Five Guilty Pleasures: ‘TOTAL BLACKOUT’

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Five Guilty Pleasures
Syfy Channel ‘TOTAL BLACKOUT’—Under normal circumstances, a teddy bear wouldnʼt be too frightening. Turn off all the lights, submerge it in water and Teddy becomes terrifying.

Syfy Channel ‘TOTAL BLACKOUT’—Under normal circumstances, a teddy bear wouldnʼt be too frightening. Turn off all the lights, submerge it in water and Teddy becomes terrifying.

From Dr. Baker: Welcome author Rodney Curtis, a.k.a. The Spiritual Wanderer.
Here is Rodney’s fourth column …

Imagine you’re in a completely dark room and trying to identify objects, animals, tastes or all three without seeing them. Now imagine Urkel goading you on. That’s the premise behind the Syfy channel’s extreme reality show, Total Blackout.

Hosted by Jaleel White—the actor who played Urkel on Family Matters in the 90s—contestants vie for a measly $5,000 and embarrass themselves in front of a national audience.

“Wait, if it’s completely dark, how is there an audience?” you may ask.

The vast majority of the show is filmed with infrared video cameras and the big, beefy “helpers” in the blackout chamber wear night vision goggles. We know what the contestants are about to face, literally, but their imaginations run wild. It’s hilarious.

Every episode features a lot of screaming, bleeped out swearing and an unhealthy proportion of gross, inappropriate things to sniff, touch or put in your mouth. Ever eaten a donut filled with hair? Ever had your head in a glass helmet at the same time as worms? Ever try to identify guacamole in somebody’s ear? Disgusting, yes, but we can’t look away.

To make it worse, many of the objects they use are just ordinary, everyday items. In the dark, though, rubber bands or wet wigs or Hawaiian leis seem anything but ordinary.

Whoever wanders into our house when the DVR is replaying Total Blackout is instantly transfixed. Nobody can look away. Yes, there are a million better things to do with our time. But this shared experience with each other while we cringe or laugh like maniacs is one of our best guilty pleasures. It’s fun for everyone, except maybe the contestants.

What’s one of your guilty pleasures?

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