TV schedules in the UK and the US are plagued by judgement sickness. What do we mean by that ? We’re talking about the endless TV programmes where budding amateurs ( chefs, singers, wannabe designers, entrepreneurs) put themselves through tough challenges, get judged by ‘experts’ and are voted off one by one in public voting. From Big Brother and I’m a Celebrity, through American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice, Nigella Lawson’s ‘Taste’, Great British Bake Off, The Apprentice.. you name it, that is some judgement going on right there.
What does it say about us that these programmes are so popular ? Do we empathise with the contestant’s ‘ups and downs’ ? Are we really engaged in the search for an epic win ? Do we love the schadenfreude of a devastating failure ? Or are we simply getting off on the fact that the TV puts us in the illustrious position of judge and jury ? So we’re a growing bunch of remote controlled power freaks ?
As a consumer, it seems like the TV producers are in copycat mode. They want to squeeze as much out of this format -du-jour before moving on to the next thing (let’s hope that’s soon).
You can track the rise of ‘ready meals’ and the demise of home cooking with the rise and proliferation of TV cooking shows and the dawn of the TV Celebrity Chef. What impact will judgement TV have ?
In TV land format innovation is still where it’s at. Wired Magazine have a great piece on the future trends driving the TV market looking for the next big thing. Aside from the sensible stuff about content mobility and the impact of multi screen usage, they have a section focussed on Binge Watching – or Crack TV as it is known in our house. When you can get the whole series in one lushious download- admit it- we’ve all TV Binge Watched!
Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV and read a book ?