Out of touch with reality

One thing I really love about the Summer is the fact that TV channels tend to give us a break from the rubbish reality shows that seem to screen on an endless loop on every channel. I’m all for being in touch with reality, but that doesn’t mean I want to see the reality of other people’s lives in glorious technicolour on my television.

One thing I really love about the Summer is the fact that TV channels tend to give us a break from the rubbish reality shows that seem to screen on an endless loop on every channel. I’m all for being in touch with reality, but that doesn’t mean I want to see the reality of other people’s lives in glorious technicolour on my television.

I personally can’t see the attraction of watching any of these shows. The people involved are usually annoying, nearly always suffering the delusion that they really are ‘a character’ and collectively have all the personality of a lab grown ameoba in a petri dish. But come the Autumn, when the evenings start to get even longer we suffer the equivalent of a reality show enema. It’s like the TV channels lose all control over the concept of quality programming and the result is a cringe fest which leaves nothing to the imagination. The goal seems to be to recruit a small army of dysfunctional people, lock them in a building together, pepper each day with humiliating or gross tasks and just, well, let them loose.

If there is intelligent life out there beyond the stars hopefully they’ll never catch a screening of ‘Jersey Shore’, the ad alone is enough for me to wish I was in a galaxy far, far away.

I blame the people who created Big Brother for starting the horror of the reality TV programme. If only they’d left some mystery and quit while they were ahead, but no, even when viewing figures plummeted, they kept foisting the show on us year, after year, after year, after year, adding Celebrity Big Brother to really break our spirits a couple of season in. Thanks for that.

Now we’ve got everything from The Kardashians to some freakish Irish celebrity Salon reality show - thanks RTE for spending my TV licence so pro-actively. And there’s much, much worse if you’ve access to satellite TV.

Take, for instance the mind boggling ‘Who’s Your Daddy?’, a Fox reality show where a young woman adopted as a child tried to win $100,000 by picking her biological father from a group of men all claiming to be her real dad. If one of the impostors managed to fool the adopted woman, the fake daddy would win the $100,000 prize instead. The line that marks the boundary of good taste was definitely ignored by the creator of this horror show.

Ok, I’ll admit, at the start of the reality TV show craze I did watch the odd episode of ‘I’m a Celebrity get me out of here’, mainly just because it was filmed near my home town in Australia. But now, the novelty has long worn off and the quality of those at the centre of these shows is heading down the toilet more and more each year. Every ‘celebrity’ seems to have their own reality TV show and I’m using the word ‘celebrity’ really generously here.

We’ve a population of just over 4.5 million here in Ireland, so we’ve become more than a little flexible about what actually constitutes a celebrity - you only have to watch terrestrial television where more than half of us are looking at shows and asking each other ‘who the hell is yer man?’. We don’t know. We don’t really care, but those in Montrose seem to know them, maybe they’re related to someone in programme development?

Worse still, come October 24, we’ll be able to suffer the torture of reality TV in glorious HD. ‘Jersey Shore’ in HD? Now that’s enough to make anyone sick......