5 things I hate about broadcast television
|LISTS - TV LISTS|
Will's had enough of Orwellian nonsense; and would like to share five TV pet hates with you...
Ok, so maybe “hate” is a strong word. Perhaps “mildly perturbs” would be a better choice of phrase I hear you say. But no, I think “hate” sums it up quite nicely, thank you.
So what exactly is it about television that has been known to leave me writhing around in pain, desperately fumbling beneath the sofa in search of the remote control? Well, luckily for you I’ve written down five of my biggest loathes in the hope that some of you fellow sentient beings can relate.
1. Reality Television
Reality television stopped being reality the moment some executive figured out people were so easily manipulated that they could literally be fed any scripted rubbish, starring any bewildered and desperate members of the public who'd happily trade their decency for celebrity. So, if you've never considered the reality around you, even for a second; never wondered why you are here or why anything is here then you are probably the kind of person drawn to the shit brown flame of conformity and pop culture.
Take Big Brother for example - they actually called it ‘Big Brother’ and expected you to enjoy it; an Orwellian nightmare had been released on the prime time slot on Channel 4. The cynical name was overlooked by the masses (presumably because they didn’t know what it meant) and transformed into common terminology in modern society. The people who named it at least had a vague idea of the concept they were parodying in a supposed half educated and sarcastic fashion - they led you to believe that this form of exploitation was not only acceptable, but funny.
Worse still was the shows success. Time and time again new breeds of disillusioned contestants threw themselves at the opportunity to be “on the telly”...and why not? In a world with vastly distancing levels of class, being famous is one of the last refuges of the truly desperate, and those at the top love the fact that the addiction to quick fleeting fame is sticking in our new world because it prolongs the rein of the privileged few who go under the scrutiny radar and remain the dominant force in our society.
2. Teen Dramas
I tried to interact with some people the other day but was met with a barrage of acronym based communication - not knowing the endless list of shorthand talk I was dubbed a pariah. I quickly remembered why I avoid people, the majority look like Topshop mannequins and communicate exclusively through acronyms and catch phrases they’ve seen on TV.
When was the last time you experienced a gaggle of infuriating people constantly barking out 'LOL', whilst simultaneously coming across all lonely, self pitying and alienated? Your answer will probably suggest that it wasn’t that long ago if the ever increasing influx of poorly scripted teen dramas is anything to go by. That’s right, I’m really not keen on the archetypal teen drama format and not just because I’m not a teenager but because it’s so obviously transparent and patronizingly formulaic. The characters all tend to be perfect stereotypes, each one attempting to represent a specific ‘group’ in society with the intention of appealing to as many people as possible.
Most of the American teen dramas star attractive, well off privileged kids who brood and thrive off petty drama.Take One Tree Hill for example. The characters are often rich kids who go off and sulk near their locker when 'Brad kisses Kelly' or sum equally vacuous crap that is meant to pluck at the heart strings of a normal person, which sadly it does. Girls (and in a worrying growth of 'metro-sexuality', some guys) who sob uncontrollably into their Haagen-Daz when the rich, handsome, vest toting high school kid doesn’t get to have sex with who he wanted. If the shows featured a dog ugly poor kid with a lisp, the ratings would plummet faster than both Val Kilmer’s career and cheeks.
I don’t discriminate however... British teen dramas are equally as terrible. Featuring a combination of nihilistic kids in a Guy Ritchie wet dream of grime and crime that basically just consists of lying and cheating, crying and sobbing, or merely petty arguments that escalate ridiculously until somebody ends up getting their head stoved in with a blunt object.
The creators of such shows as Skins and Hollyoaks deliberately include literally every demographic and pop culture reference possible, ensuring that loads of funky young people can “relate”, presumably so that they can chat about it “in da streets”, come back for more of their excremental formula’s and swoon over it like ancient villagers worshiping ancient Gods.
3. Shopping Channels
Picture this - the scene unfolds to reveal a seemingly edgy, glossy toothed gentleman in a canary yellow shirt demonstrating the many uses of a “state of the art ergonomic hand held dust sweeping device”, or, to you and I, a broom. The broom in question is quite blatantly just an average broom, but after being shown its key selling points such as its special storage hook and the extra dense bristles, even the skeptics amongst us find that it doesn’t take long before we are perched on the edge of the sofa, beads of sweat trickling down our faces and our eyes transfixed upon the rapidly decreasing prices of other products such as an ornamental Cherub we neither want or care about. In other words, it’s addictive.
Many of you will probably be thinking that the fore mentioned statement actually supports shopping channels, seeing as their selling techniques are clearly effective. But in my opinion, what good has ever come from sitting in the early hours of the morning in nothing but your pants obsessively fixated on a broom? The answer, my friends...is not a lot. And it is for that reason alone why I hate shopping channels.
4. Jeremy Kyle
If you have ever dared to switch on your television before nightfall, then you have definitely experienced the odious little critter that goes by the name of 'Jeremy Kyle'. Mr. Kyle - or 'Jezza' as he's affectionately known to his 'fans' - is basically a self satisfied gentleman that crouches on a step and shouts at chavs, layabouts and dole-dossers, much to the delight of an equally moronic audience that looks on gurgling and clapping like infants.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the show - in fact I have a macabre obsession with the whole thing. I claim to my peers that I obviously watch the Jeremy Kyle Show in some post modernistic fashion and that the entirety of the time spent with my eyes pointed towards ‘Jezza’ is in fact done with extreme irony. The truth of the matter, however, is this... I love to watch the show because I love to hate him. I love to see his disturbing nonchalance and hear his sickeningly oppressive tone.
When I hear Jeremy spit out one of his trademark catchphrases moments after he’s cleverly befriended one of the guests, only then to turn around and verbally destroy them, I'm suddenly become with rage. Honestly, it takes every bit of self-control I have to stop myself reaching for my pen before attempting to manifest my hatred of this moron on paper. I may say that the Jeremy Kyle Show is an abomination, but I say it with a massive smile on my face.
The new Hovis advert. Normal people with "souls" will enjoy this advert; I've been told that its heart warming, pulling at the emotional strings in an attempt to make you so hysterical with emotion that you immediately rush out to by their bread. What is this dark and moody story based around the concept of bread? Well it's a short story about an emotionally distant, gruff northern farmer allowing himself to express his feelings for his son. If you missed it somehow, please see below:
Now, there are people out there that may read this and retort “You don’t get it, it’s more than that, and it’s actually a deep metaphor for our need for acceptance”. My response to those people is this - I’m fully aware of what it’s about, but all I really care about is whether it's good bread? Should I buy this bread over another brand of bread? My ideal advert would be “Buy this, it’s better than the competition and it's relatively cheap”. Some days I wish I had normal human emotions so I too could enjoy adverts about bread.
I've stopped buying aftershave, its false advertisement. On telly, when they show some pompously smug git casually drape their suit jacket over their shoulder; they look like happy simpletons strutting around, pouting and wandering through surreal landscapes in slow motion. When I put it on I get a sticky neck. Again, it would be far more effective if the advert simply stated that wearing aftershave smells better than not wearing it, instead of convincing us that we should belong to the slick celebrity lifestyle that is predominantly occupied by the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Matthew McConaughey and other smouldering bell ends.
And finally, Gillette razors....boy, don't get me started on Gillette and their razors. I have a feeling that half the military budget gets spent on their research & development. They seem to be trying to trick me into believing that my old style of razor can’t possibly cut the hair on my face .They seem to be implying that there is some kind of evolutionary arms race between razors and facial hair, like facial hair is locked in a perpetual battle to grow faster and stronger until one day I'll have carbon fibre tubes growing out my face and the only thing that could possibly do the trick is the new ‘Gillete plasma cutter’. I’m somewhat of a conspiracist.
So there it is. I understand that my reasoning for such hatred is somewhat lackluster and that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Well I do sweat it; the heat-regulatory function of my brain goes insane whenever I encounter the severe emotional stress that I associate with looking at a television.
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