I like to think we can gain a reasonable impression of the state of society from what is currently on television. For example, the obsession with fame is demonstrated well by the enormous amount of reality television on our screens, which also shows how liberal society has become – even talent has become an unnecessary aspect of talent shows. But without going too far into my devil theories about Simon Cowell or disparaging his ‘entertainment programmes’, I’d like to address another mogul of ITV: Jeremy Kyle.
Please can somebody explain to me at what point a person thinks, gosh, the only solution to my drinking/drugs/stealing/anger/sexual problem is to appear on national television brawling with whomever it affected/pointed it out? Personally I would rather get my arse out on Embarrassing Bodies than prove to the nation that I’ve got an arse of a personality. It could be that they are desperate for Jezza’s top-quality after-care, however the quantity of returning cast-members to this disturbed pantomime would suggest not. This is how low we have sunk. The fame game has become so easy that you only have to sleep with your sister to become a celebrity.
I think most of us understand the lunacy of the participants, but what about those who watch Jeremy’s circus of slobs? In all fairness he does point this out, but the hypocrisy of Jeremy telling his rising stars to get a job whilst encouraging a studio audience to take a day off work to watch him do so is incredible.
But why do we find ourselves watching it anyway? Evidently the behaviour showcased on this programme is not admirable, so maybe it is supposed to show us how not to act, or make us feel better about our own problems, fashion-sense and teeth. Admittedly, amongst all the anger this embarrassment of a show creates inside me, there is a smug, self-congratulatory part of me that knows I would never behave like the people who take part in it. Or broadcast it to the nation.
So in a mind-blowing U-turn, I would like to thank Jeremy Kyle and his shameless participants. Why, oh why? Because, dear reader, they have brilliantly reminded me that television is not always an accurate reflection of society.