I wrote a trilogy of short stories featuring extreme reality television programs. How Far Will You Go was the first of these stories that I wrote, but it was the final one to get published, oddly enough. The host of each of the shows in the stories is Brad Billington, a former quarterback at USC who career ended with a catastrophic injury. Brad is the type of guy who is so consumed with fame and fortune, that there is nothing he won’t do, no level that he won’t descend to, in order to attain it.
The premise of the television show that I created, How Far Will You Go, features contestants on a reality game show who have to go through extreme, and I mean really extreme challenges (nothing like what you might see on current television shows) in order to win the million dollar grand prize. Before each challenge, Brad asks the contestant if they are willing to go through with it, or how far will they go. Each challenge gets more absurd and ridiculous and life threatening.
When I wrote this story, this was at the advent of when these reality shows were inundating the television world. I intended it as a commentary on what people are willing to do for money or for fifteen minutes of fame. I find most of these shows to be a form of dumbing down the population, and it often seems like they are trying to top each other in terms of sheer level of stupidity. Needless to say, things don’t go so well for my contestants on this show, but it makes for a fun read. You can read How Far Will You Go in issue 15 of SQ Magazine at SQ Mag.