I’ve remembered what it was that it was that I was going to post yesterday but then didn’t, cause I forgot what it was. And what it was about was Wife Swap. yes I know, reality TV is the bottom of the barrel, and Wife Swap is really very contrived, with its searching out couples whose lifestyles and personal philosophies are so opposed. But still, its contrived tension and conflict is entertaining. It is much better than the US version, Trading Spouses with their over the top narration, and the importance placed on money. I’m sure that the Wife Swap couples get money, why else would you do it, but it isn’t mentioned and isn’t such a big deal throughout the show.
Watching Wife Swap really makes you wonder about people, and how its possible that ordinary everyday people can hold such beliefs, or be so arrogant and selfish that they can’t see that other people have every right to behave in a different manner to them. I know that the shows are probably edited to make certain circumstances look worse, but letting your nine year old daughter drink alcohol is probably not such a good idea. And letting her drink Wicked is a really bad one. I mean, a glass of watered wine at a meal isn’t going to do much damage is it? But starting a kid on alco-pops?
But what makes it really interesting is that you can see that some people do actually change. And that they may put up a front of “I’m right. You’re fucked up” but they do learn something.
And sometimes you see that there are really nice people out there. One of the husbands in this week’s show was just such a decent fella. It was strange, normally they start out okay but then turn a bit nasty. Or are a bit horrible from the start, but this one was just nice all the way through. I don’t mean that he didn’t have arguments with the swappee, because he did. And he was the father who thought it was okay for his daughter to drink Wicked. But at the same time it was so obvious that he was doing what he thought was right. And he was just a nice bloke.
Mind you, maybe it was in comparison with the other husband, who wasn’t totally awful, but he was very much in the “I’m right, the world is wrong” mold. He and his wife had uprooted their family and lived on a remote part of some island, because they’d seen the modern world and didn’t like it. Fair enough, be that way, but then why volunteer for a show when you know you are going to have someone with very different views come into your home. And their attitude to cursing was pretty Victorian. What is so wrong with an occasional wanker ;) But I suppose getting a fluffy pink, hard, drinking, cursing swapee was a bit of a shock to his system.
Does all this mean I’ve changed my mind on reality TV? Will I now be tuning in to Big Brother when, the adverts tell me, it starts soon. Hell no! BB is the evil spawn of a soul-sucking, personality-destroying celebrity demon. It is piss. And can someone please explain how watching people sleep is now regarded as entertainment?
Reality tv is rarely actually real. It is all set-up and pretend, but every now and then real life will actually peep through, and that is when it is good tv.
And don’t you just love Ray Winstone? There is a great interview with him in The Observer, and his new film All In The Game which is said to boast one of the highest expletive counts on film
we had a meeting with the Channel 4 producer about a week before we started shooting and he had the script and there were about a thousand stickers in it – blue, yellow, green, pink – and I said “What’s all that?”, and he said, green is fucking, yellow is cunt, blue is racial abuse or whatever, and he said, “We should have a cunt reduction.”