Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Treading water.

Who watches ITV? Anybody? No, me neither.

The only thing that really surprised me about ITV sacking a huge proportion of their staff was that they didn't do it earlier. Or just shut down. In fact, I'd go as far to say that they're trying to market ITV2 as a better channel than its terrestrial counterpart nowadays, with adverts featuring an array of money-hungry fashion victims who seemingly make programmes for free if it will guarantee them a perfume contract. Maybe that's how they're still in business.

Troubled times seem to continue, however, as it seems that their two brightest celebrities, Peter Andre and Katie Price have now split up. Christ, I didn't see that coming. Anyway, it's really put a raincloud over the ITV barbecue, seeing as Katie and Peter: Stateside is only halfway through airing, and some fear it may affect viewing figures when audiences know their 'relationship' is a sham. Then again, in my experience, I don't think it's as bad as they imagine. After all, what's more fun to do on a weekday evening than watch the crumbling relationship of two people that you wouldn't be able to promise that you wouldn't set fire to if you met them?

Peter's attempts to bring up someone else's disabled child is certainly admirable. Sadly, nobody's fooled. Not even Harvey.

So except for a bit of car crash tv, what does ITV have to offer us? Simon Cowell. Which basically equates to more car crash tv. People willing to trade in their dignity at the door to be humiliated on a stage as they try desperately to impress despite a complete lack of anything which could be described as talent. Luckily the producers had the foresight to give this show the most ironic title that could possibly be imagined: Britain's Got Talent.

So this is pretty straightforward freakshow fare, we position ourselves as the superior ones for not being on the show, taking pleasure from the deluded members of our society who will perform for us. But a few weeks ago, the oh so simple positioning of us and the performer was twisted out of shape with the arrival of Susan Boyle.

Now, those with eyes will notice that she's not the most attractive lady to grace this planet. In television talent show terms, this generally means some kind of inbreed who's decided to have a go at becoming Britain's next chart-topper. Cue hysteric laughter. But no, she ruined everything by being talented. Although, I would argue, not particularly talented, it's just the anomalous correlation of beauty vs. talent makes it necessary for everyone to herald her as some kind of musical Messiah who will take us to a higher level of appreciation for music. All bow before the singing hairy cornflake.

So, great, people have learned that music's about the music, and not the looks of the artist. Forums were filled with praise for this woman, and tabloids hyperbolised her talent. However, all struggled with the issue of actually describing the situation as was, which was: 'Oh my GOD she's so ugly yet can sing! A miracle!' Obviously, nobody wanted to say that, and this woman was somewhat of a revolution in what we thought was an established television format. An aborration, maybe. So those that praised her, got her to have a makeover.

Wow! I barely recognise her! Get that woman a recording contract, the haircut's cinched it.

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