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The Dangers Of Daytime TV

by Rob Furber
28 August 2012 23 Comments

Among the many plus points of working from home, a dangerous intruder lurks nearby. I speak of course of daytime TV, a wasteland of feral chavs, middle-aged women talking about their muffs and Noel Edmonds.

Working from home has lots of advantages. There’s the renegade thrill of pitching up barefoot to your office in t-shirt and shorts on hot summer days without fear of censure; no longer being a prisoner to fascist, take-your-turn, office tea-making regimes; and nothing can beat the satisfaction of pausing from work altogether to tune into the test match/Wimbledon/the 3.30 at Newmarket (delete as applicable). But among all the plus points, a dangerous intruder lurks nearby. I speak of course of daytime tv.

‘The DNA tests reveal… you are the father.’

Starting with, the detestable Jeremy Kyle Show. Kyle likes to cast himself as the ultimate moral arbiter for the feral chavs he hectors throughout the programme. Essentially, he vilifies and pillories stupid, poor people in the name of entertainment. It is cheap and distasteful on every level. Kyle is roundly applauded by a studio audience of, for want of a better description, council house pikeys, the very core audience of the show who help prop up this diabolical spectacle. And yet, it is this very sub-set of society that Kyle is lambasting and putting in the stocks to have rotten fruit thrown at them.

The faux sympathy and words of advice Kyle extends to them at the denouement of their sordid tales are as shallow and transparent as a Tory MP smiling for a pre-General election photo call on a Manchester sink estate. If anything, all it does is allow middle class twats like Kyle to look down their noses at the proles, while cleverly, and at the same time, keeping the docile masses in their place. My personal view is, Kyle must have a tiny cock and this is his way of making himself feel better.

Kyle likes to cast himself as the ultimate moral arbiter for the feral chavs he hectors throughout the programme.

Next up, This Morning.

‘It’s time to top up the tan and the bank balance… King Henry VIII had how many wives in total?’

That’s a taxing question by This Morning standards. They go on to chat about soap storylines and the latest reality tv news as if this is the be all and end all. There is a serious slot warning about the dangers of sunbeds in between Rusty Lee on the South Bank laughing like a drain.

Are people reassured and comforted tuning into this inane shit each day? If you possess a shred of intelligence you feel sidelined by such simpleton content. Perhaps I am just an extremely tasteful human being but all I see here are quizzes extorting money from viewers, fatuous talking points, and self-serving z-listers seeking to keep their profile in the limelight.

The cheap theme music wafting though the office can mean only one thing. Lunchtime hell lies ahead. Or, as it’s otherwise known, Loose Women. These awful, dried up, menopausal harridans talk candidly about their lady bits and whether it’s prudent to have some work done. The frank, confessional style of the show is apparently its biggest triumph led by grumpy old female-in-chief Carol McGiffin, who has the sort of sour, perma-frown that could delay the climactic scenes of a bukkake movie indefinitely.

I’ll be accused of being a misogynist but really, what kind of example are they setting for womankind?  ‘Oh, but they’re so refreshingly open, talking about their partners and their kids, and their drooping tits. They are one of us,’ female fans would argue. No they’re not, they’re just blatantly playing up to their audience.

Lunchtime hell lies ahead. Or, as it’s otherwise known, Loose Women. These awful, dried up, menopausal harridans talk candidly about their lady bits.

Imagine a group of middle-aged men in the same scenario taking about their cocks and, in the same titillating manner, revealing their desire to hang out the back of Amanda Holden, while a live studio audience, consisting entirely of blokes, laugh along heartily? They’d be taken off the screens for slanderous sexism.

But this is apparently reverse discrimination; defiantly liberal, emancipated women, revelling in the opportunity for some salacious chat. The problem is that unlike, say, the original Sex And The City, it’s not remotely clever, or funny, or ground-breaking.

Come mid-afternoon if you’ve not given up the will to live, you get to choose between The Vanessa Show, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, and Fern. It is all so spirit-crushingly insipid. I’d like to live in a world in which the works of Proust and Sartre are streamed into UK homes during the day. Stuff that encourages enlightenment, introspection and intellectual betterment. But no. Instead we get to watch Louis Spence prancing around in a spangly orange shirt giving ‘Ooh matron’ looks to camera, while the people in the studio lap it up like they’re in the company of some modern-day Bertrand Russell.

Daytime TV schedules are like a portal into a terrifying netherworld in which zombies sit at home, willfully having their brains sucked out as an endless stream of self-serving fame-seekers fill the air with a torrent of vacuous drivel. Oh look, it’s lovely Brian Dowling. Oh look, it’s brave Kerry Katona. Oh look, my frontal lobe has just turned into mashed potato.

Thank heaven then for Countdown as at least it tests the old grey matter, with the delightful Rachel handing out the letters. But just when you’re congratulating yourself on getting the conundrum, Deal Or No Deal arrives.

This is like the Waco of afternoon game shows; a weird cult with Noel Edmonds cast as the David Koresh figure, leading his disciples in what he calls ‘The Dream Factory’. It has a language all of its own and is quite surreal. The studio audience are called ‘the pilgrims’. There is the ‘left wing’, ‘right wing’, ‘the death box’, ‘the power five’ and on a special occasions like Halloween they all get to dress up like complete eejits.

Deal Or No Deal arrives. This is like the Waco of afternoon game shows; a weird cult with Noel Edmonds cast as the David Koresh figure.

At the start of the show, they now go big on contestants’ back stories. They bring out letters and photos of loved ones, and recount heart rending tales about their recent bereavments and tough upbringing. What is it with modern tv and every fucker thinking they’ve got a divine right to have a shot at the big time, or a big win, because they’ve had it so tough in life?

You know what, I wanted to play football for England and be Kate Beckinsale’s boyfriend but do you see me on tv making a big song and dance about it? No, I have dignity. I sit at home sneering at you all instead.

If Noel’s ridiculous 80s Barnet, beard and gaudy shirts aren’t enough to send you round the bend, then his earnestness will. ‘This has been an unprecedented period in Deal,’ he says. ‘We have had games that are so emotional. You will be back for the final part of this game, see you shortly.’

What is guaranteed is before the end, they’ll all be sobbing uncontrollably as the contestant either wins big or spunks the lot. After John gives the usual sort of sincere yarn about how big a difference the money would make to his life, he says ‘No deal’. Now I really want him to win sweet f.a..

‘Blue, blue, blue, blue’ they all chant ahead of the critical box being opened.

Huge sighs of horror greet the appearance of 100,000. I sit there laughing my head off. My personal Schadenfreude runneth over. He ends up with 500 quid.

‘What a wonderful man,’ says Noel at the close of the show. ‘Great character.’ Greedy cunt, I say. Serves him right.

Daytime TV. What point does it serve other than to re-enforce this horribly dumbed down, emotionally retarded country we’ve created? It’s a graveyard for the soul. Its only saving grace, the gorgeous Rachel Riley, and living for the day the letters spell out ‘I love cock’.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

BrenUK 2:31 pm, 25-Apr-2011

Good stuff except 'Council house pikeys,' is a bit off! Actually the vast majority of people in Council houses are decent hard working types - who endure their horrible unrewarding lifetime of toil, simply because they have more self respect than to be cheating, thieving scumbags, - Although you're right - loads of em do watch that shite!(and don't you know MOST pikeys live in trailers, anyway?) A good article but perhaps - me thinks - you may be a bit of a posey, intellectual ponce (Proust & Sartre streamed as daytime TV (even irony aside) - yeah, nice one mate. Besides, why are you watching this stuff - go and waste time on the internet instead. ;)

Rob 6:29 pm, 25-Apr-2011

I'm not questioning how hard they work and am making the point that what Kyle does in the name of entertaining tv is pillory them - he is the real culprit. It's a review of daytime tv - you have to watch it to form an opinion on it and write about it - that's what journalists do. You've kind of backed up my overall point - you feel sidelined in this country for having intelligence if daytime tv is anything to go by. I also waste plenty of time on the Internet - check this out, you may enjoy it:

BrenUK 7:16 pm, 25-Apr-2011

Fairplay Rob. I was hoping you would see that the comment was meant in the same spirit of tongue in cheek asinine discourse as your article seemed to be. Was hoping you'd respond in kind, and you have. As for the spinning Disc-man article - that is 100% spot-on! You've described the state of being of so many of us who feel besieged by the onslaught of today's info-overload society, and yet are paradoxically happy and compliant to be caught in the grip of the ravenous info-beast - as if we're some kind of virtual-masochists. And of course we're all desperately trying to keep up, for fear that we might miss something, or forego the chance to show the world how clever and interesting we are. Love some of the turn of phrase and imagery of the article - especially the part about getting a cerebral RAM upgrade. Good stuff.

Florian 10:29 pm, 25-Apr-2011

Sane women don't like Loose Women and they aren't "defiantly liberal, emancipated women" At all.

FuzzyDunlop 10:35 pm, 25-Apr-2011

Great article. Totally agree about Kyle. The man is scum and is using up valuable oxygen. When I have a day off in the week, I give the new-age, tosspot ramblings of Edmonds a miss and watch 'Pointless' on BBC 2. It's cult TV in the making! Or, maybe it's just me.

Blake Carrington 10:47 pm, 25-Apr-2011

'...Carol McGiffin, who has the sort of sour, perma-frown that could delay the climactic scenes of a bukkake movie indefinitely.' It's funny because it's true. I would also like to propose the inclusion of the celebrity numbnutsfest that is OK! TV. Did John Logie Baird die for our sins for this?

gayle 10:57 pm, 25-Apr-2011

I am happy indeed... I dont have a telly. thank f**k for the internet

gayle 10:59 pm, 25-Apr-2011

Agreed; that 'pikey ' bit was a tad ripe. I have a 'pikey' friend and she says it is akin to 'nigger' so in future, chose your adjectives more wisely, maybe

Rob 11:11 pm, 25-Apr-2011

Apologies if the word 'pikey' has caused offence, as it appears to have done. I used it purely to mean 'people of low social class' which I believe is in its definition. My goal is always to take aim at everyone, equally, including myself

BrenUK 11:57 pm, 25-Apr-2011

To be honest I find the term 'people of low social class' much more offensive. Are you the Fucking Queen or something to come out with a bollocks phrase like that?! That is offensive - Pikey is just inaccurate and stupid. I, and all my family grew up in council houses but NONE of us are chavs or pikeys! And NONE of our friends are either. Perhaps you think Shameless is a documentary and that 'Council Estate scum' really are like that! But then chav bashing has become the acceptable replacement for racism and sexism hasn't it? A way for people that should know better (ie; educated but still ignorant people)- to feel superior! P.S. most of us now own our ex Council houses - and wonder of wonders - some of us even went to University and have pretty decent jobs - we're probably more productive members of society than you - a snarky journalist! So where do we now fit on your perfect little social hierarchy? What are the criteria for us to be considered worthy? Please Sir, I don't want to be of low social class - please accept me as a worthwhile person! Listen to yourself you mug. Perfect example of what I call 'educated ignorance!'

Rob 12:05 am, 26-Apr-2011

Did you get round to reading the article Bren? I think you're the one on the high horse judging by this outburst. If you have a better description for the people Kyle enjoys hectoring on his show, and who they fill the studio audience with, I'm all ears.

BrenUK 12:16 am, 26-Apr-2011

Just who have I judged? I'm just sick of people slagging off a whole section of society with terms like chavs and pikeys! Do you know how many times while at Uni I sat through people prattling on like that - before telling em about my background - and then, can you believe they would actually say "yeah but you're different." It amazes me that you don't even know you're being prejudice.

Andy 7:57 am, 26-Apr-2011

Well I grew up on a council estate and thought the term 'council house pikeys' was pretty funny, I just assume it doesn't refer to people like me and my family. As someone who has dabbled in daytime TV I thoroughly enjoyed the article. Well done.

Rob 9:49 am, 26-Apr-2011

Believe me, Bren, I would use what you perceive as disparaging descriptions in the same way to describe the middle class or the upper class when the occasion arises. My misanthropy is non-discriminatory. It's the Kyle audience who I have sympathy with. It is Kyle who is the abhorrent individual here, along with any viewer who watches this appalling show and feels superior after listening to his guests' sordid tales and watching Kyle vilify them.

cutpricethen 10:30 am, 26-Apr-2011

BrenUK has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.. Wonder if it's from the chippie on his pikey council estate?

BrenUK 11:25 am, 26-Apr-2011

Fair enough then Rob. I do believe you when you say you take aim at everyone including yourself. It's not the terms I object to, It's the connotation with Council house - possibly implying all who live in Council houses are that way. It's that extremely prevalent general assumption that I object to. As for the chip on the shoulder commentor - feeble effort! Please try harder.

Simon Martin 12:12 pm, 26-Apr-2011

Mmmm, you are on dodgy ground using the terms "council house pikey" mate, too many reasons to list why. Entertaining read though. I like the Koresh / Edmonds comparison, he's very odd. He seems to see himself as some kind of voice of the average poorly informed bigot. Why is he on TV still?

emma 2:23 pm, 26-Apr-2011

Who would have known the pikey comment would be so controversial? Made me giggle (I grew up in Shepherds Bush in the 80's/90's before someone accuses me of being something I'm not). Brenuk, I do see your point but don't think it was warranted here. Good article, very true.

David 1:06 pm, 27-Apr-2011

Blimey, what a furore. I'm white Irish, raised in a council house, fourth in a queue of five for the Friday night bathwater, grew up sharing a bed with three siblings until the council moved us into a bigger place, made my first skateboard from a slat of wood nicked off the neigbour's fence, spent my weekends shoplifting at Brent Cross. I don't see a problem with the author's use of the word pikey, especially given the context. I've got a brother who'd probably disagree with that, but then he's a massive pikey.

The Cush 10:45 am, 28-Apr-2011

We're ALL pikey's in a funny kind of way. That is all. Oh wait, Jeremey Kyle isn't he's a cunt.

Markxist 7:30 pm, 28-Aug-2012

BBC1 is just as bad, ITV may have Loose Woman *shudders to even consider them* but the beeb have Cash In The Attic and the unholy duo of Jenny Bond and the atrocious personality free zone that is Lorne Spicer *shudders again* Daytime TV consists solely of rants, antiques, houses for sale and scrounging benefit fraudsters. Makes me long for the days of Supermarket Sweep and Pebble Mill!

Beresford du-Cille 1:05 pm, 11-Sep-2012

Is Rob Furber my pen name 'cos i do not remember writing this? It is exactly my take on the daytime TV thing. I do love bargain Hunt and Homes Under the Hammer though - please don't hate me for it!!

Alex 7:30 am, 10-Jan-2013

good read I have been saying this to my friends for a while now.. made to make us stupid.

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