Even if the word ‘reality’ in ‘reality shows’ is a tad blurred – the world is still hooked. From cake-making to boyfriend-stealing, there’s something out there for every one.
Shamelessly voyeuristic, competitively cutthroat, and at times downright ridiculous – here are a few popular reality shows we wish we could watch the Maltese version of. For better or worse.
Outwit. Outplay. Outlast.
Think ‘Castaway’ meets ‘Lord of the Flies’, Survivor brings a group of strangers to a remote location and leaves them to their own devices. Together with their team (or ‘tribe’), they build their own shelter and find their own food to survive. Contestants compete against other tribes in physical and mental challenges, all while undergoing hunger and fatigue. Every few nights, the tribe that loses the immunity challenge must go to ‘tribal council’ and vote off one of their own.
Malta Version: First of all, finding 16-20 strangers in Malta might prove to be a challenge. But above all,we envision lots of complaining, primarily about hunger, the lack of food variety in the wild (‘Jekk nara coconut ieħor, naqla!’ ) the weather conditions (‘Sħana tboss haw’) and sleeping on a bed of logs (‘Ajma dari kif kissirtu.’)
‘Ġuħ ta’ bagħal għandi!’
2. The Biggest Loser
No, not your ex, the weight loss show.
Malta version: On local channels, ‘Loser minn dawk il-kbar’ would have a massive, ripped guy from Lord’s Gym as a motivational trainer. Or perhaps an ex-military sergeant barking at all the overweight contestants trying to sweat it out without being deafened.
‘Għidtlek għaxar sets squats u tmien burpees, purċinell!’
Lord’s Gym trainer
3. Ex On The Beach
MTV’s Ex On The Beach features a number of single men and women enjoying a summer holiday in a beautiful villa abroad whilst of course, looking for love. However, paradise is short-lived as every episode sees a number of their exes joining the villa to shake things up. Not so different from a two-hour stay at Golden Bay on a Sunday…
Malta version: The Maltese ‘Eħlisni Mulej Minn Dak Is-Salib‘ would most probably take place in a farmhouse in Gozo and cast as many foul-mouthed ħamalli (Maltese chavs) as possible and throw in a few tal-pepé for added drama and contrast. Jealousy, alcohol, revenge – a cocktail we would not like to try, but a show we’d definitely love to see in Malta. #Chavtastic.
‘Wasal qisu dak il-muqran Jason-Paul.’
4. The Bachelor
The popular US dating game show revolves around one eligible bachelor and 25 single women competing for his love. The show sees the bachelor taking chosen girls on competitive group dates, romantic one-on-one dates as well as an elimination at the end of each episode until there are only two girls left at the end, one of whom he proposes to. #PassMeTheCheese
Malta version: Needless to say, whenever competing for love is involved, jealousy and spite are not far behind. We’d pay to see ‘The Bachelor Maltese Islands‘ and the claws coming out among a group of feisty Maltese women. Over-the-top dates would include ‘Dinner in the sky, Valletta‘, zip-lining at Miġra l-Ferha and having cocktails on a paddle-board in the middle of the sea at Għadira.
‘Jien lil Ben Camille ridt mela dan il-fidil!’
This show, as the name implies, chronicles the events leading up to weddings, the focus being on the difficult, emotional brides’ mainly negative interactions with friends, family, caterers and wedding organisers.
Malta version: With the Maltese culture lacking in simplicity – especially when it comes to weddings and Holy Communions – this show would be the perfect form of entertainment for all those who look down on such ‘ħamallaġni (maa)’.
‘Laqwa li t-tieġ ikun jiswa iktar minn ta’ Tessie u l-libsa tkun tixgħel iktar.’
6. Selling New York
A real estate show which centres around brokers trying to sell high-end property in New York.
Malta version: ‘Ejja Ħa Nagħmlu Lira‘ would have Remax, Frank Salt and Zanzi Homes’ agents competing to seal the deal first. The show’s intro clip would play some cheesy theme song while showing Facebook profile pictures of the agents with crossed arms and their names and company logos below.
‘Mela hawnhekk għandna l-kċina….’
The show provides a glimpse into the real-life struggles of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding. Because of their obsessive need to keep everything (even the most worthless of items), the resulting state of their homes is unsanitary and unlivable. The show provides a therapist and a cleaning crew to try to prevent legal consequences such as eviction.
Malta version: It would most probably be the neighbours who’d nominate the individual in need of help, rather than the family itself. Bad Boy Cleaners would save the day and the sufferer’s reputation will be forever tainted.
‘Il-qaħ**ċ kemm għandek imbarazz, dan il-flamingo x’żammejtu tagħmel xi kruha? Armi‘ l hemm!’
There’s something exciting about ordinary people gaining quick fame through reality TV. Perhaps the next one could be you.