So there’s this thing that’s been on the television for a while, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it, but the kids are calling it “Reality Television“.
Anyway it’s this thing where you get real people in real life situations and follow them around or see them in fish-out-of-water scenarios like the mother from one family going to live with a different family for a couple of weeks.
It reminds me a lot of this thing they used to have on television called “documentaries“. Do you remember those? They were fantastic. We’d learn all about the world as people showed us the lives of ants or, if they were on SBS, the lives of Hitler’s ants.
Well, hold on to your seat because documentaries are back, baby, they just look a little different.
Because people have such low attention spans and trust issues, these programmes need to have famous British people:
- like that guy from A Fish Called Wanda
- or whatisname who played Oscar Wilde
- or, even more famous than either of those, the guy that was in Who Dares Wins and Maid Marian and her Merry Men.
And of course, they can pretty much only be on the ABC for them to have any credibility whatsoever.
This week we’ve got the premier of two of these documentary things*.
The first is on Sunday night on ABC1. Stephen Fry, who you might remember from Blackadder, driving through the US and telling us about local customs in a way that is different to Louis Theroux or Ruby Wax.
Then on Tuesday there’s Tony Robinson, who you might remember from Blackadder, presenting the history of Crime and Punishment.
Apparently, this is not as you would expect – a 5 minute piece saying:
Dostoyevsky had an idea for a book, sat down with pen and paper for a few months and then got a publishing deal.
No, instead it’s about laws and criminals and punitive measures.
I don’t know who else from Blackadder is making documentaries but they seem to be the most trusted people in the world.
* Be aware that this was written to go to air on 7 August so time references might have no bearing to the actual time you’re reading this, if you are reading this, and if you’re not, I’m not talking to you so turn around and face the wall.