My name is Ross and I am guilty of cultural treason.
I am here to tell you that American television is far superior to the tosh that us Brits are producing. When I say that, I'm not talking about all TV. The UK produces some fine comedies (like Him & Her and Grandma's House), and some of the ITV dramas are pretty good. I like that police procedural with the woman who used to be in one of the soaps. You know the one... I am referring, of course, to the best, and most important television genre of them all: reality.
When it comes to reality television, America really is The Holy Land. The amount of unmissable trash that the US networks airs is almost too much for me to take. There's literally something for everyone. If you like big asses and bigger egos, you can check out Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or one of their many spin-offs. Want to know what a has-been celebrity is up to at the moment? Tune into the E! network at any time to see a number of blasts from the past trying to revive their careers. The bakers among you may enjoy Cake Boss, a show about a shop that makes amazing (and ridiculous) cakes for people. If you want to have your cake and eat it too, there is Ace of Cakes, which is essentially the same thing with slightly different cakes.
Mob Wives, Bad Girls Club & Basketball Wives. These are all shows that come from my favourite sub-genre of American reality TV: 'Grown Women Yelling At Each Other'. As a feminist, programmes like these ones are highly offensive and impede progress for women everywhere. As a seasoned television viewer, however, these shows are more addictive than heroin for me. The Real Housewives of... franchise, tragically overlooked by British broadcasters, is the best of the bunch. With six incarnations (Orange County, New York City, Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills & Miami), the franchise has provided me thousands of hours of entertainment. By 'entertainment', I of course mean wealthy women who say terrible things about each other and often get into screaming matches in inappropriate places. I often think about the prospect of a UK version of the series, and it is my dream to host the reunion specials. Someday, Ross.
Finally, there is the incomparable Jersey Shore, a series that charts the exploits of eight venereal disease-ridden simpletons as they go to filthy nightclubs and search for sex with strangers. MTV UK have tried their best to recreate the success of the series, with the copycat series Geordie Shore. They went too far though, as Geordie Shore is deliberately controversial, and frequently edges into porn territory. The male cast members in particular have their spots reserved on the Sex Offender Register. It just doesn't have the class of Jersey Shore...
The creatives at the UK networks really need to get their fingers out if they want to compete with our American cousins. Something in the vein of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings would be good, but with more glamour. And less spousal abuse. The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea are alright, but they are too reliant on scripted situations to be 'true' reality shows. And Desperate Scousewives? I didn't watch it, but I heard it wasn't all that great.
Follow Ross Semple on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@rosssemple