IM of the Week: The 'Harry Potter' reality show

Apparently, the BBC’s planning a search for the "real" Harry Potter in the form of something called The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, about a group of children learning magic at a boarding school. A reality show… about magic. Obviously, this called for a sure-to-be-nonsensical Friday afternoon IM chat with Slezak.

Annie: Um. Have you seen this?
Slezak: Crazy! I have never read Harry Potter.
Annie: Me neither!
Slezak: Do we want to admit that?
Annie: Hmm.
Slezak: …
Annie: Okay no.
Slezak: I worry it’s a level of pop-cultural illiteracy that is unforgivable, And I hate myself for it.
Annie: But what if you just don’t like books about sorcery and/or children? That’s understandable.
Slezak: YES!
Annie: I hate American Idol and you know it! You still talk to me. (Wirelessly.)
Slezak: But I don’t hate HP as much as I hate the idea of a reality show starring children. Shouldn’t they, like, be taking maths and history, and not worrying about "advancing in the competition"?
Annie: I know. Maybe they’ll have a scary wizard tutor for that other stuff. BTW the use of the word Apprentice in the title is making my brain hurt. And I don’t get how they’ll "judge" the "competition." Isn’t magic, like… NOT REAL?
Slezak: WHO would let their kid be on this show?
Annie: Idiots? What if the kid disappeared during a "challenge"? Instead of getting voted off? Ha! See ya!
Slezak: Like when Elle Fanning disappeared in The Lost Room! (That kid is no Dakota, btw.) Well, THEN I’d totally watch it. That would be awesome.
Annie: That would rock. Especially if he or she was annoying. And you know they’re all gonna be annoying.
Slezak: I liked Willy Wonka for that very reason. They should call the show When Bad Things Happen to Annoying Children.
Annie: Weed ‘em out!
Slezak: Then I’d watch.

Annie: Which Willy Wonka death-by-candy was your fave?
Slezak: They don’t die, Annie!
Annie: :(
Slezak: If they did, then we’d be bad people for enjoying it so much.
Annie: I just assumed I was a bad person to begin with.
Slezak: I guess it’s like American Idol Juniors, only instead of creepy pageantbots, they’re pint-sized nerds. I’d have totally been on this show if I were 10 and living in England.
Annie: Awwww, I wish you were 10 and living in England so I could watch you on this show!
Slezak: Do you think there will be an inevitable American version of this show? Will Maggie Smith be the disapproving British judge? David Blaine could be the Paula.
Annie: I don’t know… somehow the "sorcery" element wouldn’t translate correctly over here. The kids would just end up Botoxing each other.
Slezak: Totally! On one side of the Atlantic it’s all Enya and the Blarney Stone and faeries. And on this side, what do we have? Lucky Charms and Kenny G.!
Annie: We’ve got a few faeries, too.
Slezak: And Penn and Teller.
Annie: Don’t forget BriteSmile, as endorsed by J-Simps.
Slezak: They should make the kids wear chain mail and try to slay a mechanical dragon!
Annie: Like in Super Mario?
Slezak: I never played Super Mario.
Annie: Who the hell are you?
Slezak: I’m asking myself the same thing.
Annie: Maybe you should watch Identity. Anyway, it’s Friday, and about that time… WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Annie: MAGIC?
Slezak: How did we get on this subject? Also: Do you think anyone is still reading this?
Annie: There’s not even the slightest chance.
Slezak: Magic is dead.
Annie: How was your lunch from ABP?
Slezak: Disappointing.
Annie: Because it wasn’t laced with magic?
Slezak: There was a grainy mustard that overpowered the turkey and brie.
Annie: Easy. Next time select "Herb Mayo."
Slezak: Totally! They left out the "magic" ingredient.
Annie: The End.

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
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  • Lorenzo

    What the hell are you two on? And can I have some?

  • daisyj

    I would totally watch “When Bad Things Happen to Annoying Children”, because I am basically a terrible person. Also, it reminds me of the idea for a show I had after seeing those clips from Armed and Famous: “People You Hate, Getting Tasered”.
    For season 2 they could use pepper spray.

  • Houstonian Jen in Baltimore

    …the most important question is, Slezak, did you live in the U.S. between the years of 1985 and the present? How is it possible that you never played any form of Super Mario Bros? Even my mom has played it…and she’s MY mom!
    For the record, I also have yet to read any Harry Potter books. I think it’s my own form of sticking it to ‘the Man’. Mind you, I’ve seen the movies, so I guess “the Man” wins afterall. Darn. I think once the last book comes out, I’ll get over myself and just do a Harry Potter binge.

  • Anise

    I can’t believe you haven’t read HP yet…its so full of rich complexities and insights on human intricacies.
    I’ve figured out the key to the series and how JKR is going to finish it all. Anyone who wants to know can e-mail me and I will send them a copy of my presentation from the most recent HP Convention.

  • mike

    I’m going to ignore most of the blog and concentrate on the idea of a reality show with kids in it. Reality shows are humiliating enough for adults. To subject a 10 year-old to that should get you jail time. Leave the kids in school.
    And to the BBC and all American networks: stop co-opting anything that has ever been popular and milking it by “re-imagining” it or making it into a reality show.

  • Nancy

    All I can say is, I was against the whole Harry Potter hype, too, until a friend I respect said he had read the books, and they were great. Now, I know you don’t know me, and therefore don’t know whether or not you should respect me (although you SHOULD), the books actually sell a bazillion copies because they’re good. Seriously.

  • Heath

    Whether you like Harry or not this IM conversation was priceless. Do this more often please!

  • brandonk

    My favorite “death-by-candy” was Mike Teevee…what a little putz.

  • mikey k

    personally, i like the chicken mozarella from ABP

  • Auriana

    That was bloody hillarious! But for the record…at no point does Mario ever wear chainmail and/or fight a metal dragon (at least not that I recall).

  • Donna

    “When Bad Things Happen to Annoying Children” reminds me of “Brat Camp” which, as a teacher, I LOVED!! I’d picture sending the most annoying, awful kids I had to deal with every day off into the wilderness to eat bad food, be cold night and day, sleep on the ground, and hike endlessly over rocks and briers and it would give me a warm feeling inside. Bring back “Brat Camp!”

  • Evie

    I never read Harry Potter either!!! Go us! :)

  • kriselda jarnsaxa

    They’d probably never be able to get a version of the reality show off the ground in the US because there’d be fundies raising a hue and cry about “glamorizing satanism.” I mean, that lady down in Georgia who’s been trying to get the book pulled from the school library claims that it promotes Wicca, and believe me, the magic in HP has NOTHING to do with Wicca! It has nothing to do with ANY religion, in fact. ::sigh::

  • paige

    i can’t believe youve never played super mario… how old are you?

  • Dave

    That was hilarious. My favorite line: “When Bad Things Happen to Annoying Children.” Pure genius!

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