I saw an advert for some ridiculous-looking identikit nonsense programme on Channel 4 about some twits who want to “escape the rat race” and open a farm of their own. They’ll be guided by Ruprect McPlum-Smarmly who is – as with all TV farmers – a big posh twat. Now I already know how this programme will go, as do you should you have two brain cells to rub together. Basically, it’ll be shit. This made me think about other reality shows and how you can’t escape the feeling these days that they’re disingenuous twaddle engineered in such a way to illicit reactions from us.
It is TV, after all, and TV is made by horrible people in the most part. I know this, for Hollyoaks is on right now.
This, in turn, reminded me of a discussion recently (yesterday? The day before? WHO KNOWS) about how nature documentaries are – generally speaking – a big bag of shit, unless Attenborough is involved. This is because while ol’ Davey boy can bring a wealth of experience, genuine knowledge, warmth, approachability and utter devotion to the subjects he covers, the idiots on other programmes tend to be on them to make a TV show. They talk about how “surprised” they are, how it’s “life-changing” and then look right at the camera, fix you with a steely glare and make you feel guilty because a Parasitic Explosive AIDS Spider is going extinct thanks to the endless march of Brazilian logging firms. Which is your fault, obviously, as well as being something you have complete control over.
It’s either that route or some half-hearted attempt to mimic Attenborough – a man who is, might I add, a genuine, bona-fide national hero and one who I will actually be properly upset about when he dies (not that he ever will die, as he feasts on the hearts of baby Orangutans every night to inherit their delicious, life-prolonging courage. Seen how scared they are of him in that episode where he went to their nests up in the tree canopy? It’s because they know he’s licking his lips in anticipation of some deep-fried ape thumper. He often describes the taste as “orangutangy”. True story). Where was I? Ah yes – they try and emulate, or they have this dispassionate huff about them that makes you care less and less about the wonderful things you’re seeing, like fungus getting inside an ant’s brain and taking over its body before literally growing inside it, until it breaks out and kills the little pecker-head. True story.
Anyway, I was going to rant about all of that, then I realised my friend Ben had linked me to this, which says more than I can say with mere words. Plus it has the added bonus of Adam Buxton, who has a lovely beard and delightful, soft voice. Like a bearded Sylvanian Family character, except funnier and less of an effeminate reference.
Seriously though, Hollyoaks – there’s some Calculon-style acting talent on show tonight.