Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm a Reality Show, get me out of here!

As the latest D-list celebs vie for superiority in the Australian jungle, the sun seems to be setting on our voyeuristic passion for watching people sleep, argue and sleep again. Big Brother has already jumped the shark, and "I'm a Celebrity..." can't be far behind. That's not to say that we don't love seeing people ritually humiliated on camera (the early rounds of X Factor satisfy that craving), but the "Truman Show" 24-hour reality TV seems to have had its day.

In the US, even "The Apprentice" has joined the ranks of shows we used to watch, and recent series of the UK version have demonstrated that if you put a team of combative nitwits together, they will act like - er - combative nitwits.

So what's next? "Me TV" I suspect. It's getting easier and easier to produce good (technical) quality TV shows from domestic video cameras and editing software. There are already digital channels composed of DIY shows (no, not the Nick Knowles variety). Wayne's World may be coming to pass.

I'm even starting to feel a bit nostalgic for "The Family" (remember the Wilkins?). I blame Andy Warhol's 1966 film "Chelsea Girls", actually. Grab a DVD copy and see if it isn't the perfect blueprint for Big Brother and the like. Dear old Andy - he'd have loved "I'm a celebrity...", and might even have appeared in it. Come to think of it, if you put George Hamilton in a blonde spiky wig...

No comments: