Can we be honest? Phew-thanks.
This narcissism festival should not be called ”Fear Factor”. I get that alliterated names in tough-looking bold-printed fonts are cool and all, but this one is just a bald-faced lie. Nothing about this show actually engenders fear. A few nerves, maybe. Disgust? Absolutely. But real bone-chilling fear? Nope.
To have Actual Fear, NBC needs to go all Roman Empire, and send the Christians to the lions during Prime Time. To have Actual Fear, NBC must risk Lawsuits. NBC will not risk Lawsuits, even for ratings. Luckily for people who are into this sort of stuff, this re-vamped New-and-Improved “Fear Factor” is upping the ante: “Instead of having 100,000 bees like last time, now we’re going to use 200,000.” Creativity, apparently, is not necessary in the concept/script development department.
Now, some contestants have had some real trepidation: there’s been some puking and a few nightmares, but all of the stunts are carefully planned. Everyone’s strapped in real tight just like at Cedar Point. Take away the safety harnesses and the nets, and then you can call it “Fear Factor”. Until then, perhaps they should consider something else.
To help out, I’ve been thinking up a few replacement names for this [freak] show (because I like Joe Rogan, and don’t want him up nights nursing a guilty conscience-he needs his sleep if he’s gonna keep up his mad skills as an MMA commentator).
“Hurlability Factor” might work, although, admittedly, it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite like “Fear Factor” does. Seriously, ingesting bugs is just gross. Not scary, just gross. Scary would involve eating something that would definitely cause permanent bodily harm. Scary, of course, is also stupid in this case. Then again, so is drinking a “Fear Factor” crappachino.
“Agility Factor” is an option, but it sounds rather boring. There is some athletic skill needed on this show: contestants do need to be able to hold their own against a cargo net.
“Vanity Factor” springs to mind. I actually saw a chic on this show wearing stilettos. I know you boys probably missed that, due to the fact that you can’t get on the show at all without Major Cleavage, but-stilettos? Really?
“Heebie Jeebie Factor” is a fun choice. This show has a long and torrid relationship with the entomological community. Bugs of seemingly every species have graced the stage and been eaten, pulverized, manipulated, crushed, sat on, and drowned in all manner of liquids for our entertainment. And, this show doesn’t discriminate: they use worms, snakes, spiders, reptiles, and lots of other members of Wild Kingdom. Oddly enough, people think our species is evolving…
“Fame Factor” has a nice alliterative ring to it, although it’s way too honest for primetime. It’s astonishing what people will do to get on tv. Watch the episode with the vat of cow’s blood, if you need actual proof.
“Youth Worker Idea Shop” could work. But, then the secret would be out, and youth directors in churches nationwide would riot. (I heard of summer camps built around “Fear Factor” themes. I kid you not. Teenagers will do anything if you give them some points for it.) Yes, kids, this show is where Pastor Biff gets all of his weirdest ideas. Now you know.
“Lowest Common Denominator” sticks with the somewhat mathy “Factor” theme. Why people are entertained by watching others do bizarre stuff like this is a mystery to me. Why people would actually do this stuff is an even bigger mystery. From the beginning of time, people are drawn to the weird carnival side-show. “Fear Factor” just lets unemployed catty hot-rod mag models and their Ken Doll wannabe boyfriends be the side-shows.
When in Rome…