The OCR world, or at least the very small segment of it that dwells largely and enthusiastically on Facebook, is abuzz at Obstacle Racing Media’s report of a brand-new OCR TV show.
And why not? It’s always cool to see something you do on the teevee.
On the other hand, unbridled and irrational enthusiasm isn’t always valuable, and it can be fun to mock, so let’s take a step back: There is a very good chance that this show will be terrible.
That, in and of itself, isn’t a condemnation of the subject or the show’s creators. Creating things is hard, and creating things that aren’t terrible much harder. Lightning doesn’t get trapped in bottles all that often.
But just for shits and giggles, let’s march down to the boilerplate of the press release at the bottom that you’re not actually supposed to read. The producers of this show will be A. Smith & Co., which creates “some of the most innovative, highly rated, and high-quality programming for the domestic and international television marketplace.” Thank goodness!
This incredible programming includes titles such as:
- American Ninja Warrior—well, at least they’ve got experience with obstacles. Sure, they saw the original Japanese version and how it was incredibly cool and unique, and decided to strip a lot of that appeal out and replace it with American reality TV tropes like rivalries between competitors even though the competition is just a person against the course, or a pair of hosts who shout enough for eight, or how they devoted a lot of extra time to telling the stories of the competitors but somehow managed to give us less information, but still, it’s not terrible.
Hell’s Kitchen—a cooking reality competition and part of the weirdly popular subgenre in which angry British people yell at American people, but far from the genre’s inventor. (I wonder what its popularity says about our culture.)
- Kitchen Nightmares—the same, only the British guy yells at business owners rather than reality show contestants, and all of their problems are solved at the end, and six months later they go out of business.
- I Survived a Japanese Game Show—which despite being completely bonkers and scoring only 28 on Metacritic defeated Zulu Love Camp and The Undercover Princes for the 2009 Rose d’Or.
- The Swan—which took a lot of women, gave them massive amounts of plastic surgery so they could compete in a beauty pageant, and then told half of them that they still weren’t pretty enough to compete in the beauty pageant, and
Skating with Celebrities—in which “celebrities,” including Dave Coulier in his final television appearance, joined professional-skater partners to impersonate Dancing with the Stars only with sharpened blades and a slick surface and absolutely no wit.
So, what can we expect from the new OCR show? Loud hosts! Insightless but omnipresent sideline reporters! Verbal abuse! Glitter! Lots of confessionals about How Meaningful It All Is and how the competitors Want to Push Themselves As Much As They Can! Mandatory facelifts! Dressing up like a carp! And, if he can be found, Dave Coulier!
Well, who really knows. It might be well done. But don’t pin too many hopes on it.