Five Reality TV Shows That Could Save the World


It's the main topic on the lips of every politician: The economy is sputtering, with few industries left to produce the valuable goods that could keep it running. But as we sat on our couch last night, scanning from channel to channel, it hit us. There's one industry in America that's thriving like never before, and it has the potential to solve all of our country's problems.

That industry: Reality television.

We can't think of another product made in the U.S.A. for which demand is always greater than the supply. Just look at the shows that debuted this season. We are clearly scraping the bottom of the Decent Show Premise Barrel, and the public still clamors for more.

So let's give it to them, creating thousands of jobs in the process. And while we're at it, let's cast our nation's leaders in scenes that could lead to a thriving economy, the end of partisan politics, and even world peace. With the right contestants, these reality tv shows could save the world.

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Law & Order: Financial Crimes Unit
When President Obama proposed a special investigative force for financial crimes in his State of the Union address, it was all we could do not to call Dick Wolf immediately and pitch this show. (The fact that we don't have Dick Wolf's cell number was the only thing that stopped us.) Let's put the national treasure that is Mariska Hargitay to work in the real world, taking down corporate criminals with her fake sympathy and feminine wiles.

Life Swap
Each week, one Republican and one Democrat will trade lives, swapping not just families, but offices, staffers, and ideologies. Each will live for one week according to rules laid out by the other; the next week, they'll institute their own policies and politics. The result: bipartisanship. (Or utter disaster -- either way, it'll be fun to watch.)

Survivor: Capitol Hill
Screw traditional elections. If the drawn-out circus that is the Republican debates is still attracting viewers, imagine the response to a show that requires politicians to survive in the wild in order to get elected. Plus, we'd get to see all the wheeling and dealing ourselves, keeping those pols honest.

Politicians love to remind us of the daunting cost of higher education in America, and how they'll make it better. But has anyone actually done anything about it? Our solution: send Obama & co. to actual community college and let them try to keep their heads above water both financially and academically on a working-class budget. We bet it'll only take half a season before the education crisis is solved. Added bonus: "Mo and Barack in the moooor-ning!"

The Amazing Race
Cuba, North Korea, and Venezuela all have two things in common: Power-hungry, dictatorial leaders, and the potential for great television! The Amazing Race (To Oust A Dictator) sets up teams of elite military squads in a competition to beat out the rest in their mission to remove scary dudes like Chavez and Castro from power. The winners get worldwide fame. Oh yeah, and world peace.

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