoiler?), and Bruce Willis from The Sixth Sense (okay, if that's one's news, I just simply can't help you), all locked together in some British castle. It would be like I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, but with significantly more supernatural pranking; Bruce would totally go off on Myrtle for switching his Die Hard DVDs out for copies of Hudson Hawk .
A Frankenstein's Monster Maury
As identity — and, especially, paternity — is so central to the Frankenstein story, why not take the opportunity to pitch a series in which abandoned monsters are reunited with their creators? The pathos of not-quite-human tragedy meets the not-so-subtle "freakshow" vibe that already pervades the sets of Maury and his ilk — it's daytime TV gold.
A Werewolf Ultimate Fighter
Sure, this one would be kind of difficult to film, as it could only take place at the apex of every lunar cycle (note: I patently refuse to accept the Twilight-perpetuated understanding of werewolves as voluntary shape-shifters). Still, I contend that it would be infinitely entertaining to see two mild-mannered gentlemen chatting over tea when, all of a sudden, the moon shines in, the walls tear away to reveal a cheering studio audience, and they go full-on lupine at each other.
The Real House-Witches of Eastwick
Basically, I just want The Craft all grown up: Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, Rachel True, and Robin Tunney, plus a few choice magical friends (Melissa Joan Hart?) sipping chardonnay and casting catty spells. Because really now, Balk's Nancy-style freak-outs (see above) make Teresa's RHONJ table flip look like a polite elevator elbow-bump. Special guest appearances, of course, from the original Eastwick trio — Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer, a.k.a., yes please — and the Hocus Pocus gals can come, too. Sarah Jessica Parker had proved herself fun enough come cocktail hour, if nothing else.