Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Jeremy Kyle: human bear baiting...

Now I have watched the Jeremy Kyle show along with Trisha when I have been at home. I am not usually picky with my telly as I watch, well, anything really. Name any crap telly programme and I have probably watched it and hey, probably liked it.

But even I am horrified by the antics of the Jeremy Kyle Show, it's depressing stuff. The programme has come under a lot of criticism lately by a judge who described it as "human bear baiting". I suppose you could describe Kyle's show as a second-rate Jerry Springer. The spectator entertainment involves either a couple where a. is shagging the neighbour and b. either knows/is suspicious and/ or wants to have a DNA test on the child. And the anti-climax part of the show is where Jeremy will be presented with the results of the DNA test. There will be the inevitable gasps from the audience, tutting from Kyle and shouting from the people on the stage.
It is the same stories repackaged (family unit scenario where mum or dad doesn't like drug pusher boyfriend. Or other titles include: "I don't like my neighbour", "Why does my boyfriend hang around with loads of women..."). One set of people are pitched against another set of people, which includes screaming, shouting and sometimes physical violence.
It has the very pungent whiff of the gladiatorial games where spectators lap up the agression and violence. What exactly is played out here is human misery for everyone to watch like some cheap voyeur. I suppose the audience can feel good by judging, moralising and making assumptions about the people on show.
The other question is, why the hell does anyone appear on this? Maybe 'cos people want to be heard and their point of view listened to? Maybe they just want to scream and shout and get whatever off their chest? Exhibitionists? Having that famous Andy Warhol 15mins? Or is it to make the viewers feel better about their lives (I thought my life was crap but theirs is a nightmare)?

It is false, highly choreographed, full of stereotypes and anti-working class. I have never ever heard of some middle class person on one of these shows.

The politics of the show has that "feeding time at the zoo" quality to it where the viewer points and watches the antics of these people. It is a cheap shot and also making cheap telly at the cost of ridiculing peoples lives. But I do wonder why anyone would put themselves through that humiliating experience.
And there's Jeremy Kyle, Master of Ceremonies, with his sneering contempt for these people. He pretends to be understanding and caring giving them tough advice but it is false, an insult to their intelligence and patronising.

Actually, I find this kinda telly pernicious and horrible. I think its politics and ideology is worse than, say, Death Proof and a lot of the tacky violent movies.

If people need help, support and guidance... ring the Samaritans. Jeremy Kyle's show is a human car crash, cheap and exploitative telly....

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