It’s no secret to anybody that reality television now dominates all programming, spawning a field of channels devoted almost exclusively to the format (Slice, A&E, W, Food Network, History, etc.) and becoming a cultural touchstone for the college student as well as the working parent, the child, and even the corporate executive. They’re cheaply made, easy to produce in mass volume, and almost entirely forgettable in terms of lasting value – making them ripe targets for some fine satire and situational comedy.
The fine minds here at Campus Life thought it might be a wonderful idea to present you with a weekly “college” twist on some of the most popular reality shows on television. Maybe if you stick around long enough, you might get a chance as a reader to submit your own idea for a terrific prize (to be disclosed at a later date, the only promise being made that the prize is more significant than a McDonald’s Happy Meal or a Kinder Egg). From Miami Ink to The Jersey Shore and beyond, no reality show is safe from a silly or satirical bend.
(a vaguely satirical parallel to Storage Wars):
A healthy mix of students who drop out of their first semester (Christmas grads, as they’re often called) ranging to those finishing up their degrees or diplomas will evacuate their dorm in a hurry, almost as if fearing a plague of locusts or a Carrot Top performance. This happens so frequently in many communities that several charities usually band together to host a “Dump n’ Run” selloff event in local hockey arenas or fire halls to sell off all of the hot junk that these kids leave behind. Hey, what do they care, Mom n’ Dad (or a Government loan) paid for it!
The main characters in this show are even wackier than the cast of popular A&E series Storage Wars (yes, even including Barry and his lucky “skeleton” gloves). Let’s meet a few!
Rexx is a local mountain boy, raised in a community nestled in a community hidden behind a hamlet that ten people know the name of. He drives a Chevy S-10 – it’s hard to tell if the paint color is rust or if there is any paint t’all. He likes to drink a 40 of hooch and wear his trademark lumberjack’s coat before heading down to the dump n’ run sale to see if he can pick n’ flip his specialty… used barbeques (there’s a hefty market, believe it or not! See: Trailer Park Boys), leftover smokes, and erotic fiction (back issues of Hustler – also a market!).
Jessie is a student herself, and it shows. Scholarly sex appeal knows no bounds whenever Jessie is on camera flaunting her mile-long legs clad only in stockings and buying books she will later pretend to read while wearing librarian’s glasses. Not driven particularly by profit, Jessie exists as an aesthetic only, essentially the requisite token hot chick to serve both as lust object for the other characters as well as the viewing audience themselves. The rest of the folks, after all, ain’t that pretty.
A math whiz and a fountain of completely useless knowledge, Donald breathes science fiction and fantasy and expels a constantly and persistent odor not unlike the scent of basement musk. Unshaven and sporting a series of black t-shirts emblazoned with trite nerdspeak memes and jokes (from Captain Picard battling Captain Kirk to Nyan Cat and his Double Rainbow) Donald is the vicarious vessel in which at least half of the socially repressed viewing demographic can place their faith and envy. Donald sweeps the dump n’ run like the T-800 (from Terminator, for those unfamiliar with fine action films), sans red laser eye but plus his extra tight neon polo shirts (80′s vintage). He also makes a great deal of money; spotting any and all He-Man and the Masters of the Universe action figures (never call them figurines or, even worse, “toys”. They stay in the box, we all know that.) and trading them for rare My Little Ponies on eBay for reselling to private collectors. It’s a complicated system, and he could probably make more money manipulating and speculating within the stock market, but hey – it’s how he pays his mom rent! Oh, Donald and Rexx don’t get along. They both love Jessie – who doesn’t? – and neither one speaks the others language. It hasn’t come to blows yet but Intrade puts Rexx at 10:1, so Donald has been on hiatus for a few weeks with a physical trainer, set to return in Season 2 for a showdown.
William is an old coot with more attitude than common sense. Cantankerous and hilarious at the same time, Bill basically likes to troll the everloving hell out of every single one of the vendors at the dump n’ run. Every single episode he tells a story about how he got the better end of a deal, only to end up forgetting how to even use the item he bought. Brain’s slipping a few gears, and he is known to drool moderately to profusely without even noticing – a constant source of laughter for the viewing audience. The most famous of his deals – back when he was merely a background character – involved the purchase of a hot dog for the listed price of two dollars. He was convinced that he was consuming the food of the gods, and told the griller so. When kindly thanked for his generosity but reminded that he was in fact eating processed pig butt grilled on a metal roller, William immediately spat the pasty dog back in her face and replied that he would not poison himself with such filth and how dare she accuse him of it. Since then, he’s risen to great prominence and cultural importance, trending higher than any other reality TV celebrity on Twitter and Facebook, with the footage of his “Dog Spit in Ur Face” video being viewed over five hundred million times.
As you can see, Dorm Wars has a lot to offer. Sex appeal, armpit odor, rusty trucks knocking over parking meters, dementia, He-man, Skeletor, G.I. Joe and all of the rest of the gang join in to make a perfect storm of strange geekyness and rugged manliness that will be intoxicating to the 18-85 demographic. Just you wait and see; tune in next week for a sneak peek at College Ink: Bad Tattoos meet Worse Tattoos.
Know a Dorm Wars character in real life (or just want to make one up to look cool anyways)? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.