Monday, 10 December 2007

Guilty Pleasures, Part 4 – Strictly Come Dancing.

Sorry, Strictly Come Dancing isn’t a guilty pleasure at all for me – my wife (bless her) loves it, which means that for the most part, I can’t avoid it. It’s harmless enough I suppose, if your idea of entertainment is a variety show in which ‘celebrity’ amateurs spin about like great twirling sides of ham. Somehow they manage to pick up 11 million viewers doing this, and for the BBC, that’s great – I’m really pleased for them.

Well, I would be if it wasn’t flippin’ everywhere.

Not only do we have to put up with it on Saturday night, it’s on Sunday night as well (‘Welcome to our Sunday show,’ says Brucie, knowing full well that it’s still Saturday). Then there’s Claudia Winkleman (whose mother is Eve Pollard – for the love of god, why wasn’t I told?) with Strictly Come Dancing – It Takes Two, which seems to be on all the time. What’s more, Strictly... seems to be infecting other programmes as well, like some weird inter-textual smart virus. I only caught ten minutes of Sports Personality of the Year last night (my wife was channel hopping to see if Kate Thornton had had a face lift), but five minutes was taken up with Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy (winners of 2006’s Strictly...) dancing on a stage the size of a postage stamp. No doubt the marketing goon squad have decreed that Strictly... is to be flogged to the high heavens this year, but when you’re pulling in 11 million viewers a throw, is there any real need to labour the point in more or less every single BBC programme? Enough already!

Co-incidentally, many of the celebrities that staff this year’s show have been plucked from shows such as Eastenders, Blue Peter, and er, whatever the last show that semi-famous baldie Dominic Littlewood was in. It’s an inter-textual cross-promotional riot out there! The whole thing feels like one of those rock family tree things, where all the various inter dependencies can be mapped out like an ever-expanding spider’s web – the intention being I suppose to subliminally batter you into watching Eastenders until hell itself freezes over.

In allegedly unrelated news, one of the last Google searches to lead to this blog was Philistine and proud of it – glad to see I’ve found the level!


Elinor said...

I think it combines all those cheesy things that 'we' supposedly love about the bbc. Brucie, Come Dancing which I remember as an absolute kitsch-fest, celebrity and god-awful costumes. I watched a bit of it once. Never again!

Chip Smith said...

I think you're right, inasmuch as SCD seems to have been thought up by some BBC marketing goon as a way of 're-branding' all these old, familar BBC staples. That, and a bit of the Saturday night variety show. I don't really have a problem with it, it's just that it's always on!