Contrived TV Programmes.

Awol

LE
(I’m sorry about the length of this, but insomnia is a b@st#rd, 4.30am now).

With a solid nod to @SauceDoctor who wrote this in the ‘What tv Programmes Have You Just Watched?’ thread and who touched a nerve.....



"Scrapyard Supercar"

What a load of rubbish.

A heavily-tattooed pikey challenged two teams of guys to build something, using bits from the scrapyard, that will beat his Bentley Bentgayer around a muddy track.

And whaddya know, in a scrapyard stuffed full of crashed small hatchbacks and knackered minicabs, there just happens to be a remarkably complete V8 Disco 2 and a Dune Buggy.

SHITE.




I thought that a thread dedicated to TV programmes that just take the piss with insulting our intelligence might be worthwhile.

Personally I rarely watch films, I just haven’t got the patience. For me, perfect tv is something similar to the two hour BBC 4 documentary about the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral that was shown a couple of nights ago.

From the Luftwaffe’s footage of the actual raids, to our footage of the destruction, (one scene showed a mountain of brick rubble with a six foot arrow at the base of it pointing at the ground with the words “ARP SHELTER” on it. Just what did those people in that shelter experience as a whole terrace of back to back houses collapsed on top of them?) and the equally interesting footage of the rebuilding in the 1950s and the 1960s, talk of the architect’s competition and finally footage of HMQ consecrating the building in 1963, the programme was interesting all the way through. (Ugly building though, although it has exquisite details)

In short, for me the programme was excellent, and a great example of the one thing the BBC can do when it bothers...... produce world class documentaries. It was also probably quite cheap with two hours of archive footage and a couple of interviews. If the BBC dropped the tens of millions of pounds it currently spends on all its woke nonsense and produced some similar documentaries (and I don’t mean those thirty minute affairs with the words ‘Slavery’ and ‘Windrush’ in the title), they might, just might, survive a little bit longer.

Anyway, so comparing the two programmes above.... SauceDoctor’s contribution and BBC 4’s, brings me eventually to the point of this thread...... where do documentaries stop and reality tv begin? One is excellent and the other one is dire. One respects the viewer’s intelligence and the other one insults it (big time).

The worse reality tv usually is about setting things up so the producers get the edgy tv they want without having to wait or without the inconvenient facts getting in the way. The biggest indicator is the positioning of the cameras. When the ‘team’ (good looking host, a sciency one and inevitably the ex-SF Guy) suddenly discover the cave\chapel\tunnel and nervously edge inside, they are always being viewed from the inside. That for me, really gets my goat. Are the viewing public really that thick that they don’t notice ((and Gogglebox strongly suggests that they are) or are the producers safely assuming that they are, which is just as bad. Either way, they are insulting us.

So this is a place to discover crap tv and to point out another ‘documentary’ where, when the knock on the door happens and the door opens, there is already a camera filming from inside, over the householder’s shoulder (my mum has been complaining about that all my life).

For starters, I give you ‘Snake Island’ where it was all a bit too dramatic and all a bit too convenient. At the end of the second season there was an off-camera scrap between ‘Capi’, the actual captain of the little boat, and the obligatory ex-SF guy, all muscles and tight t-shirts. Given the 20 year age gap (and the fact that Capi seemed very friendly with whisky) it was inevitable that Capi got a kicking, which he did, and, as he had started it, was immediately sacked.

In the best American tradition he went straight to his lawyers and then wrote a book. The court case, as far as I know, is still crawling along, but the book is out there (on Amazon at least) and it spills a lot of beans. My favourite is that the solid gold Inca necklace thingy (about 6” x 4” x 1”), obviously priceless and found by the team at the foot of a short waterfall (full scuba required for some reason, although the water was only about a metre deep) was actually a hollow grey plastic toy, bought at a local market for just a few Pesetas and sprayed gold with a rattle can.




And yes, you’re all right. There is always an off switch :)
 
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Awol

LE
Some of the worst 'documentaries' that I've seen have been on Netflix. Almost on a par with some of The History Channel's rubbish.
I haven’t got Netflix, but I know that Discovery was groundbreaking when it began. The public in the US (initially) were crying out for a channel that produced decent documentaries and Discovery arrived at just the right time.

For the first ten years their documentaries were on a par with the best of what the BBC could offer, but then they started on a downward trajectory and now they are producing some of the worst out there.
 
The cooking shite in front of a panel of mouthy judges. Do they understand the risks of allowing contestants meat cleavers and other cutlery when facing a line up of shit sucking bellwhiffs like that?
 

Mbongwe

Old-Salt
Any "talent" show with a panel of judges (typically comprising a nice, a nasty and an unknown). Heavily edited to accentuate sob stories and ensure maximum tears (for the camera).
 
Contrived TV programmes you say?

BBC News.
 

Awol

LE
No. It's the one where they hunt big foot and other weird creatures of legend..

******* weirdos.
There’s a young bloke on one of those things who always wears a small, shiny, leather cowboy hat. He’s either trying to make a fashion statement or he’s seriously bald under there.

In either case, he’s losing the battle. To see him, with the rest of the team swimming across a river, with rucksacks being used a buoyancy aides, and him still wearing his hat as he crosses the deep swirling currents is just silly. And again, with a cynical look at it sideways, it’s bloody obvious the ten man production team are not going to do the same with their $150,000 cameras (and who miraculously are already filming our heroes as they grimly wade ashore), so there is obviously a bridge half a km away, or a boat. In fact, probably a boat, because someone is filming them in close-up midstream.
 
Supercar Megabuild.

Mr Khan asks a couple of spanner monkeys to fettle a high value car to meet his Yorkshire spec vehicle standards with a totally unrealistic timescale.

Now I actually quite like it for the engineering aspects of the show (its like Scrapyard Challenge or Wheeler Dealers started out before the experts decided people don't want to see the work) but I have to ignore the set up due to the bad acting and ridiculous times.

Last one I watched involved our mechanics converting a US muscle car so it could compete with European supercars in 4 weeks.

So they fly to New York, 'find' a dealer on TV who lets them race a Dodge, Chevvy and a Ford on an airfield.
Buy the Camaro and get the engine upgraded in the States before shipping it back to the UK where they test it on a UK track. They then show the car to Mr Khans 2IC 'wooden Steve', who cant recognise a Chevvy (he is in the car business after all) and is concerned that it wont meet their Yorkshire design standards. This is solved by happening to have a bolt on tow hitch for a Camaro in the boot and a load of sandbags so they can pull a VC10 (which just happened to be sat there with a tow arm on and the brakes off) along a runway for a bit as torque somehow makes the car now look different.

Then its off to replace the suspension, so it can go round corners and fly over a group of Straylian mechanics with all the bits to get it converted to RHD, add scissor doors and then, the night before the launch, decide that now is the time to get it totally repainted.

Its full of this sort of total rubbish but if you can get past it its not too bad.
Obviously now I've written it down it's going to start bugging me and I'll be shouting at the TV about timings.
 
(I’m sorry about the length of this, but insomnia is a b@st#rd, 4.30am now).

With a solid nod to @SauceDoctor who wrote this in the ‘What tv Programmes Have You Just Watched?’ thread and who touched a nerve.....



"Scrapyard Supercar"

What a load of rubbish.

A heavily-tattooed pikey challenged two teams of guys to build something, using bits from the scrapyard, that will beat his Bentley Bentgayer around a muddy track.

And whaddya know, in a scrapyard stuffed full of crashed small hatchbacks and knackered minicabs, there just happens to be a remarkably complete V8 Disco 2 and a Dune Buggy.

SHITE.




I thought that a thread dedicated to TV programmes that just take the piss with insulting our intelligence might be worthwhile.

Personally I rarely watch films, I just haven’t got the patience. For me, perfect tv is something similar to the two hour BBC 4 documentary about the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral that was shown a couple of nights ago.

From the Luftwaffe’s footage of the actual raids, to our footage of the destruction, (one scene showed a mountain of brick rubble with a six foot arrow at the base of it pointing at the ground with the words “ARP SHELTER” on it. Just what did those people in that shelter experience as a whole terrace of back to back houses collapsed on top of them?) and the equally interesting footage of the rebuilding in the 1950s and the 1960s, talk of the architect’s competition and finally footage of HMQ consecrating the building in 1963, the programme was interesting all the way through. (Ugly building though, although it has exquisite details)

In short, for me the programme was excellent, and a great example of the one thing the BBC can do when it bothers...... produce world class documentaries. It was also probably quite cheap with two hours of archive footage and a couple of interviews. If the BBC dropped the tens of millions of pounds it currently spends on all its woke nonsense and produced some similar documentaries (and I don’t mean those thirty minute affairs with the words ‘Slavery’ and ‘Windrush’ in the title), they might, just might, survive a little bit longer.

Anyway, so comparing the two programmes above.... SauceDoctor’s contribution and BBC 4’s, brings me eventually to the point of this thread...... where do documentaries stop and reality tv begin? One is excellent and the other one is dire. One respects the viewer’s intelligence and the other one insults it (big time).

The worse reality tv usually is about setting things up so the producers get the edgy tv they want without having to wait or without the inconvenient facts getting in the way. The biggest indicator is the positioning of the cameras. When the ‘team’ (good looking host, a sciency one and inevitably the ex-SF Guy) suddenly discover the cave\chapel\tunnel and nervously edge inside, they are always being viewed from the inside. That for me, really gets my goat. Are the viewing public really that thick that they don’t notice ((and Gogglebox strongly suggests that they are) or are the producers safely assuming that they are, which is just as bad. Either way, they are insulting us.

So this is a place to discover crap tv and to point out another ‘documentary’ where, when the knock on the door happens and the door opens, there is already a camera filming from inside, over the householder’s shoulder (my mum has been complaining about that all my life).

For starters, I give you ‘Snake Island’ where it was all a bit too dramatic and all a bit too convenient. At the end of the second season there was an off-camera scrap between ‘Capi’, the actual captain of the little boat, and the obligatory ex-SF guy, all muscles and tight t-shirts. Given the 20 year age gap (and the fact that Capi seemed very friendly with whisky) it was inevitable that Capi got a kicking, which he did, and, as he had started it, was immediately sacked.

In the best American tradition he went straight to his lawyers and then wrote a book. The court case, as far as I know, is still crawling along, but the book is out there (on Amazon at least) and it spills a lot of beans. My favourite is that the solid gold Inca necklace thingy (about 6” x 4” x 1”) and obviously priceless and found by the team at the foot of a short waterfall (full scuba required although the water only appeared about a metre deep, for some reason) was actually a hollow grey plastic toy, bought at a local market for just a few Pesetas and sprayed gold with a rattle can.




And yes, you’re all right. There is always an off switch :)
Generally I am pretty good at avoiding the dross, especially of the American variety. So apologies but to change your query a little, my top three WTF after you've triggered an ambush:-

1. Ancient Aliens.
2. The latest incarnation of Doctor Who was astonishing for its active attempt to upset its audience.
3. A few years ago but the Danny Dyer series on hardest boozers in the country was astonishing stuff.
 
Flipping Bangers

I can't decide whether it's contrived, badly conceived or the two guys involved are just idiots and don't know much about cars.

They bought an Alfa that had been lying in a field, and were gobsmacked that the arrse had rusted out of it.

I fairly cringed when one of them levered on a drive belt with a big screwdriver (Citröen XM I think). I'd have got severely slapped for that when I worked at Carlos El Bastardo.*

*I rarely worked on Froggo tin, mind, my remit was to fix Maestros with hammers. And swearing.
 
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AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Anything that isn't Now 70s, I've come to realise, is contrived sh¡t and makes me want to put something heavy through the TV.

Now 70s can be a bit contrived as there's only so much 70s music and so many ways you can slice and dice it into themed playlists.

If somebody starts a channel called Now Tchaikovsky, I'll give it a whirl, but, well, same detail.

TV. Sh¡t. Fact.
 
I can't remember the exact phrase, but there is something about "false danger/peril/jeopardy" that comes to mind.
So we end up with a Northern bloke voiceover telling us that "If the number 32 bus does not arrive on time, Beryl might not get to the chip shop to pick up Martin's supper"
 
Anything that ends in a vote off competition. Been watching the programme on BBC4 with Rankin, this is a breath breath of fresh air, no viewer vote off and 6 photographers actually learning. I would thoroughly recommend it.

What grips me is everything is a competition, am waiting for Sewer Worker the Professionals, each week you get to vote off the worker who can't shovel shit fast enough.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
All the Bear Grills stuff. Some other bugger was doing all the same shít as him but carrying a bloody great camera as well.

Viz:

Grills [to camera]: "Conventional wisdom says that, in an emergency situation like this, you follow the river downstream and don't venture into the hinterland. The river will emerge somewhere, and that's likely to be near civilisation. That, or any search party is more likely to be able to find you more quickly, if at all. But I don't have time for that. Instead, I'm going to head off into the mangroves and see if I can find a road or a settlement."

Cameraman [quietly to himself]: "Oh, you cünt..."
 
A week or two ago I was staying with the ex (a long story) and we ended up watching an absorbing BBC documentary on the excavation of the churchyard at St Pancras. The coffins were stacked up to 10 deep, if I recall, and they researched the stories behind the 16,000+ remains that had been exhumed. One story surrounded a pair of much-worn (and presumably, much loved) Indian slippers found in a well-preserved coffin. It transpired the owner had made his fortune as an East India Company clerk who traded on the side - which was allowed - and left him rather wealthy. His house, within the parish, still stands. The programme was sympathetic and moving.

It didn't have the faux jeopardy of 'Time Team' or similar with their race against the clock, with CSI-like labs and breathless discoveries. What it did show were the hundreds of archaeologists who have been working painstakingly on the site for years, in preparation for HS2 ripping through it.
 
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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
A week or two ago I was staying with the ex (a long story) and we ended up watching an absorbing BBC documentary on the excavation of the churchyard at St Pancras. The coffins were stacked up to 10 deep, if I recall, and they researched the stories behind the 16,000+ remains that had been exhumed. One story surrounded a pair of much-worn (and presumably, much loved) Indian slippers found in a well-preserved coffin. It transpired the owner had made his fortune as an East India Company clerk who traded on the side - which was allowed - and left him rather wealthy. His house, within the parish, still stands. The programme was sympathetic and moving.

It didn't have the faux jeopardy of 'Time Team' or similar with their race against the clock and CSI-like labs and breathless discoveries. What it did show were the hundreds of archaeologists who have been working on the site for years, in preparation for HS2 ripping through it.
There is plenty of straight telling which would engage enough. Unfortunately, there is too little of it.
 

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