Channelled visions of the real life

WHEN I was young, I believed in the magic of television. I believed all families were like the Brady Bunch, justice prevailed over evil and the princess lived happily ever after.

How was I to know my parents would expect me to work for a living, justice would take the form of cardboard police, and the princess would write a tell-all book because her prince turned out to be a toad? The truth has become stranger than fiction and television programmes have reflected that change. People are no longer interested in the sugar-coated Cosby family or strange creatures from Star Trek.

Instead, they tune in by the millions to see the Amy Fisher Story and watch Michael Jackson tell Oprah whether he's black or white.

Movie rights are being discussed for the Bishop Casey affair and soon we will be seeing a movie about the Waco, Texas, tragedy.

With viewers' interests focused on real-life events and the advent of cable television in Hongkong, programme developers have the chance to tap into the market by creating Hongkong's first Real Life Channel.

Besides a free T-shirt with the channel's logo ''Get Real'', subscribers would also receive the following programmes: Bath Gate (drama series). Somebody is trying to tarnish Governor Patten's reputation. Could it be the club owner? The councillor? The journalist? Or are they facing an evil even greater than Dame Edna in lingerie? In episode one, the suspects have received mysterious invitations to a tea party. ''I get a stabbing pain in my right eye every time I drink tea,'' complains the club owner. ''As a councillor, I suggest that you take the spoon out of the cup,'' replies the councillor (insert laugh track here).

Guess That Flat Price (game show). Two couples are chosen from the millions of game show applicants who cannot afford Hongkong's housing prices. This week's contestants try to guess to the closest billion the price of a 200 square foot flat in Tseung Kwan O. Unfortunately, this week's winning couple are not available for photos. Mr Low I.Q. shot his wife when he misunderstood the release form which read: ''Execute all three copies together with your wife.'' Make Money By Cheating Others (financial). Hosted by the most highly suspected person in the financial community, Mr Win, who is a whiz at cards but does not do as well at the races (he can't fit a horse up his sleeve). NEVERTHELESS, Mr Win reveals a sure-fire method for saving money - forget who you borrow it from.

Battle Starlet Gallactica (celebrity game show). Some girls are born, others are made, and on tonight's show these starlets show us exactly what they are made of.

Contestant number one entered a beauty contest five years ago and received several offers - from plastic surgeons. She thinks she's a siren, but looks more like a false alarm.

Contestant number two has gone from good to bed. She believes that catching a man is like catching a fish - you just have to wiggle the bait.

Contestant number three won a beauty contest, bared all in a category III movie, received lots of media interest and faded from sight, all within a week. She tried a coming out party, but they made her go back.

The three lovely contestants are then hooked up to lie detectors and asked to name the parts of their bodies that are real.

Speedboat Vice (action/drama/fashion series). Smugglers from China cruise around in speedboats sporting the latest Hongkong fashions and lifting China's most wanted luxury cars. Theme music will be popular hits from pirated karaoke discs. Every week, theVice Charts will reveal the top 10 most illegal things to do in Hongkong. This week's number one: Calling in bogus IRA bomb threats.

Tai Tai TV (talk show). Hosted by Nic Tai, he asks tai tai's their opinions on the Common Market. ''I really don't know, my maid does all the shopping,'' replied this week's guest Bo Tai Tai. When asked by Nic if she liked fish ball, she said: ''I've never been to one, but I am looking forward to going to the one in the USSR (sic).'' Who needs fairytales when you can experience it all on the Real Life Channel? We're not satisfied anymore watching the prince and princess live happily ever after.

We want to see them burning their wedding gifts on the front lawn and find out if she really is the power behind the drone. We want trickery. We want deceit. We want to get real. Coming soon to a television near you (break to commercial).