Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Goggle box

Televisually, things aren’t great for me at the moment. The quiet, blank-faced TV sits in the corner like a rejected lover whose charms have waned. He has nothing to offer me; he is a disappointment.

I’m not saying this state of affairs will continue indefinitely. It’s just there is nothing on TV that I want to watch. I am not the sort of person who switches it on automatically as background noise; rather I watch TV when there is something that I want to see. I’d rather listen to music, have a wander round cyberspace or read a book than view drivel.

I see around 20 minutes of BBC Breakfast News when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. I catch the odd sniff of a soap when I’m at my mum’s. But the last thing I purposely sat down and watched was Austin Powers on Saturday – and I’d seen it twice before. I’m positive when there were fewer channels, there were more things worth watching. TV was an event: I remember watching Live Aid and Charles and Diana’s wedding, just like everyone else was. Getting my first TV in my bedroom was an event too. It was a black and white monstrosity that a neighbour had been about to throw out. I sat in my room and shrieked with glee at The Young Ones.

Going further back, and there was a golden age of horsy TV: Black Beauty, Follyfoot, Flambards, The White Horses. I’d gladly watch them all again but they’re never repeated. Instead, we are now in a golden age of reality TV. Apparently the next big thing is a US show where someone is attached to a lie detector and asked excruciatingly embarrassing questions in order to win wads of cash. I don’t care. Nor do I care that Louis Walsh is returning to the X-Factor. I certainly won’t be switching on. I don’t find ritual humiliation – or inane wannabe pop stars - entertaining.

19 comments:

Drunk Mummy said...

Right with you on this, M&M.
If I hear any further twaddle from the BBC justifying its Licence Fee by claiming a commitment to 'quality broadcasting' I am going to scream (or die laughing).
Celebrity Monkey Tennis, anyone?

Lizzie said...

m&m, I have found something I actually enjoy watching, quite by chance. It's called 'Life on Mars' & I think it's being repeated on Channel 4 or is it 3, on Tuesday around 9.00pm. It's quirky & original & almost defies definition. It's amusing in a v. understated way too, set as it is in the 1970's showing everyone smoking everywhere all the time.. I shan't go on. Have a look anyway.

Arthur Clewley said...

I couldn't agree more M&M. Increasingly our TV is only used to watch DVDs and I don't see why I whould have to stuff money in The BBC's pockets for that privilage.

Gill said...

Totally agree eminem! I could quite happily live without a TV. I much prefer the radio and happily pay my licence fee for the use of that. I never miss TV at all if I am somewhere without one but I do miss my computer. Whatever happened to Evil Edna btw?? She was a telly you had to look out for!

Gill said...

Is nothing sacred? I just discovered they remade Willo the Wisp with Edna as a widescreen telly and poor Mavis has been made thinner!

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

...It’s just there is nothing on TV that I want to watch...

Just get rid of it. It's dire. I ahven't ahd a TV for ten yers and don't regret one day.

mutterings and meanderings said...

DM and AC, I'm not going to slag off the Beeb as I am a radio listener and they used to pay my wages (as, indirectly did the Daily Misogynist at one time, but that's another story ...)

Lizzie, I loved Life on Mars - watched it first time round!

Gill, you have to be joking about Evil Edna - aren't you?? Otherwise that would be total sacrilege!! Mavis was 'the fat fairy' she's not supposed to be size zero ...

GVSH, the problem is that occasionally there is something I want to see!

Marianne said...

Of course, you are quite right M&M and I hit the off button regularly in favour of reading the paper or my current book and listening to music. I would visit Blogland, but the time and effort expended to remove my youngest son from his lifeline rarely return dividends.

However, the other evening did find me cooking a chicken curry for the boys and us all curling up on the sofas watching 'Die Another Day' which I had missed at the cinema, and which was bliss.

rilly super said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rilly super said...

hmm, 'scuse crossings out dear

Gill said...

I'm not joking- just look on wikipedia!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I also have a love-hate relationship with the television. Presently, I love Channel 12 on Freeview which has many educative programmes and repeats of programmes I missed first time round. By the way, I am soryy that I offended you with regard to the roadside grass picture below. It is of course a masterpiece.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Charles and Di's wedding...I stood up and saluted every time they played the national anthem.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Marianne, Die Another Day is indeed bliss as it stars two of my crsuhes... so hard to decide who to look at when they're on screen together!

Oooh Rilly, you woman of mystery .. I thought the comment was quite innocuous though ...

God Gill, what hope is there for the future of homo sapiens ...

YP, you are forgiven sweetie ;)

Pig, that was a bizarre day, wasn't it?

@themill said...

Well said M&M.
There is nothing more guaranteed to irk-my-ire than the inanity of reality TV.

st said...

try HOUSE on thursdays, the only tv show i watch with regularity. The rest of tv, is about how much can you make, flog for or drivel reality programmes.

Vanessa said...

We don't watch much tv these days - but I do like a bit of rubbish for half an hour when I stop work about 7.30pm. Don't watch soaps though so usually end up with the news or some mindless property programme for the 20 minutes or so that it takes for my brain to wind down. Big Dr Who fans here though!

Remember White Horses etc well - loved Flambards and now have it on DVD for those afternoons on the sofa when I've got a cold. Would love to see Follyfoot again.

Jane said...

Oooh - White Horses. I loved White Horses, and can still sing the tune. It summed up summer holidays for me as it was on every morning. Hugo, Boris - those were the days.

pullein-thompson-archive said...

The first series of Follyfoot is now available on DVD, released by Network on the 13th August.

Series 2 and 3 are going to be released according to Network too at a later date (dont know when).

I hope that with this digital switch over that they find a way to block out the BBC channels, if you dont pay your licence fee. There must be a way to do this, as similarly, people on Sky (I have no experience of cable) cannot watch Sky 1 unless they have a subscription.

At my parents house we cant watch anything through a normal TV aerial, as they live in a mountainous area. No amount of boosters will pick up anything, no matter the weather. Yet because my parents have a DVD player and a VCR, they still had to pay the TV licence fee as you still need one because according to the TV licensing authority you still need one. In the end they got Sky (they dont live in a Freeview or cable area), which without that, they would be stuck.