Greetings and welcome to the first of my television reviews, I watch way too much TV from around the UK and the world. I firmly believe that Television can a powerful force in many ways (culturally,socially) and is a medium which allows the full creative and artistic range for someone to express themselves and as such I have high standards for TV so lets get to it and tonight’s offering.
The Island With Bear Grylls
The modern reality show is the epitome of the no talent, no effort society in which we live, from the idea to the actual production these shows are a formulaic cut & paste affront to the viewing public’s intelligence. From the “oh you’re actually good at XYZ” bake,ice,sing,dance, masturbate off shows to the even more affrontable pseudo science shows like ‘The Island‘ and the gold standard of no effort insult to the public ‘Gogglebox‘ in The Island Bear solemnly tells us he wanted to conduct an experiment no two experiments into the human spirit like some athletic, toned Karl Popper! and there we have it in a nut shell the TV people view the ordinary public as guinea pigs to play with and experiment on.
The modern omni-channel #KissMyButt and visuals reminding us to look away at our little screens, don’t concentrate this it’s just filler until a real TV show comes on. The sequelae of this is the producers think we have the memory of goldfish with endless synopsis’s at the beginning,ad break,end of these shows plus the endless cut away drone shots hovering above the jungle or faux artsy shots of animal life or the coast not to mention the rule of 3rds shots of Bear telling us that to survive it takes a food regularly, we can Barely see 8-13 minutes of actual footage of these guinea pigs in any one show.
The reason I watch these shows isn’t because of the premise or the quality of the footage it’s the interpersonal drama that inevitably arises and the occasional character from amoungst the guinea pigs. The Island while not quite offering up death, is offering serious injury as a possibility and this was certainly a plus for myself, the gender war dynamic probably the result of another ‘pro-active’ marketing executive meeting does at least provide for a ha ha look at the stupid men/women school yard moments we all secretly enjoy like furtive smack heads.
Now lets be clear there is nothing special about this particular show other than the low probability of injury, the guinea pigs are a bland marketing exec’s cross section of men and women selected especially for our viewing disgust with profundities like “I’m standing here on the beach and there’s whales going past” and “It’s really hard” we certainly have no Kate Tempest’s or Saul Williams’s in the groups to provide that poetic moment or philosophic insight, but that was never really the point. What we really want to see is these people suffer and fail so that we can all feel a little better about ourselves and the fact that we are all playing our own version of ‘The Island with David Cameron‘(other politicians are available) so like the Roman citizens of yore at the coliseum pass me another Bolani as I jeer for the blood of guinea pigs, “bite him Cayman, F**king bite him”.
In conclusion I don’t blame the TV companies for putting this trash out it’s a low cost, low effort goldmine for them it’s us the viewers who should be chastised and punished, frankly we are being punished because the this omnichannel #lookawaynow garbage is becoming ever more prevalent soon even the news anchors will be telling us their twitter handles oh wait.. The success of ‘The Island‘ and ‘Gogglebox’ a show about watching people watch TV that has me so angry i’m going to write a whole piece on it. In the end we are the fools for letting TV exec’s off the hook by watching this eye garbage, oh for the days of Gunther Von Hagens now that was reality TV.