Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Things that make me go hmmm – on TV
If you can cast your mind back almost 20 years you might recall Things That Make You Go Hmmm, the splendidly silly hit by C&C Music Factory,. This inevitably acted as an invitation to hacks and serious journalists alike to discuss the things that made them go hmmm; it certainly made fascinating reading.
Attempting a comprehensive list of things me go hmmm in everyday life would occupy most of my remaining lifespan, but I have lately been struck by how many TV conventions make me wince. Having grown up during a mini golden age of British TV when excellence was a frequently achieved ideal and the vast majority of the presenters and participants were both more talented and more intelligent than the average audience member, it's easy enough to find tendencies to rail against (Mrs. Slocome's Pussy by Stuart Jeffries is a particularly fine account of this era). Yet, funnily enough, I don't seem to spend as much time fulminating against the confederacy of dunces currently appearing on our screens in programmes like Big Brother, as some of the small screen's more infuriating conventions.
This is audience participation spot on A View From A Broad and a chance for you to air your pet peeves. Just e-mail suggestions to me and I'll post them. In the meantime, here is the first of the many things that make me go hmmm.
The Pregnancy Test
Picture the scene: it has come to that point of the soap opera, drama series or sit-com when a female character has gone to the local pharmacy and bought a pregnancy testing kit. This is invariably hidden from view in a brown paper bag of the sort that died out in reality sometime during my teens. If anyone knows of a pharmacy anywhere in the world that still uses brown paper bags, please let me know.
While in the bathroom (this is not an American euphemism – the bathroom rather than a boring old bog is usually the chosen venue) the boyfriend or husband arrives home and heads for the kitchen (these scenes ALWAYS take place in a food preparation area).
Seconds later the woman bounds into the room, pregnancy stick held proudly aloft. Still clutching the offending object she throws her arms around boyfriend's / husband's neck and announces that the test result is positive.
Surely I cannot be the only person in the world thinking: “Yuck! You just pissed on that!”?