My Turn: So ‘Real World: Peterborough’ was a hoax, but what other reality shows could we have?

Last modified: Friday, January 23, 2015
Maybe you saw the spoof story circulating via Facebook a couple of weeks ago, poking fun at MTV’s The Real World at the expense of poor old Peterborough. The story, written so dryly that it was hard to swallow as satire – even with a beer chaser – claimed that due to planned construction in the Windy City, MTV was pulling the plug on Real World: Chicago and preparing to film the next season of their co-ed frat house exploits in sleepy Peterborough, where “a few bars open until about 10 p.m. and the town is full of old people who like peace and quiet.”

Of course, that got me thinking about all the missed opportunities to put New Hampshire on the reality TV show map.

Sure, it’s a hoot to imagine a group of dysfunctional twentysomethings hopped up on double lattes from Aesop’s Tables while participating in Peterborough’s invasive species mapping project, snapping selfies with reckless abandon next to the dreaded knotweed plants springing up along Tarbell Road.

But when you think about it, New Hampshire is truly fertile ground for some must-see reality TV:

‘Maggie Get Your Gun’

I imagine this as a musical take on all the political antics happening under Concord’s State House dome, sort of like Glee, only with fewer openly gay characters, bringing us weekly episodes featuring all kinds of rootin’ tootin’ excitement – from our gun-slinging state reps busting out flash-mob style in the middle of a reading of HB 251, a bill prohibiting circumcision for newborn males under Medicaid, to the back-door dealings of undercover Free Staters posing as Democrats and Republicans and conspiring to abolish every law on the books, with House of Cards camera angles and asides.

‘Real Husbands of MHT’

Because, like you, I am bored to tears with the drama perpetrated by rich and spoiled American housewives, from Orange County to Atlanta.

Give me 60 weekly minutes of riveting action featuring Granite State husbands carting kids to soccer practice and back, then sneaking out under the guise of picking up some bread and milk and, instead, huddling at Castro’s Back Room on Elm Street to puff on fat stogies while discussing the PSI of Tom Brady’s game balls.

‘Real World: Ice House Winnipesaukee’

This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in an ice house on Lake Winnipesaukee, fishing together and having their lives taped as they sit around a gaping hole in the middle of the lake, their late-night cusk lines labeled and pegged firmly to the ice.

Find out what happens from Day 1, as they break the ice, quite literally, bust out the beer and stop being polite – oh wait, manners don’t count in ice fishing. With occasional guest appearances by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, with an assist from Justin Timberlake, teaching his daughter, Winnie (named in honor of the lake) how to ice skate around ice houses and dodge gaping fishing holes.

‘Behind the Music: Verizon Wireless Arena’

A cross between C-SPAN and Candid Camera, this show would rely on streaming footage via hidden backstage and dressing room cams to reveal what goes on before, during and after Verizon Wireless Arena shows, including everything from what keeps Nickelback motivated to stay together, to the Jim Henson Creature Shop animatronics that really propel Steven Tyler’s signature moves.

‘Being Michael Malkovich’

This could be the break-out hit of the entire season. Or not.

It all depends on who Michael Malkovich is and what it’s like being him. All we know is that he is listed in the phone book and lives in Henniker.

‘Drunk N.H. History’

Fans of Comedy Central’s Drunk History series will be clamoring for more once this take on all things New Hampshire hits the airwaves – from our proud “Live Free or Die” political history and the story behind the story of President Franklin Pierce, to the types of tales Fritz Wetherbee spins, only told by co-hosts Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman and Seth Meyers, bantering under the influence of a rotating menu of New Hampshire Made libations (or in Silverman’s case, legally dispensed medicinal marijuana).

(What New Hampshire reality TV shows would you like to see? Email letters@cmonitor.com and let us know!)