Over the years I have given much thought to the question of how bad television can get?
For a while I thought the answer was Hole in the Wall, although I am now inclined to think it’s Total Wipeout.
But then last night I saw the light. The answer to the question of how bad TV can get is Smile TV2.
This is the sort of channel that Charlie Brooker was genetically engineered to view. The psychic show (a psychic giving readings based on text messages) reached one level of hell; their post watershed show went through the bottom circles of hell and left Dante far behind. From the fleeting glimpse of a semi-clad female with her microphone on mute, discussing the great issues of the day (I can’t lip-read so assume that’s what she was doing) earnestly with some viewer who has phoned in at a rate that would easily satisfy a Wall Street banker’s bonus, it appears the show caters for a specialist sector of viewership.
Fortunately the horror lasted only seconds as I flicked my way through to ITV4 to watch James Wade (Who has the unfortunate look of someone who’d be pencilled in by amateur sleuths as the chief suspect if he gave a press conference calling for the return of any one of his relatives) and Phil the power march triumphantly into the semi-finals of the Player’s Championship. However, to know that channels like SMile TV 2 (how many of them are there?) are out there, and that people watch them suggests that our TV regulatory system obviously works as well as the FSA and Bank of England (under the chairmanship of beaten darts quarter finalist Mervyn king) regulated the financial sector.