Friday, May 06, 2011

Concepts for Cowell

News that ITV1 is set to unleash a new Saturday night gameshow conceptualised by the Uberimpressario Simon Cowell has so far failed to provoke comment from the UN. However, the greedy moguls at ITV1 are believed to be pissing themselves with corporate glee at the prospect of once again being able to deliver their lobotomised Saturday night audience to advertisers with a premium rate phone-in thrown in for good measure.

“Red or Black” is a “high concept” gambling vehicle (but don’t call it “gambling”, since that’s not allowed under ITC rules; Cowell prefers the euphemism “risking one’s luck”) fronted by Geordie geniuses Ant and Dec. It’s understood that the shows, in which contestants get the chance to win £1 million by gambling on the spin of a roulette wheel, will be recorded at Wembley Arena.

In anticipation of this revolutionary TV event Truth invited the one-time Whorecull collaborator, gnostic maoist and suspected Afpak cave-dweller Frank Capri to meditate on some alt-reality manifestations of this sure-fire ratings winner. Here’s what he came up with, and what perhaps should have been commissioned instead of this cack:

* RED OR BLUE. Based on the “low concept” of Arte culture documentary Marx Reloaded but carrying a high risk, TV viewers are randomly selected and given the choice between pushing the blue button on their remote controls and waking up in Pizza Hut on an all-you-can-eat binge as Chic’s Good Times repeats in the background, or pushing the red button and taking ITV1 off the air. In the latter case, instead of winning £1 million contestants will be liable for ITV1’s lost advertising revenue, which they can then “gamble” in a final double-or-quits spin-off.


* END OF THE RAINBOW. Celebrity based show in which contestants get the chance to “gamble” on the ever-growing size of Simon Cowell’s personal fortune to the nearest £100 million. On guessing correctly Cowell is then tastefully “killed” (but don’t call it “killing”, since that’s not allowed under ITC rules; I prefer the Chilean euphemism “disappearing”) but continues to live on in some post-metaphysical universe reminiscent of the plot in Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void (at this point readers should click on the following link and enable their woofers):

Given that this is a Gaspar Noé joint, there could be some kind of interactive element based on rape or hallucinogenics here, possibly celebrities on LSD let loose in an Alice in Wonderland 3D dreamscape? Video gaming spin-offs and merchandising would quickly follow.

* RUSSIAN ROULETTE (sponsored by Smirnoff). It’s been far too long since the Derren Brown spectacle involving live ammunition at that remote undisclosed location didn’t kill him. It’s also a travesty that the spectacle of fatal self-inflicted gunshot wounds has never been considered as a new “revolution” in Saturday night entertainment. Admittedly this is taking the schedule more in a “snuff” direction, but imagine the suspense. And how that strapline could marshal us home from the pub with all the unstoppable discipline of the Hitler youth: Tonight someone is going to die! (sponsored by Smirnoff).

* SERBIAN ROULETTE. Exactly the same as Russian Roulette except this time everything is secretly controlled by the Russians through remote team-viewing software. Interactive, multi-platform, corporate tie-ins, the usual.

* RED WHITE AND BLUE. Post royal-wedding patriotic assault course in which white racist pondlife engage in Generation Game-style challenges for the right to proceed to the “conveyor belt” (but with a twist). Once there, contestants are dressed as immigration staff and have to weed out economic migrants passing their baggage through an X-ray machine. Strip searches with needy Bollywood stars in burqas add a “spicy” element to proceedings. Sponsored by Sharwood’s.
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