Recently I have started to become well acquainted with bad TV channels. I only have basic Freeview and so in a ditch effort to entertain myself have been forced to avoid all of the major four channels as they insist on mentioning the Olympics at the drop of a hat and venture deep into the hellish barren landscape that exists past channel 5.
Two channels which have particularly caught my eye have been BBC Three, a saving grace as a rare BBC channel that in no way cares about mentioning the Olympics, nor does it have anything to say about anything happening at all in current events. The closest it comes to having anything to say about the world outside is during it's 60 second news, which attempts to break down all of the weeks current events into under a minute. It's almost like Newsround but for adults who are even more retarded than their child counterparts, lost in an existence of sitting around, waiting desperately until BBC Three begins at 7pm, bringing a trough of whatever it happened to have lying around that night for its onlookers to feast on. BBC Three is a great channel in that it knows it audience. People who have long since given up on life and have no interest in the world, having mutually abandoned each other many years before. BBC Three knows its audience wants nothing to do with the world, and it with them, so they cram in a minute of hilarious juxtaposing, as the news goes from Olympic medals, to famous people appearing somewhere, and finally a terrorist attack to round it all off in under a minute, just to let its viewers know the world hasn't yet ended and that electricity and food still exists in enough quantity to keep this shit pumping out. You can even see the news readers struggling and hurrying through stories about murder and rape, just to get to the finishing line before the 60 seconds counts down. I've never seen someone so relieved at having just told the country about a child murder in under 10 seconds, as if the producer is somewhere just off camera with a cocked gun and a stop watch.
Then there's also the relatively newly crafted 4 Music, created and owned by Channel 4 to fulfil their music quota, by not showing any music whatsoever. The channel is laced with reality shows showcasing more beasts and parasites than a David Attenborough documentary. The most notable of these shit heaps are found on 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians', who had a triple bill on tonight, which I for the most part ended up watching and managed to keep right up with the whole time. The Kardashians rose to fame when the papa Kardashian, Mr Robert Kardashian, represented O.J Simpson in a court of law over his wife's murder during the early nineties. Mrs Simpson’s almost Christ like sacrifice has now allowed for Robert's shit cake spawn to get a reality show, sex tape and a clothing line out of the deal. Whether or not O.J is even guilty of his wife's murder is not event he important crime on trial here. Whoever did it deserves infinitely more hatred for giving the Kardashian children a platform to stand on.
What I love most about the Kardashian's show is that it stands out from other reality shows in that not everyone in it is retarded. In the late MTV hit 'The Osbournes' for instance, you got the impression that no one knew what the hell what they were doing, aside from the one daughter who refused to be in the show, and that it was the TV equivalent of getting a bag of wasps and shaking them up just to see what they'd do, after giving one of the wasps a lot of heroin and another an undeserved sense of superiority. The depressing thing about the Kardashians however is that a lot of them have actually worked quite hard in academic and intellectual subjects. Many of them are lawyers, and regardless of the stereotype that they may have gotten rich far too easily, many of the Kardashian elders have at least been to Yale and other such universities and must be given credit for being reasonably intelligent. Watching Kim have a discussion with her uncle about poverty is infinitely more entertaining because he is clearly struggling to muster up even the most basic form of unconditional family love or giving a shit about anything she has to say. It is a group of people who are actually a perfect mix of clever and retarded and this leads to massive tension within the family.
With any luck Robert Kardashian, who was lucky enough to have died in 2003
In one scene the uncle tells his family of how he never wanted them to become the way they have, and always wanted his family to be aware of how lucky they really are, but that this has failed. Kim, in an attempt to connect to her uncle says they should go and look at some poor people, like animals in the zoo and so they take a roadtrip in their big SUV to the nearest mildly deprived area. Kim then tells the audience about how she now understands how the other half live and has always appreciated it. After gawping at someone's one bedroom apartment and commenting on how shit their lives are in a very understanding way, Kim heads home to party the night away and then is wide awake the next day for a day at the spa, finished off with some ice skating. The show is of course edited for us to hate the Kardashians and make them believe they are stupider than they are, but with the frequent time stamps and rushed moral lessons that they learn, their lives seem to be like a compressed children's show, with both learning and fun occurring almost constantly.
"You can't say Essex without saying sex". I also can't say Essex without violently throwing up in my own mouth
In a bid to compete for being the shittest civilisation however, ITV 2 hits right back with TOWIE, or The Only Way Is Essex if you think that a show that sounds like a down syndrome kid asking for a towel while hitting their toe against a jutting door frame didn't sound too retarded to say. TOWIE is a show which I still don't get. It claims to be a reality show, but described by the producer as “real people in modified situations, saying unscripted lines in a structured way”. This doesn't really sound like reality at all, aside from the second point which is basically just how language and communication work, because if it was said in an unstructured way their speech would just be guttural sounds, which is the case with a lot of the dialogue. Real people being in modified situations, is however I swear to God logically impossible, unless he literally means real people as in not androids.
The amazing thing is though, that it is clearly an improvised, and also shite drama, but it manages to keep the illusion of reality by being insanely mundane and pointless. In one scene a group of the cast are all making out when suddenly two ducks begin having a fight in the background. They all then spend the next few minutes talking about the ducks and how random it was. The continuity throughout the scene is amazing as during the scene, even in the close ups, you can still see the ducks fighting. The terrifying thing here is though that since this show is modified reality, then someone wrote down an idea about ducks fighting and then the director and creative hands behind the show had to get two ducks to fight for multiple takes, while some bronze tanned assholes commented on it with vivid descriptions such as “woah man those ducks are fighting” and “that's pretty ream”. Unless ream is some kind of slang for shit, cruel and pointless, and “those ducks are fighting” is slang for, I'm a massive bellend, then I think they both nailed the scene.
But yet these TV shows are both insanely popular and now having checked them out I know now that our species is doomed. When one of the most popular shows on British TV is a show that is a drama that is so concerned that it might not reflect reality that it purposefully makes itself retardedly boring and people still love it, as well as all of it's other great attributes like making Amy Childs famous and bringing us phrases like vejazzled. Then I can only cry myself to sleep.
This is Amy Childs. Her idol is Jordan. You now need to never pay any further attention to Amy Childs
But these channels are full of such shit, and there's hundreds more of them, with Pick TV having a double bill of 'Boozed up Brits on holiday' and ITV 4 showing a quadruple bill of the infinitely less stupid, but equally as boring GILF fest of a cop/gardening duo that is 'Rosemary and Thyme'. With The Only way is Essex now getting a sixth season, and also having a spin off series called' The Only Way Is Birmingham', there seems to be no end to this madness.
Even then there are also shows with no staging, and the retardedness is all for real, in the equally terrifying, yet far more interesting BBC Three reality show 'Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum'. This is a show in which a bunch of genuinely retarded teenagers go and live in a house for a week; trash the place, fuck each other, get pissed off, literally shit on the floor and are then forced to do mild labour which makes them break into tears. One such task was simply to stack shelves, which caused one member to admit that he didn't have a clue what the word stacking meant, and another to pull a muscle and have to rest while placing jars of pickles on a shelf. It's also one of the few shows I've seen which rewards not giving a shit. Every week one teenager is sent home, which doesn't make any sense because if you hate looking after yourself and would rather have your mum do it, which all the teenagers in the house do, then how is being sent home a punishment at all.
You can almost see the sadness in the parent’s eyes, the hatred wallowing as their long time flown by abortion greets them having spent a week away and informs them that he's never leaving them again. I've never seen two people interpret the same phrase so differently; for one it's a sweet reassurance that they can remain mummy to them forever, for the other it's another reason to die.
But this was just my experience of an evening of television. I haven't watched TV in a while, and this experience has only secured further why I never do it. The internet, although terrifying and stupid, is not stupidity on demand that people are paying to see. There is just nothing left on the wasteland that is television and even though great shows appear on American TV and even more rarely on British TV, when the cancer's terminal, sometimes its best to stop the chemo to not prolong this horror anymore.
Damn you television, damn you human race, and damn the Olympics for infecting the major channels and forcing me to go so far down south on my TV guide channels list that I almost hit hell.