My name’s Will, and I wish to be an extraordinary blogger. My pal Brian over at Coolandcollected.com came up with idea for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers a few months ago, and it has really taken off. Essentially, he lists a topic every week, and the members of the league run with it. I’ve never contributed, but I’ve lurked since the beginning, learning about a lot of great bloggers along the way. I’m not always the best team player, but when Brian suggested that we all present our ideas for a reality show starring ourselves, I had to jump on. I’m a bit narcissistic (williambrucewest.com, anyone), but not in the bad way. It’s not that I think highly of myself, but it’s that I’m always VERY self-aware. With that in mind, it’s not hard to spin that into how I would look in a reality show about myself.
So, recently I’ve been having discussions about the “reality” of reality shows in the comment sections of certain sites. To boil it down, folks are insisting that shows like Toy Hunter and Collection Intervention are staged, and that we’re fools for believing they’re not. I get this line of reasoning, but is it wrong to wish that they were real? I mean, there was a time, before the genre took hold, when what you saw was really something that had happened. No one looks back and says that Cops was fake. Was that not a reality show? Anyway, this got me to thinking about what my reality show would be about. They say that you should stick with what you know, but I decided to give it a TV twist. I give you Thrift Justice: The Series!
Archival set photo from unaired pilot
Here’s how Thrift Justice: The Series is structured. The premise is that I’m a lawman who hits thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets when he’s not hitting perps. Am I actually in law enforcement? No. Here’s what I’d do: I’d get in one of those programs where I’d become a sheriff’s deputy, but really only have to be on duty one weekend every six months. Remember how Shaq did that? Most of the time would be spent thrifting, but I’d still probably always have my taser and my Oakleys on me. The title has “The Series” appended on it to show that it’s a natural extension of the Thrift Justice segments that I already do on this site. Basically, I’d be creating cross-platform synergy, where the site feeds the show, and vice versa.
My cast of characters would include my common law wife Robyn, my thrifting pal “Special Forces” (not pictured, for his protection), and my mom, “Bruce” – who actually got me into the world of secondhand stuff, but now thinks I’m in too deep. Each episode would start with me coming off a bust (by framing it this way, it makes it look like I’m constantly bringing criminals to justice, though you’d rarely need to see them), and I’d stop by a thrift store or yard sale on the way home.
On location shot
I’d stick to my normal haunts, but sometimes there would coincidentally be a suspected criminal at these venues. I’d stumble upon something like a vintage Transformers Metroplex, and begin to educate the audience.
“Metroplex is one of the most sought-after Generation 1 Transformers. It’s rare to find him in such good condition. There’s even fan speculation that he was originally meant to be Optimus Prime’s father. (It’s good to throw in something false/outright lie to A: cause the fans to question my experience and B: it’ll fire up the message boards).”
Watch the guy in the cowboy hat!
During my little soliloquy, out of the corner of my eye, I’d see someone notice me and they’d run. Innocent people don’t run. I’d have to run after him, catch him, AND hope that Metroplex is still on the shelf when I get back. Once the justice has been dished out, I’d return to my exposition:
“Manuel Garcia was wanted in 2 states for armed robbery. Based on the condition I left him in, he won’t be holding a gun for a long time. Anyway, I’m picking up this Metroplex for $5, but he easily goes for around $50 on the secondary market (note how I didn’t check anything to verify this price, plus I’m already suspect due to that incorrect nugget about him being Optimus’s father). That’s ten times my original investment, and I’ll take that kinda action any day of the week.”
My show would air on Spike or TruTV, as it would really appeal to the demographic that loves Bar Rescue and Lizard Lick Towing. In my mind, Thrift Justice will be Dog The Bounty Hunter meets American Pickers. I’d be followed on the schedule by Pegwarmers, starring my Twitter friend @Th0r4z1n3, a toy collector who runs a gentleman’s club. That’s actually a true story; follow him if you don’t already! The lineup would also include the following shows by fellow “extraordinary bloggers”:
What’s In The Box?: originally an adult program in the UK, the American version will be decidedly different.
Penny Hunter: during sweeps, they plan to have guest appearances by Kaley Cuoco, Cree Summer, AND Janet Jackson!
Mike’s Bunch of Crap: The #1 show amongst Yankees fandom!