The Great Lakes...If they were on IMDB


The Great Lakes have always loomed Mt. Rushmore-like in my life. I grew up in Michigan and my dad is a sailor, so from a young age I knew to be ashamed if I couldn't rattle off the stats: "They-contain-1/5-of-the-world's-fresh-surface-water!" and "Lake-Superior-is-larger-than-South-Carolina!" or "Michigan-has-more-coastline-than-any-other-state-but-Alaska!"
And even though I might--on a good day and safely outside state lines--have passed for a marine savant, the world is lucky I never blossomed into a maritime professional. I don't so do well on boats. Instead, I shadowbox with agents, trying to convince them why the show I'm casting isn't another Surreal Life. And sometimes, while waiting for a good yes or two, my mind wanders and I start to extrapolate my daydreams into a parallel universe in which they turn into reality shows.

Hence! If I had to make a show out of the marriage between my formative years (tugboats, barges, straights, the Midwest) and my current waking, functional life (spreadsheets, offers out, IMDB pro), I'd want to do a Great Lakes stand-off show: One week, one peninsula, five great lakes. I'm not so solid on all the plot points (a zebra mussels challenge, a shoreline comb), but I wouldn't mind being stuck in the casting phase for a bit. That's the fun part. Here are my pitches so far:

  • Lake Huron: Mary Tyler Moore. Attractive to the resort community. Bird-loving (its shores boast the most fish-eating birds).
  • Lake Ontario: Gerard Depardieu. Remote. Peace-loving. Easily appropriated.
  • Lake Michigan: Lauren Bush. Popular. Clean. Connected ( Huron, technically).
  • Lake Erie: Marie Osmond. Afflicted. Vulnerable. Most biologically productive.
  • Lake Superior: Dita Von Teese. Inscrutable, fathomless.

If there are mitten-lovers out there with other casting ideas, please do share.