The death of entertainment
I admit, I don’t watch a lot of TV. That said, I do tune in to a few mainstream shows. I loved the BBC’s newest psychology exercise, The Traitors—it felt like an original format/concept, and it kept my family gripped.
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I can’t wait for The Apprentice to get going. This must be my favourite TV show. I marvel at the arrogance of the contestants and the size of their egos. It’s like a pantomime set in the workplace.
Lastly, I really enjoyed 2022’s Strictly run (I’m alone in my household as a lover of the dance show). I watch every series, and though there’s always a few contestants I’ve never heard of taking part, I love it all. From the costumes to the dance routines, to the music and the judges’ remarks, I find it a great way to forget the dark, cold nights of winter.
The winner of the trophy in the latest series was Hamza Yassin. I had no idea who he was before Strictly, but I liked his humble personality and his dancing talent so much that I rooted for him to win from the off.
Following his victory, social media was awash with negative comments that the show was ‘a fix’. One of the other finalists should have won, said the people spouting off, though there was lots of disagreement over exactly which contestant should have been crowned instead. The media created headlines such as ‘Fans furious that Hamza won the glitter ball, despite coming bottom in the judges’ scoring’, and ‘Head judge Shirley Ballas accused of bias in her weekly scores’.
I’m not a dance expert. I have no real idea whether it should have been Hamza, Helen, Fleur or Molly lifting the trophy. Of course it needs professionals to judge the celebrities’ progress, or the show would be aimless, but what I’d like to emphasise to the hundreds and hundreds of ‘outraged’ fans and those calling OFCOM to complain…Strictly is a TV show. It’s produced and recorded as a form of entertainment. It’s not a real dance competition. If a TV show gets you that wound up that you actually contact the media’s ombudsman to complain, I’d love your life, as this is clearly a first world problem. Not for you, concern over the UK’s fragile economy, the homeless on the streets, the striking nurses, posties and rail workers…no, you’re incensed because a meaningless decision that featured on an entertainment programme on the telly wasn’t to your liking.
Get a life.
I’ve watched shows where I’ve disliked the winner and/or disagreed with the eventual outcome—for example: Candice Brown, 2016 winner of The Great British Bake Off. It was actually a bit of a release, shouting at the telly in my lounge when that series aired, but taking it further than that? Why would I? I don’t know Candice, she’s probably lovely in real life; how she was edited in the programme was out of her control. And even if I met her in person and she was exactly how I imagined she’d be, so what? No one is everyone’s cup of tea—me included. My opinion shouldn’t stop her winning a baking show that’s also made to be a form of entertainment.
Social media is responsible for this. Some people feel it’s safe to say negative things about others, because they’re anonymous behind their screen (before you lump me in with that, my name is at the top of this article and my picture is on the ‘contributors’ page!).
I’m not a fan of today’s ‘woke’ culture. On the other hand, I agree that a lot of the things broadcast or projected a few decades ago would be wholly inappropriate now. It’s a fine balance, though. Humour—especially black humour—can actually be a coping mechanism for some people.
And I understand that people may read or watch something that doesn’t align with their values or be to their taste, but devices come with an off button. A TV can be switched over to another channel. Instead of complaining, just rant to your partner, your parents or your kids like most people. Stop trying to force your opinions on others, as that’s the slippery slope that leads to today’s ‘cancel culture’.
So, you believe Helen and Gorka should have lifted the glitterball trophy instead of Hamza and Jowita? Unfortunately, OFCOM does not exist to deal with the fallout of your emotions.