The Top Reality Show Cliches

January 4, 2013

One of the things "Joe Schmo" does so well is satire the formulaic and cliché nature of competition reality shows. Here's just a few that drive us bonkers, some of which you'll definitely see lampooned on this coming season of "The Joe Schmo Show."

The Guy/Girl Who is Not Here to Make Friends

This is always our favorite. You have the one person who always acts as the antagonist towards the rest of the cast, and at some point when they are either called out by another cast member or asked by producers in the "confessional" they make the statement "I'm not here to make friends." Which, to be honest, is actually a good call. It's better to just get a hobby that involves interacting with other people, go to the bar, or something else that's less convoluted than going through the process of auditioning and landing a spot on a reality show.

This season, you'll meet Randy (Michael Weaver), who is going to be our resident a-hole. He's not here to meet friends, or even passing acquaintances. He will, though, likely say the following:

"I Don't Care What Other People Think About Me."

Which I'm sure is the case with everyone who has ever tried to get on television.

Lorenzo Lamas Applies A Little Pressure
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The Meltdown

There's always at least one cast member who has some sort of break during filming, usually but not always induced by alcohol. This season we'll likely see several from Allison (Nikki McKenzie), the overly ambitious doctoral student with a temper.

"…At The End Of The Day…"

This is a statement used ad hominem by contestants to explain or excuse actions they took in a particular challenge or after an argument. It's only become worse with the proliferation of reality shows in the last decade, since contestants are now also viewers and have picked up on certain patterns of speech. Or they might literally mean at the end of the day, since despite airing over several months, most shows usually occur over the span of a few days or one week (which makes all the emotional breakdowns that much more disconcerting).

The Overly Dramatic Eviction Process

The host/master of ceremonies always stands fifteen to twenty feet away while we get jump cuts and close-ups of cast members accompanied by banging/thumping sound effects. Then there's always the overly elaborate centerpiece, which this season is a giant tent fashioned from the skirt of a giants statue of "Lady Justice," with host Jake Montrose (Ralph Garman) asking "Lady Justice, may I come inside you?"

The Unexpected Eviction

Whether it's done through fan voting or a panel of judges, there's always that one eviction that occurs about midway through the season that nobody sees coming. The cynic in us thinks it's done to prevent viewers from tuning out when they think a show's getting too predictable.

"I Speak My Mind, Take It Or Leave It."

This is often said boastfully, as if not having a filter or anything resembling social skills is an accomplishment. Although if they really did speak their mind all the time, that wouldn't be a character trait, it'd be a disease called Tourette Syndrome. The character most likely to invoke the phrase this season would probably be Chloe.

"This Is My Dream / I Want This More Than Anyone"

It's always illuminating when a reality show contestant reveals that they are the only person to have ever had the unique ambition to be famous at some level.

"Bring My A-Game"

Because you know, they were gonna coast by with their B or C game, but maybe it's better that they try hard. What a novel concept! You'll likely hear this quite a lot from Lavernius (Segun Oduolowu).

Spike is proud to announce that Joe Schmo, the audacious faux reality show where only one contestant is real, IS BACK starting Tuesday, January 8 at 10 PM, ET/PT. But there's only real one question, can we actually pull it off without blowing everything?

Watch the first 10 minutes right here:

Preview The First 10 Minutes Of The Joe Schmo Show
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