My god. One look at the television schedule and you are faced with unbelievable horrors. Between the mix of gritty and depressing programming, showing us the real effects of the economic recession, and the annoying and tedious barrage of “reality television”, showing us what we can “aspire” to be. Let’s be honest, is there any semblance of reality in it? No! Of course there isn’t. If one was to write a real reality TV show it would go a little like this; a bland, uninteresting and plain looking man sits on the sofa and discusses his shitty job and mundane life with his bland, uninteresting and plain looking wife. Weekly highlights of the show would be said man (let’s call him Jack) falling asleep at his desk, his wife (let’s call her Jill) crying over the bleakness of life in post recession Britain, the shopping trip; in which Jack & Jill argue over which brand of beans to buy and then my personal favourite part of the week, Jack & Jill’s Friday night sex. Except it’s now just too people who so long ago fell out of love that Jack can’t get it up and Jill just lies back and groans at the right time. The thing is nobody wants to watch that. So instead we get staged events from a parade of interchangeable pretty boys/girls with about as much intelligence as a brain dead goldfish.
Well if you are one of the people who love watching these bland plastic cardboard cutouts of people, then you’re in luck. There is more reality TV now than ever. Except now it’s sneakily hidden in what seems like real TV. Take shows like The Only Way Is Essex. We are supposed to believe that they are real people going about their real lives. But they so obviously aren’t. It’s so staged it’s painful to watch. Also no character is even remotely likeable. Then you can look at shows like Jersey Shore (or the even more repugnant British version: Geordie Shore). These shows not only present you with the lowest level of human beings alive, they also appeal to said people. I’m not actually sure what’s so aspirational about living a life of liver failure, drug overdoses and VD. Or as you cool cats call it; partying hard, getting high and easy lays.
Speaking of aspirational TV X Factor is back on our screens. Soon we’ll get to see X Factor fever sweep the nation. All you’ll hear around the water cooler is how Simon Cowell put down this young hopeful, or how bad that guy was (even though he got through multiple rounds of pre auditions, and is only on TV to be humiliated). It’ll all boiled down to the final few cookie cutter wide-eyed hopefuls. Then they’ll start the talk of the Christmas number one. Which X Factor hopeful’s single will the masses run out and buy, pushing it to the top of the charts and confirming the X Factor as the juggernaut of Christmas chart domination. See this is another example of reality TV ruining our lives. Nobody makes Christmas songs anymore, because what’s the point? Some floppy haired trendy charisma vacuum, propelled to stardom by a never ending production line of “stars” have had it in the bag since September. These artless “musicians” are designed to cater for the lonesome losers and prepubescent females.
On the subject of programming for losers and prepubescent females, Channel 5s Celebrity Big Brother is back. Since C5 got this show it never seems to end. The pleb version finishes and they are replaced by our celebrity social betters. Or in the case of C5s Celebrity Big Brother Z-listers and stars of other reality TV shows. This years line up includes Charlotte Crosby (of Geordie Shore; a reality TV star on reality TV), everyones favourite irritant Louie Spence, Screech from Saved By The Bell and Dean Gaffney’s dog walker. Okay I made that last one up, but it’s really the level of stardom you expect from this show. Like every year, they are all bickering and arguing, whilst trying to make a name for themselves, with the hope of landing a role in an Iceland ad when it’s all over. And that’s all we can really hope for, for it all to be over.
In the end all this reality TV wears you down to a point where you might do something very stupid; like read a book or go outside. If you read a book, you might get a paper cut. The cut could then get infected and kill you. If you go outside you could get beaten up by an angry mob of yoofs. They could steal your wallet, stab you in the chest and leave you for dead. If any of these things happen blame reality TV. It made you go outside. Reality TV is basically a serial killer in training.
By Matthew Husselbury @Messiah_MPH
(Edited by Ian Dutton)