Mordini: Crash-landing for new reality TV show

Jessie Markovetz

Writing a column that’s supposed to inject a little humor into the everyday drudgery of life can be quite a challenge. Sometimes it’s difficult to think up something universally appealing, a gem of wit that can be loved and enjoyed by all who read it.

Fortunately, that is not the case this week.

I recently heard of the newest reality show set to hit the airwaves, which premiered Monday night on A&E, known for its only noteworthy contribution to society, “Biography.” The name of this show is “Airline,” and the premise is it provides real footage of Southwest Airlines flight crews and passengers on the wacky conditions that take place on planes.

As a member of the “press,” I have a journalistic obligation to tell you that I am about to reveal some “spoilers” of this new show’s “plot,” in case you have never been in an airport before.

According to information circulated about the show, one of the major problems faced by passengers on today’s airlines is: comedian and AT&T pitchperson Carrot Top.

No, seriously, the biggest problem is delays, which will come as a real surprise to absolutely no one. From an early age, Americans are taught that, for reasons that will never be fully explained, no flight is ever allowed to actually arrive at the time scheduled, as is demonstrated in the classic children’s book “The Berenstain Bears Die of Old Age Waiting For Flight 221.”

Aside from the usual delays, producers of the show said other events that will help ratings take off (get it?) are: delays caused by weather, delays caused by blackouts, delays caused by late passengers, delays caused by drunk passengers and delays caused by Dave Matthews and John Mayer morphing into the same soulless entity while on a flight from Los Angeles to Dallas.

When asked why it decided to air such pointless garbage on TV, A&E spokespersons replied that, “We’re trying to catch up with Fox News.”

No, sorry, that would make too much sense.

The real reason, according to the network’s vice president, is that people going to parties are simply fascinated by hearing and telling stories about airport mishaps.

This is true. I know that I myself, if at a party situation where things seem to being going stale, will attempt to liven up the atmosphere by talking about the problems with airplanes, such as trivialities in the bathrooms:

ME: I mean, who is shaving on the plane, first of all? And secondly, shaving so much that they’re using up razor blades?

PARTYGOER: You stole that from Jerry Seinfeld.

But more reality shows are exactly the sort of conversation topics we need to keep the discussion flowing at cocktail parties. For instance, when the five people who actually watch “Survivor XXVIII,” which is planned to be filmed inside cars lined up at the toll gates from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Route 476, huddle together to discuss their favorite show, everyone else can huddle together, make fun of them and spike the punch bowl.

But such is the American way. Or, as A&E executives would put it, “Remember, we made ‘Biography.’ Please forgive us.”