Monday, 23 July 2007

The times and trials of tv....

Creative editing of her Royal Highness, continuity errors on Homes Under the Hammer, dodgy phone quiz's galore and now it looks like a hardy ex SAS man prefers hospitality pancakes to the great outdoors. Will the lies ever cease? Why has the box deceived me so?

Channel 4 presenter Bear Grylls stands accused of misleading his audience during the filming of his Born Survivor series in which, according to a whistle blowing crew member, he often put himself up in a hotel for the night rather than camp.

Having never watched the series I can't comment on its presentation. That's not going to stop wild speculation though. I would hazard a guess that the discerning viewer watches Grylls climb rugged, blistering terrain for a bit (chatting away about the locale as he marches purposefully onwards), pitches his tent in the wilderness and then finds some ingenious way to cross a river, not before eating the extremities of some unfortunate furry critter. All fascinating, wholesome stuff which naturally leads the audience to think that maybe Grylls actually spends his evenings on location freezing his digits off in the middle of some mountain range, as opposed to the local B&B with its soft pillows and freebie toiletries.

On finding that the pressures, logistics and health and safety clauses of filming mean that they recieve a blinkered picture, audience's feel cheated, lied to by ommission.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "Born Survivor is not an observational documentary series but a 'how to' guide to basic survival techniques in extreme environments". Survival consultant Mark Weinert went on, "If you really believe everything happens the way it is shown on TV, you are being a little bit naive".

Most people take "real life" programming with a pinch of salt, realising that pretty much everything on the telly is manipulated somehow, if not faked. We still wish it was real though, which leads into the question of whether or not Born Survivor "misled audiences". I sympathise with any C4 viewers who feel just a little cheated. For years I've wanted to take on Quavers, the lying cads, for asserting that their snacks were "floaty light". I wasted a lot of crisps when I was younger before I worked out the concept of false advertising (I'm not still bitter...).

I hope Grylls has learnt his lesson - next time give the four-star suite to the film crew and they might not grass you up.

Oh, good to hear that the unnamed Muslim girl kicked off a murder case for boogying away to her iPod has been done for Contempt and appeared in court this morning. Despite protestations from her family over the trial, Judge Aidan Marron QC said: "I can understand the real anxiety she and her family have, but I am afraid this is so important, it is of fundamental importance, that we get it right." Damn straight.

Elsewhere Travelodge have announced an end to pay-per-view porn, leaving legions of business men lonely far from home.


James said...

It is pretty sad really that we need to be lied to, to be entertained. Although quite funny that so called reality TV is very often far from it.

Happy to see the iPod juror get her comeuppance. I think they should instruct the judge and jurors of her case to wear iPods and see how she likes it.

Travelodge - "WHAT, NO.....?"

Em said...

Yup...Have you read Dead Famous by Ben Elton..? You might like that, its a silly take on Big Brother...Mm, all these exposures are not good for the media as a whole, I know what you mean about being lied to...its the way of that particular medium though I guess (and when the lies are beautifully constructed and go unnoticed, the entertainment is usually first class...)

Mm, twas sad motel porn. Maybe they should install consoles instead..

Jenny! said...

What...fucking Travelodge! Thats a travesty!