In the before time when television programming consisted primarily of things that used good ol’ creativity and original thought to entertain me, and make me either laugh or think (or anything in between), I would have liked to be in the room when the idea for the first “reality” show was floated.
My television history may be a little off here mostly because there are very few things in this life I care less about than the history of reality TV, but I believe the first such program to receive that label was Survivor. Say what you will about that particular corner of popular culture, but at least Survivor and the other similar shows it spawned (most notably, The Amazing Race) is a reality show and a game show fused into one. We can become involved in the competition, even if it’s just a bunch of people standing on a log for nine hours.
Now, reality TV is usually far removed from actual reality, with producers flirting with and often accomplishing vicious stereotyping by cherry picking people on the most extreme end of their theme to represent a group. Then when there are cameras present to make the lives of already atypical people even less normal, boom, you have TV gold, Jerry.
It’s a simple and tired formula, and Packers fans are the latest subject.
That’s right, set those DVRs now, because the annual spring tradition of networks laying out fall lineups with shows that will soon be memories has brought us “Cheeseheads” (a working title that needs much more work because it’s far too close to Bunheads). This particular reality show — one which will surely feature fist pumping but thankfully not in a club crawling with bodily fluids — is being developed by TBS, and it will follow a group of Packers fans as they go through the various stages of being Packers fans.
Here’s all we have so far (from Real Screen):
TBS is developing Cheeseheads (working title), which looks at the fans of Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers. Billing promises that the show “will take viewers into the hilarious subculture through the eyes of a group of proud Wisconsinites as they navigate life in the only way they know how – loud, proud and with lots of beer.”
By that description then I guess we can expect some combination of Buck Wild and Friday Night Lights, with a splash of Hard Knocks. Let me know how it turns out.