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Review: Reality TV Is Good For You

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by AgentCool, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. AgentCool

    AgentCool
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    Review: Reality TV Is Good For You

    If ever there was an example of televisual masochism this programme is it. Forget the reality TV programmes 'Reality TV is Good For You' poorly attempts to defend; Julie Burchill's latest crime to humanity is far worse. In fact, having just watched the programme I feel considerably dumber than I did beforehand so this review may not make complete sense.

    Anyway to begin, Julie Burchill is already widely hated throughout the journalistic community. As such, it isn't necessary to spout hatred towards her in this review but I'll do it anyway as she has yet again managed to mentally scar me. For a start, Burchill has one of the most annoying voices you'll ever encounter. At one point she interviews Jade Goody resulting in a catastrophically offensive experience for the viewer's ears. Of course, she can't help her voice (or can she?) so I'll let that slide; there's plenty more dirt to dig up yet.

    Early in the programme, Burchill laughably claims to be a 'television intellectual' which of course is complete rubbish. This is the same woman who unsuccessfully tried to defend chavs, a crime that should be regarded as treason to mankind. The fact that Burchill already has this 'documentary' under her belt makes liking her latest effort even more difficult. Chavs are scum, Julie, they are not working class. We didn't need an hour long documentary to try and disprove that, it's a simple fact of life.

    Ah, life. Yes, that was Burchill's main argument in this programme. She reckons that reality TV is good for you because it's about life. Er, no it isn't. I think the actual intellectuals amongst us will agree that reality TV in no way resembles human life whatsoever. It is well known that people chosen to go on these programmes are picked because they are freaks of nature with severe social problems and are almost always egotistical maniacs.

    The way I see it, there are three kinds of reality programme all of which were covered in Burchill's little documentary. They are the 'common idiot show' (ie. Big Brother), the 'z-list celebrity show' (ie. I'm a Celebrity...) and the 'fantasy reality show' (ie. Jamie's School Dinners). Now, I agree that Burchill was right the defend the 'fantasy reality show' because it really is a necessary genre of programming in modern Britain. I call it 'fantasy' because it doesn't show reality at all, more what reality should be like. For example, in 'Jamie's School Dinners', Jamie campaigned to get school dinners changed for the better, probably knowing all along that it was never going to be fully realised. An even better example was 'Bad Lad's Army' which brilliantly put a legion of yob scum into a boot camp to whip them into shape. Of course, this would never happen in reality because it would be against 'human rights laws' which should probably be renamed 'criminal right laws' but that's another story.

    I actually think I know why Burchill made this programme and it's not because she's mentally deluded. At least that's not the main reason. She idolises these so-called 'celebrities' because they aren't of higher social status or of even normal social status. They are, to quote White Goodman in DodgeBall, "the skidmarks on the underpants of society". However, because the audience that watch most reality TV shows are about as intellectually demanding as the people on them, you get a vicious circle of idiocy that breeds more 'talent' every time a new series of 'Big Brother', or whatever the flavour of the month is at the time, is broadcast. The audience, and Burchill, fantasise about being on these programmes and as such worship the talentless fools who are on them by watching the 'action' unfold every hour of the day on E4 and also by buying Heat magazine for the latest pointless gossip. But because these kinds of people are in the minority (at least I hope they are), Burchill continues her run of certain journalistic defeat by supporting them. And by doing this she is doing exactly what the idiots on the reality TV programmes are doing; defying normality to get attention from the press.

    If Burchill wants to get famous by disagreeing with the general public then that's fine. But, at the end of the day, it takes someone of her boundless stupidity to actually go ahead and do it. I fear we haven't seen the last of Julie Burchill...
     
  2. Nebby

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    Blimey; you're not Tony Parsons are you?
     
  3. AgentCool

    AgentCool
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    Ha, ha; no. Or maybe I am!?!
     
  4. GalacticaActual

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    Reality TV is a mixed bag for me.

    I hate big brother with a passion, and anything like pop stars, The X factor, wife swap ect also gets the thumbs down for me. However The contender recently drew me in as a viewer, as did alan sugars apprentice. I also did not mind Bad lads army either. Strange really, but I suppose every one has different tastes :)
     
  5. Razor

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    I saw sceince last week in Bayswater. I said hello, he was very friendly and seemed a bit shy.

    I personally love reality tv with Big Bro being my fav.
     
  6. krish

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    I'm still eagerly awaiting Arm-Wrestling with Chas & Dave, Inner-city Sumo, Cooking In Prison, Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank and, most of all, Monkey Tennis.
     
  7. AgentCool

    AgentCool
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    Don't forget 'Partridge Amongst The Pigeons'.
     
  8. AgentCool

    AgentCool
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    Yes, I think programmes like 'The Apprentice' and 'Bad Lad's Army' actually do qualify as decent programming as they involve interesting social experiments. That is what 'Big Brother' should be but it isn't. As for the pop stars programmes, I think it's fair to say they are destroying both the television and music industries. As long as they don't cross over into other genres of music other than pop we should be ok though.
     
  9. Tejstar

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    I really enjoyed this years BB too, the first one I’ve enjoyed since BB2!
     
  10. krish

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    Agree, would also add Dragons Den - they've already got a second series in the can, but is a bit embarrassing for the BBC and Rachel Elnaugh since Red Letter Days went into admin and ended up being sold to fellow dragon Peter Jones. Also the BBC's old castaway series was a fairly worthy effort.

    Now, some of you might remember that BB series 1 was pitched to the audience as a "serious social experiment" - and it was interesting since the housemates really had no prior points of reference on how to behave, but Ch4 abandoned that from BB2 onwards. And with the last 2 series it seems that they are dead set on putting together housemates who will hate each other, and potentially use violence; not a social experiment just a ratings tactic - i.e they had a racist/bigot/chav and thug/bigot/chav (Saskia and Maxwell) mixed in with an immigrant (Makosi) and several non-anglo-saxons, several gay guys, and plenty of alcohol; and the fact that virtually all of them are as dense as porcine faeces (bar Derek and Eugene) is additional car crash lubrication.

    I have not particularly enjoyed BB since series 1, since they are usually 90% thickies/obnoxious/under-25 tw@ts playing up to the camera, and that Ch4 are now making up the rules as they go along (based on the ratings curve presumably). It isn't even a guilty pleasure since I do feel it gets more boring and predictable every year - is it me or are housemates always made to dress up in silly costumes on several occasions and do something that looks like a bad primary school assembly or sports day! I certainly cannot understand how viewers actually get attached to these irrelevant childish to$$er$ and come out with such inane observations regarding the housemates they like, and so much unnecessary bile about those they don't.
     

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