When you’re on maternity leave you get a lot of opportunity to catch up on daytime TV.
Anyway, after a long year, I was looking forward to some downtime, feeding the baby and checking up on so-called comfort TV – the kind of thing you watch when you are off work sick.
A couple of months on and I have to report that daytime terrestrial TV in the UK has gone seriously downhill since my last baby, five years ago. Maybe it’s the competition from other channels.
Perhaps it’s a reflection of the way women on tv seem to have embraced a sort of Barbie persona as somehow post-feminist. On This Morning, the UK’s main magazine progamme, for one, the presenters have been changed. Out has gone the 40 + mum Fern Britton who at least knew how to have a laugh. In has come a glamorous blonde. The presenters seem to spend their entire time either eating or doing pointless competitions like throwing eggs at people.
It might be fun for them, but it isn’t fun to watch. And on Fridays another couple takes over, which includes a man who is like a throwback to the 1970s (and I’m not talking disco here). The alternative is rubbish antiques or house-fixing programmes or the ubiquitous Phil Donahue-esque “debate” programmes.
Surely, the TV magnates can come up with better stuff than this. I’m not asking for hard news documentaries, but something that makes you think just a little would be good.
I am a captive audience. When I’m feeding the baby I can’t move, I can’t read, I can’t basically do anything except look. But my brain is still functioning, if only at 30% capacity due to sleep deprivation.
Media people are apparently madly trying to appeal to women. Sadly, they seem to think this boils down to food, soap operas, and fashion, but women are not so very different from men. They just want to watch/read something that is interesting.
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