Apr 13

Right, how many modern TV shows adhere to the format below? How much of the output from how many stations starts at step 1 before plodding the weary, well-trodden path to the end? And how many of us, just looking to relax after a hard day at work, are caught in the gradient of inevitability that surrounds such televisual masterpieces? Ten points and shiny prize* if you can identify some yourself.

Modern TV flowchart

So, how many did you get? With some slight variations in format, I can pick up the following just off the top of my head:

Parenting: Supernanny

Makeup / dressing: Snog, Marry, Avoid

Cleaning: How Clean Is Your House?

Cooking: Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares

Work: The Business Inspector

Hotel: The Hotel Inspector

Surviving: Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum

It’s late, I’m tired and am about to go to bed, but those just flew off the top of my head. I’m a massive Star Trek fan so am no stranger to formulaic TV that elevates “variations on a theme” to an artform (Enterprise visits planet, encounters threat, Kirk kicks the crap out of alien man / pumps** alien woman, Enterprise flies off with bridge crew enjoying hearty laugh) but this assembly-line TV is just insulting. And boring. Boring boring boring boring boring***.

* Prize may not be shiny. Terms and conditions apply once I make them up.

** Yes, pumps. I could have said “shags” or something else, but I went for pumps. Blame Irvine Welsh, my recent re-reading of “Glue” and “Porno” has obviously warped my innocent mind.

*** Boring. Booooooring. And I don’t mean entertainingly boring, like Last Of The Summer Wine for the last billion series. I mean Nick Clegg boring.