Apart from a couple of specific exceptions (more of those in a minute) I avoid all examples of the genre. People judging other people just doesn't do it for me. Not one bit. And I completely despise the type of show that puts together a montage of the worst contestants/auditonees/humans for the baying public's amusement. (You all know who I mean, yeah?) Even the beloved and innocuous Great British Bake Off bugged me. Mel and Sue were brilliant and lovely hosts, but ultimately someone had made a cake. It was a cake that someone had made. There is no down side to a cake. Stop finding a downside, Hollywood, and be grateful. Eat it, say thank you and shut up.
|I'm not a fan of early |
evening blood sports.
I said I had exceptions. A couple of years ago I watched a series of The Voice. This was purely because Boy George was announced as a judge. Despite my dislike of the format, I ended up getting sucked in and eventually, irrespective of Boy George, I actively looked forward to each episode and the progress of the contestants. No one was humiliated, criticism was constructive and it didn't feel like it was tapping into the baser aspects of human nature by being gladitorial rather than supportive. It was nice. When the next (Boy George-less) series started, however, I was happy to leave it be, having done my time.
The other reality show I like (no, I LOVE) is RuPaul's Drag Race. Now more or less mainstream, it has elevated the art of drag to a much wider audience than before. Whether that is a good thing or not, depends on your point of view. (There has been some criticism that drag is, and should continue to be a subversive attack on the establishment and therefore can never be mainstream. Alternatively, it's been praised for it's up front and centre LGBTQ presence in a country where the current political situation reminds us that hard-fought rights cannot be taken for granted.) Regardless of the debate, I am IN. Drag queens fiercely competing for the prize, whilst having each other's backs. Lipsyncing, runway presentations and performance art. Skills such as make up artistry, costume design, stand up comedy and dance. It combines trashy TV with a profound understanding of the need for solidarity in the face of adversity. Sigh. It's totes amazeballs and ev.
But still, why go on about all this, I hear you ask? What has triggered a reality show blog post this very day? Well, here's the thing. In January, I made a new year's resolution. I promised myself that I would try to broaden my horizons. I decided that the year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen, would be the first year that I watched...Strictly!
|I am assuming it will be exactly |
like Strictly Ballroom every week.
I know. I know. It's so not me. Saturday night judgey-ness and a results show on a Sunday too? Far too much commitment surely? But here's the thing. My Saturday night social life schedule is greatly reduced these days due to old age, so I'm usually in the house near a TV. And in the past, as I've been watching Beverly Hills Cop for the millionth time, I have seen my Twitter feed being stuffed full of joyous appreciation, witty commentaries and die hard passion regarding the dancing people that the rest of the world has been watching. I've had no idea who most of them are or what they are doing and yet Twitter's been having a weekly party because of it. And it's always so positive! Ed Balls brought joy to the world with his Gangnam Style in so many more ways than he managed when he had actual power in Government. At least that's the way it seemed from the gaspy adoration from my timeline. No one laughed at him, but laughed with him. He was living life large and people were loving him for it. Yet I missed it all. I wasn't there. I was probably re-watching something on Netflix. So enough is enough. The time has come and I am ready to join in.
|Craig (?) approves of my TV plans|
At the time of writing, there has been a contestant reveal each day. I have taken a smidge more interest this year (what with it being my first time and all) but other than a quick glance, I've been mostly in the dark about who they are. Until Friday. On Friday it was revealed that Richard Coles is contestant number 5! This has upped my excitement levels massively. I am a long time fan of Richard Coles. The fact that he is an Anglican priest AND he used to be in the Communards already blows my mind. Then there are his talking head appearances on the most interesting of documentaries. He contributed to How to be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell in 2015, a sumptuous feast of a series to devour, and then more recently, he appeared on Queer as Art for the BBC season of programmes marking the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. Basically he rocks and I cannot wait to see what he does on Strictly.
My one stipulation of my new Autumn/Winter Saturday night viewing, is that it has to be kind. I have heard on the grapevine that Len (?) has left and there is a new judge this year. I need them to be nice and encouraging not cruel and cutting. I need the editors to show the progress and effort put in, not the mistakes and humiliations for an attempt at cheap comedy. And I need Twitter to keep up the party atmosphere every Saturday so I feel like this huge life change has been worth it. Is that all right with everyone? Thanks in advance.
Have a lovely week, folks.