The last few weeks have been a prime opportunity to make a dent in my never-ending list of film recommendations and of course re-watch some of the old classics for the umpteenth time as well, most namely two timeless, family favourites; Groundhog Day and The Truman Show. The former is weirdly pertinent to the surreal situation in which we find ourselves right now, as each day is almost identical to the last and times is passing in a blur. The latter however has stuck with me for reasons that under normal circumstances I wouldn’t give a second’s thought. To tell the truth I’m not usually a fan of conspiracies or alien theories but re-watching The Truman Show has made me think about the possibility of us living in a real version, with a life form on a distant planet observing the comings and goings of humans on Earth in the ultimate form of reality TV.
After – what I imagine to be – dwindling numbers of viewers in the previous series (the drawn out Brexit process didn’t make for great content and put all of them to sleep), the show’s creators must have decided they needed to add something juicy to entice the audience once again. What they settled on was a global pandemic with a clueless US President in the driving seat. These producers must be rubbing their hands together in glee, knowing their audiences are howling with laughter as Donald continues to provide the comedic value with a catalogue of mishaps. They’ll exclaim that it is going exactly as they had planned.
Perfectly designed by these talented producers, this reality TV hit must have taken their planet by storm, with every individual there completely hooked. I imagine they have timed it perfectly so that the current series will finish just before the presidential elections in November, thus ensuring their audiences tune in for the next series to find out about the aftermath of quarantine. Wherever the viewers are in the universe, they will be on the edge of their seats, unable to predict whether USA will defy logic and vote Donald into the White House again in the following series. They’ll be asking themselves what the implications of this could be, concluding that it is too early to guess what will happen with so much still left to unfold in this pandemic storyline. They’ll argue about how those humans on faraway planet Earth will cope with the ‘new normal’ and dispute whether they’ll emerge as better people after this ‘near miss’. One thing they’ll agree on is how they hope Donald Trump sticks around for the next series as this clown is undeniably the most ridiculous thing they’ve seen on TV in years.