When you switch on your television these days it quickly becomes apparent that the content which is being sold to us, is nothing less than shit. But why is it so bad?
When you switch on your television these days it quickly becomes apparent that the content which is being sold to us, is nothing less than shit. But why is it so bad? Well there are several reasons for this but the main one has to be money.
TV channels are commercial ventures and exist solely to generate revenue. Not so long ago it was advertising that provided this rich seam of cash but with the advent of the internet and more recently, TV-on-demand and with the dozens of channels now on offer, the seam is become very thin and hard to mine. The recently relaxed “product placement” laws – which allows brands to place their products en-scene (Think Jeremy Paxman in a Micky Mouse hat and sporting a sign that says “Visit EuroDisney”) – should go some way to redress this problem but as a whole, TV advertising spend, as well as audience figures are in decline. In fact, online advertising spend in the UK is now higher than that of TV.
Because the money is harder to come by it means that programme makers are having to compromise on things like taste, decency and a good script in order to ensure that people tune in. Of course there are some notable exceptions to this – Mad men, The Good Wife and of course The Wire. But all of these are US productions (Albeit with some exceptional home-grown talent in their casts) so why are we fed a non-stop source of reality crap here in the UK?
Indeed the situation really must be bleak as no longer are TV bosses prepared to pay huge sums of money for nob-head, minor (And/or fading) celebrities to humiliate and debase themselves in front of us, the baying mob – they would rather get ordinary members of the public to this for free.
A disturbing new trend has emerged on our screens recently that seriously beggars belief. The constructed reality show. These programmes do not count trained actors amongst their casts, have no meaningful scripts and perhaps more alarmingly they seem to have no real point to them.
The central characters (All real people in real situations – so we are told) are happy to whore themselves on our screen, with little or no pay, in the vague hope that they will go on to make a career out of opening shopping centres and present obscure shows on even more obscure TV channels.
These types of programmes are a TV boss’ wet dream because there is no need for them to fork out money on proper actors and talented scriptwriters. They know that if they fill the “Cast” with young (Often cosmetically enhanced), attractive people, throw on a few love trists and a whole load of sex, people will watch it – and people are watching it. Viewing figures suggest that almost a million people watched The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) and it has become ITV1’s most watched show. Indeed #TOWIE hit the top of many Twitter trends during the season – which is well, er… Reem.
So we’ve had The Hills, we’ve endured Jersey Shore and we all watched The Only Way is Essex – sadly this isn’t the end of it. Now we are faced with some orange folk from the North East and a bunch of vile people from West London. What’s next?
Hapless in Hendon – a group of young and good-looking police recruits get to grips with community policing. Contains sex, violence and strong language.
Sleepless in Southampton – 10 sexy University of Southampton students struggle to find a balance between studying and all night raves. Contains student sex and scenes of study.
Whatever in Wrexham – A group of glamorous young folk can’t be bothered to do much. Contains some scenes that viewers may find boring.