News & Politics

Bring On the Pantsuit Challenge!

DC Reality TV we’d like to see.

C-SPAN used to be the closest thing Washington had to reality television, but that was before MTV’s The Real World came to town. Thus far, it seems pretty boring: nights out drinking in Dupont, nights out drinking in Rockville, Fourth of July drinking on the Southwest DC waterfront. Washington has more drama to offer than bars.

Here are some other ideas for reality TV with a Washington twist.

America’s Next GOP Model

You want to be on top, Republicans? Conservative contestants battle it out for the chance to direct the future of their party. Mike Huckabee tries to show off his better angles. Rush Limbaugh struts his stuff. And Sarah Palin learns how to smile with her eyes.

Marcus & Kate Plus Eight

Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli and publisher Katharine Weymouth try to put out a daily newspaper with a staff that, due to yet more buyouts, has dwindled to eight. Will their love survive?

Rahm Emanuel: No Reservations

He fights (with Congress), he travels (on Air Force One), he eats (Republicans for breakfast), and he’s hungry for more. It doesn’t matter what nasty bits you throw at him; he can still serve up a mean dead fish.

The Hill

Watch out, Lauren Conrad, life on The Hill is no day at the beach. Follow the lives, committee hearings, and debates of some of America’s most dysfunctional couples—Nancy and John, Harry and Mitch—as they bicker like Heidi and Spencer and spend more money than Audrina, like, ever could.

Project Runway DC

Either you’re in—or you’re outside the Beltway. Twelve contestants take on the power suit to decide who makes the cut as the city’s top fashion designer. Michelle Obama guest-judges the ball-gown challenge. Hillary Clinton judges the pantsuit challenge.

Top Chef-in-Chief

Tom Colicchio, please pack your knives and go. Citronelle’s Michel Richard, Komi’s Johnny Monis, Blue Ridge’s Barton Seaver, and other local chefs compete for the title of top toque. The final elimination challenge: Cook dinner for the Obamas’ date night.

The Amazing Race to Work

Follow six teams as they brave traffic pileups, HOV-lane restrictions, tolls, Metro delays, and cell-phone-chatting drivers on their daily commute from Herndon to downtown DC and back again. Which route will prove fastest—Beltway or parkway? Will picking up “slugs” guarantee a victory?

Pimp My Commute

Rap superstar Xzibit and car-customization specialist Mad Mike take aim at the biggest clunker on the road: The Metrobus. Can X to the Z turn the ugly-as-yo’-mama bus into a machine fit for a king? Chrome rims and a subwoofer can work wonders.

This article first appeared in the August 2009 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.   

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.