Friday, July 25, 2008

Sky + Rubbish = A Waste of Time

Seeing that I watch virtually nothing on TV, I find Sky's research findings of the UK's viewing habits somewhat perplexing. Those with Sky+ (I'm still not exactly sure what it is, but I'm guessing those who have it like TV) watch (or "timeshift" – don't ask) 3 and a half hours of TV a day. A day! Where they find the time, and why they bother, alas, the survey does not answer. It does, however, answer what they watch. Well, seeing that viewers have a multiverse of channels to watch I was expecting (not) an eclectic smorgasbord of cutting edge TV.

Alas, the truth was more mundane. For the most part the results could have been taken 10 or even 20 years ago when we had only 4 terrestrial channels. It's a predictable mix of drivel and crap including Eastenders, Casualty, Dr Who, The Apprentice and a bunch of other programmes I haven't heard of (but I'm sure are still crap) such as Ashes to Ashes, Flood, Waking the Dead (British TV viewers I presume?) and Britain's got Talent – surely an ironic title.

The rest of the survey is as inconsequential as the programmes we're (they're) watching: women in Scotland watch the most TV on Wednesday mornings; men in Lincolnshire watch the most on Tuesdays between 11pm and 12:30am; women in London watch more TV than men on Friday nights... you get the idea.

I'll admit to being hooked by recent American imports Lost, Heroes and 24 (and comedies such as Curb your Enthusiasm and Arrested Development) – but Sky's research reveal nothing American (or outside the UK) in the top ten.

I'm not one of those people who look back on the "golden age" of TV before reality shows and Graham Norton set in. No, by its very nature, it's always been bad. If I do watch it, I'll invariably switch on BBC4 (yes, I've just got a Freeview box). I am officially one of BBC4's 12 viewers and proud of it. The pretentious life is a tough one but someone's gotta live it.

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