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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Tuesday Twat(S)

No. 4. Opinion for Rent.

OK, this one is a mixed bag. TV these days, seems to be saturated with cheap, low-budget, cobbled together, nostalgia shows e.g. "Top 100___", "I love the 19_s"; "TV's greatest___" etc etc etc ad infinitum. The quality of the shows depends largely on the subject matter. Lets face it "TV's greatest soap moments" is never really going to compete with "The Top 100 Films of all time - ever" is it? Some of these shows are also quite good. There are a couple of very watchable music shows that take a particular year or decade, highlight the most interesting music (good and bad) and place it within the social, political and musical context of the time. Frankly, if I were a history teacher I'd record these shows and show them to my GCSE class as a taster of the period under discussion.

But if there is one thing these shows all have in common, its the "Rent an opinion" Z list celebrity getting all enthusiastically nostalgic over something that they are patently too young to remember. There are two types of people that do these shows

1) The "New Face". This is somebody just starting to make it in their career. Their agents are tasked with getting them maximum exposure wherever they can. They fill in at short notice on "topical" News/Sports/Music/Comedy quizzes, fall out of nightclubs in the early hours of the morning and will give an opinion on any topic regardless of whether they are familiar with it or not. Examples include those two irritating women who tell other people what to wear; that security guard who shagged a Spice Kitten (or something - I really don't give a shit) and inexplicably appeared on "I'm a celebrity get me out of here" and Kate Thornton.
They do everything going for about 12-18 months before either making it and becoming too expensive, or finally going back to serve behind the bar at their local Wetherspoons. Think Jonny Vegas about 4 years ago or Jimmy Carr 2 years ago. Expect Bez to start pretending to remember the early 90's and to answer questions on subjects other than "How fucked in the head were you and Shaun Ryder when you starrred in the Happy Mondays?".

2) The "Old Face". This is a faded celebrity of yesteryear, grabbing their last chance at stardom - or at least making enough money to finish the repayments on their second hand Merc. You can smell the fear and see the desperation in their eyes. They were usually famous very briefly for one thing 15 years ago and have touted it shamelessly ever since. First they were able to sell their autographs and make a respectable living, eventually they were reduced to the second choice to open their old primary school's summer fate. Finally, they couldn't even get a booking for fresher's week in a New University. They have no transferable skills and no hope. They can however remember and reminisce about anything you ask them to and can usually read their pre-written responses unaided from the script. Libel laws prevent me from naming names of course - but frankly do I need to?

The most irritating thing about these people is the amount of air time they take up. A three hour show highlighting the best music of the 70s could hold 40, back to back 3 minute songs. Hell, it may even be worth recording and playing back as background music. But no. Less than half of the show is actually about the subject matter, most of the show is about the "memories" that these so called celebrities have of the event in question. And even when they do SHUT THE FUCK UP, they only play about 40 seconds of the song! Its like listening to the 30 second preview on one of those legal music download services. Do I need to make an analogy involving masturbation, late-night French films on Channel 4 and your mother knocking unexpectedly on your bedroom door to ask if you've finished your homework?

So to whom should the Tuesday Twat award go to? The Twats who accept £50 and a buffet lunch in TV centre to "Star" in these shows? Or the Twats who squander our TV budget on such drivel instead of investing in something actually worth watching?

PS If any TV producers are reading this blog I am quite happy to exagerate my 4 weeks blogging experience for a documentary on the subject. I am also quite capable of wearing a grey wig and reminiscing fondly about spam shortages during WWII.




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