July 19, 2014 at 1:00 am

Tom Long

Shows and movies ask: How low can we really go?

A man and a woman each date two different people while nude on 'Dating Naked.' (VH1)

Let’s take a look at this week in adult culture.

The two major film offerings for grown-ups are “Sex Tape” and “The Purge: Anarchy.” In other words, your basic sex movie and your basic violence movie.

In “Sex Tape,” Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel try to corral all the copies of a sex tape they made. Who hasn’t this happened to? Both stars get naked over and over just so you don’t forget what goes on during sex.

In “The Purge: Anarchy,” America celebrates a holiday where anyone can kill anyone with no chance of prosecution. As close as this comes to reality in certain parts of the country (remember Trayvon Martin?), the movie is mostly just an excuse for mayhem.

Meanwhile, this week on television “Dating Naked” debuted on VH1. On this show a man and a woman each date two different people at some secluded place while naked. It follows in the bare footsteps of such current shows as TLC’s “Buying Naked,” in which nudists look for perfect nudist homes; and the Discovery Channel’s popular “Naked & Afraid,” in which a man and woman are sent to a remote locale and left to fend for their unclothed selves.

Somehow the word “subtle” does not come to mind while scanning these entertainment choices.

What comes to mind are other potential cultural events that may further reflect the “simpling” of America: experiences that require no effort on the part of the audience and go straight for our lizard brains. Consider these imaginary lowbrow possibilities:

“Bludgeon”: A new show in which three contestants are each handed a wooden bowling pin. When a whistle blows, they commence beating on one another. The last man standing wins $1,000 and goes on to the next round where, due to previous injuries incurred, he inevitably loses. At which point his conqueror gets $1,000 and goes on to be beaten silly in the following round.

“Celebrity Nude Cupcake Bake-Off”: Celebrities — mostly losers from other reality shows, the occasional rehabbed rock star or talk show host praying for a comeback — compete to see who can avoid burning themselves in uncomfortable areas. Just wait for the icing round ...

“The Stalls”: In this feature-length documentary, all the activities involved in two bathroom stalls (one men’s, one women’s) at Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City over a 24-hour period will be compressed into a two-hour film. Reviews will call the movie “revealing” and “a gritty look at America’s dark underside.” Literally.

“Clown Cars”: Two extended families will compete to see how many members each can squeeze into a Volkswagen bug. The key is mashing as many small kids in as you can early on. Surviving winning family members will win a trip to Catalina Island.

“Sexting While Driving”:May already be shooting in an area near you. Contestants sext pictures of assorted body parts while driving 80 miles an hour on the freeway. It puts you on track for “Celebrity Nude Cupcake Bake-Off.”

“Utopia”: Fifteen everyday people will be dropped in the middle of nowhere and charged with inventing their own society. Cameras will be on them 24 hours a day with feeds going to the network and online. Watch and see whether man can live in harmony or whether sides will split and go to war. Murder? Mayhem? Anything can happen!

By the way, that last one is real. Look for it on Fox in the near future.

tlong@detroitnews.com
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