Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Catholic School: The Reality Show

Musing on yesterday's post about the difference between Catholic and Croatian Orthodox nuns must've led the universe to place in my path (via my gym's bank of flat-panel TVs) a soundless snippet from a VH1 show that featured adult bimbos in what seemed like Catholic school uniforms -- plaid jackets, solid skirts and knee socks. I wondered if this was a new reality show called, "Catholic School." Even better would be "Celebrity Catholic School," the premise being that Paris Hilton, Winona Ryder, Richard Gere and other misbehaving icons (the list is endless) are remanded to a classroom run by, say, my fifth-grade nun and over a period of time, reduced from being pampered megalomaniacs to guilt-ridden penitents. For verisimiltude to my fifth-grade nun's Irish combativeness and pugilistic inclinations, let's call her Sister Evander Holyfield. In terms of gratuitous cruelty, she made Simon Callow look like a piker. (And if our political overlords actually wanted to extract information from "enemy combatants" and other matchstick enemies, they'd hire a bunch of nuns to work over the "terrorists.")

On my reality show, each week the celebs would have to endure some punishment that Sister Evander would inflict with no prior warning and for no discernible offense -- as well as chastisement fully deserved: driving without a license, shoplifting, culturally inappropriate kissing of Indian women. In each installment, in response to, say, a wrong answer about All Saints' Day or an unconscious smirk, Sister Evander would humiliate the sinner by having, say, Paris sit in a corner wearing a dunce cap or Winona stand in the trash can or Alec Baldwin hide in the closet. And each week, one of the contestants would be "sent to the principal's office" -- the principal being Mel Gibson, while another celeb, by obsequiously and disingenuously sucking up to Sister Evander, would earn a token of esteem. "Mr. Gere, come up and get your gold star. And take that pencil case out of your ass!"

Viewers of reality shows love "confessional" moments, when one or another of the participants bares her secret feelings to the camera. Well, who knows confession better than the Church? You could throw in weekly "confessions" with a camera inside the confessional. "Um, Father, why I'm here is because I pulled that bitch Winona's hair after she, like, totally dissed me and called me a bimbo." "For your penance, my dear, you must say a dozen Hail Mary's ... and oh, also eat a jar full of worms."

You could build suspense by tipping the audience that at one point during the show, Sister Evander was going to go apeshit on one of the celebs -- again, for no apparent reason. Like the time she slapped my face so hard my glasses went flying across the room, only because I accidentally knocked over a chair from its perch upon a desk, a quasi-military ritual we were forced to perform every day before the final bell. I was an A-student and far too timorous to ever misbehave and yet, in her eyes, I was clearly guilty of a heinous offense and a right cross to the jaw.

Maybe the idea isn't so funny. Well, neither are the Stations of the Cross.

No comments: