Oh brother, enough is enough
THERE’S no point complaining about someone’s bad behaviour when your every action effectively encourages it.
Don’t complain about your puppy pooing on the rug if you cuddle him every time he does it, don’t complain about people who treat you like dirt when you shrug it off and accept it every time.
And it’s hard to complain about the flood of boring, repetitive, cheap, shallow reality television shows polluting the airwaves right now when everyone seems to be watching them.
Reality TV experienced a major boom in the early 2000s when TV producers discovered what a cheap format it was to make: script- writing was minimal, casting was practically a volunteer process, shows could be filmed with a tiny crew, and the only real expense was post- production.
But at some stage the cart started leading the horse.
Instead of reality shows like Big Brother ( pictured) being about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, they evolved into celebrity- making exercises.
The biggest blight on our screens at the moment is the ubiquitous talent show. As soon as one ends, another begins, they overlap and compete on different networks and, honestly, I can barely tell any of them apart any more.
X Factor, Australia’s Got Talent, The Voice, then there’s the US and British versions that fill in any gaps in between.
That’s to say nothing of the seemingly perpetual cycling of MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules.
We’re constantly being cajoled into caring about whatever crowd favourite or local entrant seems to be doing well in whatever over- produced spectacle is being pushed hardest by its network each week, while each network’s breakfast shows and current affairs shows wage their own cross- promotional wars across other timeslots.
Then as soon as the hysteria peaks, the winner is announced and their contractually obligated recipe book/ album/ sex tape is released, the audience forgets about them and moves on to the next big thing. Wash, rinse, repeat. FreeTV Australia recently released its list of the top 50 programs for the year so far and 23 were reality shows.
In fact, of the top 10, seven are reality shows, the remaining slots were occupied by the three State of Origin matches in third, fourth and fifth place.
The number one rating show for the year so far was The Voice grand final winner announcement, pulling in a national audience of nearly 4.4 million. Supply and demand, right? But hopefully this spate of reality shows is also due in some part to the decreased waiting times between the US premieres of big TV series and their Australian premieres.
With so much new programming kicking off this month and continuing into the summer period, hopefully the reality TV plague eases, at least until next winter.
I’m just thanking my lucky stars there isn’t a Tasmanian competitor in the Big Brother house this year.
I’ll enjoy the euphoria while it lasts, next year we might not be so lucky.