That, then, became the premise for my show. Here is how an episode might go:
SCENE: A guy walks into the dining room. The table is piled with envelopes. Each envelope contains an unpaid bill. Task: The guy must pay all of them, fully and on time. Even the credit-card bill.
SCENE: Teenager wakes up. It is early afternoon. Or maybe teenager arrives home from somewhere, God-only-knows-where. It doesn't matter, the point is, the teenager arrives in the vicinity of the parent. Task: Parent must say something that doesn't: A. anger the teenager; B. end up in a huge misunderstanding; C. sound really stupid.
SCENE: Wife comes home from the hairdresser. Task: Husband must refrain from asking, "Did you mean to do that?" That, despite wife saying, "I think she cut it a little funny in the front." Husband must not, under any circumstances, agree, even if he thinks the sides look funny, too. Instead, husband must say, "Really? I think you look great."
SCENE: Husband, after finishing bills, comes in from the garage and proudly shows off something he made with some saws, drills, and screwdrivers. It might be a table. It might be a spaceship. Task: Wife must find an opportunity to throw it out without the husband knowing.
SCENE: Phone rings. It's a mother-in-law. Doesn't matter whose. The son- or daughter-in-law picks up the phone. Task: Make it through the conversation without gritting teeth or making circles with an index finger around the side of one's head.
In other words, this would be a reality show based on the challenges of everyday life. The problem, I'm realizing, is that everyday life is a little too real.