The start of those horrific "Celebrity" programmes
Just before the dawn of the new millennium,seasoned and intelligent TV critics were warning of a disturbing phenomenon;the dumbing down of British TV.Being the country that invented and gave the world the small screen,this was generally not taken seriously at the time (how could we Brits demean ourselves in producing lazy,trashy TV?),but such grim Orwell-style prophecies of doom have more or less been proved accurate now that we are well into the 21st Century.The rot began to set in with the beginnings of satellite TV in the late 1980's,which led to a further expansion of cable and digital channels,most of which broadcast product so tedious,pointless,cheap and cheesepairing that the programme makers involved easily will get change out of the humble pound coin,never mind a five note,after a particular day's exploits,with enough cash left to buy a few sticks of chewing gum.
Despite improving technology,nothing much has changed in nearly two decades,with seemingly fewer fresh and original ideas,and even less talent (or perhaps,TV bosses lack of encouraging new talent).With new tenth-rate TV channels springing up seemingly every other day,what feeble concepts and individuals we witness are becoming spread even thinner.The sad fact is that now this virus is infecting UK terrestrial TV.This fact is not especially objectionable with obscure TV stations that would look on an audience of 100 people as a triumph,but on the UK's big nationals (ITV and BBC),it is simply not acceptable.
This 1999 programme,a TV version of the truly dismal magazine inflicted on the UK public since the mid 1990's (a brown-nosed,ego massaging fest for obtusely willing famous people)achieved it's goal in repeating the obscenely gushing standards previously,but despite it's rampant awfulness,OK! TV in it's own uniquely resistible way was highly influential,as it seemed to begin an interminable trend.With the start of the 21st Century the following year,BIG BROTHER began,closely followed by I'M A CELEBRITY GET ME OUT OF HERE,and then innumerable other imitations since.OK! TV was thankfully very short-lived,but it doesn't matter as equally low-quality,low-intelligence,exploitative tabloid-style junk has tragically become a staple of mainstream programming on contemporary British TV.
The producers involved,Nick Bullen and Rachel Rosen,have progressed to such masterpieces as "JORDAN AND PETER LAID BARE",with Bullen attempting to deconstruct modern celebritydom in the UK with "DEATH OF CELEBRITY",a programme which seemed to criticise the very culture he has helped to encourage with programmes like the above.This seems a big joke on Bullen's part;I find it as shallow,hypocritical,cynical and exploitative as his previous efforts,and not to be taken seriously.It is serious,though,the damage OK! TV and it's hybrids have done to British popular culture.And there's no sign at the present time it has finished.
RATING:1 out of 10.
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