A few years ago it was decided by the television networks that we no longer wanted to watch true talent on a Saturday night. The big fun shows I grew up with such as the incomparable ‘Noel’s House Party’ have been deemed unprofitable and too old fashioned. Instead the TV execs have delved deeper into the archives and filled Saturday night with talent shows!
Now, we all enjoy a good talent show every once in a while, but the stations have become saturated with them. As soon as ‘Dancing on Ice’ finishes, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ (which it hasn’t) begins. As soon as that’s over, were back to ‘X-Factor’. And the whole time this is going on, the BBC and sometimes 4 and 5 are also making the same rubbish.
And it’s not just on Saturday nights. This stuff is on all week and covering a variety of shows. We have X-Factor, BGT, Dancing on Ice, Strictly, Masterchef, The Restaurant, The Choir, The latest BBC dance contest, the latest BBC Musical/Andrew Lloyd Webber contest, Britain’s Next Top Model and Biggest Loser (although to be fair the last one is debatable as to it’s clarification as ‘talent contest’.
These shows cover a spectrum of topics, but the core of the show stays exactly the same. It’s always a group of budding and aspiring people in their field with an ounce of talent, with some complete idiots thrown in to make things entertaining. These subjects will then be put in front of a panel of judges who will mercilessly destroy their dreams before opening it up to the public, who are so enthralled that they can influence TV, that they phone premium phone lines to choose an eventual winner (although sometimes the evil producers don’t even allow that!) Now that is a tired format…
Even the judges are the same every time. There’s always the tough, ruthless, emotionless git who will insult every contestant. Then there’s the lenient one who’s happy and carefree and happy to still be on TV. They’ll let everyone into the final if they can. And finally, there’s the ‘head-in-the -clouds’ bimbo type who are normally more busy filing their nails than watching the acts.
Sometimes the producers drop the last two of the formula and only have the ruthless one’s (a bit like Alan Sugar in ‘The Apprentice’). They think that there’s nothing we enjoy more than watching evil, heartless sod’s ruin the dreams of the young… ahhh. But one thing these people always have in common – which they don’t deserve to – is their notion that they’re better then everyone else.
And I suppose this brings me onto the question of: Why do we watch this crap?
I watched Britain’s Got Talent properly (as in a whole episode) for the first time on Saturday. The show seems (like all manufactured talent shows) to be filled with a selection of some ugly people who are surprisingly good, most that are decidedly average, some adorable children, a gluttony of dancing dogs and several random and painfully unfunny acts.
These are then judged by Michael McIntyre, Amanda Holden and David Hasselhoff, who have about one brain cell between them and no idea about what talent is. But I’ll admit, that these idiots can make it entertaining… for one episode.
Yet people do and the audience at the auditions are unbelievably sensational. They shout, scream, laugh and cry at every single second of the show. They’re so into their show that I’m starting to doubt my whole views on reality. Am I the stupid one? Have I got it all wrong, is this actually the purpose of life – to be the baying audience in the theatre of horror that is a modern talent show? Maybe these shows are actually fantastic.
Or maybe it just proves that thanks to dumbing down of audiences everywhere, TV execs can get away with anything these days. It’s all about the talent show these days. That’s something I just can’t understand.
I say ‘roll on some good quality TV’, maybe a drama. Oh, what’s that? Doctor Who’s back on Saturday? At last!
I’ll be previewing Who later this week!