GeckoTV is an exciting reality TV-less show on display at most homestays in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. This season chronicles the tragic story of “Gecko Zero”, a gecko outcast trying to find meaning in a harsh world – but mostly looking for a bit of light in which to eat bugs. In the grand tradition of shows such as 24, all action happens in real time, to the beat of one episode per night.
Season 1, Episode 1: “Geckos in Position”
The episode introduces Gecko One, Gecko Two and Gecko Three, the three lizards on watch outside the Backpack Foodie’s homestay. Each is assigned one lamp, and spends evenings chasing bugs. The episode, albeit slow, introduces familiar concepts of future GeckoTV episodes: most importantly, the strategic importance of standing near lights is explained. The show’s catchphrase is established: “Gecko One in position! Gecko Two in position! Gecko Three in position!”
Season 1, Episode 2: “Enter Zero”
The drama ratchets up in episode 2, as Gecko Zero enters the scene. He has a crooked tail, and so although his history of territorial fighting is not explained, it is nonetheless obvious. Gecko Zero is immediately recognized as a sympathetic figure in the way he refuses to fight Gecko One despite being larger.
Season 1, Episode 3: “Exile in Light”
Episode 3 furthers the plight of Gecko Zero, as he continues to get chased by Gecko One out of the right corner of the patio roof. In a dramatic turn of events, Gecko Zero is chased all the way to the center, where he descends along the central chandelier. Things look up for Gecko Zero… Until he meets the mysterious Gecko Lamp, who previously appeared invisible in the flourish of the chandelier. Is there no place for Gecko Zero in this world?
Season 1, Episode 4: “Bug Wars”
Gecko Zero returns to the right side of the roof, yearning for peace with Gecko One. Things degenerate as Gecko One gets fed up with Gecko Zero snatching up bugs. The conflict is intense, and Gecko Zero’s tail is further twisted and maimed by One’s attacks. Will Gecko Zero find peace?
Season 1, Episode 5: “Gecko Infinity”
This episode is infamous for “jumping the shark”, as numerous new geckos are introduced, including Gecko One-Point-One, Gecko Two-Point-One, and Interior Gecko. Although many more conflicts are portrayed, they soon overwhelm the viewers, who prefered Gecko Zero’s simple plight.
What I learned by watching GeckoTV:
- Real life is a lot more interesting than TV.
- There isn’t much to do at night in Ubud, besides sitting on the porch drinking Bintang beer. Good thing there’s geckos!