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Old 09-06-2009, 09:41 PM   #1
Tysyacha
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Reality Show 2012: Skeletons in my Closet

REALITY SHOW 2012: SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET

[Author's Note: I don't exactly know where I'm going with this, but I hope you like it anyway. Yes, it's based off of THE AMAZING RACE, and yes, it's a morality tale. Laugh, cry, kvetch, enjoy--and COMMENT!!!]

On September 27, 2012, American viewers were treated to a reality show so much like all the other ones they'd seen, and yet so much different. For one thing, it was going to be short and sweet (unlike those that dragged on for months on end), and for another thing, they weren't exactly going to be inclined to root for any of the five teams of two people each! What was this show? It was called SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET, hosted by R. Bob Smith.

What did the R stand for? Nobody knew, but rest assured some viewers thought their good host was being a little pretentious. Nevertheless, they sat glued to their TV screens as they were introduced to the show and its ten less-than-stellar participants. It was a race, a sort of game, except the winner wasn't necessarily the team who crossed the finish line first...

"Everyone has skeletons in their closet," R. Bob Smith's voice calmly explained at the beginning of the pilot episode, "those little things that they'd rather keep hidden from themselves, each other, and the rest of the world. We've carefully selected our five teams from all over the country. Each one filled out a lengthy questionnaire in which they were asked about the 'skeletons' in their own closets. They were not to lie, and none of them did. What I'm about to reveal is true about each pair, and about myself."

The screen switched over to the first couple--the first team. Both were tall, tanned and sparkly-eyed, and both brunettes. Their names? Amber and Josh.

"The Teammates: Amber and Josh have been on the same competitive track team all through their college years. Now they're seniors, and they want to run one last race before they graduate--for ten million dollars. The skeleton in their closet? They're both using performance-enhancing drugs to 'tone up'--ones that their college hasn't caught yet. Will they win this race, or will the 'bones' of their stellar track career finally be revealed?"

The next couple to be shown was a pair of men. One was muscular, and the other one not so. One had curly hair, and the other one had straight hair. One wore glasses and the other didn't. The only thing they had in common?

"The Roommates: Dave and George have been living together for five years. Their relationship has been happy so far, and they recently had a civil union at the local courthouse. The kicker? George has been moonlighting as a stripper at the new gay bar in town, and Dave has been stiffing him on the rent. He says it's because of the 'poor economy', but it's really because he's gotten fired and hasn't told George yet. Will ten millon dollars solve their financial woes, or will the skeletons in their closet haunt them still?"

Some viewers snickered and said, "Even though they're out of it?!" Most of the mature people watching this show moved on, but not everyone did.

Speaking of "moving on", R. Bob Smith did, too, continuing his narration. Two beautiful and professionally-dressed career women, one with blonde hair and one with black hair, showed their smiling faces on the screen:

"The Office Mates: Linda and Bryce have been working at the same office for going on four years. They've been the best of co-workers so far, but that was before the running for a big promotion got announced! Both women want it, and Linda and Bryce have secretly been stabbing each other in the back while they smile to each other's faces. At the water cooler, they pretend they're friends, but in the boss' office, and around him, they are bitter enemies. The thing is, Linda doesn't know that it's Bryce who has been sabotaging her efforts at promotion, and vice versa. Will this 'skeleton' rear its ugly head, or will both women get to retire early on ten million dollars?"

The next pair to be announced were two conservatively-dressed young adults, presumably in their late twenties. "Mousy" and "nondescript" were the two adjectives that popped into most viewers' minds at the sight of them, but there was an intensity in their gaze that none of the other teams had:

"The Chess Mates: Luc and Gira have been playing chess for two years. They hit it off right away on the chessboard, and rumor has it that they're starting to become more than friends! However, the skeleton in their closet is that they've been using some methods to climb up the ranks on the circuit that aren't exactly 'on the up and up!' That's right, they've cheated, and their opponents couldn't really prove it! How will the grand prize help their playing? What matters more, the love of the game, or the love of money?"

The final team, a husband and wife, took the screen last. However, their picture also included two adorable babies, who were almost "all grown up":

"The Soul Mates: Jeff and Barbara have been married for sixteen years. Their two children, now unruly teenagers, are out of control. They've signed them up for a tough-love boarding school, but they don't have enough money to pay for it. The skeleton in their closet is that Barbara took out a second mortgage on their house without telling Jeff, since she handles the finances. As for Jeff, he's started to become attracted to his secretary at work. Two secrets, four lives, four futures. How much will ten million dollars solve?"

The pictures of the teams were replaced by one of R. Bob Smith himself.

"My skeleton? I'm a pastor, and I created this show as an experiment in human relationships and psychology. The world has fallen away from God, and I want to answer the age-old question: If Adam and Eve hadn't fallen in the Garden of Eden, then what? Would the world be a better place right now, or would someone, somewhere, have refused to toe the line? This show is about strict rules, secrets, and self-deception. It's about reality, redemption, and realizing the truth about oneself. What will happen to these teams? As they race around the world, will they remember that theirs are falling apart?

"They're going to travel to famous cities around the globe. They're going to compete in challenges against one another. One by one, each team--if they lose the challenges--will be eliminated from the race and the game. Also, one by one--if they lose--then the skeletons in their closet will be revealed to the other teams and the rest of the world. How long can they keep them in?

"Welcome...to SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET."
The show cut to a commercial.

According to opinion polls taken after the show, here's how viewers reacted:

10% were going to quit watching due to the moralistic, religious undertone.
48% were curious. They were going to watch the next episode, at least.
27% were very intrigued. They were going to watch all the episodes.
10% weren't going to watch anymore because they didn't like the teams.
5% didn't care one way or the other. They could take the show or leave it.

That was how the show began, but how was it going to finish?

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Old 09-06-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
Alkonium
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This should be interesting. I'd question the ethical implications of such a game show, but I'm assuming each contestant agreed to it, and it's fictional anyway. They do know the risks, right?

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Old 09-06-2009, 10:02 PM   #3
Tysyacha
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Yes, they do know the risks, but they're about to find out the full extent of the rules. *giggle* Sound familiar? I, too, would question the ethical implications of such a show, but as a personal quirk, I wonder about any competition which relies on lying and betrayal, not to mention secrets, in order to get ahead. This story is intended as a parody and an indictment of the reality-show craze, although it's not "ha-ha funny" all the time.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 09-06-2009, 10:21 PM   #4
Alkonium
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Yeah, reality shows aren't really my thing. To quote Homer Simpson, if I wanted reality, I'd get this lump looked at! Except I don't any lumps I should get looked at, but you get the point.

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Old 09-06-2009, 11:08 PM   #5
Trench
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I rather enjoyed reading that. I can't wait for the next "episode".

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Old 09-07-2009, 12:06 AM   #6
Litofsky
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Nice job, Tysy. Always with the moral implications, and whatnot. Also, who is Luc?
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:28 AM   #7
Tysyacha
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Um...*giggle* Last time I checked, you didn't cheat at chess. Nevertheless, the Luc character (pronounced like "Luke", not "luck") is partially based on you, and partially based on this guy I met at my local Chess Club. He has a rating of 2020--no joke.

I'm glad you liked the story, and rest assured that Luc and Gira will figure prominently.

I'm surprised you didn't ask who Gira was, too...:P
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:39 PM   #8
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'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
Acceptance
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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Skeletons in my Closet: Pilot Episode: "The Rules"

REALITY SHOW 2012: SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET

Pilot Episode: The Rules


[Faithful Readers: You can probably guess where I'm going with these ten "rules". If any of them don't make any sense, I'm open to suggestions as to how to make them make MORE sense. Capisce? Thx!]

Airports, as a rule, were noisy, crowded and not conducive to any truly serious discussion of a given subject. However, that didn't stop ten people, of various ages, heights, weights and ethnicities, from sitting in a large soundproof conference room around a business table. What were they here for? Were they going to discuss the latest "merger and acquisition" process? Hardly. They were on a television program called SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET, the latest offering to the masses in the current "reality show" craze.

There were five males: George (28), Dave (30), Luc (34), Josh (21) and Jeff (40). There were also five females: Barbara (42), Amber (22), Gira (32), Linda (29) and Bryce (25). Jeff and Barbara were an African-American couple, and Bryce was said to be of distant Asian descent on her mother's side. For the most part, however, the contestants were young, able-bodied Caucasians. Some were pretty (Amber and Josh) and some were not so pretty (Gira and George). However, each team had an equal shot at winning ten million dollars.

Or did they? They sat in front of a wide-screen plasma TV, waiting for the face of the show's host, R. Bob Smith, to flick into sudden life. However, they were surprised when the P.A. system in the room came to life instead:

"Hello, teams!" said R. Bob Smith. "Welcome to SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET, and I'm your host, R. Bob Smith. Don't ask me what the 'R' stands for. I've heard that one enough already." Some of the contestants, such as Luc and Gira, tried to laugh, but the joke fell fairly flat. Smith continued:

"Before you all scramble to find flights to our first destination--Rio de Janeiro, Brazil--I'd like to go over the rules. You may wonder why my face isn't showing up on the TV screen. That's not just a glitch. During the course of the contest, I will only communicate to you via special Nokia cell phones, provided free of charge, which you will have with you and turned on at all times--even at night. The only time you'll see me in person will be at the end of each challenge, and the end of each episode. Got it?" The ten contestants nodded, wondering why Smith had chosen this odd way to "keep in touch". Cell phones didn't exactly have the best reception in some areas...

"First rule: I am your host, and the only person to which you can turn to receive instructions and advice about the game. Be careful. Some people will say that they're with the show--they might even be wearing special yellow SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET T-shirts--but they might be impostors. If you try and get tips from any of these people, you will receive a time penalty in the challenges for each piece of advice you take. It's best to avoid them unless I say so. There will be times where I'll want you to listen to them.

"Second rule: There will also be so-called 'Deadheads'--skeleton bobble-head dolls--that have clues and other hints about the challenges attached to them. Various people will try and sell them to you, but DO NOT buy them unless I specifically instruct you to do so. Remember, you're supposed to rely upon me and my directions only, and buying a Deadhead doll in order to gain an unfair advantage is considered cheating. Steer clear unless I say so."

"Third rule: No swearing. This is a family-oriented show, not the latest offering from Showtime or Skinemax--er, Cinemax. It's prime time. Since your cell phones are on, I'll be listening in. If I catch you swearing, you will suffer a time penalty in the challenges. Can you compete and be civil as well?

"Fourth rule: At the end of each challenge, there will be a mandatory rest period. For example, a team who finishes a challenge at 5:15 PM can leave no earlier than 5:15 AM. If anyone leaves before the rest period is over, they will suffer a time penalty in the challenges. It's against the rules. We don't want any teams over-tired and exhausted for the next leg of the race.

"Fifth rule: Respect your host, respect the challenges, respect the people you will meet, and respect each other. Compete, but compete with honor.

"Sixth rule: Every team has a SKELETON IN THEIR CLOSET--something that they'd rather keep hidden from themselves and other people. If any of you find out about another team's "skeleton", you may NOT reveal it to me or to any of the other teams. This is called a 'kill' move. As your host, I am the only one who gets to reveal a team's skeleton at the end of each episode. This isn't high school, people--so you can reveal your skeletons, but be careful. Don't go blabbing them to everyone, or to people you don't trust.

"If any team practices a 'kill move' to eliminate others, they'll be eliminated.

"Seventh rule: For unmarried couples, no so-called 'showmances'. In short, don't hook up. As I said, this is a family-oriented show. For married couples, I insist that you refrain from any inappropriate activities--you know which ones--throughout the course of the game. Part of the ultimate challenge here is self-denial. How far are you willing to go, and what are you willing to give up, for the sake of ten million dollars? If you can't restrain yourselves for that short of an amount of time, then what makes you think you can win?

"Eighth rule: No stealing from other players--not their watch, not their cell phone, not their plane tickets. Got it? Stealing will get you eliminated fast.

"Ninth rule: No making up false 'skeletons' about another team to feed the 'rumor mill'. Remember, your cell phones are going to be on at all times, and so I'm going to hear if you cook up a scheme to get another team eliminated through building a 'skeleton' for them out of the 'bones' of your imagination. This is supposed to be an honorable game, people. No lies.

"And, last but not least, the tenth rule: Don't get greedy. There are going to be prizes awarded to teams that complete challenges, which they can keep for themselves or offer to any other team. This has never been done before in reality-show history. Ask yourself: what do you want more? A prize that you've honestly won, or one that you've suckered another team into giving up? Those are the rules, and you're allowed to leave in five minutes."


The intercom switched off, and the teams were left to deliberate their fate.

Last edited by Tysyacha; 09-07-2009 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:10 PM   #10
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Ooh! Need more!

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Old 09-07-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
Litofsky
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Interesting beginning, Tysy. How many of the contestants are goign to break the rules? Add more, please!
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