To say television is different here is a bit of an understatement. Not only are their standards different in terms of censorship i.e. swearing seems allowed just about any time of day as is topless-ness and naked bums but the content is also different. Most programmes are based much more around a reality/documentary style (which isn’t surprising as the US has based the majority of reality show formats from the UK – Apprentice, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars etc). But there are also a series of ones that don’t require audience input but are based on ‘real’ life which the titles alone cause me to laugh out loud or scratch my head, for example;
Baby Borrowers – a show focused around ‘lending’ teens a baby for a set amount of time to see if they can really cope with parenting. The description from the BBC website is perfect, I won’t even try to paraphrase it…..Britain’s teenagers are breeding like rabbits – can they be convinced to wait?
Can fat teens hunt? – a show following overweight teens who have been sent to Borneo to adopt a hunter/gatherer lifestyle to break their unhealthy relationship with food. A bit extreme but I guess sending them to Weight Watchers wouldn’t make for good TV.
Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses– pretty much as the title says, allegedly 75% of Britons have an embarrassing illness that they won’t discuss with their doctor….right, so its much easier and more therapeutic to discuss it with the entire UK viewing audience, got it.
Autopsy– yes, they literally perform an autopsy on TV! I was flicking through the channels and did a double take when I saw a guy in a white lab coat pulling organs out of a dead body in front of a studio audience who looked thoroughly intrigued versus grossed out.
Kill it, cook it, eat it – I found this one on Tuesday night and watched while they hung a lamb carcass up and sliced it apart to explain what bits you actually eat. This concept isn’t actually that new over here as for the past few years Gordon Ramsey has reared an animal on his show only to kill it and eat it in the final episode to support the believe that if we eat it, we should know how it actually gets to our table.
This is just a sample I could go on and on. To be honest, I do find some of these documentary style shows (okay maybe not the ones listed above, there are some less outrageous ones) are quite interesting and are a nice break from the perfect-ness of Wysteria lane.