Today- A new trailer on YouTube, which at first seems to promote a reality TV show called “Clam Kings,” is really just a spoof on the whole genre — and a creative fundraising effort from one PBS station. After flashing the date and time for this non-show, a different message comes on the screen. “The fact you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV,” it reads. “Support quality programming.” The spoof is just one of three new clips from New York PBS affiliate WNET (also known as Thirteen), which urges viewers to make donations to the station to keep the “quality” coming.
PBS seriously needs to get off its own dick for a minute. The only reason I ever watched them in the first place is because they had shows revolving around an animated aardvark and a talking monkey called Zoboomafoo. No one wants quality programming unless there’s actual entertainment. Sorry that I’d rather watch two extras from Trailer Park Boys fight over each clams for a half hour than listen to a random old guy try to convince me that Andrea Bocelli: Blind and in Concert is really worth a $200 pledge. You really want me back? Run Antiques Roadshow 23 hours a day and maybe we can talk. Either that or allow for people to pitch their own TV show for $500 because you’re the high class escort of public television. It might sound stupid, but I’d pay that because I’m confident I could single-handedly turn the station around. Here’s a few ideas for starters:
The Grand Ol’ Clapapella Extravaganza- If you want to maintain your educated, high-brow image that’s fine with me. Just realize you need to make some sacrifices. What’s hot in the streets right now? Hot chipmunks singing covers of songs without instruments behind them. But that’s nothing compared to the next big phenomenon that I just thought of five seconds ago: doing covers of songs without even singing them. That’s right: clapapella. PBS gets their artsy bullshit show, and the rest of America gets a guarantee that every single clapapella group will have a midget because they’re the only ones that can slap the high notes. Gold.
Porn Shop- It’s like “Pawn Stars” except porn stars run a pawn shop because that’s the only porn/pawn pun that hasn’t been used yet and the episode where Jenna Haze accidentally ruins a priceless 17th century flintlock pistol because she stuck it in her vagina is a ratings bonanza. It might not be targeted towards the main demographic of PBS but they’re all going to be dead in a decade so I’d argue it’s a good move
Where Are My Keys?- Basically, this show follows around the aforementioned main demographic of PBS viewers as they do basic tasks in their daily life. If you really want to you can market it as an in-depth look at the debilitating effects of old age and neurological deterioration. That way you can convince yourselves the rest of America is just as concerned with mental illness as you are and that they’re definitely not turning in to see Herman order a double cheeseburger from his bank teller for the 4th time in a month. You might even be able to win a Daytime Emmy is you do it right.
Janitoro- Kind of like Ultimate Fighter, but instead of a bunch of dudes who don’t wear shirts living in a house together it’s 12 high school janitors offered twice their salary to undergo informal matador training. It’s great because the show is essentially self-sustaining- there’s 10 other contestants to throw sawdust on the pool of blood on the floor after a janitor gets gored because he was thrown into a bull ring with no other real training besides being a Mexican immigrant.
Those ones are free, but I’m pretty sure I could fill up a 24 hours block if I needed to. Do the right thing, PBS.