The Bastard Lounge

Misinformed, angry, coffee-addled ranting.

Trash: Into The Valley.

Something very strange is happening on that magic shiny box that sits in the corner of your lounge and talks at you. A couple of months ago, Tom Daley’s ITV vehicle Splash!, a show consisting solely of the premise of taking Z-List celebrities and watching them be rubbish at falling off things was renewed for a second series. This decision of course represents the single biggest failure of humankind since we somehow allowed the term ‘bore off’ to become an accepted part of our vocabulary. The show was, no disrespect to the genuinely talented Olympic medallist, rubbish. It was rubbish in the same way that all Saturday night TV is, except somehow worse because we were subjected to countless unfunny jokes on Twitter by girls who “wouldn’t mind getting wet with Tom Daley”. Ugh.

And now, we’re faced with the news that later this month, MTV’s televised Welsh herpes-farm The Valleys is returning to our screens. For those not familiar with the show, it apes the format previously used by MTV’s Shores, both Jersey and Geordie; and follows a group of waddling orange young people, all desperate to be famous for punching each other and flashing their floppy parts.

You know when old people complain about the youth of today and how we’re all going downhill? This is what they’re referring to. In researching this article I watched one three minute clip. And once my brother managed to wrestle the steak knife clutched to my jugular off me, I sat and wept for the future of this planet.

For those of you who respect your dignity enough not to allow yourself to be sullied by clicking that link, allow me to describe what happens. An unholy coven of foul-mouthed she-hags pile into the back of a minivan on a noble quest to get wankered and have sheep tattooed on their “foofs”. Yes, in a shocking twist of post-modern irony, these young scholars have taken the humorous Welsh stereotype of sheep-shagging and subverted it through their own meta-awareness. Either that or they’re fucking morons. Shamefully this episode led to someone I know being inspired to get her own vaginal tattoo because clearly I’ve offended God somehow and he’s cursed me with a plague of idiots.

I never knew that sheep are capable of expressing disgust before.

I never knew that sheep are capable of expressing disgust before.

The Valleys is one of these new-fangled ‘scripted reality’ shows, which means that a writer decided that this would make ‘good’ TV, and these vapid airheaded droolers agreed to do it. It’s not exactly fake but it is by no means reality either. But I wouldn’t get too bogged down with the semantics of it all, all you need to know is that we need to kill this beast. Kill it with fire.

Now I don’t for a moment want to pretend that all TV needs to be intelligent. The beauty of television today is the sheer variety of it all, and quite frankly sometimes we don’t feel like Black Mirror or Breaking Bad, we want Bottom and Total Wipeout. Or my new personal favourite, Syfy’s Robot Combat League.

This show is every nerd’s wet-dream. It features teams of people donning suits to control 8 foot robots and beat the living hell out of each other in a veritable slugfest of blood and motor oil. And as if that weren’t enough, it’s hosted by ‘The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla’ himself, Chris Jericho. My brother and I watched it originally out of a sense of novelty and curiosity, only to find ourselves jumping on the sofa and punching the air as giant robots decapitated one another. It’s completely stupid, ridiculous and moronic – and it’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a TV show.

I think the reason that I don’t see idiotic programmes such as this as a problem is the fact that they are simply nothing more than escapism. I don’t know a single man that wouldn’t love to control a giant robot on a path of metallic vengeance. This programme allows us to live out those fantasies with little to no threat of serious injury – except when I accidentally punched myself in the eye during an overzealous celebration. In comparison, people (idiots) may watch the likes of The Valleys or Geordie Shore as a gentle break from the rigours of thinking, but the problem is that the people they are watching genuinely exist and they really shouldn’t.

When I ask people why they watch such programmes they comment on how stupid the people are, forgetting that (despite being overly exaggerated for effect) these are real people, clearly with genuine mental disorders. The fleeting promise of temporary fame is surely not enough to persuade a mentally healthy person to trade in their dignity and self-respect. In that sense, what you’re watching is a severely damaged person completely ruining any prospects of any future life fulfilment as potential friends, partners and employers all regard them as “that girl who punched the bouncer and has a sheep on her fanny”.

The problem is, all these programmes clearly get enough viewers to continue. The economics of TV are very simple – if enough people watch the show, they’ll keep making it. And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the best example you will ever get as to why democracy doesn’t work.



3 comments on “Trash: Into The Valley.

  1. Anne Yates
    April 12, 2013

    I dare you to forward it to Paul! References to the welsh valley girls will have him in hysterics! Nice one Dan! xx


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