During this past week, I have taken to writing my posts with the TV on in the background and I curiously find myself hooked on all sorts of inane shows that distract me from my words. Except these ones of course, which I cunningly combine with the aforementioned trash TV to make this post.
Delving into the world of daytime television is to truly descend into the underbelly of the medium. Looking at it with a detached view is admittedly difficult and I do worry about the state of the decay…I could go on about how it’s why television is failing due to falling figures, misunderstanding the demographic of viewers and just pure dumbing down. Perhaps a cross-section of such TV will allow me to make a more informed judgement:
Millionaire Matchmaker – This is not something I would usually watch but for the purposes of variety I started watching and it quickly became irritating in many ways. It starts with the ghastly, arrogant and unprofessional woman who gets people together. You have to be rich, this is important I would surmise that only the rich wouldn’t complain if the woman they have effectively employed slags them off and tell them their own mind. It gets worse, feminism is dead here, women are paraded in front of Patti the matchmaker to be judged ostensibly on their appearance because looks are more important than personality. She also matches up men but they aren’t judged quite as much. They are then put together for excruciating dates. If you love shallow people and the superficial and plastic lifestyle they lead then this is worth a watch. To normal thinking people its offensive. It begs the question, why people who are successful in business or just have a rich family wouldn’t you try to better themselves personally.
Ghost Adventures – A bunch of guys go hunting ghosts and to be fair to these guys they do try…although it has the feel of a spoof, it is most probably a real thing. There are interviews and histories setting the scene and then the crew are finally ‘locked down’ for the night in the haunted place. It has plenty of dramatically inflected voices and things always happen, the viewer is never disappointed. It all gets a bit samey though, one of the crew will feel a bit funny, there are unexpected noises, orbs, voices, somebody gets pushed by an unseen force…it;’s all a bit too predictable and so less believable. They debunk some of their own theories which is a nice touch but never seem to be able to provide definitive proof of ghosts so the show becomes a parody of itself with repeated watches.
Jeremy Kyle – surprisingly the British version seems to be more extreme than the US version, probably because it’s real car crash TV over this side of the pond. It’s a talk show in which the audience turn up to laugh at a bunch of people who want to air their often inexcusable private lives. The heavy-handed nature of the stories is something to be marvelled at, if a sad story is coming up then mournful piano music tells you to feel sad, for the majority of the stories though its angry music telling you that conflict is about to arise. These people, usually jobless cannabis smokers who sleep around are volatile, emotionally under developed and dare I say it lower class? These people are wound up before they go on, get shouted at by the host and booed by the audience, its exploitative farce at its lowest and the cuts to the gurning audience are sickening. There is a trade-off for watching this show, whilst you realise that your life could be worse and you could live near/be these people, any intelligent person will feel soiled and never wish to watch the show again. It probably ruins more lives than it claims to help.
Vegas Police – Follows the police walk around Vegas and break up fights and sort out other minor shenanigans that drunk people get up to. It’s hard to find what angle the show is going for, it’s hardly high-octane crime stopping of the variety that is easily available in other shows so I can only think it is an encouragement for people who like to party to go there. There are plenty of shots of drunk women waving at the camera or being spied on by the voyeuristic cameramen. It’s very light on everything including entertainment, most people are spoken to patronisingly whilst in handcuffs before being let off as the police show they are the good guys. It’s either badly done cop propaganda or an even worse advert for the destination.
Storage Hunters – Now this is the only show that I am almost mildly benign about, it’s a little different if still annoying. Every time a storage unit is opened everybody reacts with shock…and when there is a big discovery (or not) about to be made then there is an ambiguous shout to keep the public hanging on through the ad break…or not if you are me. It doesn’t really move me either way, it’s just predictable and the hunters themselves love to play up for the cameras…is this a real business? It may be but somehow these people seem like characters based on real people and as ever the fantasy tries too hard and the real thing is probably much more interesting.
In conclusion, I find there is no merit to any of this type of television, it is repetitive and uses primitive tricks to encourage the viewer to keep watching even though the makers know there is no substance to back up their shows. The worst thing though, is the coming up montage that happens before each break as if they have to keep us enticed as if turning off would be a bad thing. Well we should, TV stations should be held accountable for making rubbish, or perhaps that is just me because I like substance and having said that so I will now go and educate myself and feel like a real person again. Then again I could just be a bit of a snob.