The Future Of (Food) ‘Reality’ TV

In a fit of insomniac insanity, I found myself watching the new Spike TV series “Bar Rescue“, and it got me thinking. That series, and “Restaurant Impossible“, “Kitchen Nightmares“, “Hotel Impossible“, “Mystery Diners“, and the others all deal with bailing out failing businesses run by people who may not have made the right career calling in the first place, yet they’re brought back from the brink of disaster by a team that works around the clock to pull off the impossible in just a few days.

My point is that, without the intervention of Gordon Ramsay, Robert Irvine, and others, these businesses would have folded. Instead they get a new life … and I have to wonder who’s picking up the tab, as it doesn’t seem to be the business owner (though I could be wrong, since they never really say).  Even though some of those shows are apparently completely fake (which opens up another can of worms around what “reality” truly is), the majority of viewers either don’t realize or care that they’re being fleeced.  It’s on TV … it has to be true (which, apparently, is Fox network’s mantra).

So, here’s my question: When are we going to start to see people who start businesses they have no business starting, hoping that they’ll “make the cut” and get bailed out on television? It’s not that far-fetched a scenario when you consider that during the dot com bubble people were launching companies left and right (many times with no plan or even a clear product) with the express hope being they’d get bought by Microsoft, Clear Channel, or some other big name.

When it starts happening, just remember: You heard it here first.