Esteemed Discovery Channel Executives,
Greetings! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to review my reality TV pitch. I know that you could be spending this time in your office hot tub that Bear Grylls carved using only a whittled Norwegian stick, or having a frenemies dance-off with those bitches from the History Channel, so I really appreciate that you’ve instead chosen to spend some quality time with my bold new vision.
First of all, I want you to know that I really like Deadliest Catch. Before watching that show, I didn’t even know that crab fisherman was a viable profession. I thought it was one of those salt-of-the-earth jobs that only lives on in mythology, like lamplighting, milkmanning, or newspaper writing. But now I know better. Crab fishing is probably the most noble profession there is—way better than the previous careers I have pursued in skunk baiting, Appalachian hermit diplomacy, and Olive Garden salad maker. Deadliest Catch does an amazing job of capturing the gritty lives of America’s most majestic heroes…but there is one way the show could be better. You see, the crab fisherman on the show aren’t nearly inept enough. They are ept if I ever saw it, performing their jobs in a highly satisfactory manner. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my days of watching Paris Hilton’s The Simple Life (I had a lot of extra time to watch TV back when I was a skunk baiter), it’s that people love watching other people fail at jobs. Therefore, as a young woman who has never seen the ocean and who has only ever eaten imitation crab, I propose that you create the spin-off Deadliest Catch: Madeline’s On a Boat. Although reality TV is known for its unpredictable and volatile nature, I have used the space below to outline some scenarios that might ensue if you paid to send me off on my own crab fishing expedition:
With the hatches battened down and the salty sea wind whistling a merry tune, Madeline prepares to leave port.
Day 1, minute 5
Madeline’s ship, the SS David Guetta’s Titanium, collides with a nearby lobster fishing vessel, and Madeline is forced back to the docks to make repairs.
Repairs complete, Madeline prepares to embark again. Insurance information has been exchanged with the captain of the lobster fishing ship, Jacques Toulion. Although Madeline and Jacques did not initially see eye-to-eye, they have since become friends and lovers. Jacques promises to write to Madeline while they are both at sea. They have worked together to train seagulls to deliver their messages.
The SS David Guetta’s Titanium has been at sea for almost a week now, drifting with listlissness of a wasp in a public swimming pool. Madeline’s strategy is to let the crabs come to her.
Madeline is bored. While poking around the ship’s cabinets, she discovers a VHS player as well as tapes of Song of the South and The Backstreet Boy’s Millenium Tour.
Day 32, middle of the night
Madeline had no idea just how racist Song of the South would seem to a modern audience. Seriously, that Zip-a-dee-doo-dah song makes the movie look like it’s just about a bunch of cartoon animals working together to achieve equality for all. How did Walt Disney let this happen? Madeline’s childhood might be ruined.
Day 32, later in the night
God, the Backstreet Boys were good. Why hasn’t Nick Carter had more luck in a solo musical career?!
One unsuspecting crab has gotten itself tangled in Madeline’s net. What a loser—floating around in the ocean by itself, no crab friends to back it up. It totally deserves to be eaten by rich New Englanders. Madeline is confident that after this first catch, more loser crabs will soon follow.
More loser crabs do not follow. Madeline has worn out the VHS tape of The Backstreet Boy’s Millenium Tour. The one lame-ass crab that she caught probably isn’t even worth $5, and she might never see the live concert rendition of “Larger Than Life” again. All hope is lost.
Madeline returns to port. She has yet to receive word from Jacques and assumes that he is either dead or has run off with some hussy whom he met at sea. However, Madeline has moved on and remains optimistic about her future. That one fuck-up crab will be a kind of medallion, reminding her of all the things she can achieve if she puts her mind to it. She plans to make its exoskelleton into a hatpin, which she will wear always on an ostentatious Kentucky Derby-style hat.
If the above hypothetical scenarios aren’t good television, I don’t know what is. Who would want to watch some trollop like Mad Men when they could watch me epically failing to make a living? (Actually I take that back; Mad Men is amazing.) But seriously, I think that my voyage could be a modern day Old Man and the Sea, and I know that intelligent executives such as yourselves would never act like loser crabs and turn this opportunity now. I eagerly await your response.
Madeline “Insert Nautical Nickname” Jacobson