Please insert your favorite joke about how “nature is healing now” here, as TV Insider reports that VH1 is set to bring back reality series The Surreal Life, a cultural nadir for a culture that never met a nadir it couldn’t try to top. (Bottom? Let’s go with “out-nadir.”) As all good trash TV historians know, the original Surreal Life began on The WB back in 2003, before migrating over to the cable network a few seasons later, and was predicated on a premise as simple as it was morale-eroding: Here are some people who want to be on TV so bad that they’ll do anything to be on TV, so let’s go ahead and put them on TV.
And who makes up our new crop of once-and-would-like-to-be-future famouses? No less august a group than Dennis Rodman and Stormy Daniels (both associated, allegedly or otherwise, with reality show president Donald Trump), singer Tamar Braxton, TV’s Frankie Muniz, In Living Color’s Kim Coles, former WWE star C.J. Perry, and YouTube make-up artist Manny MUA, the one person on this list who appears to have interfaced with a 21st century definition of celebrity. The group will, per series tradition, live together for two weeks in a mansion, in glorious celebration of the Great God Content.
In describing the new series, meanwhile, MTV executive Nina L. Diaz euphemized about as feverishly as the human mind can, noting that, “The Surreal Life is known for bringing together some of the biggest names in pop culture and creating many unforgettable moments in reality television.” “We are excited,” she added, with a straight typeface, “To see how this stellar celebrity cast will make captivating television for audiences everywhere.”
News of The Surreal Life’s revival comes as part of a continuing nostalgia mining operation on the part of parent company Viacom, which also recently announced that it was bringing back MTV’s Cribs, in an effort to spackle in the few holes in the network’s schedule not jammed to the gills with Ridiculousness.