Being a sad, single male in my 20’s Saturday nights should be the highlight of my week. They aren’t. You know why? Saturday night television; it’s enough to turn a man to drink. In fact, as I write this (on a Saturday night) I’ve almost got through an entire bottle of wine and it’s only 9pm. If the programming was of any quality then i’m sure I’d take my eyes of my glass and stop wondering how its contents seems to have dissolved away. No I’d be transfixed to my flatscreen, unblinking as the screen burns into my retinas leaving a permanent impression of Dale Winton every time I close my eyes. Saturday night television didn’t always blow…Oh wait it did. Its real purpose is so transparent even a deaf, dumb and blind chimp could see it. The television companies have struck a deal with the alcohol industry to drive us all to drink on a Saturday. The more we watch Saturday night TV the more we are driven to the sweet nectar. Then the more we drink, the more we watch. Advertisers get paid, channels get ratings and the alcohol industry keeps making money. The only people who lose out are the NHS. Do you know how much liver transplants cost? Because I’m guessing it’s a lot.
A quick look at the schedule can only confirm this. Lets take a look at the BBC first. We get treated to “I Love My Country”. First I thought I’d get a cheap laugh out of it. You know with Britain being in a state and all. I was looking forward to seeing people trying to find positives in the depressing wilderness that is austerity Britain, but no! There was none of that. Instead we get a nice mix of nauseating patriotism and “funny” contestants. Oh yeah, this is a “celebrity” quiz show. On one team Frank Skinner stares at you and reminds you that it is possible to make a career out of being talentless (the only truly inspirational thing you’ll find on Saturday night TV) and on the other you get Micky Flanagan, who is actually funny but in the context of this show very much not. We get treated to such great rounds as; placing a cake on a map of Britain to represent a location of a town, guess the British song, meanings of local dialects and pass the parcel. There is also another round where they spin a big wheel, but I’d given up caring at this point and went to get a drink. So I’m unsure what the questions were. Though I’m sure hoping it’ll be something like this, “which famous Britain is currently crippling the country by taking from the poor and giving to the rich?” (the answer is David Cameron by the way). Although knowing this show the question was more likely “which famous British band holds the record for highest selling album in Britain?” (The answer to that is Queen).
The BBC related fun doesn’t end there either. Following the amazingly low production values of “I Love My Country” we are treated to Dale Winton hosting the latest national lottery game show. To be completely honest with you, after I was introduced to the first contestants, who met at a painting party by the way, I turned off. Want to know why I know that they met at a paint party? Well they were introduced by playfully attacking each other with paint brushes, whilst the voice over explained this deeply interesting fact. As I say this was enough to finish me off.
So now half way through the bottle of wine I turned to ITV. Guess what I was greeted with there? The mother fucking X Factor. I’m not going to dwell on that, because I already wrote about reality TV last week. I could have always switched back to the BBC and watched a documentary on Margaret Thatcher, but that would only make me bury the bottle into the TV, and I don’t want to waste wine. If I turned to Channel 4 I’d be faced with a documentary on 9/11, and that’s too depressing, which is just what the alcohol industry wants. In the end I gave up and just listened to my Frank Turner CD’s, finished off the bottle of wine and began to write this.
Saturday night TV doesn’t have to be boring. I’ve came up with a few suggestions that I think the TV studios should take notes of. 1) Pedo Island- We get all the recent arrestees of the celebrity pedo scandal and put them on a remote island, and follow them with 24 hour security. Then we get some form of young law breaker and chain them up on the island. We make the celebrities fight to the death battle royal style, with the winner getting the right to bugger the criminal. Then when the last man is standing, we ship the kid back home, before any sodomy, and leave the pedo on the island. The kid will be too scared to ever comit a crime again and the pedo will die of starvation (on live tv). Everyone is a winner. 2) Eastenders goes East End. We get a selection of the Eastenders cast and send them on a trip to the real east end…of Damascus. We will follow them as they are attacked by chemical weapons and forced to choose a side in the civil war. As the weeks progress we’ll see them become more and more indoctrinated with the ideals of their chosen side. Eventually cast members will come face to face in combat, and we’ll finally get to answer the great question. Could Billy Mitchell beat Ian Beale in a fight. 3) Don’t Eat the Meat. we lock 10 hardocre vegans in a room filled with meat. The contestants are then given no other food. The last vegan to give in and eat the meat is given an electric car and a free holiday to some tree somewhere. On the first week we’ll be introduced to each vegan and learn about their motivations, making it more glorious when they give in and stuff their faces with bloody steaks. We could also do a spin-off called don’t beat the meat. We’ll get 10 chronic masturbators in a room. The last one to whack off gets a trip to the set of a porno. 4) Blind Date 2.0. follows the exact premise of the original show, except this time we actually blind all the contestants, making the new couples have to learn to deal with their disabilities together. It’ll be a great bonding experience. 5) Doling it out. We get 6 people who are on housing benefits, and enter them in a game show. They each have to answer question on various topics, starting with pop culture and ending with classical music. The player with the most points at the end is given the benefits. The rest have to fight it out next week. The show is great on two levels, one we get real human interest, and two we relieve the stress on the welfare system. People may die, but it’s all good entertainment.
Saturdays are only set to get even worse. The yearly slew of reality TV is on the way meaning we’ll get treated to Bruce Forsyth’s leathery face every week as Strictly Come Dancing is back, yippie! If only my suggestions were taken on board. Then TV would be so much better, or worse, but that best kind of worse. You know like any Rocky film after Rocky 2, or Batman and Robin.
By Matthew Husselbury (@Messiah_MPH)
Edited by Ian Dutton