Wednesday, 26 January 2011

My little 'guilty' TV pleasure

I'm not an avid TV watcher - can't be bothered with any soaps, 'talent' shows or cookery/ gardening/fashion programmes. 'Big Bro' is out, as are comedy series (the latter with one or two British exceptions - okay, in recent times Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan). Animal programmes too are to be avoided as I can't bear to see them suffering, even in a natural environment, or being used as entertainment. I tend to gravitate towards arty-farty factual programmes, some science (partic. Astronomy), and political issues and discussions.
However there is one type of show which doesn't fit into any of the above categories which I do enjoy, and which seems a bit at odds with the rest of my tastes. These are real-life cop shows, where we follow them chasing speeders and drunken drivers, arresting burglars, breaking into drug-suspects' houses, breaking up drunken brawls, nabbing the occasional flasher etc. I experience quite a dose of schadenfreude on seeing miscreants caught, arrested and being told of their subsequent fines/imprisonment. Don't know why this should be as I'm not an especial fan of the police, with my deeply ingrained memories of how so many of them used to be prejudiced and corrupt, though that seems to be nowhere near as bad now as it was in the past. I really do applaud their apprehension of genuine wrong-doers. (And, as a bonus, some of them look so attractively macho in their uniforms!) My watching of these programmes is not quite an addiction but it does round off my evening with a glow of satisfaction knowing that at least some unsociable acts are being stamped on. Maybe it helps me feel safer and, consequently, think that I may sleep better.


  1. I'm delighted to learn that you like Ricky. I really never watched him before. But his outrageous turn on The Golden Globes had me in hysterics. I knew I shouldn't be laughing, but I couldn't stop. He turned a potentially boring show into one of the most talked about shows of the week or probably, the season.

    I share the same view as you on animal programs. In fact, I won't even watch a movie if there is the slightest hint that the animal might be in danger. You can usually tell if the camera focuses on the cat or dog for a second or two - usually a closeup.

    Sometimes I like what I call trash tv. My guilty pleasure was the reality(?) show "The A List" - a group of bitchy D listers in NYC who really believe they are A List material. It featured Reichen Lehmkuhl(known for "The AmazingRace" several years ago) and his boy friend, Rodiney. You'd hear such remarks as "I can understand why everyone in NYC doesn't live in a penthouse. It was like watching a horrible accident you can't turn away from.

    I plead guilty to being addicted to a soap: "The Young & The Restless." Over the years, it has turned into soft porn. I also am addicted to HGTV. I particularly enjoy watching "House Hunters International" Usually, it is about Americans leaving the US and looking for homes in foreign lands. They're usually working with a $2000,000 budget and even though they are in an exotic land, they do insist on an American kitchen.

    You shared your viewing habits and I've shared mine. Have to say that it was jolly good fun.

  2. Bad boys, bad boys...

    This post was a complete surprise for me. I wonder if and how British cop shows are different from American ones.

  3. Wow, that is pretty funny Ray. I'd have never guested. The real life cop shows do get you drawn into the drama. I've never seen one from the UK. Like Cubby, I wondering how they differ from those filmed in the US.

  4. Cubby & Kyle: We do get one or two American cop shows here (as well as the occasional Aussie & N.Z. ones) - but they all seem to be exclusively about highway cops and motoring offences. The British shows cover those too but we also see cops on foot as well as seeing them in off-duty lighter moments, joshing with each other etc., which gives us a more rounded view of them as 'normal' emotional beings. The non-British ones which we do see seem to take policing ever-so seriously all the time. Of course you may well have your own progs similar to ours which aren't broadcast here.
    Thanks to you both for visiting here.

  5. Paul - thanks for taking the time to write such an extensive comment.
    Re Ricky Gervais: I think that when he's funny he's VERY funny - but I'd be lying if I said that his quips don't sometimes make me feel uncomfortable. I only saw bits of his Globes act (the 'controversial' parts) and I did find myself squirming somewhat, but that's his act - no compromises just in order to make his audience 'feel good'. Did you see his 'Extras' series? I thought the one with Kate Winslet in particular was the funniest thing I've seen in years!
    Re animals: You don't know how much it heartens me to know that there is someone like you who shares my feelings exactly on the subject. If you were here I'd want to hug you for that reason alone!
    Re TV: I think we get 'The A List' here but I've never seen it. Would you believe I've also never seen a single episode of 'Friends', 'Frazier' or any programmes of that ilk? Also never seen 'Glee', '24', 'Lost' or any of the American detective series.....I could go on and on.
    Afraid I've never heard of 'The Young and the Restless'. We do have our own programmes of people emigrating (usually to Australia) but they just don't hold my attention.
    Although I don't watch any of the several 'discovering talent' shows I must admit I do get a perverse pleasure in later seeing re-broadcasts of the really bad acts. Must be the sadist in me.
    Thanks again for commenting, pal.

  6. Ray, it has been a long time since I saw exactly what we had to offer here, but I doubt most would cover foot patrols as those are pretty rare here in the states. Seeing them in off-duty/lighter moments would be nice too. I don't think they really do that on our shows either.(Sorry about the mistype up above in my previous post that should read "guessed" not "guested." Hit a "T" instead of the "S.")

  7. Kyle, thanks - I HAD noticed your 'guesTed', but I thought it was just another 'Americanism'! Easy enough for any of us to strike the wrong key. Apart from my own boobs like that I'm particularly appalled at some of my grammar, always on hindsight.

  8. Ray - I'm addicted to the TV shows Top Gear (the British one not the dreadful American version) and Hoarders (a show about people with a hoarding mental illness). Never been interested in Cops shows unless it ends in a prison sex scene. LOL

  9. RG - not being a driver myself afraid I've no interest in Top Gear (any version) or even cars at all, the latter for my entire life - but I get the impression that the 'laddishness' of Clarkson, Hammond etc has something of an appeal, though even that misses me.
    Never heard of 'Hoarders' but if, as it sounds, it's about people who can't throw things away (among whom I'm definitely one), it does sound pretty watchable.
    Prison sex scenes? Can you recommend some videos? ;-) (Just kidding!)