It was only last week when a friend pointed out to me that he had got hooked on X-Factor thanks to my tweets and then wanted tips on how to watch TV and tweet effectively (prime position in the lounge, laptop on knee, Tweetdeck on full screen, peer over the top of the laptop - just in case you're interested) I realised that I do actually watch a lot of telly - and tweet about it too. But who doesn't these days? Even those who don't use Twitter comment on Facebook about what they're watching.
But seriously - I started counting up and realised that I watch a LOT of crap. Or is it just that a lot of crap is being made now and is spoon-fed to me during my prime TV watching hours? The TV seems to be on all the time at our house, even as background noise. We have access to god only knows how many channels thanks to our satellite subscription and there's always some schmaltzy Disney/Nickelodeon guff or music video blaring out when I'm not watching my reality/home improvement/cooking/singing/fashion shite. I mean, I'm the sort of person who starts practicing her 'smize' the second the theme tune to America's Next Top Model starts, much in the same way most women clench their fanny muscles as soon as the hear the words 'pelvic floor muscles'
We have an unusual set-up in the house; at any given time there are up to four of us sitting in four different rooms, using four different televisions, accessing four different computers. You can't say we don't multi-task but the house probably has a Ready Brek glow around it because of all the electricity pumping round it. However, it works for us as we all have individual entertainment tastes. I've got Twitter, TV and blogging, my husband has Computer, Amateur Radio, Soaps and Films. Son Number 1 has X-Box, Computer and Films with occasional TV thrown in and Son Number 2 flits between all of us and his own room where he has a TV, X-Box and computer but "it's boring in there" apparently *eye roll*. But it works for us as we all have different viewing tastes even if the National Grid are slightly worried about our general consumption.
I can honestly hold my hand up and say that I've weaned myself of soaps for a number of reasons (Kev has taken over my addiction though - he has a virtual "Do Not Disturb" sign on his study door during the hours of 7pm to 9pm on weekdays) although I will tune in if there's a good story line coming up - yes, I'm one of those that boost the ratings figures now. I'm even thinking of tuning into Hollyoaks this week just to see if the murderer gets caught or not... I had a real issue with the "no washing machines" in Albert Square, the fact that about four generations of each family seems to live in their house at any given time and that "Going Up West" was a bit of an adventure. I am the same with the Rovers Return in Corrie and its Tardis tendencies (wouldn't the toilets lead into Ken and Deirdre's kitchen and how come the kitchen doesn't protrude into Rosamund Street?)
However, I seem to be firmly stuck on the "using members of the public, focus on the negative, turn their life around" type of programme at the moment and I make no excuses for it. It seems to give me a license to comment for I have turned into The Expert of All Reality TV Shows and social media gives me a platform to voice my opinions (as long as I'm using the right hashtag).
Take Monday and Tuesday of this week, for example. I came home from work, had tea with the family and then watched the end of *Deal or No Deal and all of Come Dine With Me before taking the dog for a walk. I then tuned into Masterchef Australia (much better than the British version), catching up on my emails afterwards. I watched the first episode of the new series of Young Apprentice, including Lord Alan of Sugar in most of my tweets (erm, Al... I'm still waiting for a reply to some of my suggestion, by the way) using the hashtag #youngapprentice (original, huh?) but had a programme clash dilemma so had to record The Hotel Inspector and watch the end of Dancing With The Stars (#dwts - but it's a bit useless seeing as though we are about a week or so behind) on the +1 channel because I wanted to watch Mummifying Alan (no hashtag - out of respect, maybe? I hadn't thought about that, to be honest) which fascinated me. See, even that fits into my "using members of the public" theory.
Then we have got Glee (#glee, natch) - although we are on a break from that at the moment as we're only a couple of days behind the USA so if they don't show it for any reason, we don't get it either. It's a bit annoying only three episodes in but hey ho. But why does this fit into my "using members of the public" stipulations? Well, four of the new cast members were chosen from a show called The Glee Project so I need to know how they have been written in and out again obviously! My America fix ends with X-Factor USA (#xfactorusa) where the singers eliminated from bootcamp put our own X-Factor finalists to shame. I still prefer Drunk Paula though - she was funny.
My weekends are filled with Strictly Come Dancing (#scd or #strictly - I never know which one to use) and, of course, X-Factor (#xfactor) - my tweets sometimes appear ranty and filled with hatred but it's just my equivalent of shouting at the telly, except this time I have an audience who sometimes agree with me and sometimes they don't.
You may have noticed that there is no mention of Big Brother in there (#bbuk). To be perfectly honest, I've been dipping in and out of the show but there's nothing or no-one to hold my attention. I wrote about this on the Huffington Post when the new series started with the Celebrity version and I still feel the same about it. Channel 5 had the opportunity to take a tired format and revitalise it - ignoring the adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" because it obviously was broken or Channel 4 wouldn't have decided to end it. Ch5 could easily have retired the programme for a couple of years, let the wannabes bugger off to audition for Signed by Katie or Models, Misfits & Mayhem or applied to have a party filmed for A Great British Party (yes, I've watched all of those this week too and we're only on Wednesday!) and bring it back with housemates who are worth watching and not all under the age of 30, slim, fame-hungry and looking for their 15 minutes months-worth of fame that they believe they are entitled to thanks to the amount of programmes that are being made like this.
I think I need to read some more as I mentioned the other day. Or find some great dramas or thrillers to watch. Or, to quote a great TV show from my childhood, go out and do something less boring instead. Or try and encourage more people to join the #TeamTrashTelly cult that seems to have started.
*I was on annual leave last week and will admit to using #dondlive and occasionally tweeting @The_Banker whilst watching the Deal or No Deal live shows . I'm guessing that using the word "Twanker" on the last live episode on Sunday was one of those "lets see if we can get it past the regulators" type of dares. Also, I was convinced that there was something awry with Noel's beard but we couldn't work it out. Anyway, back to the recorded editions this week and he had let his side beard grow rather than just have a goatie. See, I notice everything - not just stare blankly at the flickering box in the corner.
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