Could The Running Man Be the New Hit Reality Show : A Well Thought Out Scream by James Riordan
Philip K Dick was an American science fiction writer who explored a wide range of political, social and philosophical themes in his novels. He was born on December 15, 1928 in Illinois but moved to California as a young child. Many of his stories centered around all powerful and dictatorial governments, but his plotlines focused on unusual aspects within them such as altered states of consciousness. His writing reflected his personal interest in theology and metaphysics, and often drew upon his life experiences in addressing the nature of reality, identity, drug abuse, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences. While his work did not achieve a great amount of success before his death in 1982, his novels have been strongly embraced by Hollywood and resulted in some of the best known and loved science fiction films such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, Running Man, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly. His dark sense of humor and eccentricity is evident in many of his titles. Blade Runner comes from Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the film Total Recall is from Dick’s We Can Remember it for You Wholesale.
I like them all. My personal favorites are Blade Runner and Total Recall, but I would like to discuss Running Man in this week’s blog because I believe it has a strong possibility of becoming real in our lifetimes. The premise of the Phillip K. Dick novel and the 1987 film of the same name (directed by Paul Michael Glaser and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) is that the most popular show on television has become The Running Man where convicted criminals are given a chance for freedom – all they have to do is make through a designated area where they will have to fight the show’s hunters, all bizarre and vicious killers.
perpetrated on cast members and encouraged by the program. Or watch ultimate fighting competitions or even professional football, hockey, rugby or soccer. They all allow, encourage or even directly employ violence because they recognize that is what the views want to see.
In case you haven’t noticed our media is headed in the same direction. Reality programs like Survivor, Bachelor in Paradise, The Real World, Big Brother, Teen Mom, Real Housewives of Atlanta have all been sued or accused or violent acts being perpetrated on cast members and encouraged by the program. Or watch ultimate fighting competitions or even professional football, hockey, rugby or soccer. They all allow, encourage or even directly employ violence because they recognize that is what the views want to see.
It doesn’t seem as though it would take much to make The Running Man a reality. We’d need a prison system that was overcrowded and in dire need of more funding for quality administrative programs that focus on rehabilitation – check one! We need criminals who’d be willing to dies brutal deaths on national television for a small chance to be pardoned – check two! We’d need a media that is so ruthless that they’d have no problem violating any remaining codes of ethics in return for increased ratings – check three. In fact, I’m surprised it’s not already in development.