Edgelings

Hey Mark Burnett: Microsoft-Yahoo is this Summer's Reality Show Smash Hit

Forget Big Brother, The Amazing Race and Survivor, Silicon Valley has its own reality show that promises all the action, pathos and venality one has come to expect of the typical summertime TV confection.  The only thing is, this one is so damn, well, real.

A fast forward to get you caught up: the show opened with one of the larger tribes on Silicon Island, the Microsofts, attempting a hostile takeover of a weaker neighboring tribe, the Yahoos.  In a desperate attempt to fend off its attacker, the weaker tribe went through a litany of defensive postures–from the “Blowfish” to the Crazy Berkeley Street Man gambit (act erratically and people will fear you).  When we left off last, the prone tribe was working every angle it could to develop an alliance with other players while the aggressor tribe feigned retreat and indifference.  In other words, the juicy part of the season is about to begin.

On this week’s show, the two tribes have repaired to their respective beaches to regroup.  Chiefs for the Yahoos (emblem: yin and yang) and the Microsofts (emblem: Darth Vader) are huddled in intense strategy sessions.  Classic game theories abound.  We saw a glimpse of the Prisoner’s Dilemma when the Yahoos tried to extract a bigger price for their capitulation.  Now we have entered into John Nash’s “collusion” phase, as the teams try to align with many partners in order to screw each other over.  The latest from the Diary Room is that the Yahoos have reached out to the much-feared Googles and offered nothing less than its best-looking women in exchange for help against the Microsofts.  This burning of the boats is apparently meant to show resolve–unfortunately, it has the war-like Fed people circling the camp.  The humorless Feds have little tolerance for tribal collusion. 

Recently, the Yahoos have passed the peace pipe with the ostracized AOL tribe.  This aging cohort, once renowned for its daring-do, is living in relative shame and isolation on the east side of the island due to its failure to live up to its own mythology.  Once the bluster came off, the AOLs turned out to be all war paint and no cattle.  But, the roiling appears to keep the Microsofts off balance until we learn (the Diary Room again) that secret negotiations are also under way between the Microsofts and the AOLs.  The drama crescendos as we break for commercials. 

In the previews for next week, we see that the Yahoos are now attempting to align with the pirates of News Corps, a Spartan group from the south side of the island, who also happen to me in a secret alliance with the Microsofts in their longstanding battle with the AOLs.   And, if that is not gripping enough, the tribal council is set for August 1 where we all expect the internal tension between Chief Yahoo Yang and strongman rival Carl Icahn to boil over into a real she-fight.  While we suspect that someone has the hidden immunity idol, we know for sure that someones torch is going to be extinguished when the tribe has spoken.       

Mark Burnett take notice: this is killer TV and its free.  Right here in Silicon Valley we have heroes and goats, bullies and village idiots,  What’s not to like?  And the product placements are to die for…

I’d be happy to further develop the concept for you–for a producer’s credit.