If Reality TV Shows Came To Hanover

By Grace Miller, The Dartmouth Staff | 10/14/14 11:00am

This past week has felt like a terrible dream: no sleep, too much work and a constant fight against a stupid cold. Most logical human beings would stay inand catch up on that mythical thing I call “sleep,” but then again I am a college student and we as a breed are living, breathing contradictions. We enjoy calling our parents at midnight before a test to tear up about all the work we have so they can comfort us, only to seamlessly transition to dancing on tables the very next night. I think as a breed we are losing our short-term memory.

But even when I’m feeling like my life is truly a mess,I can always count on one thing: reality TV. Nothing makes me feel like a functional human being more than watching people quite literally sell the rights of their lives to the highest bidder and then proceed to do the most absurd things on nationally broadcast television. I cannot help but wonder what these shows would look like when combined with the insanity that can be our campus.

Hoarders: Buried Alive

Week five: you have been studying in the library for midterms for as long as you can remember. You arrive at your dorm with just enough time to empty your bag, eat some food and throw everything on the floor. You hear a knock on your door: your parents are here. They thought “surprising” you would be fun. The look on their faces says it all, and you finally look around. FoCo to-go containers, flair, that outfit you wore out last weekend, five empty bottles of wine and a bag of apples you picked four weeks ago. It’s “Hoarders: Buried Alive, Midterm Edition.”


Competitors are dropped off in the center of the Green with nothing but a blitz account. How far can you make it through the term living off of free food and couch surfing? How many clubs will you be forced to join? Is the free food Listserv real? How long can you spend in the 1902 Room before you go insane? How many frackets can you steal before people start to catch on? Bonus points if you find Malcolm Freberg ’09 over Homecoming.

American Idol

Judges wander through dorms and have blind auditions based on how well unknowing competitors sing in the showers. Successful singers get to continue showering, poor singers are not allowed to continue showering. (I may be bitter about people singing too freaking loud in the hall shower.)

The Bachelor

Who will Dartmouth’s most eligible bachelor give his pong paddle to in his search for the perfect pong (and life) partner? Contestants must earn the bachelor’s love through small competitions: best throw save, smoothest run across the basement avoiding frat juice, successful celebration handshakeand best trash talk.

The Jersey Shore

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Courtesy of MTV

I would pay good money to watch the Jersey Shore cast come to Hanover. First, let’s look at “Gym, Tan, Laundry.” Only two of these are feasible in Hanover. I would love to see the cast out for a night on the town at Salt Hill Pub, eventually ending up at frats. I don’t think they would be very impressed with the options, but they would probably find some good drinking buddies!

Keeping Up With the “Hanlons”

Cameras follow Phil Hanlon and Gail Gentes around all day just to see what kinds of shenanigans they can get into. What do they eat for breakfast? What do they like to do on Saturday nights? Is their house soundproof, or do they just really enjoy Phi Delt’s music? What do they do when they catch someone doing the Dartmouth Seven on their front lawn? What is Phil’s hair care regiment for the ‘stache? These questions and more, answered!

So You Think You Can Dance?


Contestants are put in one of the campus dance groups two hours before a performance and expected to learn how to booty pop/do a split/keep a rhythm before show time. Special points are awarded if they don’t run into anything or anyone while performing (seriously, how do those groups not kick each other in the face all the time?).

America’s Next Top Model

This show would be difficult to implement because where would we find all the attractive people? Oh right, in my economics class, and my computer science class, and at the gym, and walking across the Green – basically throw something and you will hit someone who just pulled an all-nighter and yet still had time to look put together this morning. Competition would consist of everyone taking the best photo possible, posting it on Facebook at the exact same time and seeing who can get the most likes in the next 24 hours. (I still believe any photo with over 300 likes is a conspiracy, though)

Top Chef

Contestants have to create a culinary masterpiece using only ingredients found in FoCo in 30 minutes. Judges rank based on mouth feel, degree of edibility, taste and least likely to cause diabetes. @FocoWatch could Instagram every beautiful second of it.

Project Runway

This show would be a great way to give credit to a skill only truly appreciated at Dartmouth – collecting the most beautiful pieces of flair. Contestants are given a theme and 12 hours to come up with the most creative outfit. This is not a competition for the lighthearted.

Grace Miller, The Dartmouth Staff