I like to think that reality TV is finally on a downswing and will soon fade out of our culture. But I’m not sure that’s true and I’m not interested enough to keep up with its trends. From time to time, however, I may spend a few minutes being amused by the over-done non-acting and “you won’t believe what happened next” marketing to keep viewers with what are, apparently, 10-second attention spans. What if there was a diabetes reality TV show? I’m just riffing here, but what would this look like?
So here are a few ideas, although I will fully admit that they are based on my limited exposure to these types of shows.
Top ‘Betes: 10 contestants with diabetes all wearing CGMs and design and eat meals with the goal of achieving the most near-perfect blood sugar levels. The back-stabbing starts when they try to switch in regular soda for diet soda. The tagline: “Pumps down, CGMs up!”
Project Diaway: 10 contestants with diabetes, all designing the best new way to deliver insulin or monitor blood glucose or maybe even design clothes to help them wear/carry their diabetes supplies (because, in my opinion, the world does not have enough functional pockets). The snark-talk about each other would probably have something to do with the weight, size and innovation of each device or system. The tagline: “With diabetes, one day you have it, and the next day you have it, too.”
Real Diabetics (a term only slightly more offensive than “housewife”) of the Internet: The would be the ugliest of the DOC multiplied by 100. There would be smack talk (“chocolate isn’t a fast-acting carb, so if you’re that low why would you do that? Ugh!”), the pseudo-friendly comments in response to posts (“I appreciate different perspectives, but…”), and the fast-and-furious social hour of #dsma (if only we could get someone to overturn a table on Twitter!).
Diabetes-ing with the CDEs: When celebrities with diabetes are paired with top-notch CDEs to try to get level lines on their CGMs. There would be meal prep, exercise, stress reduction, dosage tailoring, and oh-so-much-more. Mostly supportive, a little tough-love training, and sure – there could be some glitzy outfits, too.
Survior[alism]. Basic, day-to-day life with diabetes. No need for an island or challenge. We’ve got enough challenges. But the hype reels for this could be fun. “She was about to sit down to lunch, but when she checked her blood sugar…” (camera pans from the blood glucose meter to the person testing. Slowly she curses while sucking the blood off her finger tip).
Wow. All of these sound horribly boring. But at the same time, the originals are pretty bad, too. Just a thought – this is where my brain goes if I give it the space. Maybe I shouldn’t type it all out, but there you go!