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Blog : Posts tagged with 'reality tv'

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Meanwhile, moving on…

In which we’re blown about


The world turns, things change, and another week is over.

Wee Dave seems to be settling in well at the office. We seem to agree on a frightening number of things, many more than I did with Big Dave. The office still hasn’t been blown to bits by the wind, although it came fairly close. The office toilets are jammed up in the attic, spread out across creaking roof-beams, and sitting up there in a heavy gale sounds, I imagine, like riding in a hard-pushed galleon sailing across the Atlantic.

The storm seems to have been blowing everyone’s heads about, upsetting people, breaking things up, putting people on edge. I blame it for all that fraught Big Brother stuff that I’m steadfastly refusing to watch.

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It’s a telly phenomenon

In which we refuse to watch the football


As I said some time ago, I’m going to go my best not to write anything about Big Brother. And so far, I’m doing quite well.

I’m going to do my best not to mention the World Cup, too. As I said yesterday, I don’t care about football at all, myself. Neither does Big Dave, even though if you met him you’d probably expect him to be a supporter.* If there’s one thing both me and Big Dave dislike more than football, though, it’s the assumption that even though we don’t like football we must be interested in the World Cup. We get funny looks just because we don’t give a toss whether England win or lose.

People do seem really surprised if you tell them you don’t care at all about it. Even people who aren’t football supporters, and who would never normally watch football. They say things like: “But it’s the World Cup!”

“Yes, I know! It’s football! I hate football!”

“But England are playing! You’re English! You have to support England! You have to at least watch the England matches.”**

“Um … no, I don’t. It’s football. I hate football. Just because I don’t want to watch football on the telly doesn’t mean I’m suddenly Not Really English.” And at that point they usually give up, and look at me a bit oddly for the rest of the day. They don’t seem to get that I just don’t care about football, any football.

So, I’m not going to watch it, or write about it. The only thing that will get me to watch England playing in it, is if somebody ties me up in front of the telly so I can’t get away from it. A cruel torture indeed.

* he would fit right into the traditional football-supporting demographic without too much trouble – especially if, like me, you only saw him in a shirt and tie at work, so didn’t realise that he doesn’t wear sportswear at home.

** all, ooh, three of them.

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Watching you

In which FP fails to keep a resolution


I tried to make a promise to myself, a couple of weeks ago, not to watch Big Brother this year.

By God, I wish I’d stuck to it. They’re frightening. And that’s all I’m going to say.

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Alien

In which we wonder if there are going to be UFOs on the telly


The cruel hoax TV series Space Cadets is due to finish tonight. The contestants have successfully been made to look like idiots; and sadly, no aliens have been caught on camera.

As nobody went into space, you might not expect aliens to be caught on camera. However, as it happens, a huge number of UFO enthusiasts do believe that aliens have visited the site of the Space Cadets set. Twenty-five years ago this month, in fact. The incident – which has become known as the Rendlesham Forest incident – is often described as a classic UFO sighting, by impeccable witnesses,* even though it’s more likely to have been a sighting of a lighthouse, rather than a UFO. I’m slightly disappointed that, as far as I noticed, a mention of it wasn’t slipped into the programme.** If nothing else, the Rendlesham Forest incident is a wonderful example of how eye-witness reports can change over time, and how rumours can be spread. And, of course, how some people will believe almost anything.

It’s a shame that no aliens – if there were aliens, which is rather unlikely – decided to come back for a 25th-anniversary visit just whilst a film crew was in the area. It’s also a shame that the Space Cadets contestants weren’t a bit more alert – and/or paranoid, of course. Personally, I’m hoping that at least one of them will go a bit mad when everything is revealed at the Live Finale. It really would be can’t-stop-watching TV.

Update: sadly, they didn’t. They all seemed, as you might expect, rather baffled and overcome.

* a group of USAF airmen on two successive nights.

** although, in last night’s show, I was quite pleased to notice a joke about Johnny Vaughan’s time in prison.

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Practically joking

In which the TV is cruel


Like, I imagine, many other people, I watched the first episode of the new Channel Four series Space Cadets with a slightly queasy feeling. If you’re foreign and haven’t heard about it – or if you’ve been in outer space, of course – it’s a show where former drug-dealer Johnny Vaughan* makes fun of the gullible and easily fooled, by persuading them they’re going to be Britain’s first reality-TV astronauts.

It’s a rather nasty hoax to pull on someone, even if they are a bit gullible. It’s only going to work – I mean, it’s only going to draw the audience in – if the contestants are so stupid that we all feel sorry for them; or are so nasty that we want them all to look like pillocks. At the moment that’s impossible to tell, because episode one – which was all about the audition and selection of the contestants – barely featured the actual contestants at all. Instead, most of the screen time was given over to the production stooges, and their efforts to look like genuine applicants.

I’m going to keep watching, even though I’m doubtful about the entire ethics of the thing. For one thing – like nearly all “reality tv” game shows – the first episode looked as if it will be completely unrepresentative of the series. For another, I’m going to be rooting for the contestants to see through the hoax – even if that does mean they won’t win any of the prize money.

* Referring to him as the former drug-dealer Johnny Vaughan is a rather mean and childish thing to do; but then, Space Cadets is a rather mean and childish show.

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