Saturday, 29 August 2009

Television Round Up

Television in Britain today is in a sad state – comprising of footage of people sleeping (Big Brother), smug gits like Simon Cowell, soaps so ludicrous it would embarrass even the Twilight Zone and unfunny sitcoms probably starring Frank Skinner featuring situations such as a man being ‘raped’ by his offensively tight jeans (email me if you require an explanation). For every decent program there are ten documentaries about Peter Andre and Katie Price or a game show hosted by a comedian whose run out of ideas. So here we have my coverage of some of television’s worst elements (which is by no means exhaustive) so in a hundred years time scholars may read this and come to the conclusion that our primitive species had the attention span of an ADD sufferer trapped in Big Fun after a crystal meth bender.

Where to start, oh I know BBC Three’s fantastic documentaries such as Binge drinking: My big decision about a girl deciding whether to give up her binge drinking life style. Well if she had to give that much thought into the decision that it was worthy of becoming an hour long program she frankly deserves all she gets. Another instalment in this series – Boob job: My big decision just makes you feel lucky you don’t have to make such decisions and politicians who have to run this country must be feeling relieved that its teenage girls not them that are answering these ‘massive’ questions. The young, dumb and living off mum program makes me embarrassed to be Human – not because it features the world’s most useless teenagers who would shame even Helen Keller, my grievance is with the program’s makers who felt this was such a significant issue it had to be made into a series. Jesus, whatever happened to parental authority – if the brats won’t give up the easy ride their parents should kick their arses and make them join the army; not put them on a TV show so we can see what useless dicks they are.

Meanwhile on ITV after half a dozen documentary series chronicling Peter and Katie’s marriage we now have Peter: Going it alone,shows us how low TV has gone as ITV have actually made a program following a man who has been dumped. Wow, join the club – seriously what’s next? Peter: Takes a bath or Peter: Misses the bus to work. For a man who claims to have the moral highground, as he isn’t apparently exploiting the situation for publicity, he shamlessly plugs his new album.

Big Brother, the show that gets a handful of bizarre people who belong in a Dr Seuss novel, puts them in a house together for a few months and lets us watch the outcome. However instead of murdering each other or writing poems for cacti we simply watch them eat, sleep and piss while forgetting to fulfil these functions ourselves. Don’t forget on E4 from ..midnight.. there is live coverage in extra saddovision, in which we can watch people sleep for 6 -7 hours like a creepy uncle. Britain’s got Talent – an actually show not a punchline, gets the nation’s trainee serial killers, mental patients and freaks who have been rejected by circus freaks; so they can show the country their talent or lack off because these shows peddle the idea that only the ‘normal’ are talented evident by the fact everyone was surprised that Susan Boyle could sing on the account she looks like Rocky Dennis’ ugly brother. It’s the same with X factor, they parade the freaks for the audition rounds much like the Elizabethans did with mental patients but hiding them away in later rounds so we can gaze in awe at the ‘beautiful people’ – this is my childhood all over again. It’s all rich when it’s hosted by Simon Cowell, a man who makes Metallica’s Lars Ulrich look modest. Cowell is the biggest freak of them all – not only does he make a career from exploiting people’s hopes and dreams but he seems to be playing reverse limbo with his waistline.

The soaps claim to represent British life, evident from storylines such as in Coronation Street were a woman is sleeping with her husband’s murderer or Eastenders with a tragedy happening every day, and I swear Hollyoakes has its own Rosemary’s baby style storyline going on. Holby city a hospital so far removed from reality that I wouldn’t be surprised if the bubonic plague resurfaced or if a patient was actually seen on their appointment time. How about The Bill, a police drama set in a fictional part of London that makes Afghanistan look like a petting zoo. Neighbours has got to be my favourite though as in the fictional paradise of Ramsey Street you could have AIDS one day and three episodes later be cured.

I like watching the news despite it making daily forecasts of doom and gloom like Nostradamus on steroids. It comes in three settings Channel 4 and BBC news are for the average man, Channel 5 is for people in comas, and ITV news is for those that see football as cultured. I see the news as part of the degeneration of television because it’s become more sensationalised intent on scaring us as if it seeks to avenge a loved one struck down by us. If you believe the news we are going to be killed by either Swine flu or Muslim extremists with the survivors being finished off by Global warming or the economy, anyone left will have to face a T-900 in battle. The news always like to end with a Human interest story which I assume is so we don’t kill ourselves after hearing about all the muggings and bent MPs or to cater to the Forest Gump section of the audience, whichever its as pointless and annoying as Jamie Oliver. Documentaries like dispatches or Panorama adopt the news’ apocalyptic style but send the optimistic ending tones packing, while those on Channel 5 are the Human interest side done in such a way that it’s covertly taking the piss out of its subject matter.

Much like a drunken step father sport tries forcing itself upon you; ‘our sport’ changes often depending on what we are currently doing well in. But the worst of all is the omnipotent football – a pointless and tedious sport and the cause of more football hooliganism then Danny Dyer can shake a stick at while speaking like a twat. I have a very basic understanding of the game which is along the lines of; mega rich tycoons with nothing better to do buy other men so they can kick a ball around for 90 minutes and keep it away from men in different uniforms owned by a rival tycoon – its essentially warfare for idiots. If you’re not a football fan then living in Britain is like living in a totalitarian regime run by the unquestionable football, with the other citizens blindly worshipping the great leader. Even not knowing the offside rule is a punishable offence comparable to not greeting the Fuhrer with the Fascist salute. But television executives are unsympathetic to my plight as every time I see an interesting drama or movie advertised on ITV it gets replace by an England (the highest authority) match and I’m told to piss off to the Women’s Institute because for not displaying even an iota of interest towards the beautiful game I’m obviously a woman.

Cookery programs continue to stagnate despite being replaced by books – which are easier to follow and don’t swear at you either, and gardening shows are pointless because they always appeal to people who have 100 Sq acres of garden. Fashion programs are probably the most hypocritical shows imaginable as they are often hosted by either androgynous individuals such as Gok Wan who frankly looks like he was raped by his wardrobe or transvestites such as Trinny and Susanna. Just like knighthoods chat shows are so easy to obtain these days that they practically come free with the Mail on Sunday, the only qualification needed is that your name is known by at least 5 people, and it doesn’t seem to matter if you have the communicational skills of H.P Lovecraft’s Castle Freak. Moving into the ghetto side of television I would like to introduce you to my arch nemesis – Sketch shows. For the most part they are uninspired and very lowbrow, often sticking to the formula they created in episode one for the entire series, milking dry jokes that were only mildly amusing the first time like an obsessive compulsive masturbator. But the biggest offender is the Horne and Corden show – the duo weren’t content with making a shit sitcom and shit movie (Gavin and Stacy, Lesbian vampire killers – respectively) they had to make a shit sketch show as well, full marks for consistency. Take every bad element of the genre, magnify it then remove any vaguely funny aspects and you have Horne and Corden’s latest brain child, a show which is running on their inflated egos as a result of being from a nation of retards that found their previous work enjoyable.

Children’s TV consists of rubbish cartoons with humour that you would have to be a foetus to enjoy, pale in comparison to those of the 80’s and 90’s, as well as shows were odd looking creatures do strange dances and attempt to sing but enough about the Hannah Montana show. This is not even mentioning all the recession specials of already depressing property shows such as Location, Location, Location – as pronounced by Gareth Gates. Game shows – the lazy man’s version of a hard day’s work, which range from answering 15 questions correctly to opening boxes. Before I finish I would like to point out how the channel Virgin1 is appropriately named considering the majority of its shows would appeal to your average 40 year old frustrated virgin; X-files, Chuck. Star Trek: The next generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager and Enterprise, The outer limits, Sexcetera, Ninja warrior and the new adventures of Superman.

You may be wondering just what I actually like, well for starters The Wire is an absolutely amazing show which is constantly well written and accurately portrays life as a depressing unfair joke that’s full of arseholes. I also like Dexter which chronicles the serial killer its ok to like (according to one reviewer), well what about Jack the Ripper. Lost is extremely enjoyable as long as you don’t realise that it is a more sophisticated and drawn out version of the how do you keep an idiot in suspense joke. If you want a painfully hilarious and realistically portrayal of how inept and pathetic British males are look no further than Peep Show and The Inbetweeners. Now after being positive for the first time in the gulag that is my mind I need a long cold shower, before returning to my Metro station review...