A privately funded organization called Mars One is accepting applications from anyone interested in embarking on a one-way trip to Mars to establish a permanent human colony. The mission is projected to cost $6 billion and be accomplished by 2023. The only requirement for applicants is to be "interesting and mature." Apparently the last time they tried this, everyone was boring and making poop jokes.
So far, they have received over 40,000 applications. After the submission deadline, the selection process will begin. Then, it will be broadcast on television as a reality show. That's right. A reality show that will end with the winners going to Mars.
Let's try to ignore for a moment how this entire thing sounds kind of impossible, so that we can focus on how awesome this reality show would be.
This would be a whole new kind of reality show. The consequences are real. If you win, you are sent to a barren desert planet to never return. If you lose, nothing happens and you go back to living your -- wait... did I mess that up?
For the selection process, an identical model of the Mars colony will be used for training. As the training goes along, contestants will be weeded out so that the final team can be narrowed down to four people. I imagine viewers at home will tune in each week and say things like, "I'm rooting for Pete. He seems like a real go-getter. And did you see how he handled that anti-gravity simulator? If anyone deserves to be a Martian, it's Pete." "Yeah, but Pete doesn't seem like a team player. He gives me a sort of Steve Buscemi in Armageddon kind of vibe."
I'm hoping the organization continues filming the show after the settlers arrive on Mars. The Real World... on Mars. The Real Mars. "The true story of seven strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite... and start living on Mars."
Every episode would be filled with all sorts of must-see space drama:
"This week on The Real Mars! Tensions between Josh and Tina reach an all-time high when they get caught in a violent Martian sandstorm! Then! Frankie and Jessica sneak off for a quickie. Luckily our Mars Rover Quickie-Cam caught all the steamy action on tape!! And in our can't-miss season finale, Mark jumps too high and starts floating into the endless black void of space! Will the crew be able to save him!? Tune in and find out!"
Ha. Okay. I'm done.