So I was surfing around the blogs that I usually read and I came across this post by my blog buddy Docdenbow and it got me thinking, we really do have some of the best and some of the worst TV in Britain. We make great comedy and great drama and yet we import tons of American shows and allow members of the public to entertain us with “reality” although the concept of reality in reality TV died after the second series of Big Brother. But across the many genres of TV we have about eleven that crop up on all channels all the time (of course there is cross over like Comedy Drama, Reality Documentary and Sport based movie etc) and the eleven are – Sport, News, Movies, Reality TV with celebs, reality TV with the public, documentaries, cookery with celeb chefs, cookery with the public, drama, comedy and opera of the soapy kind.
SPORT: Probably the best form of TV, because it engages with people who are really, really interested. Cricket fans watch cricket, football fans watch football etc, etc. It’s a captive audience. Everyone has their favourite sport apart from the occasional cock-wipe you meet who never watches sport because it’s boring. Fuck off. I’ve a rule that has served me well and it’s this… “Never trust a bloke who doesn’t drink or like football.” But I think I should change that to “Never trust a bloke who doesn’t drink or like sports” because I’ve never met an interesting, fascinating or likeable bloke who was only interested in work and Dragons Den. Sports coverage on the box is essential, and should be free like domestic water supplies used to be (that’s a whole other blog).
NEWS: News is good. I like the news. It’s formulaic but it’s always new. You’ll never see a repeat of the news on Dave or UK Gold. You never know what the next breaking news story will be. But if I had to quibble about news it would be the 24-7 aspect of it. News Channels. Aint that the same as having a 24 hour live feed of paint drying or a broken leg healing? I mean hour by hour it changes so slowly and if you find yourself watching too much of it you can speak verbatim the live news as it happens, cus they are still using the same script from the previous hour. News is good, I like the news, I especially like Susanna Reid, but please, please gimme more… anything. Local news, weather, something that is changing quicker than the Syrian revolution…. Fucking hell. *looks at watch*
MOVIES: Hey you either like them or you don’t. In my experience the best movies are the ones you’ve stumbled across by accident and never heard of. They blow my fucking mind.
REALITY TV (WITH CELBRITIES): Strictly Come Dancing, the imaginatively titled Celebrity Big Brother or Keith Chegwin with his cock out. We’ve all seen reality TV with celebrities at some time. I always wonder, what is the point of reality TV with celebs? Celebs are already famous and the point of reality TV is to make real people celebrities. Oh of course, it’s to help the flagging career. You know when someone goes into the jungle and eats a Kangaroos cock on Who Wants To Be A Celebrity, then meets someone, then they get married, make several reality TV spin off shows on ITV2, get divorced and then make a TV show about the divorce and the moving on part of said divorce. Brilliant. I’m not naming any names. We all know who they are. Good luck to them, but I’ve heard you can only sell your soul to Satan once. So these people are re-mortgaging negative equity with the devil so only Satan himself knows what’s in store for them. Good luck to them.
REALITY TV (WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC): I blame Airport and Driving School. That bearded guy and Maureen back all those years ago. They started it! Well they became passive participants in the beginning of the end of TV. They agreed to let us watch them doing stuff that they would have done anyway without a camera only in a more exaggerated way because a camera was running. It was poor, it still is poor, but it’s cheap. Celebrities cost fortunes, members of the public are paid off with buffets of food by craft services or some shit like that. It’s crap. Even when it’s good it’s pretty dire. I refuse to speak about that Essex show cus it’s neither one thing or another, the lines are too blurred these days. (If a reality star appears on a panel show are they celebs? Where’s the tipping point?) Is Jeremy Kyle reality? He’ll have to be to avoid giving him his own genre.
DOCUMENTARIES: Nothing better than education, dinosaurs, wildlife, the Sky at Night, Jimmy’s, all good. Documentaries are pretty good mostly. They let us see how bin Laden was found and shot in the face like a rabid dog, they let us follow the journey of a young man in the body of an old man who has a thing for Nel McAndrew but we’re not learning much from BBC3 telling us that some spoilt kids who spend a week in Angola having to stop smoking, drinking and saying ‘woteva’ had the epiphany that sometimes filling the dishwasher or not arguing about bringing your washing downstairs isn’t so bad or torturous. Documentaries are a mixed bag but the good ones are out-of-this-world-superb.
COOKERY WITH CELEBRITY CHEFS: These are vehicles to fill seats in restaurants or to sell cook books to arrogant, pompous, cunts who think the middle classes exist even though they go to work (aka Working Class). Don’t get me started on “middle class people.” What’s wrong with a cheese and potato pie, lasagne or a nice Irish baked tater?
COOKERY WITH MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: Masterchef and Come Dine With Me come instantly to mind. 100% of people on the planet eat, some of them not so much, others so much that they end up on the exercise bike/zumba/weight watchers reality show. Even tramps eat. Having the right sorbet isn’t a problem, it wasn’t for cavemen and it isn’t for modern day starving Africans. These shows put us back in the realm of putting “some bloke” on telly who thinks he’s got something to share. Simply David Brent TV. But at least The Office was comedy, often these shows are rancid, decomposing, smelly, disgusting, fly-covered shite. Gimme a cheese and onion breville with micro chips and baked beans any day. Fuck food snobbery, it’s no more relevant than oxygen snobbery.
DRAMA: Cracker, that was a show. Lost, had me lost but hooked. Chimera, was entertaining enough so go and Google it, it was on ITV (or ITV1 as we call it these days). Drama on UK screens is gripping. We do drama well. One thing this country has is great writers, actors and directors for drama. We all have fave’s what’s yours? Let me know. I reckon Drama might be a standalone post, coming soon!
COMEDY: See drama. We in Britian are kings of comedy. Kings. Our writers, actors and directors set the standard that everyone else follows. Might take another post to fully express my love of British comedy.
SOAP OPERA: Eldorado, Family Affairs and Crossroads aside soap has captivated me (I’m ashamed to say) for years. I love Eastenders. It’s fucking tacky, shitty, gloopy cheese but I try not to miss it. Corrie just makes me wonder what a cobbled street might look like in a zombie apocalypse but I still watch it cus the missus likes it. I never watch Emmerdale or Hollyoaks and am not aware of any other soaps. I’m sure you can all enlighten me. Yes I am a sage when it comes to soaps. Eastenders and Corrie are OK.