Ozymandias left the following comment on my last post, and it really got me thinking:
I occasionally have daydreams of running a major TV network and creating a show called the Compliment Show.
The Compliment Show would impersonate one of those you-suck-fix-yourself shows-- the ones with the British nannies, or the your-fashion-sucks shows. They would film your life, your wardrobe, your kids, whatever, and then they would say:
"Your style is individual, yet attractive! Good job!"
"Your kids are perfectly normal for their ages. In fact, your daughter is very intelligent, and your son has such artistic skill. We're impressed."
"In general, you are a good person, and there is nothing at all wrong with you."
It would probably get cancelled very quickly.
I want to envision an entire Positive TV channel. Here's some of the shows I've come up with:
Political Collaboration Hour - Pundits from across the political spectrum discuss: which laws and candidates would benefit the country more, and how can we help more people be safer and happier? The host, whose catchphrase is "Now let's look for the common ground!" encourages the pundits to find the fundamental principles they agree on even if they believe in applying them in different ways.
Survivors - Each week, the teams must cooperate to complete an island-survival-themed challenge together. No one gets voted off, because it's important that the teams learn to work with the people they have, who are all useful in some way. At the end everyone is nicely compensated for appearing on the show. The entertainment comes from watching the lengths they have to go to and the ingenuity they apply in attacking the challenges.
Bob Loves Luisa - In this hilarious family sitcom, the husband and wife genuinely understand and want to work with each other. One of their children is very intelligent and the other is very creative, and Bob and Luisa encourage them both to do what they love! Dramatic conflict arises from temporary misunderstandings and outside challenges, and is resolved through open--but wacky--communication and teamwork! Also there is a goofy next-door neighbor.
Dirty Jobs - We'd just syndicate this. No editing required.
Nightly News Flash - Our intrepid news team reports in-depth on charity and relief projects, promising scientific research, and on the rapid spread of useful technology around the globe. There'd be special segments on dramatic rescue missions and promising young people, and exposés revealing which lawmakers are really making personal sacrifices to serve their country better.
America Does, In Fact, Have Talent - Performers demonstrate diverse skills in music, dance, comedy, magic, and other entertainment arts. Everyone who made it through the offscreen auditions is so good that the show really just exists as a venue to let people enjoy their talent. After each performance, three judges who are well-educated in theater and circus history briefly give the audience a perspective on the heritage of the art form being showcased, then discuss the ways the performer honored and diverged from tradition in their work.
Self-Esteem Makeover - People who want plastic surgery, extreme weight loss, or a total style makeover meet up with an elite team of clinical psychologists who teach them that who they are and what they do--and even the unique and human way they look right now--matters so much more. In the second half of the show, these people are taught how to eat a balanced and varied diet and engage in fun physical activities, then assisted in designing a makeup and wardrobe for themselves that fits well with their individual style.
I'm totally going to think of more when I'm at work. Add your own!
EDIT: Yep, here are some I thought of at work. There are lots of great ideas in the comments too!
This Land Is My Land - This travel show has a different host each week, as a native of the featured region gives our camera crew a tour of their homeland. Learn about their own society, history, cuisine, and landmarks from the perspective only a true insider can give! Hear moving stories of how the host's personal history and daily life tie into the unique culture of their region--first hand.
The Zombie Cure - In a world overrun by shambling, mindless monsters, a small group of human scientists holed away in a jury-rigged urban fortress have found a cure that restores the zombies back into sentient humans. This epic and darkly comic series follows them from their first successful experiment on a chained, perilously captured zombie in the fortress basement through the long hard road of un-zombifying the world. This week's episode where our heroes confront a snarling little girl zombie, then gently restrain her so she will have no injuries when she returns to consciousness, is guaranteed to thrill and chill you, then delight you when she wakes up with only minor bruises and gives her mommy a hug!
Real Teens Out Of Control - Tania is expelled under a "zero tolerance" policy for possession of the pepper spray she carries for self defense. Alberto is charged with disorderly conduct for taking part in a political protest. Franklin is thrown out of the prom for trying to attend in a dress. Juliet is sent to the district's special "behavioral problems" school for choosing to keep her pregnancy. Hear the thrilling true-life stories of teenagers who broke all the rules... and had a pretty good point, which they will articulately explain on camera as they go through the process of challenging the system.
Exhibition Game - In this old-school game show, contestants have to use both brains and brawn: one moment answering trivia questions, the next doing physical challenges. A contestant might find themselves improvising rock lyrics, then bungee-jumping off an actual rock! At the end of the game, everyone gets nice prizes and fancy vacations from the sponsors, because all of the contestants contributed to making the show entertaining, so they should all reap the rewards. Besides, seriously, how do you even score bungee-jumping? "Best falling technique?" Whatever.
Sesame Street: Adult Edition - Short, engagingly animated adult-level lessons on science, history, math, civics and language alternate with the Muppets' lovable antics and catchy songs. Don't act like you're too cool for this. You'd so watch it. You know it.