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How Far Will Reality TV Go?

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Reality Television has taken the entertainment industry by storm. In the ever-escalating competition for ratings, RTV shows try to outdo each other with seemingly no limits in sight leaving some observers wondering how far RTV will go to draw viewers.

For a longer perspective on this phenomenon, renowned psychic Mary Anne Tussle used her inner vision to see what may lie ahead. She reports that short of a radical shift in the consciousness and values of television viewers, You Lose! - a game show that already exists in the ethers - will likely be on the airwaves within ten years.

*          *          *

"And now it's time for You Lose!, the hot new game show that puts the real in reality, where you compete to win a million dollars - or die trying. And now, the host of the show all America is raving about, Tom Collins!"

(Tom Collins comes bounding out to center stage to wild applause)

"Hello, hello, and hello! I'm your host Tom Collins and this is You Lose! the show with no in between, where you either leave here rich or feet first. Now, as many of you know, You Lose! is embroiled in a contentious lawsuit which is going to the United States Supreme Court this week, so if you want us to stay on the air, keep that flood of calls, emails, and threatening anonymous letters coming and deluge the Supreme Court and let them know that America wants You Lose! on the air. Now before we meet the contestants and play our game, we're going to take a minute to introduce our legal team."

"Please give a warm You Lose! welcome to Mr. Johnny Puka, whose law firm Puka, Puka, and Puka represents the Chinese Triad; Mr. Abe Murkowski, lifetime legal counsel for the Gambino Family; and Mr. David Schliemann, former US Attorney who now represents anyone who can afford his one million dollar retainer. Welcome, gentleman. We have time for a brief statement from each of you. Mr. Puka?"

"I want to assure all our loyal fans out there that we are confident we will win this case and keep You Lose!  on the air."

"Mr. Murkowski?"

"I say give the people what they want, and they want You Lose!"

"And Mr. Schliemann?"

"It's a done deal."

(ecstatic applause and cheering)

"Thank you for those encouraging words. Now for new viewers a quick review of how the You Lose! game is played. After we carefully screen and pick two evenly matched contestants from the thousands of hopefuls wanting to be on the show, they are given intensive tests to make sure they're physically and mentally sound, fully understand what they're getting into, and their relations won't sue us if they lose. The contestants compete on our rough and tumble obstacle course where anything goes and the one who crosses the finish line and takes possession of the Jolly Roger skull and bones flag first is the winner of the one million dollar grand prize and selects the means by which the loser will meet his maker. Yes, you heard me right, the loser will be terminated right here on the program. That's terminated as in dead meat. This week's termination options are: the Iron Maiden, the rack, being drawn and quartered, or the more common methods of hanging or execution by a firing squad."

"Now let's meet our contestants. From Grand Rapids, Michigan, he's a carpenter by day and a self confessed boozer and womanizer by night, let's give a hearty You Lose! welcome to James X. Collier. Hi there, James, and welcome to the show."

"Thanks, Tom, it's good to be on. By the way, my friends call me Jimbo."

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Leni Matlin was born in NYC and attended Brooklyn College before moving to California in his twenties. For the better part of his adult life, he has worked as a musician (keyboards / vocals) and played in more bands then he can remember, while (more...)
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