My wife and I have been watching some reality TV lately. Normally, reality TV can be defined as anything but reality, but in the case of the three shows we’ve landed on, they are as real as it gets.
The first one is Tiny House Nation. Two guys travel the United States helping people move out of regular-size houses and cram themselves, their kids, their dogs, and about five to seven percent of the stuff they used to own into a new tiny house that would easily fit into the living room of their old place.
They all report that they love their new miniature house when they get handed the keys on the big reveal day, but there is never a follow-up show a year or so later detailing the aftermath of the inevitable close-quarters cabin fever tearing the family apart at the seams. It would show only the husband left in the tiny house, parked behind a 7-eleven so he can find dinner, while his ex-wife and the kids and dogs sprawl out in a normal house, at least two states away.
The next show is Hoarders, which is essentially the opposite of Tiny House Nation. Instead of getting rid of all their stuff, hoarders continue to purchase or collect crap they don’t need and cram their regular-size houses so full, even people who live in a tiny house would ask, “How do you move around in this place?”
A psychologist and a cleaning team partner with the family of the hoarder to help them through their deep-seated emotional and mental issues that led to the hoarding while the house is completely cleaned out and returned to the semblance of a normal dwelling. They take stuff out of the houses using snow shovels. Marie Kondo would literally vaporize from the stress.
Predictably, there is a big reveal, and the “former” hoarder cries and says thank you and that they are grateful. Again, I think the one-year follow-up show would probably show the hoarding returned with such a vengeance that the chimney would be getting pushed up out of the roof, but I am only speculating.
The third show has no houses whatsoever. Naked and Afraid is where a man and a woman who don’t know each other are paired up to survive for twenty-one days together somewhere harsh and unforgiving, like Detroit. Also, of course, they are naked. They are allowed to bring one single item each, which usually ends up being a machete and a fire starter. Why none of them choose to bring a taco truck is baffling to me.
One of the first things they always do is attempt to build a tiny house, albeit in this case out of branches and leaves instead of 2x4’s and ugly kitchen tile. Amazingly, they have even less storage requirements than a tiny houser, since they have no clothes and only own one household item each, so their houses tend to be of the six square feet variety.
They also have significantly less food that hoarders or housers, since they have none, which makes Naked and Afraid a very effective weight loss program. If they make it the full three weeks, which many do not, the men lose about twenty to twenty-five pounds and the woman lose about twelve to eighteen. Women around the globe are outraged by the disparity. Equal weight for equal time!
After watching a lot of these shows, it occurs to me that the networks are not really applying themselves here. Just between these three shows alone, there are countless spinoff and collaboration opportunities for new shows.
Just off the top of my head:
Hoarders Helped Me Go Tiny – hoarders are invited to remove items from people’s houses to help them pare down their belongings in order to fit into their new tiny house. Will the homeowners be able to fight off the growing feeding frenzy of hoarders in order to keep anything at all for the move?
Naked and Afraid I Won’t Fit into My New Tiny House – overweight people go on the twenty-one-day wilderness survival challenge in order to prepare for fitting more comfortably into their new tiny houses. Can they make it long enough to fit, or will they tap out and have to stay in their normal-size house?
Naked and Building my Tiny House – a couple has three weeks to build their new tiny house out of materials found only in the jungle. They are allowed to eat and use power tools, but is that really a good idea given that they are naked?
Afraid My House is too Tiny to Be Naked – They need to go smaller on the square footage, but will there still be enough room for a shower? Or are they doomed to a life of coin-operated truck stop showers?
Tiny House Hoarders – like regular Hoarders, but with eighty percent less stuff. Episodes can be fifteen minutes each.
Naked Hoarders Afraid of Tiny Houses – hoarders have to fit all their stuff into a tiny house and then live there naked for twenty-one days. Why do they need to be naked? Why not?
Hoarding Tiny Houses – one man’s rabid obsession with collecting two hundred square-foot mini houses. Where will he put them all? Tune in to find out.
Hoarding Tiny Naked Houses – same as Hoarding Tiny Houses, but none of the tiny houses have exterior siding. Will the elements consume the houses before his hoarding disorder consumes his life?
Hoarding Tiny Houses Naked – the houses have siding, but now the guy is naked…
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. You’re welcome, network executives. I will await my royalty checks.
See you soon,
Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen
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