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I should be a TV exec


This weekend I was watching an old Mythbusters episode that I had recorded. It was the MacGyver tribute episode, and it was pretty fun to watch. The best part was that the guys kept referring to Mac as if he were a real person (e.g., “Mac would be proud to see us do this!”).

The latter half of the show was a twist on the normal Mythbusters m.o. Jamie and Adam were give four tasks that they had to do only using the items available, as if they were MacGyver! The most impressive by far was the first task. They were locked in a room that was completely bare except for the light. To escape, they used the filament from the lightbulb to pick the lock. That got me thinking about a new TV show concept.

What if someone got the rights to MacGyver and decided to remake the entire season, episode by episode, only do it as a reality/how to show?

Each episode, the host would have to achieve some task using only the items provided. Clearly, it couldn’t strictly follow MacGyver since some of his “science” was flawed, but they could use that as a guide. The host would have to be someone pretty schooled in all sciences. The mullet would be optional. For each episode, the host would have to have no prior knowledge of what situation he or she was entering.

Here’s just an example of what could be done for an episode, using the pilot episode of MacGyver as show fodder:

The host is blindfolded and put in a sealed room. The room’s contents are a clipboard with some sheets of paper that are held together with a paper clip, a trashcan with crumpled paper and a half-eaten candy bar, a rack of glasses and tubes, a sink, and some racks of chemicals, including Sodium, Potassium, and Rubidium.

Challenge 1: There is a “bomb” (as much as I’d like to, I don’t think we could use real bombs. Sigh.) that will explode in 10 minutes.

Solution 1: He uses the edge of the clipboard to unscrew the panel for the bomb and short circuits the timing device with the paper clip.

Challenge 2: The exit is blocked by a tank of sulfuric acid that is starting to leak.

Solution 2: He uses the chocolate to plug the leak, knowing that the chemical reaction of the lactose and sucrose in the chocolate and the sulfur makes carbon.

Challenge 3: He exits the door to find that the door has been walled in from the outside.

Solution 3: He puts the sodium or potassium in a vial and drops it in a bottle of water. The reaction causes an explosion that weakens the wall so that he can break through it and escape.

Wouldn’t this be fun to watch? I’d call it “The Real MacGyver”.

On a Totally Unrelated Aside (copyright Kapgar), there’s this world-famous blogger known as Bossy. She likes to talk in the third-person, take quirky photos of everything, and she’s taking a road trip across the country to meet bloggers.

She’s going to be in Orlando on March 28th and we are hosting (at Casa Avitable) a get together for local bloggers from 7 until whenever. If you live anywhere near the area and want to come, it should be a lot of fun! Just email me at my first name at my last name dot com and I’ll send you the evite for the event.

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57 Replies to “I should be a TV exec”

  1. ADW

    Bastardo!! Where is my party? Hmmmm…

    I will be a week too late. Damn it all to hell.

    Oh and on the MacG tip? Loved the show (original). The concept show is great, but I would only watch it if there was a chance that someone could die. It takes a lot to get me interested in new shows these days.

    Special Forces Mullets Rock!

  2. hellohahanarf

    i so had the hots for mcgyver.
    would do him.

    and would watch your show.

    guess pittsburgh is not considered “local” enough for ya, eh? actually, on the 28th i’ll be in atlanta. close, but not quite there. have lots of fun and video it for us!

    p.s. why won’t britt’s video play for me? is she drunk? or am i?

  3. morning gruel

    It really is a genius idea. I did so enjoy MacGyver. Of course with all of the reality tv shows out there, you’d HAVE TO use real bombs to make your show stand out. Maybe you could also use the real Richard Dean Anderson. Wouldn’t it be great to see him break a real sweat?
    “You better hurry up Richard, it’s a real bomb!”
    “Shuttup, I’m trying to get this gum good and chewed!”
    “Tick tock, Richard!”
    “Shuttup! I’ve almost–KABOOM!”
    Oh yeah. I’d watch that.

  4. DaDuck

    I really like Mythbusters. If you like the American version with the girl narrating it, you should see the European version with the sarcastic British dude. It is soooo funny!

    I would totally watch your show, but only if you and Fab where the hosts!

  5. Girl, Dislocated

    I would watch that show religiously and take copious notes–which I’m sure I’d be constantly having to whip out, given my track record of ridiculous predicaments.

    Maybe you could turn the blogger get together into the first episode of “The Real MacGyver.” I’m sure there’s enough room in your house to hold people in various forms of captivity and subject them to all kinds of life threatening situations. But don’t make anyone get a mullet, because that would be going way too far.

  6. whall

    That is a great idea. then it would be cool to add the requirement that they sing along to songs voted on by the audience, and they get extra points for getting the lyrics right.

    So it starts off with Steve Miller’s “Big Old Jet Airliner” in the back ground, with lyrics scrolling across the bottom for the viewers.

    Kevin: Alright, it looks like we’re screwed here
    But my heart keeps calling me backwards
    Mike: yeah, but wouldn’t it be SWEET if we won the million dollars if we get out of this room?
    As I get on the 707
    Kevin: Who said anything about a million dollars if we get out?
    Ridin’ high I got tears in my eyes
    Mike: Adam Avitable. He’s the producer. He gets what he wants. But we have to get out of this room and all there is is a light
    You know you got to go through hell
    Kevin: Ok fine, we take the filament from the bulb to pick the lock, then we use some conveniently placed chemicals to stop up the acid leak. Easy as pie. Let’s get started.
    Before you

    Announcer guy interrupts before they can get started and the music stops. Now over the loudspeakers they ask “we just need three words from you to complete the lyrics”

  7. kapgar

    Be careful what you ask for. In this originality starved era of Hollywood, they just might do it. And not likely the way you want it to happen.

    I see you’re covering your ass now, eh? 😉

  8. metalmom

    Metalmom is disappointed that Bossy didn’t stop her house during the trip. Did Bossy go past Metalmom’s neck of the woods? Metalmom thinks so!

    Have a great party without me….again. *sigh*

  9. Grant

    Couldn’t you just use the bomb to blow up the wall and skip the other steps?

    I wrote the networks about my own reality show that would require the entrants to resort to canibalism, but they haven’t responded yet. You just know the bastards are going to steal my idea and not give me credit.

  10. Jay

    I think the show idea is a really good one. I’m not sure the networks will go for it if nobody has to eat a pile of gross bugs or lie in a tub of snakes though.

    Maybe your first show could pit MIT students against Victoria’s Secret models?

  11. Steph

    Why would the mullet be optional? I think if you’re going to resurrect the MacGyver idea then we, the viewing public, should be treated to the awesomeness that is the Kentucky waterfall…

  12. Fig

    What if the host panicked and couldn’t figure it out? Would you have someone waiting in the wings to save them or would we be watching their messy death?

    I think the hosts should all be made to wear MacGyver wigs… kinda like thinking caps.

  13. Sybil Law

    What’s wrong with mullets? Business in the front – party in the back?! They’re perfect!!!
    Haha of course I am kidding.
    But a mullet might look gooood on you!
    Anyway, the show idea is fricking awesome. Why not real bombs? Didn’t they have a show with little kids running a town (which I never saw)?! That sounds pretty dangerous to me!
    Sell the idea, Adam. Or get Britt AKA World’s Best Salesperson to do it!

  14. Avitable

    Amanda, what about you? Don’t you have good taste, too?

    Kyra, you’d better start saving for the Halloween party!

    ADW, I want to keep you all to myself when you’re here. IF you come, that is.

    BPR, wouldn’t that be fun to watch?

    NYCWD, I wasn’t thinking like a gameshow, but more like a SurvivorMan or Man vs. Wild type show. Although a game show with Running Man overtones might be nice.

    Britt’s Family, no, you don’t. You loooove me.

    Hello, the place that does the plugin is having problems so it doesn’t work right now. Are you going to come to Philadelphia for TequilaCon?

    Morning Gruel, have you ever watched “MacGruder” on SNL?

    DaDuck, there’s a European version? Was it first?

    Freelanceguru, of course. The semen would act as a conductor.

    Girl, Dislocated, yeah, you could probably use some MacGyver Education.

    Golfwidow, that would be awesome. I love Adam Savage!

    Selma, I wish I had some contacts.

    Dan, are you pro- or anti-mullet?

    Mr. Fabulous, I love your wife. Can she come live with me?

    Wayne, did you take your meds today?

    Kapgar, but this could be a great way to do it, eh? And yes, gotta make sure I give proper credit!

    Britt, I told you!

    Mom, someday.

    Metalmom, don’t you live right near her? You could have a Bossy party anytime!

    TMP, me too! Bad Mythbusters fan!

    Grant, no. It’s welded to the ground. Shh.

    Jay, I’d rather pit Democrats against Republicans. Winner gets to be President.

    Dragon, I’d look like someone that ate Joe Dirt.

    Crystal, I wish you could too!

    Karl, I’ll send you the Evite.

    Steph, ha! I’ve never heard it called that before.

    Tracy, now I know it’s good.

    Fig, we’d make it so that they fell into a pit of disgusting stuff or got slimed or something and didn’t actually die.

    AmyD, you’re just saying that because you don’t want to come to Orlando.

    Turnbaby, don’t forget that we’re going to have a kickass Halloween party this year, too.

    Sarah, yeah, I think that is probably the best idea.

    Sybil, Britt’s only the World’s Second Best Salesperson!

    Toasty, thanks for spamming my comments. I’ve removed your link.

  15. Winter

    This needs to go in the lineup for the pay per view reality game show channel Fab and I are starting… bum fighting, the shopping cart show, naked pudding wrestling, and the Real McGuyver! It’s a winner!

  16. Bob Wayne

    I was locked in a room once. The room and I were both bare except for the light bulb in the ceiling and the padding on the walls. And the camera up by the ceiling. Just like being in a reality show! I bet the doctors are still laughing at the tapes…

    “Great reality show! Loved the part where the orderlies tied him up and …”

  17. DaDuck

    It is the same hosts, just a different announcer and he is really sarcastic and funny. When we were in the states, we watched Mythbusters but it just wasn’t the same. That girl announcer wasn’t funny AT ALL!

  18. Em

    How very cool that you guys are having a blogger bash. And cool that she’s driving around meeting people. I’d be curious to see what all you crazy people are like in the flesh. Course, I don’t belong at a party for “world-famous” bloggers. Everyone would probably assume I’m the cleaning lady or something.

  19. Avitable

    Winter, that would be the tamest show on the channel, wouldn’t it?

    BE Earl, it’s like that book that tells you a thousand things you can do with duct tape.

    Laura, yup! They’re hilarious.

    Cat, you and Laura think alike.

    Trukindog, disarm them with some toothpicks and a tissue?

    Summer, yeah, I love those skits.

    Heather, I wish I knew how to do that.

    Bob, yeah, but you could have just asked the invisible aliens in the room with you to teleport you out.

    DaDuck, she’s not funny. She’s hot. And gorgeous. And tasty. And ……. drools.

    Em, we’re not all world-famous bloggers. Bossy is a big blogger, and the rest of us are tiny, tiny fish. Where do you live? You should come.

  20. Em

    If you’re tiny then I’m microscopic. And actually, I don’t live near enough to even consider going to the party (as the cleaning lady). I am going to Florida in May though – Yay Disney World! Never been. . I heard you guys have a lot of bugs down there. . .

  21. hellohahanarf

    ok, so i just now FINALLY got around to reading all the comments left after mine. and you asked if i planned on hitting tequilacon. and i am surprised that you even asked because HELLOOOOOOOO, i love tequila. damn skippy i’ll be there. bringing my own bowling shoes, too.

  22. hello haha narf

    i’m all atwitter at the thought of you going to tequilacon, even if a am a bit perplexed at the idea. you must really love bowling and bloggers coz i seem to remember you not being a drinker. maybe we’ll tie you down, force feed you tequila and then wax your balls. now that, my friend, would be one hell of a party.

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