Back in January I wrote about where the cult of celebrity was bringing us to, and to be honest it has only been downhill since then. I’d love to say coverage of the new Labour Party leader’s inaugural party conference speech got off to a flying start but when the BBC’s political editor tweets stuff like this, you do have to despair:
— emily m (@maitlis) September 29, 2015
But again, is it the fault of television or is television simply holding a mirror up to the society it serves? Bruce Forsythe recently chipped in his tuppence worth of opinion on where the BBC should save it’s pennies after the latest round of savage cuts. He thinks BBC3&4 should be axed. BBC 3 is going online only anyway and if I had my way, BBC4 would be ring-fenced, with anything worth saving from the two “mainstream channels” saved.
As I said to a friend recently, all the BBC channels have shifted one to the right- BBC1 is like the old ITV, full of gameshows masquerading as “reality” shows, BBC2 contains the more “serious” stuff that BBC1 used to show, and BBC4 is the old BBC2.
Some of the BBC’s more popular output is gameshow based but many people may not recognise it: Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off, Master Chef, Celebrity Master Chef, The Apprentice, Dragons Den- they’re all game shows but instead of stumping up new contestants every week, the keep the same dreary bunch on for months on end, dropping the least telegenic individual every week, or in the case of Dragons Den, put fake pressure on individuals in a studio environment to make good television.
Old fashioned gameshows have been equally dumbed down to the point where they either have celebs on them or are simple games of chance rather requiring any skill. Some stuff, like University Challenge and Mastermind limp on but generally we’re all doomed now.
I understand the gameshows are cheap to make (aside from the celeb fees of course) but personally I’d rather have less quality television than more generic pap 24 hours a day across dozens of channels. The days I’d watch a documentary on a subject I’m not interested in because it was well made are rapidly vanishing and that’s a shame.