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.


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