Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Jeremy Kyle – and the VERY serious failings of TV

The mass reaction against the exploitative nature of so-called “reality” TV ought to have come sooner.

The Jeremy Kyle Show was quite simply, VILE.

I’m so glad it’s been axed.

This show used troubled people, and those who have suffered from poor education, to create crass, shouty entertainment.

It showcased people’s lack of eloquence and often poor moral judgement - for the sake of ratings.

Hate-filled and hateful. I always thought so.

It’s very sad that it’s taken the death of one of the programme’s guests to bring about its end. May God bless the soul of tragic Steve Dymond – one of many who went on the show at a very low point in his life, wanting to save a failed relationship.

Other people who’ve been guests are now telling of how they were encouraged to be shouty when voicing their stories, and the studio audience were clearly encouraged to boo and jeer etc. Horrible stuff.

Kyle’s own style as a presenter was extremely abrasive. That is simply not right when dealing with people with problems. Sensitivity and pastoral skills are needed in such circumstances but, hey, that just doesn’t get the ratings in dumbed-down Britain.

Apparently, the show had care teams for the guests. Not very effective ones, in my view.

And it’s the dumbing down element of much of mainstream television that is such a huge problem. Not just The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Television doesn’t merely CATER for stupid viewers. It actively CREATES stupidity in millions of people who like to watch such vile junk such as that daytime Kyle hatefest – and much of the other mainstream output.

Many generations have now grown up hooked on screen entertainment. We can’t in the West, if we are to survive as a civilisation, carry on in this way. We are making ourselves look VERY stupid.

What’s happening is serious. We are witnessing a big failure in the proper formation and transmission of human identity.

It’s not, of course, only the programmes that showcase the problems of “ordinary people” that are contributing to the spread of vacuous and uncaring attitudes. Other “reality” shows such as Love Island present utterly the wrong view of what it takes to be an admirable person.

Being a good human being involves developing personal discernment and an internal moral compass. It’s NOT about having pouty lips, big tits, or tight abdominal muscles.

Now, I’m pleased (kind of) that MPs have announced an inquiry into the wider issues surrounding “reality” TV and the duty of care for people who become involved – though in this era of Brexit pantomime politics it is hard to believe the inquiry will be effective.

And, in fact, when I see trailers for all sorts of TV entertainment, even drama these days, I’m filled with despair. 

Do adults really get a kick out of watching all those US TV serials and box sets, packed with car chases, gun-toting and macho posing?

And why all the fuss about Game of Thrones? It seems like children’s entertainment to me. I certainly can’t take seriously all those young queens or whatever they are! They look like fresh-faced young middle-class lasses fresh out of drama school to me. Oooh, luvvy, you WEREN’T marvellous!

Back in my days as the television critic of ITV’s ORACLE service, I foresaw the way things were heading in telly land.

And I wasn’t wrong …