Saturday, March 26, 2005

In North Wales with no Tivo

I have been on my holidays for a week in Llandudno, a somewhat 1970s holiday resort in North Wales. I was staying in rented accomodation, which meant I had to rely on terrestrial tv only. It was all a bit shocking to see what poor people are forced to watch when deprived of the millions of digital channels that the well-off can take for granted. One programme in particular stayed with me for long after the credits rolled, stupefyingly bad in all aspects - even me, a hardened trash addict feels slightly sick writing about it. This program is called DIY SOS and airs on BBC1. It involves us watching several half-hearted attempts at DIY by random people from social class C2/D. This is achieved by getting these ordinary people to "act" little hilarious tableaux which help us get to know them. For example, one involved a busy, working single mother who wanted to decorate her son's bedroom, but her life was so full that she was too tired to do so. This was demonstrated by filming her pretending to fall asleep on a step ladder. Hilarious. Another involved an obese couple making frantic mobile phone calls to each other. It was scripted in dialogue that made children's programme Balamory (more on kid's tv in a later post) appear high-brow. After this ritual humiliation, the viewing audience votes on the one they "like best" (or hates least), and hurrah, a team of experts descends on them to fix up their disgusting homes in a flash. I don't know what happens to the people who don't win the vote - maybe they are just given a handful of painkillers and a one-way ticket to one of those Scandanavian countries... I learnt NOTHING about DIY while watching this programme, but did learn a lot about the people who present it - basically they all attempt to "lark about" as much as possible with each other, showing how "funny" and "jolly" they can be. It's all rather painful and I was hoping that some of those painkillers were left over by the end.

The new Dr Who is on in just hours. I am not a big fan or anything (I watched the show most when it was Tom Baker/Peter Davidson but grew tired of its cheesiness, sexism and lack of character development in the mid 1980s), but my fella is an ultra-fan and has a screen saver on his PC which has been counting down the hours. So I guess I'll be watching tonight too, whether I want to or not.