Irresponsible Netflix execs summon “Willy Wonka reality show” into existence

They don't even have an idea! They're just shouting "Willy Wonka reality show" at any production companies that'll listen

Irresponsible Netflix execs summon “Willy Wonka reality show” into existence
Timothée Chalamet in Wonka Screenshot: YouTube

In news that simultaneously caused every single person you know who owns a bow tie to sit up and pay terrible, exuberant notice, Netflix revealed today that it’s working on a reality show based around Willy Wonka. This, despite the fact that the the last time Wonka attempted to intrude into our reality, it went so poorly that it produced public apologies, waves of social media derision, and an actual stage musical chronicling the horrors that emerged.

In what might actually be even more irritating, though, Deadline reports that Netflix doesn’t even have an actual idea for what a “Willy Wonka reality show” might be, beyond that profoundly disquieting phrase. They’re running the concept in what’s referred to in the entertainment industry as a “Bake-Off,” which is basically a way of saying “We have the rights to something, so you come and supply us with some ideas.” Essentially, the streamer got the rights to the basic concept of “a Wonka reality show” when it bought the Roald Dahl Story Company back in 2021, and now it’s just waiting for someone to walk up with a good idea, or, more likely, an idea.

And while Deadline notes that the bidding has apparently been winnowed down to reality TV giant Fremantle and Warner Bros.-owned Wall To Wall—the latter of whom would presumably be able to use clips of the various Wonka movies to make the show look slightly less like the barebones hell of The Wonka Chocolate Experience—we see no reason not to toss our own pitch into the pile. (Sure, we won’t get paid for the labor, but, then, nobody does; that’s the crappy thing about a “bake-off.”)

Anyway, our idea is sort of a mix of one of those Food Network candy-making shows with Legends Of The Hidden Temple, plus just a hint of the Saw franchise to spice things up: Basically, three maladjusted individuals in top hats compete to see who can make a candy so tempting that a child would risk death to get their hands on it, with points going for presentation, flavor, and ingenuity of kid-catching/dismantling traps. (Of course, the children would be discouraged from entering the traps, for legal reasons, but that’s nothing a sufficiently well-presented snozzberry tart can’t overcome.) The more kids you can convince to Augustus Gloop themselves straight to hell, the more points; losers go to jail, while winners get an all-expenses-paid trip to a country with expensive taste in candy and lax taste in extradition laws.

Call us, Netflix!

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