HALLIE EPHRON: Are we ready for a reality show?
The email came from "Casting Catrina" so of course I almost didn't open it. I mean, CASTING CATRINA?? (Sexy Russian woman looking for Mr. Right...)
But the subject line was irresistible:
ABC Casting Contestants for New Mystery Competition Show, "Whodunnit?
For reals (go to ABC.com/Casting to see for yourself), apparently ABC is trawling for a cast for a new competition show where contestants solve mysteries. So they're looking for "amateur sleuths." Prize: $250K. Not too shabby.
As if I'd ever be on a reality competition show. I'm a terrible loser -- I can't even play Scrabble without throwing tiles. And when I win I gloat. These are behaviors I'm happy to say have been shared with relatively few and mostly people who are related to me and it's what they get for badgering me into playing.
Would you ever go on a "reality" (I use the term lightly) competition TV show? And what would the competition be about?
RHYS BOWEN: If I were younger and fitter I would have enjoyed The Amazing Race. It's one of the few reality shows I watch. That, and Project Runway, for which I am in no way qualified. But as for any other reality show--from Survivor to The Bachelorette--no way.
My daughter in the industry says they are scripted to make the best TV (and to make contestants look like mean-spirited fools).
LUCY BURDETTE: That casting call has been all the buzz on the lists I frequent--I know at least 3 mystery writers who have applied. They have to send in a little video and answer questions like: "what sets you apart from everyone else who will be applying?"
No, not for me. I cannot be clever under pressure, as you all may have noticed in the JRW edition Family Feud. And I hate to lose too:)
Which reminds me--our kids (correction, young people--they are in their twenties) were visiting us recently. We are currently most enamored of the game Bananagrams, in which you spell out linked words with 15 to 20 tiles. A, the youngest, suddenly began to win every game. Annoying!
My stepdaughter and I got the idea of giving him all the worst tiles when he was out of the room--the Q's, the Z's, the V's, the J's. We waited and waited for him to complain about his bad luck, but instead he bore down--and won again!
HALLIE: Maybe you should submit HIS name to ABC?!
ROSEMARY HARRIS: Got that email too. This is so not for me. I'm competitive in some areas (Hallie, I would LOVE to play Scrabble with you one of these days..) but being on television holds no interest for me. Anyone remember the movie Reality Bites?
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Now I feel left out! I didn't get the email! But while I wouldn't turn up my nose at the prize, actually winning it would be a little like playing the lottery. And I can't think of many things I'd less rather do than be on a game show. On TV.
Although I loved JRWs Family Feud.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Yeah, I work for NBC so I'm out. Happily. (Because, really, I'd hate to be on it, and then lose. Yeesh.) I do know people who have gotten a second call for it. And I wish them all the luck! And it could be wonderful publicity.
Is there ANY reality show I'd be willing to be on? Ah. I'd say no. Still I'd love to know how they really work.
But be warned--we WILL rock the next Bouchercon with another game! (Right?)
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I'm game, Hank!(pun intended)
I confess to being pretty snobby about a lot of reality shows. Would I do REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MAINE? No. I doubt America is clamoring to see a group of flannel- and polarplus-clad women discussing the state of their woodpiles and what they scored at Mardens Salvage Warehouse last week.
I'd jump at the chance to participate in one of those ones on The Home channel, or whatever it is, where designers or architects come to your house and redo it. Sign me up! I'll even act dysfunctional and whacky, if required. Also? I confess to a secret love of SAY YES TO THE DRESS. I watch it with my 12-year-old daughter. Don't judge.
HALLIE: The Reds are ready for reality, but is reality ready for us?