Living on the Edge

Sometimes I stumble across something that really makes me worry about the world.

Living TV is one of the many channels you have, but have never bothered to watch. It’s not quite as dire as Virgin 1 (who are currently developing Crunch Time with Antony Worrall-Thompson – no, really), but it does stick out like a sore thumb in the bleak pointlessness of multi-channel television. It also has an accompanying Living+1.

The idea of +1 channels is, in principle, a good one. If you stumble across something interesting that started 20 minutes ago, you have the option to catch it from the beginning an hour later. But what happens if you bumble in late to Passport Patrol on its delayed-scheduled counterpart?

Well, Living TV – an ironic choice of name, given that its schedule consists mostly of CSI, Most Haunted and Jade Goody – have solved a problem that, in their case, doesn’t really exist.

Behold Living TV+2. Congratulations – you now have three chances a day not to watch America’s Next Top Model! Welcome to the 21st century equivalent of ‘progress.’

And that’s only the beginning.

One of Living’s imports is American talk show Maury. If you’ve never seen it (which you haven’t), imagine Jeremy Kyle on steroids. Most of the people dragged out of the gutter and exploited on it are so full of despair that even the set has been designed to incorporate some steps they can run up, and repeatedly bang their heads on the floor at the top. It’s then so full of language unsuitable for broadcast that the programme makers have had to assign different pitched bleeps for viewers to distinguish which nutcase is swearing. It’s self-righteous programming at its finest.

It does however buck the trend with most of the participants still being alive – though admittedly, they probably won’t be for very long.

You can watch this circus sideshow every morning at 8am, just to kick-start your day with a veritable ‘I hate the world’ feeling, and you can then catch it again at 9am and 10am. That is, by definition, how these channels work.

But then at noon the SAME EPISODE is REPEATED on the first channel, starting the three hour hatefest all over again. We’ve reached a point in the space-time continuum where it is somehow deemed acceptable for the same piece of car crash television to be shown six times in seven hours. It seems to me that we’ve got so much choice that we must finally be reaching saturation point, where all these channels begin to collapse upon the inevitable self-realisation of just how pointless they are – and it really couldn’t come too soon.

Fire. The wheel. Living TV+2. The cavemen would be proud.

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~ by chrispresswell on April 12, 2009.

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