Thursday, 17 January 2013

Reality TV Is Rubbish

A few years ago I found myself watching a television programme. It featured a house filled with people, none of whom I had heard of, and they were ranting and raving and their behaviour was, quite frankly, depraved and idiotic.

I turned to look at Mrs PM who was catatonic having been fully been sucked into the nonsense in front of her.

I realised that I, too, had been totally enthralled by the antics of these strange people.

Something happened.

I had a feeling in my stomach gradually began to take control. My brain, which was close to shutting down, began to react and found a new lease of life. My common sense slowly began to exert its influence on my comatose sensibility and suddenly I found myself blurting out the words that would save me:


My outburst shocked Mrs PM back into the real world and instead of watching a bunch of idiots on the TV she had to endure a massive rant from the man in her life. It wasn’t long before she ushered me out of the room to rant to the cats instead.

For me it was a Eureka moment. I had seen the light. I realised a basic concept that I should have grasped years before. It became my mantra:


It was a life changing moment.

The programme we had been drawn into was Big Brother 2, the second series of one of the worst programmes ever to grace our TV screens.

Why was I watching it?

I don’t know, is the honest answer.

I had purposely missed the first series and caught part of the start of the second series on a Friday night after returning home, under the influence of a few beers from the pub. I still can’t fathom what possessed me.

I hated the contestants who were largely people who simply wanted to be famous but possessed absolutely no discernible talent.

Yet I still watched it.

The contestants were either extreme egomaniacs, deeply annoying at a primeval level, totally and utterly stupid, had no shame whatsoever or were a combination of all of the above.

And now we are inundated with programmes of a similar variety. In fact, it’s worse than that because now, failed celebrities desperate to kick start their careers, are humiliating themselves in the name of entertainment.

Big Brother has had its celebrity version and I’ve really never heard of many of these so-called stars. And not content with being locked up in a house for weeks, other celebrities allow themselves to be carted to a jungle in Australia and expose themselves as arses as they are forced to eat bugs, crawl through pits of snakes or wear a helmet full of cockroaches.

Yes – I’m talking about I’m a Celebrity! Get Me Out Of Here! – except, in my view the “celebrities” aren’t really celebrities – they are the dregs of the cult of celebrity, Z list celebrities, celebrities who have had their day and should just retire.

With the advent of satellite TV we now have approximately 1000 channels, most of which have nothing worth watching, but which the TV producers seem content to fill with reality rubbish.

I came home from the pub on another Friday night and caught a programme called Geordie Shore which features an obnoxious bunch of male arses from Newcastle who just want to “get pissed and pull women” and their female counterparts who would make any woman ashamed to be female.


 It was so dreadful I didn’t know where to begin and for the first five minutes, at least, I sat there, so stupefied, my brain so focussed in disbelief at the chaos on the screen in front of me, that my mouth dropped opened and I drooled like a madman.

And then I said:


Geordie Shore is based on a similar American show called Jersey Shore, which I have never seen but I can imagine is just as dreadful.

Equally appalling is Made In Chelsea. I have never seen this show but the cast members have appeared on other TV shows as guests – as if they are really famous. And guess what? They are arses too.

What I find really sad about shows like this, is that if you want to be famous these days, all you need to do is switch off your brain and become an outrageous, egotistic, flamboyant narcissist and somehow convince a television producer that you have talent - even if you don't have any whatsoever.

All the TV producer then has to do is put together a whole bunch of these arses with the instruction:

“Just be as offensive and despicable as you can be and I will turn you into a star”.

Incredibly for some of these people such a ploy actually works. We see them on panel shows and on the front of tabloid newspapers.

How can “TV personality with no talent” be a job?

It makes my blood boil.

And that is why, dear reader, Reality TV is rubbish.

Of all of the items I have labelled as rubbish, this is the one that genuinely makes me angry. Such is the appetite for this car crash TV that audiences crave more and more. Each time a new show appears it is more depraved, more annoying and more shockingly dreadful that the last one.

Our TV airwaves are diseased because reality TV is spreading through the like a virus from country to country, gradually turning the human race into a species of catatonic brain-dead halfwits..

Big Brother is still going strong.

This is a crime against humanity. 

The show was finally dropped by Channel 4 in the UK but Channel 5 have bought the rights and we are currently in the middle of Celebrity Big Brother with a new series destined to start in the summer.

Heaven help me! Can you believe that?

Perhaps I should work myself into a ranting frenzy and apply for the next series – and destroy the programme from within.

I would be tempted to become so obnoxious that the producers would sign me up in an instant.

“This is Plastic Mancunian, a 50 year old ranting arse who loathes Big Brother and all it stands for. He hates all of the other contestants by default.”

No – it’s just not worth it.

I don’t want to be famous for being famous.

I don’t want to walk into posh restaurants and say “Do you know who I am?” when they refuse to give me a table at the last minute.

I don’t want to be mocked mercilessly by comedians on late night panel shows.

I don’t want to have my face splashed over the front of tabloids for months and months.

I have a life.

Oh – and please don’t get me started on The X Factor – my cats will never forgive you.


Pandora Behr said...

See , I think you have to pick and choose your reality telly.

Masterchef - well the Australian version, I quite like.

Big Brother, in the early days, was a voyeur's paradise.

The ones that get me are the ones that shove the spotlight on hoarders.

And I really don't mind the biggest loser. But the Geordie Shore... never! Tripe.

And like you, don't get me started on the X -Factor or Australia Has No Talent... sorry, nah.


MedicatedMoo said...

If it's on channel five (and rather late at night), isn't that a positive sign that ratings are dropping?

Because we get British TV here in Geneva, when we do see adverts for 'celebrity' reality shows, it's very, very rare for us to know who *any* of them are!

River said...

"...audiences crave more and more."
i don't think this is really true. It's the skewed thinking of the producers.
What really happens is there is absolutely nothing else on worth watching, so viewers tune in to see what Big Brother et al is all about and the ratings people go "Whoa! look at how many people are watching this channel, they must be loving this show, let's give them more!"
And so the cycle begins and continues.
Because this stuff is such low standard, other channels feel they don't need to compete as hard and they then deliver us similar low standard viewing or repeats of repeats of repeats. When faced with a lack of actual programs, we get the "Home Shopping" which runs for about four to six hours at a time and is essentially one giant advertisement, broken up with smaller advertisements.

JahTeh said...

My sister used to say she watched Big Brother for the psychology aspect, ie, the dumb and stupid being themselves but with an audience.
I can't even stand an ad that uses a reality-type bloke who interviews a "complete stranger" about her (always a her)clothes washing habits.
The only reality show I would watch is Naked Cricket, in Australia, in summer, in 40 degree heat. The bits and bobs turning red and sizzling, I could watch that.

Elephant's Child said...

Snap. Hateful people, with no talent, no humour and nothing to offer. And I don't care what happens to them. So I don't watch them, and I don't read any news story about them. Works for me.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Masterchef - cookery programmes are another bugbear of mine (must not rant!).

I'm not a voyeur and I have never been impressed by the sort of people you get on these shows.


Er no your not and no I don't want to see your face anywhere.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

I've heard people saying "A new series of Big Brother - I can't wait!"

Home Shopping is hilarious. I'm amazed at how a person can spend 20 minutes talking about a pen!

"Yes - you can WRITE with it."

"Can you? That's AMAZING!"




Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

BIg Brother has always been on late - because of the swearing and weird antics mainly I guess.

Channel 4 dropped it because of ratings were dropping but I have no idea about how its faring on Channel 5.

I don't know who these people are either...




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Jah Teh,

Naked cricket - Now that WOULD be funny - for the first series at least.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Thankfully - that now works for me too.




H2B said...

Hallelujah and Amen. :-)

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi H2B,

We agree on something ...




H2B said...

Mr PM,
I totally agree that all reality TV are rubbish. Couldn't bear to watch more than 5 mins of Big Brothers (and its reincarnations), X-factor, Biggest Loser and Idol.

However, my guilty pleasure are Ladette to Lady, My Big Fat Gypsie Wedding, Masterhef, Amazing race and Survivor. You never know what is coming next in these *exciting* thrash.

Please don't think less of me! :-(

H2B said...

Mr PM,
I totally agree that all reality TV are rubbish. Couldn't bear to watch more than 5 mins of Big Brothers (and its reincarnations), X-factor, Biggest Loser and Idol.

However, my guilty pleasure are Ladette to Lady, My Big Fat Gypsie Wedding, Masterhef, Amazing race and Survivor. You never know what is coming next in these *exciting* thrash.

Please don't think less of me! :-(

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi H2B,

No - of course I don't think less of you.


Mrs PM loves "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding"and a few other reality programmes.

I don't care what other people like - it's all about opinion.

I just choose to rant about it.