There are loads of people pouring disdain on the shows, there are very few people proclaiming their love for them but there is a vast majority of people who are ‘consuming’ them – watching them – and being entertained by them.
My own relationship with each of these shows is quite fractured. I often watch bits and pieces of them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete episode of any of them. Still, though, I know them fairly well. I would guess my relationship is the same as many many other people who tune in.
Photo: Susanne Stoop (All Rights Reserved)
Reading back over things I have written about X Factor in the past, here and here for example, I can see that I have a sort of love/hate thing going with it… except that I don’t love it at all. In previous posts, I have been angered and disappointed with the way ‘X-Factor’, in particular, has played its game.
Today, I feel the need to stick up for it a little bit.
My defence of such programming is pretty basic. It’s this:
I think we need something to mark our weekends.
Times are tough, there isn’t a lot of ‘going out’ and ‘living it up’ for a lot of people these days. Also the working week can be a grind – a tougher grind that it was in previous years - and for much less reward too.
Programmes like Strictly and X Factor look a little different to weeknight programmes. They are lit differently and they sound a little different too. When they come on, we can subconsciously say to ourselves “Hey, it’s the weekend, relax a bit.” And, even if we don’t watch them, or even if we just throw a casual eye over them or, oddly enough, even if we absolutely hate them, they still can remind us that it’s the weekend.
We used to get this from heading out to the cinema, or the pub, meeting friends, having a bite to eat. But, for many of us, the world has closed in a little bit, hasn’t it? We still go out, live it up, but not as often. We are older, we have kids and responsibilities - and budgets - and so we sit in.
If television looked on Saturday night as it did on Wednesday night then the week might seem longer, more continuous, interminable. There are satellite channels like that, where even on Christmas Day, you'll get the same stuff you see every other day. Is there anything more depressing than a medium which refuses to mark the days with us?
At least, when that blasted music comes on, we know it’s time to bung in a frozen pizza and crack a beer.
It’s the weekend
The telly just told me so.