Sunday, October 09, 2011

Big Brother vs. The Only Way is Essex.

Or 'reality TV' vs. 'some scenes have been set up purely for your entertainment'.

Look, I don't know shit about TV really, not in a sociological sense, but I do watch A LOT and it strikes me that there has been a major shift from the quite naive 'social experiment' reality TV of the early noughties and the more staged series' we have these days. Namely The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea, the latter heavily influenced by America's The Hills.

I'm not stupid enough to think that reality TV was ever actually reality (just) but being able to compare Channel 5's exact replication of C4's Big Brother with TOWIE and MIC, it is patently clear that BB is an outmoded example of the genre. Oh Channel 5 thought they might be able to breathe life into the corpse by putting no-one over 30 into the house and plying them with alcohol, but, as anyone over the age of 30 knows, plying youngsters with alcohol makes them snog and cry. Uncomfortable viewing.

I'm obviously massively into both TOWIE and MIC. How could I not be? There's just so much HAIR.



Not sure.

TOWIE, my favourite of the two, is undeniably funny. But I'm not sure how I feel about the heavy staging of "new" reality. It's so clear when the scenes have been set up 'purely for our entertainment' and it's on these occasions that the programmes are least entertaining. Yes, BB is boring, but aren't people a bit boring? Is boredom preferable to insincerity? Will I stop writing this post so that I can watch the TOWIE which has just started? Yes I will.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

Gordon Ramsay eats a disappointing meal at a restaurant. He is angry. He uncovers a dysfunctional (familial) relationship among its owners. Ramsay observes a dinner service, stealing off at some point for a closer look at food storage. This is inadequate. Ramsay shouts angrily at the owner(s) and shuts retaurant down. Angrily. The chef is sacked. Ramsay designs a new menu for the big reopening. New chef struggles a bit initially but ultimately triumphs = every Kitchen Nightmares ever.