Monday, May 13, 2019

Bottom of the Barrel TV

It was another of those 'No shit, Sherlock' moments today, wasn't it?  I mean, all the online opprobrium directed at The Jeremy Kyle Show after it was announced that it has been suspended indefinitely following the death of a participant.  It is as if people have only realised that this reprehensibl, barrel scraping, excuse for entertainment is entirely exploitative of the poor and underprivileged, parading them and their problems on TV as if they were circus freaks, inviting audiences to laugh at them.  Has it really taken the death of some poor sod who participated in it to make people aware of how poisonous this show and its ilk are?   For God's sake, some of us have been condemning this evil shit from the moment it first cursed our TV screens - where were all these self-righteous bastards then?  But really, should any of us be surprised that a TV show like this should have prospered during the past near-decade of austerity, with the Tories demonising the poor, the needy, the disabled, the mentally ill on a daily basis?   Isn't it just part of a pattern of TV programming which constitutes 'poverty porn', that bottom of the barrel scraping genre which revels in the pain and misfortune of others?

It says something quite disturbing about as as a society, I think, when we make some kind of hero out of a hectoring, blustering bully like Jeremy Kyle.  A man who brings what, in effect, the dregs of society, people whose accumulated problems have dragged them to rock bottom, emotionally, economically and morally, onto his TV show to remonstrate with them, belittle them, accuse them of being liars, despite having no actual qualifications himself with regard to any of the issues raised.  But hey, who needed experts?  People were tired of experts, we were told.  So instead we got complete amateurs bullying people on TV rather than referring them to someone who might actually be able to help them.  Hopefully, though, the suspension of Kyle's show will maerk the beginning of the end for this unpleasant genre.  (Although we should, perhaps, pay heed to the lesson of Noel Edmunds, whose career looked like suffering a set back when a member of the public died rehearing a stunt for his Late, Late Breakfast Show - but Noel was back before you knew it, with his House Party blighting our screens for many years).  It never ceases to amaze that politicians, the media and moral campaigners put so much effort into condemning and trying to ban various types of pornography and so called 'Video Nasties', not to mention large parts of the internet, yet happily ignore the really harmful self like The Jeremy Kyle Show and its ilk.

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