Monday, June 04, 2007
There's more grim news of the baleful effects of 'reality' TV - petrol on the flames of my weekend rant mode. But, first, I should note Nige's comment on that post. He points out that British 'reality' shows are much nastier than American ones. This is true. There's always some redemptive aspects to the US show; over here we prefer to humiliate and destroy our carefully selected inadequates. And, remember, when the Americans wanted nastiness, they imported Simon Cowell. Being incredibly old, I remember the days when we thought we had 'the best television in the world' and we laughed at the low life absurdities in American TV. Another time, another time. (Actually, I'm not old; that was about two years ago.) Anyway, the grim news is that Caryn Mandabach, writing in the Guardian, says that 'reality' shows - 'Thanks, Britain!' - are helping destroy character-based comedy. So, instead of Frasier, Seinfeld, Cheers, Scrubs, Taxi, Friends, Curb Your Enthusiasm and many others, we're going to get US versions of our own junk. These comedies of character are among the best television ever made and the 'reality' shows are among the worst. Time for a coma, I think.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:44 am