Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bear baiting

Being on maternity leave and nursing means that I watch a lot more daytime tv than I used to. I could say "Yecchhh, I hate daytime tv," but it wouldn't be true. I've always liked some aspects of daytime tv. I never was a huge fan of the soaps, but I do love me some talk shows and detective show re-runs. I never sleep so well or so soundly during such a brief napping period as I do during a Rockford Files, a Columbo or a Jeremy Kyle.

American readers may not be familiar with Jeremy. He's a British talk show host. He specialises in bringing on trailer trash to establish the paternity of their little sproglets. Of course, they're not trailer trash, being that poor people are housed on council estates in the UK (like US housing projects).

Jeremy is not as vile and provocative as Jerry Springer - and all the physical fights are edited out. But he is a bit stern and often gives his guests a good talking to. And if all you saw of British tv was Jeremy, you'd be wondering why all infants in the UK weren't given a DNA test at birth since there seems to be almost universal doubt on the question of "Who's the Daddy?"

Recently Jeremy's received a slating from a district judge - he called the show human bear baiting that goes under the guise of entertainment. A former guest of the show was in court for attacking his wife's lover beneath the unrelenting eye of the Kyle cameras.

In his sentencing, Judge Berg was reported in the Manchester Evening News as saying: "I have had the misfortune, very recently, of watching The Jeremy Kyle Show.

"It seems to me that the purpose of this show is to effect a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people whose lives are in turmoil."

Morbid, yes. Depressing, hardly. At worse, it's a bit disheartening to see folks who suck from the public teat have little other than stirring up conflict to occupy their time.

I agree with Judge Berg that it is all a bit sordid, but his views are just as insulting as the show is exploitative.

"It should not surprise anyone that these people, some of whom have limited intellects, become aggressive with each other.

I guess the Jeremy Kyle show, Judge Berg and the viewing public (including myself) should remember that these are people, not rats in a sack.

1 comment:

Vol-in-Law said...

The Vol is a big Jeremy Kyle fan. Me, I'm more with Judge Berg.

""It should not surprise anyone that these people, some of whom have limited intellects, become aggressive with each other."

Well, his point was that they wouldn't attack each other if they weren't bear-baited into doing so. I get the impression that Kyle is not interested in getting the best out of most of them, or helping them turn their lives around. He sympahises with the victims, and tells them to leave the scumbags, but he's more interested in bear-baiting the scumbags, like the 20-something gigolo yesterday who regularly beat up his 66 year old 'husband'.
I think it's overall just as sordid as Jerry, only the fights get edited out.