Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Fox's new Panic Attack to help people deal with their phobias

Now that it’s defined true love, conquered problem children, and helped former strippers transition into “television personalities,” reality TV is said to be setting its sights on the “intense, adrenaline-based ideas in vogue during the genre’s formative years”—you know, quality stuff like Pirate Master.  Joining previously announced, "action-based" projects from Michael Bay and Ron Howard, Fox’s new Panic Attack will help people face their biggest fears, a play on the sort of confrontational therapy made popular by Maury Povich—only way more “intense,” presumably. The show will be hosted by disconcertingly identical-looking married couple Nik and Eva Speakman, known to British audiences for the hit series A Life Coach Less Ordinary, about which we unfortunately know nothing. However, here’s a glimpse into the inner Speakman sanctum courtesy of a 2006 Guardian profile that should give you some idea of their approach to life and, subsequently, life coaching:

“Every morning, after a bracing bounce on their mini trampoline and a restorative swig of the home-made health drink they've christened, not inaccurately, Swamp Juice (key ingredient: wheatgrass; key aroma: damp goat), Nik and Eva Speakman dance around their lavish Rochdale kitchen to a song chosen to complement and enhance their mood. If the couple are in a buoyant mood, said prancery may entail a burst of ‘No Limits’ by 2 Unlimited or something, perhaps, by 1990s pop sensation Haddaway. If the in-house vibe is heavier, it will probably involve Survivor's ‘Eye Of The Tiger.’ ‘That song makes us feel invincible,’ chirrups Eva, punching the air with her tiny fist by way of illustration. ‘It's like “throw it at me, world!”’”


Panic Attack will find the Speakmans helping Americans find the eye of their own respective tigers, forcing them into direct contact with things like “heights, snakes, and tight spaces”—which also sounds like Fear Factor, but ostensibly much more personal and less “eating horse dick”-based. Each week will find five people with the same phobia working together to overcome it, but don’t worry: It’s from the producers behind Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, so we’re sure they’ll find some manufactured reason to scream at each other along the way to recovery.