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Troy’s Crock Pot: TV for the gamer in me

What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.

So, with a gazillion cable TV channels — why is it there is so little on TV that appeals to me, as a gamer?  I mean, you can’t spin the dial without stumbling into a network televising some folks in dark glasses gathered around a poker table playing Texas Hold ‘em. But where’s the love for roleplayers?

Was “Lord of the Rings” not proof enough there exists an audience for fantasy?  Yes, there’s been a smattering of stuff here and there, action-adventure in the form of “Legend of the Seeker” and farcical comedy with “Krod Mandoon.”  But really, do I have to look back at the 1990s and admit that weekly episodes of “Xena: Warrior Princess,” cheesy as it was, at least delivered a dose of swords’n’sorcery?

Am I resigned to going on hulu.com and watching the same 14 episodes of “Firefly” over-and-over to get the vibe I want?

I want drama, the same level of drama delivered on a network schedule, packaged to fit the gamer in me. Is that too much to ask? Putting aside the fact that networks program for general audiences and advertisers — not a small consideration, I’ll grant you — it’s long past time that places like Waterdeep and Sharn entered into the public consciousness.

Forget about trying to package D&D itself for public consumption, though. Feature films that don’t deliver on quality or audience have killed the brand on that level. It’s time some pitches for episodic TV came in the side door.

So, here’s my pitch for some rpg-friendly gamer TV:

Law and Order: Special Inquisitives Unit

Cue up those deep chimes (“bong-bong”) for the next episode of detection and prosecution of Sharn’s seediest crimminals by following Red Cloak Inquisitives Trice Etanials and Garber Moon through the course of the day, from the heights of City of Towers down to its gritty Cogs.

Survivor: The Isle of Dread

A shipwreck, pirates, phanatons, giant oysters, rakastas, a zombie cult in Tanaroa and, of course, man-eating dinosaurs will all kick the next elimination challenge up a notch. Thems that gets voted off will be the lucky ones!

CSI: Waterdeep

Armed with the latest forensics devices developed and imported from Lantan, Marek Atone and his team unearth clues to bring killers to justice, whether they are low-life drug dealers or black marketeers dealing in rare and dangerous magic items.

Jousting with the Stars

Celebrities — or what passes for one these days — are put through the paces week-after-week as they prepare for the king’s tournament. But it’s more than archery contests, sword-on-foot matches and jousting — there’s also courtly intrigue and dancing (you knew there was dancing in there somewhere). Who will be crowned tournament champion?

Sigil: Misadventures at the Center of the Planescape

The circus has come to the upside-right center of universe. Kalinda Ferranesque is the tiefling manager of a traveling menagerie with a boatload of problems —debts, family, questionable past associations — in addition to the chore of putting on an interesting show for the jaded philosophers with clubs. Let the hijinks ensue!

The Amazing Race: Eberron

Nothing like a dash across the Mournland, avoiding living spells along the way, or a trip into a drow temple on the coast of Xendrik. Puzzle out the next clue as adventurers see the sights of Keith Baker’s creation.

A Shot at Love with Loviatar

What the hey!?! A little late-night trash to satisfy even the most purient of roleplaying interests.  It airs following Charm School with Elaith Craulnober.

Volo’s Guide to Dives, Diners and Drive-ins

As much as I’d like to see Alton Brown prepare Gnome Stew on an rpg-version of Good Eats or a gaming version of Iron Chef: Rogukan, I think Volo is the perfect host for a food-themed show as he finds the best comfort foods in the Realms and then shows us how they’re prepared.

So, put on your programming hat. What gaming-inspired shows would you like to see on TV?

9 Comments (Open | Close)

9 Comments To "Troy’s Crock Pot: TV for the gamer in me"

#1 Comment By greywulf On June 11, 2009 @ 4:38 am

I’d totally watch all of those!

Here’s a few more:

The Illusionist
An annoying Gnome helps the Inquisitors solve crimes using his amazing powers while searching for his family’s killer on the side

Drow’s Anatomy
Soppy drama about love and political intrigue in a Menzoberranzan Torture Chamber

Discorporate Housewives
Urban Ghosts fall in love, kill and get pregnant.

Pimp My Warforged
‘Nuff said.

Faerun’s Got Talent
Peasants from all over the Realms try to impress Elminster and Simbul and Simon Cowell. Most fail

#2 Comment By Rafe On June 11, 2009 @ 6:08 am

HBO will air A Song of Ice and Fire, each book being one season. They’ve started filming already, I believe. That’s due out to start in the fall of 2010.

So, rejoice and prepare thyself.

(I’m in a rush, so wasn’t able to verify the date.)

#3 Comment By Ameron On June 11, 2009 @ 7:02 am

I think we’ve all overlooked the most obvious one… The Apprentice. Give a whole new meaning to “You’re fired!”

#4 Comment By peter On June 11, 2009 @ 10:05 am

if that is the case, we need to convince hbo to start broadcasting on belgian digital tv

#5 Comment By DarknessLord On June 11, 2009 @ 10:22 am

I survived a Gnomish game show. (Japanese got nothing on Gnomish gameshows. ^.^)

House, Cleric (It’s never Mummy Rot)

Good Morning Greyhawk.

#6 Comment By Patrick Benson On June 11, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

This Old Dungeon – Bob Villain describe the changes that are being made to a rundown dungeon. The focus is on bringing modern 4th edition luxuries online without losing any of the 1st edition charm. 😉

#7 Comment By The Stray7 On June 11, 2009 @ 6:30 pm

No love for Dragonlance?

Tika The Draconian Slayer–Spunky redhead Tika Wayland defends the town of Solace from hobgoblins, crazy wizards and, of course, Draconians with her squad of sidekicks.

That’s So Raistlin!–A wizard who can see the rot of the future tries to prevent his visions from coming to pass, usually with mixed results. A Disney Channel Comedy.

Star Trek: Dragon Wars–The crew of the USS Gygax get stranded on an alien world in the Gamma Quadrant where magic is real, dragons exist, and brave heroes are needed to defend the weak. They must use their superior technology to defend the locals while trying to figure out a way to salvage their ship and return home.

#8 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On June 11, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

[2] – I would so watch Pimp My Warforged.

Demihuman vs. Wild – An adventurer shows how to survive in hostile environments. Sometimes very hostile environments…

What Not To Wear – With special episodes dealing with dungeon crawls, planar travel, and environments from swamp to arctic tundra, this pair of Half-Elves can show you how to dress for (adventuring) success! After watching this show, you’ll never wear pauldrons with your leather armor again!

Two and a Half Men – A dastardly Human Warlock with a heart of gold, a squeaky-clean Human Paladin with Tourette’s Syndrome, and an exasperated Half-Orc Barbarian find themselves on a dungeon crawl. Hilarity ensues.

Gygaxian Idol – Gamers compete to see who can produce the most tangled yet intelligible and elegant-sounding prose. The blooper reels are always good for a laugh. (With apologies to Gary, who I understand can take a joke.)

#9 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On June 12, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

It looks like Pimp My Warforged is going to be a ratings winner.

Because my wife and daughter watch What Not to Wear, I’m suddenly curious how that would turn out in a D&D world …