Wednesday, 27 August 2008

TV and Shit

There are many things in life which we know are bad for us if not respected; kebabs, booze, drugs, sticking your head out of moving trains etc, but all of these are eclipsed by the addictive power that the mighty television has over us all. So much so in fact, that I’m not sure we even care about what we’re watching anymore, as long as it involves ‘real people’ and a sense of competition, we’ll stare at it like shagged out crack monkeys. I’m talking of course about reality television.

I can safely say without exaggeration, that Big Brother is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me in my life. Everything about that programme makes me want to go on a killing spree, the way it’s advertised, the long periods of time in the so called highlights when nothing happens and last but not least, the self-confessed ‘Wacky’ contestants. I’ve happened to catch a lot of this series, because others around me appear to have lost their marbles as well as countless hours of their lives watching it and let me tell you something, I don’t like it.

Big Brother is the programme that gave us the adorable charm of Nasty Nick, the dry wit of Chantelle and of course gifted the nation with the bastion of tolerance herself, Jade Goody. So why do I hate it I hear you ask. Well, what’s particularly harrowing for me is the way that channel four can hold on to an audience of millions for years, without seemingly doing anything.

They struck upon the formula for Big Brother as we know it somewhere in the second series, when they’d begun to phase out all that psychological nonsense, you know, that stuff that actually gave it some credibility. Now the procedure is roughly as follows: Get a small contingent of attention seeking half-wits and put them into a house. Note, must be willing to make tits of themselves. These half-wits will ideally be (a) idiotic (b) willing to get naked (c) obnoxious and (d) part of a minority in society, preferably an obscure one so they can overcome adversity and gain acceptance by the nation. Put this rag-tag ensemble into a house with dozens of cameras and let the hilarity commence, as they do the washing up, dry their clothes and shave...

What fecks me off about Big Brother the most, is the effect that it has on the people who watch it. The fact that families are content to sit in silence, watching these ignorami whilst they perform banal menial tasks is a sad indictment of our society. Another sad reflection is how easily manipulated people are when it comes to voting, its idiotic enough that they spend their money on this shite, but now the viewers are pretty much told who to vote for. For example on celebrity Big Brother a few years ago, when the viewers were coaxed by Davina into saying ‘wouldn’t it be great if Chantelle won?’ Why? Just because she’s intellectually equivocal to a peanut, it doesn’t mean you should vote for her, or vote at all.

The viewers imbecilic tendencies tend to come to a climax during the last few weeks; take this year’s Big Brother, it’s blindingly obvious (no pun originally intended) that Mikey will win hands down. What riles me is that they even question the outcome and start to pose idiotic, quasi philosophical questions such as, ‘could Big Brother really see its first blind winner?’ Well of course it bloody will, because the morons who line channel fours pockets by voting for these cretins, now feel a moral obligation to vote for a guy would otherwise just be a moaning Scotsman. What’s worse will be the patronising gloaters, who as always will doff their middle class hats in celebration for modern Britain, totally ignoring the fact that he won through a mix of pity and guilt.

I just don’t get this obsession with reality television, on a positive note however, I believe that it must be on its way out, as the reality barrel appears to have been scraped by the BBC in their creation, ‘Last Choir Standing’. This pushes the reality competition to its very limits, as the show presented by the lovely Myleene Klass and Nick ‘that bloke from the building programme with the fat head’ Knowles, seek to find Britain’s best choir, or something. What is the point of it all? The best that the winners can hope for is to make an album which will inevitably end up in Woolworths bargain bins up and down the country.

At least with this ridiculous programme the contestants were enjoying their perspective choirs before the show began, but you can’t help but feel that they must start to get swept away by notions of stardom. Imagine the poor look on those welsh middle aged faces after the show, when they are tenderly led to the back of the BBC and informed, ‘What, you didn’t think you’d be famous did you? Ha ha, you’re a choir dickheads!’ Just save them all the years of unfulfilled dreams and put them all down now, it’s the only humane thing to do.

So there, I’ve got most of it out of my system. Why can’t we have a return to quality evening entertainment after this plague of reality baloney, or at least remove the infuriating attention seeking morons who drive me to insanity. Maybe I could set up a show where I try to find people in the country with self respect, I could call it ‘Britain’s got dignity’. Well it’s something to ponder, but I’m off to watch the X-Factor.

Tom Reid


  1. I think it's interesting that in Orwell's 1984, the televisions could never be turned off and were in fact the main spying/propaganda tool of Big Brother. Some things never change eh?

  2. I'm rather amused by Cheryl 'Cuckold' Cole is now on X-Factor and has some sort of celebrity trauma at having to tell a shit singer that he is shit because he made it onto some portion of over-subscribed tv viewing 6 years previously.... and she hadn't seen the fucker until that original point! Anything for controversy.

    I thought I might enjoy the programme about really tall people and really small ones. But it turned out it was just some burke constantly indicating to the camera with his eyes - 'Blimey, they're tall/small!'... great.

    Can you write more rants to fill my hours of employment. Please?