Ironic really, since reality TV shows are rarely set in a real life situation, and talent shows revel in showing untalented acts. I’ve always had an issue with these shows, but it’s all come to a head this week. Not only because of what happened to Susan Boyle, but also because of the media coverage.
I was (unfortunately) listening to Steve Wright the other day when his co-host mentioned that BB was back, then it’ll be X-Factor and Strictly again. He said it was barely worth going out. I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have either been talking about BGT or ask if I watch it. I felt like the only person on Facebook who wasn’t watching the new series of the Apprentice.
I just don’t get it. Have our lives really come down to watching other people’s fake real lives through our TV screens? Doesn’t anyone have any hobbies anymore? Or taste for that matter?
There is an Andy Warhol quote: “I believe that in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Apparently Andy was a prophet. TV certainly seems to have gone that way, giving everyone their 15 minutes, either because their talented, or so lacking in talent that it’s funny. I think it all started with The Gong Show. And rather ironically, one of my favourite films is about the original host, Chuck Barris.
The world is filled with people who seem to think that they have some right to be famous, and by hook or by crook, they will be famous. The main ambition of young children today is to be a celebrity, for any reason.
Doesn’t anyone want to make a difference anymore? Isn’t anyone content with a leading a quiet life? And what is it about fame that draws everyone in – money? Power? Popularity?
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t hate or ignore famous people. There are bands and actors that I like and will go on about, and who bring out my shallow-as-a-puddle side while I go on about how hot they are. Some people deserve to be famous because of something defining – Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jnr, Gandhi, Che Guevara, Leon Trotsky, etc. But the obsession with fame baffles me. I won’t get started on the celebrity magazines here – whole different rant!
And the talent shows. Building up people with so little talent just to tear them to shreds on TV. For entertainment. Wow, that’s really something to be proud of. What wonderful human beings we are. Or is that just human nature? If so we might need a new definition of ‘humane’.
And the media coverage. Susan Boyle had a breakdown. It was the hot topic on the news all day. On the same day that a passenger aircraft went missing over the Atlantic! What about soldiers and civilians being killed in wars around the world? Or famine? Or any sort of politics (except expenses)? What about anything that involves more than one person having a breakdown due to a media-induced frenzy, all because she could sing?