I don’t watch TV, but read newspapers now and again, and I understand there is a lot of discussion going on surrounding a new TV show called “Utopia”. I have not seen this show (maybe it hasn’t been broadcast yet, I really have no idea), but I understand it is about dumping some morons on an island or something similar and letting them fight it out, while camera’s are watching. Or something like that. I really see no sense in investigating it, because it doesn’t interest me in the least and it looks like it is the umpteenth rehash of the “Big Brother” concept, which in itself wasn’t very original as it was inspired by specific SF literature and two movies (“The Truman Show” and “EdTV” — the first being a terrific movie and the second not as good but still quite entertaining). Actually, the idea of putting people in a separate space and letting them survive was already pseudo-scientifically investigated in the last century, and was discontinued because of the infighting of the test subjects (I couldn’t quickly find a link, but I will add it later if I can remember the details). Of course, the infighting is what should make the television show attractive to watch.
It seems to me that these show concepts are so incredibly easy to construct, that I have taken it upon myself to predict the next incarnation. Here it is.
The show will be called “Glass House”. It will consist of a bunch of “television personalities” who the public is losing sight of and who are desperate to get attention again. They get to wear Google Glass, and whatever they see is continuously broadcast via the Internet. Every day there will be a half-hour clip show on TV of the most juicy bits. Since these “celebrities” are in need of getting attention, they will make sure that every day they will produce some juicy material for the clip show. And if too many days in a row they fail to produce something worth the clip show, they will be cast out and a fresh attention-seeker is brought in. You get to see the inside of their houses! You get to see their bedrooms! You get to see the fights with their spouse! You are invited to their secret meetings with their lovers! You join them on a visit to a swanky restaurant and then get to watch them make a scene about the quality of the food!
Technically, there are a few issues with the quality of the images and sounds. I mean, Google Glass must produce images that include all the head movements that the person wearing them makes. But there are technological solutions for these problems. With artificially intelligent software it is relatively easy to straighten the images out and maybe expand them a bit by filling in blanks. So there are no insurmountable obstacles in that area (contact me, I can help you).
And think of the spin-off shows! Teenagers, many of whom also want to catch the public eye, will start to imitate the celebrities. The producers just need to have the most attractive ones sign a contract that they won’t take the glasses off, and the “Glass House Amateur Hour” is born. Competition for attention will be even more fierce. And on the whole it will probably be even more “entertaining” (in the loose sense of the word) than the show with the celebrities.
I tell you, this is a guaranteed winner. If someone is going to make money of this, I’ll gladly take my share. I won’t watch it, though.