For the last couple of weeks I’ve been watching far more reality television. Whether it’s British People Have Some Small Discernible Talent, The Apprentice or Hells Kitchen I’ve been lapping them up like a dog at a beer festival.
The reason for this sudden U-turn in my viewing is Twitter. Yep you heard me right; an internet based social networking tool has changed my viewing habits. In fact it has enhanced the whole watching television thing. For now, instead of having a cup of tea for company I have other people in my laptop who comment on the show and we all laugh and revel in this collective television watching experience. This is what the internet was designed for. Not only for big important communication but for the smaller less important missives.
Where else could you sit and watch a show with half the comedians and writers in the country and many other creative and interesting people. You know who you are and I’ll be putting a list of names you should be following at the end of this entry.
So for the last couple of nights I’ve been watching Hell’s Kitchen and have been astonished by the venal nature of many of the contestants who seem to be doing absolutely anything to win. Now I find that level of ambition a turn off. I’ve never been able to relate to people who want to win at all costs; they always seem to be a strange sub-species. Then I was brought up in that old fashioned English way. I believe that it’s not important if you win or loose, it’s how you play the game. Fair play are my watchwords and to date I’ve never disgraced them.
So back to the kitchen. On Saturday night we were treated to a display of whinging which has not been seen since Mary Whitehouse was alive. Jody Latham (off of Shameless) took it upon himself to get a table of people served with food. Even though the head chef played by Marco Pierre White – who looks like the love child of Gerard Depardieu and Mick Hucknall – disapproved.
To do this he had to tell a white lie to the other celebs, who on discovering this quite minor deceit reacted like Jody had planned and executed the Holocaust. Anthea Turner turned into an angry school mistress and her husband waded in like an annoyed games teacher saying things like “You really need to sort your life out Jody.” Poor Jody stood in the middle the middle class and self help book induced barrage and looked confused. All he’d done was attempt to do his best for the people in the restaurant and had become vilified in the process.
Of course it would be naive of me to think that the celebs were doing this out of a true sense of outrage. They were playing to win and were taking advantage to the full. Even when the lad apologised, they refused to accept it. Instead they each came up with a dozen spurious reasons for not accepting it. At one point Grant (the idiot husband of Anthea Turner) looked like he was going to call Jody out to fight a duel. “Egg whisks at dawn,” he’d cry and slap Jody with a tea towel.
Later Marco got them all together and asked whether he should give Jody a second chance. Yet again they spewed self righteousness into my watching face. In the end though, they all agreed to give young Jody a second chance.
The next day Jody did marvellously and won around the whole group. Well, until it came time to fire a member of the team. This is when they showed their true colours. They all turned on Jody. It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever had to watch. Each in turn proved themselves to be repellent excuses for humanity. Including, I’m incredibly sad to say Adrian Edmondson. Now I’ve always known Ade as one of the nice guys of comedy. However he proved himself to be an utter **** in this one. “Bad Ade, naughty Ade, in your bed” to quote Harry Hill.
This is what these television programs do. You start off as an impartial viewed and finish up shouting at the screen. Thank god for Twitter, at least we can all shout together.
Here’s a list of my favourite Twitterers in no particular order:
@Herring1967 @martinwolfenden (ahem!)
Fill yer boots.