Monday, 6 August 2007

It's warm, therefore nice

Life affirming television. Not life affirming for me but reassuring for you. The shows that fall under this pulsing, umbrella of warmth are: Faking It, Made, Come Dine With Me, Coast and Mountain.

The first two follow the premise of nearly every underdog film ever made, ever. Get someone who’s life is shit or they’re under the impression their life is shit and turn them around in an allotted time frame. Roughly four to six weeks.

Go through the usual, wow this is amazing, no they’ll never do it in time, no I’ll never do it in time, big day, everything’s cool, life lessons learnt and that’s the show. Although the formula and outcome is as predictable as going to war without having a post conflict plan, you still watch for the human resilience and transformation beamed straight to your sockets.

The outcome isn’t always a happy one. I remember on one Faking It, there was a game’s tester or something, which wanted to become a racecar driver. He was one of the most arrogant idiots you will ever meet. No transformation, no win. That’s not bad actually; it could be the name of a self-help book or maybe a new religion.

The other shows rely on real people and in the case of Coast and Mountain: massive, majestic landscapes to help massage your gooey, warm, nerve centre. I’ve already talked about Come Dine With Me here. The other two roam around the United Kingpin, combining a history lesson about each locale with a heady mix of what we call ‘characters.’ This is a nice way of saying you’re either a bit whacky or a complete psychopath. In any case, it fills out each program nicely and reminds me that despite idiots constantly popping up on TV there’s a whole world of ‘characters’ and that’s got to be worth something…maybe.

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