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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Bring back decent TV

Heaven forbid that I would mention the licence fee (too Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells for words), but it crossed my mind as I idly perused the TV guide that we watch hardly anything on the BBC channels these days. I am watching Masterchef, I own up to that, although I'm heartily fed up with the knowing looks that Torode exchanges with the "ingredients expert" (grocer) Wallace.

We also watch Coast, where I am fascinated by the umbrella that Nicholas Crane carries everywhere but never uses; and sometimes we like the costume dramas, although Lark's Rise to Candleford is the most appalling old tosh and didn't survive beyond the second week.

The various "comedies" don't get a look in, nor the tired old formats of Have I Got News For You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Top Gear, etc etc.

(On the subject of comedies, does anyone really find "My Family" funny?).

"Extras" is OK sometimes; "Jam and Jerusalem" is very unfunny, which is sad considering the talent appearing in it.

We watch even less on ITV. Make that nothing on ITV.

I'm really hoping that 2008 is the year we turn against the reality shows. They were all OK when they first started and the people appearing on them weren't cynical or manipulated by the producers. Now most of these shows show the levels to which human nature can sink. Those various X Factor entertainment type shows manipulate those who take part and those who watch. People have recently told the papers about how they were forced to say x or y in shows like Wife Swap to make them more controversial. We glorify foul mouthed dysfunctional families like the Osbornes.

And don't get me started on the programmes which humilate the obese. Every week, the contents of someone's fridge is displayed and laughed at. In the ridiculous "Supersize v Superskinny," we're allowed to laugh at the eating habits of thin people too! I wish programmes would take obesity seriously and stop parading hectoring "experts" or patronising doctors.

All in all, it's a bleak picture. I would love to see the return of good old family entertainment. Shows with a feel good factor.

Strictly Come Dancing is a fabulous example because it can't really be manipulated (although the judges now bitch and moan similar to those on the X Factor). Dancing on Ice was hyped up this year to try to capitalise on the SCD factor but I turned off after the first 20 minutes. The music drives you mad and the staging looks very cheap and tacky.

Here's an idea for Channel 4. With all our prison overcrowding, why don't they introduce a show like "The Running Man" which stars real life convicts? To add a bit of spice it could be presented by a couple of disgraced or forgotten TV presenters. How about John Leslie.

If you see it in the next few months remember you read about it here first!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gail - I sympathise completely - I am fed up of scouring the channels just looking for something halfway decent - and anything that IS halfway decent always seems to be over 10 years old!!! The formats may be tired, but I find the wit in stuff like 'Have I got news for you' and 'Buzzcocks' still amongst the sharpest on TV.... Lucy