Brides at their most Tokyo-stomping -Zillaness... Spoiled heiresses sobbing over their birthday Mercedes' in the soul-crushing wrong shade of red... Betrayal and bug-eating... Dashed hopes and dancin' shoes... This is reality for today's television network programming.
But I got to thinking-- if reality television had been popular when some of our greatest fiction classics were written, how would those tales have transferred to our TV screens-- reality-style?
Well, I imagine it might go something like this...
- Fagin's Den. Get tips on starting your own street-urchin-run, pick-pocketing business, and compete to see who Oliver Twist's Fagin will choose as his partner for the next franchise operation.
- Big Brother: The 1984 Edition. Seven Gen Y-ers are locked in the Oceania Apartments, and compete to create the most clever government propaganda in Newspeak. Figure out which roommates secretly belong to the Inner Party, the Outer Party and who's a Prole-- all the time, trying to avoid suspicion from the Thought Police cameramen.
- Last Mansion Standing. Poe's Ushers (Roderick and Madeline) compete against Wuthering Heights' Heathcliff and Catherine, and the House of Seven Gables' Pyncheons to see which ancestral home decays to the ground, symbollically, first.
- Gulliver: Lilliput. This popular survival show follows hero-adventurer Gulliver, as he fights against a variety of challenges, to eventually either be crowned king of the Lilliputian society, or exiled from the country. The show's motto this season? "Lilliput Up or Shut Up." Next season, prepare yourself for Gulliver: Brobdingnag.
- Whose Wine Was it Anyway? Oscar Wilde and P.G. Wodehouse characters trade improvisational comedic quips over dinner to see who can be more clever. Contestants are voted off the table by a live studio audience.
- Around the World in 16 Weeks. This clever race show takes modern contestants and challenges them to get around the globe using only Victorian forms of transportation during the course of one TV season. Steam trains, hot air balloons, unicycles and crank cars are just a few of the exciting options. Winner gets 20,000 pounds and a copy of the Jules Verne novel.
- Hitching with the Havishams. Watch as Charles Dickens' Miss Havisham plans the wedding that's never going to happen. See her isolate new bridesmaids each week, take on caterers who don't appreciate vague event deadlines, and make seamstresses cry as they can no longer patch her crumbling wedding dress.
That's about all I could come up with for today. So tell me, folks-- what must-see classic book TV did I miss?