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{29/03/2012}   Reality TV

For two series, I enjoyed watching Big Brother. The first series of Pop Idols and bits of X Factor I have also enjoyed. I have always hated I’m a Celebrity … Get me out of here! I like Strictly and I used to watch The Apprentice and love it. Last night, not even aware The Apprentice had started again, I turned on the TV and there it was. I saw a group of testosterone charged boys in suits arguing about something. I was not in the mood to endure their bickering or inevitable uselessness.

I did once see a bit of TOWIE but I still can’t get my head around this alleged new concept of reality fiction, or whatever it’s called. I am so thoroughly cheesed off with reality TV, in large part because it’s like a Jeremy Kyle show on in primetime television slots, but the same people over and over again. I can’t watch Jeremy Kyle for similar reasons to not wanting to see reality shows, namely that I see and hear annoying people in my daily life. I do not need to see them on TV as well, I watch TV to escape.

Where are these largely awful people dredged up from? A lot of the non-“celebrity” shows are the worst offenders because they display a pet hate of mine, the desperate wannabe. I gain nothing from seeing some mouthy underwear model type trying to come across as intelligent or witty. It pains me. Fame, fortune and footballer seekers are not women I have any interest in, and I am even long over bitching about them. As for Big Brother type blokes, it’s more about the image for them too. Again, it’s all just horrid and ugly. These lab rats are made to do some humiliating things, all seemingly in pursuit of being papped on leaving the confines of a a studio. I find it ugly, degrading and deplorable.

Shows like Strictly are fun, the people in them seem generally to be in it to resurrect their flagging careers and/or to learn to dance. It’s not about them being shown to be ignorant and gossip magazine fodder.

When reality TV became more commonplace, it ruined the novelty element and for me killed off any interest. I realise that to be in Big Brother, say, I would need to court controversy, become an exhibitionist, wear as few clothes as possible, be liberal with foul language and have some odd fetish that could be exploited on TV. It wouldn’t be pretty and, thankfully, it wouldn’t be me.

Viewing figures show there is an audience still for this kind of cheap televison, but I think at a dumbing down cost. It’s all very nice having television programmes you can relax with, but seeing some of the worst of society’s behaviours and language isn’t remotely challenging or interesting beyond a horrified curiosity. I am not saying I just want good quality dramas, more news, etc, I just wish there were more real television than reality television.

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