My hometown of Possum Holler, Ga., is not the most technologically advanced place on the planet. Most folks don't even have microwave ovens, and the only Wi-Fi we have is actually a poodle owned by Bertha Mae Jenkins.
A lot of folks have TVs, but until recently there was precious little to watch on them because the holler is situated in such a way that satellite signals can't be transmitted into it. And Peach Blossom Cable has refused to run lines to the area since they sent a technician into the holler and he got smacked in the head with a two-by-four when he got too close to Crazy Jimmy's still. About the only entertainment we had for the TVs was a VHS copy of "Smokey and the Bandit" that the residents passed around.
But times have changed. There's now a UHF station (WPSM) that everyone in Possum Holler can pick up. Unfortunately they can't afford to purchase syndicated programming like "Gilligan's Island" or even "The Andy Griffith Show." So, the UHF station has resorted to the cheap alternative of reality TV. Of course, these aren't the shows that permeate the programming on your cable or satellite channels, but they're quite similar. For instance, Discovery Channel has "Naked and Afraid," in which they drop a naked man and woman into the wilderness and see if they starve to death or get bitten in an awkward spot. WPSM, meanwhile, has "Naked, I'm Afraid," in which Crazy Jimmy's wife Gladys calls the sheriff after he's had a snootful and reports, "Yeah, Jimmy's drunk again.
And naked, I'm afraid."
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Animal Planet has "My Cat From Hell," in which a strange-looking dude goes around and calms down folks' nutty cats. WPSM has "My Possum From Hell," in which my strange-looking Uncle Joe helps people deal with unruly critters. When he can't resolve the problem, my strange-looking Aunt Betty takes over and turns the situation into a cooking show with some tasty barbecue recipes.
CBS has "Survivor" in which contestants are dropped off in some scary place and try to be the last person standing. WPSM has something very similar, also called "Survivor," in which contestants wearing Obama campaign T-shirts are dropped off under the rebel flag in Jim Bob Jenkins' front yard. The last person to get shot is declared the winner.
Fox once hosted a reality show called "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?" It drew a lot of protests from such organizations as the National Organization for Women, who found the program demeaning. WPSM had "Who Wants to Marry a Thousandaire?" which drew protests from the four single ladies remaining in Possum Holler when they discovered Sammy Earl had overstated his wealth after hitting the Cash 3 jackpot.
HGTV has the ever popular "House Hunters," where couples and families look a three homes and pick one to purchase. WPSM's version, "Trailer Hunters," is very similar as Snake Stafford takes families on a tour of his trailer park and they pick one of three behind-on-rent families to kick out and take over the trailer.
After starting "The X-Factor" on Fox, Simon Cowell came to Possum Holler with dreams of staging a similar show on WPSM, "The Ex-Factor," in which Jerry Joe Jordan tries to find love in Possum Holler. The show was was quickly canceled after Jerry Joe was put in the hospital by four of his ex-wives when they caught him at the truck stop with Tricky Trixie Thibodeaux.
So, there are a few differences between reality TV in Possum Holler and everywhere else, but at least one thing is consistent everywhere:
None of it is worth watching.
-- Connect with Chris Johnson at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting.