I’ve just been reading Charlie Brooker’s latest Screen Burn column. You should too. Then come back here.
Done that? Good. Right, where were we?
Okay, early on he sums up nicely one thing that really annoys me about television at the moment. Sometimes there is a need to explain who a person is, what makes them tick. However most of the time, if you’re on a game show say, it really doesn’t matter. So don’t bother telling me.
I. DON’T. CARE. ABOUT. YOUR. FUCKING. JOURNEY. The journey is you auditioned for a telly show, you had some degree of knowledge about said show. You then did your thing. You’re probably not an expert in the field the show deals with, as if you were, you’d be doing it for a living. So sometimes you may find doing said thing a bit tricky. Most of the time though you do the thing to the best of your ability. Then you either win, or you get so far in the show, and go home. Even if you win, you’ll probably make little impact on that area you chose afterwards. Life goes on. It’s not really a journey.
The worst example of this is Total Wipeout on BBC1. If you’re going to run across some big balls and probably fall off, get on with it, don’t give me your life story. The infinitely better Viking (Japanese telly shown on Eurosport 2) doesn’t bother with this, their contestants shout, then get on with something far harder and more impressive. For a bit of fun, they sometimes have them do the same thing with their kids in tow. No lifestory needed.
The other upside of this is that you either get more or less telly, rather than pointless filler about lives I don’t care about. And that is a good thing.