I know, I'm as scared as you are.
There are a few things everyone knows about me: I'm a nightlife promoter. I'm gay. I'm a novelist.
... and I HATE reality TV.
Like I hate Nazis. Like I hate Republicans. Like I hate getting caught in the rain.
That was until last night, when I discovered (aka: saw on my DVR), the new reality show on SyFy TOTAL BLACKOUT. I don't know what else to say, Plus Ones. I FUCKING LOVE THIS SHOW. And I'll tell you why.
But first, the premise. Think Fear Factor. And then put it in COMPLETE DARKNESS. We get to watch the antics and horror through a bright blue night-vision camera, but the contestants are in total pitch dark. Four people start, and, three rounds later, one remains. The survivor wins a paltry $5,000.
Oh, and for each round of elimination, the remaining contestants each jump on a platform. The loser of the previous round finds out they lost when their platform gives way and they plummet into a pit.
Okay... and now reasons why EACH of you should set your DVRs to program Total Blackout immediately:
Holy shit y'all! Steve Urkel aka Stefan Urkel aka Jaleel White hosts this show. And he's aged well! And he's totally rocking the blazer and the attitude and he's giving me some sexy Stefan realness. I don't know WHO thought of unearthing him from the tomb of lost childhood actors, but it works astoundingly well.
2. FUCKING HILARIOUS.
If you're gay and ever saw Avenue Q the musical, you know what Schadenfreude means. If not, you might not be familiar with the word. Essentially it means laughing at the expense of someone else. TOTAL BLACKOUT might as well be called SCHADENFREUDE WITH STEVE URKEL.
Why? Because you get to watch people of all ages, shapes, races, gender orientations, and sizes flip their shit and scream like girls while sniffing butts, sucking toes, crawling through tunnels of rats, having an octopus dropped on their crotch, and ducking under electrified limbo poles that aren't actually there.
(And yes, all of the aforementioned actions actually occurred in the first 3 episodes I watched).
And it's WEIRD. Because YOU see them perfectly fine. You see them rubbing a girl's hair and guessing that they're touching a horse or bear or duck. You constantly forget that they are seeing NOTHING but BLACK. It's an odd and interesting experience.
3. REALLY INTERESTING.
Say what you want, but I think we can safely say that every single human being is scared of the dark. Petrified of it. Why? Because you see it on this show. Watch the video below. This is a clip of a VERY cute and VERY gay circus aerialist named Michael. Besides being my future husband, he also has a very dangerous job. He dangles HUNDREDS OF FEET in the air, upside down. He puts his life in danger every day. And yet, here he is, screeching and prancing, too scared to put his hand in a box.
I mean, we KNOW this is on TV. So nothing truly lethal will be in that box. Doesn't matter. Michael can't take it.
4. HOT GAYS
I've watched three episodes of the show. In EACH one there was a smoking hot gay guy. Michael the Aerialist. Justin the Texan (with tragic tranny brows... but still cute.) Wanna see him? Here's a picture of him giving a blowjob to a human toe, trying to figure out what it was.
One fact I MUST mention however (Spoiler Alert): In all 3 of the episodes the hot gay was the first to fall through the trap door and into the pit. Boo. I wanted to see more of them in very tight Spandex. Alas.
The whole show is so innovative, so inventive. Most reality and game shows these days are just combinations of successful game shows before them. It's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire plus Minute to Win It! It's American Idol, but the hosts are turned around on swivel chairs!
Sure, you might say that Fear Factor inspired this show, but Total Blackout is CERTAINLY not a rip off. Watching them use the complete darkness inventively (convincing contestants they had a live tarantula in a lacrosse stick when, secretly, said spider was replaced with an adorable stuffed animal, for example) is such a hoot, and so, so entertaining.
So have I sold you yet? I hope so. Like I said: I have NEVER liked reality TV of any kind. Naturally this is a revelation to me. I guess I was just waiting for the right one to come along. TOTAL BLACKOUT deserves at least one shot. Set your DVR to SyFy, sit down with a bag of chips, and prepare to enjoy yourself. Also, prepare to immediately start watching the second episode once the first is done.
And now, to close out this post, here is a hilarious video of contestants trying to identify the smell of a guy's butt.
xo Justin Luke