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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

TV is stultifying life

This isn't going to be particularly articulate - TV is awful. What could be something wonderful with the power to inform, educate, unite, diversify and entertain has, bit by bit, been reduced to mind-numbing, lowest common denominator, characterless, conservative and mollifying shit.

A look at prime time terrestrial tv, the most watched broadcasts, is always and invariably a perfect example. Presenters on the two biggest channels, BBC and ITV, must fit a number of criteria. They can be of any ethnicity, although usually of British nationality. More and more, there is a representation of different regional accents, though dialect has no place. But there is one trait that is rarely absent - the presenters must be innocuous, unthreatening and lack any opinion (see Richard Hammond). Matt Baker has recently joined The One Show and he is one of the worst - there is absolutely nothing about him. He is so bland I struggle to express how it even frustrates me. There is no place for opinion among presenters: why is this so? They just have to be middle class and nice. Gah!

What particularly infuriates me is how TV programmes that might be remotely interesting have to be bubblewrapped from themselves by use of 'familiar' faces. On The One Show just now, ex-cricketter Phil Tufnell was being shown around the Royal Academy and was being shown a painting of a cat in a hat - "I like the fur." Riveting. There are plenty of other examples of this; the most popular topical programmes are all comedy panel shows. The more serious coverage such as Working Lunch are shown at times when few people would be able to watch it anyway. I massively dislike how anything remotely informative is fronted by characterless 'everymen', whose man-on-the-street credentials are for some reason favoured over genuine expertise, or even remote interest.

I can't quite express it. I'll probably end up deleting this post, but what I am trying to get across is that things could be so much better and if the BBC had the backbone to make a change and stop patronising its audience, that audience wouldn't be so easily pacified and maybe, just maybe, 6 million people would be tuning into something other than Jeremy Clarkson and that intolerable shell of a person Richard Hammond.

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