I often complain that we don't get any decent telly any more, just a lot of reality telly. Another of my bugbears is misery TV and I don't watch soaps for that reason. If I want to watch families yelling at one another I'll visit mine and not do it in my precious leisure time. There is an element of TV being there to inform and educate, but my favourite shows tend to be purely entertainment, which I almost feel I have to apologise for. More often than not I'll watch Blackadder yet again (which is almost like learning history isn't it ?) and recently Masterchef or the newly returned Great British Bake Off (come on that's just Home Ec) or if I'm being really swotty a quiz so I have to use my brain a little bit. It made me wonder whether TV was always about real life or if this obsession with 'constructed reality' is all new.
Despite what the papers and every Prisons Minister and Justice Secretary (how Orwellian is that ?) think I know for a fact that prisons aren't like Porridge. Prison officers who've been in the job a long time insist it used to be like that and long serving prisoners do hark back to the days of it being like a gentleman's club, but I suspect closing the 'staff clubs' where officers could get 'cold refreshments' during breaks is only a good thing. Norman Stanley Fletcher and his like do exist, but the scams are far less jolly than the ones depicted going on at Slade Prison. In reality we have an interesting TV crossover where the Muppets help children who have parents inside prison to deal with this very difficult issue in their young lives.
And despite what every Health minister in the last 15 years believes, NHS hospitals are not like Green Wing (and then Scrubs). I'm sure they want to believe that doctors have time for japes and hilarity and that the admin staff spend all day photocopying their body parts rather than actual work. If you think it's a bit far-fetched that actual policy on health might be based on misconceptions from watching a comedy series then try and recall the last time you saw a minister or indeed any public figure sitting in A&E at 3 in the morning with a child with a viral infection. No, it's ok I'll wait...
Of course all of this is moot when you have a toddler as the TV is on Cbeebies the majority of the time he is awake. At least I can say that is educational without fear of contradiction :o)