I’m not a very restful person to watch television with.
It should be said straight up that I am not a huge television watcher. I’m not into soaps (although when younger was an avid viewer of Neighbours and Home & Away), nor do I like seeing people being ridiculed and humiliated on shows such as the Apprentice and random ‘fun’ gameshows. Even if, in some cases, they’re asking for it. I’m old before my time, enjoying a good old costume drama or David Attenborough discovering some far flung flock of geese, never previously filmed.
But the latest ads which have caught my eye seem to be odder and odder.
Reality television is getting more and more bizarre. And appears to be taking over our screens.
Why on earth would I want to watch a load of people watching a lot of television I don’t watch in the first place? I’m talking, of course, about Gogglebox.
If they filmed that in this house, for a start we’d probably be watching something along the lines of the Great British Bake Off rather than a drama filled story line a la Holby City or Hollyoaks. And that’s assuming the television is actually on – they’d be far more likely to see a test screen and me reading a good book.
And then they’d have to edit out the fact that I witter all the way through. I drive Le Pomme up the proverbial wall with my nattering and subscript and suppositions about what’s going to happen next. You’d barely hear anything over my mutterings and chunterings. Which I guess would make it compelling viewing.
Except for the fact that I can’t think of anything more intrusive and downright unsociable to sit down and watch other people watching something. People watching is fun – on a day out, at the beach or sitting at a café watching the world go by – but watching someone in their own home, who has lost their inhibitions about being filmed and is quite unconscious of how they will be edited, smacks of voyeurism. That’s why God invented curtains, people. So others couldn’t see us doing exactly what Gogglebox allows us to do, but with the addition of sound.
Television has brought us many things, showcased the wonders of the natural world, shared the horrors of crimes and atrocities, helped to raise money and awareness for charity, and beamed education and learning right into our homes.
But is it going too far now?
We’ve had the utterly awful Big Brother. Is the next stop a real live Truman Show? At what point will we think enough is enough?