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Why didn't we realise TV was rubbish?


dumpster
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It's the usual "99% of everything is rubbish". This was prime-time popular fare, and popularity rarely equals quality. I watched most of crap when I was kid because ... I was a kid, and it was on telly. It amused me at the time.

 

I'd still rather watch most of this stuff than Antique Homes Under The Sun, or Celebrity Love Jungle On Ice or whatever.

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56 minutes ago, dumpster said:

Why didn't we realise TV was rubbish?

 

We didn’t have people on the internet telling us. ;) Not a slight on any particular community, but everything we enjoy has people online who’ll shit all over it. And sometimes we need that broader perspective in order to reassess our own standards.

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On 23/07/2022 at 12:17, Qazimod said:

 

We didn’t have people on the internet telling us. ;) Not a slight on any particular community, but everything we enjoy has people online who’ll shit all over it. And sometimes we need that broader perspective in order to reassess our own standards.

 

Not always. There's times I enjoy something that I know isn't top tier TV but just won't post about it on here because it's immediately followed up by someone saying it's shit and then continuing to go back into the thread to tell all new posters who enjoyed it how they're wrong too. Kinda just bums you out and into the end I just muted some people cause they're always so negative.

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I remember starting to realise prime time telly was crap in the 90s when they had stuff like Noel’s House Party and You’ve Been Framed. It probably still is just as terrible, it’s just we don’t have to watch it anymore.

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Part of the problem is that these people had An Act that they would tour Clubs with. This relied on their audience a) bring at least half pissed and b) having never seen the act before. You actually still see a bit of the second one if you see a modern comedian live once or twice and then see them on a QuizCom like Mock the Week - they generally recycle part of their act as an "impromptu" answer on TV and will repeat jokes on different tours.

 

There's also the problem that the Club act was, more often than not, "blue" and usually what could generously be called "not politically correct". Which they couldn't do on TV at teatime. No TV channel wanted "So the blind can hate them as well" type jokes on prime time. So they did a watered down, light entertainment variety show version of their act. And they needed singing for the "variety" element (this is why The Young Ones had a musical act and Alexi Saile doing a turn every episode - it got them more funding than a sitcom or sketch show). 

 

So yeah, it was all pretty crap, even at the time. But it was designed to be mindless entertainment that just washed over the viewers and didn't challenge them in any way. And it was unbelievably popular as a result.

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Russ Abbot was several leagues below Cannon & Ball. When Cannon & Ball were on I'm A Celebrity they seemed like proper nice blokes. 

One act I could never understand was the Krankies - they seemed to get on kids TV all the time. No idea why. 

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3 hours ago, Monkeyspill said:

I remember starting to realise prime time telly was crap in the 90s when they had stuff like Noel’s House Party and You’ve Been Framed. It probably still is just as terrible, it’s just we don’t have to watch it anymore.


Yeah it’s this. As a kid my parents wouldn’t get sky (because fuck murdoch, which is fair enough), so we had 4 channels, then 5. We had a VHS player but they were expensive enough that we didn’t have tonnes of stuff to watch. I had one Simpsons VHS with five episodes on and me and my sister wore that out because it was so much better than most of what was available on TV. 
 

Even when we got NTL cable, there were functionally only 20 or so channels that might actually have content I wanted to watch. But around that time DVD’s started getting cheaper, then freeview added more free channels, then you could download shows, then PVRs meant you could record things, then streaming and on demand and here we are. There’s now so much to watch that you’d have to be fucking insane to be watching ITV on a Saturday night (or old I guess). Whereas in the past it was basically one of about ten options so the chances of it being the least terrible were higher. 

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3 hours ago, Don Wiskerando said:

 

Have you seen the Keith Harris episode with Louis Theroux @Monkeyboy? I love the scene where he's watching old videos of himself, visibly crying and saying what amounts to, "you see that's what's wrong with these modern acts today. They're crap compared to me".  Its gold. 

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41 minutes ago, Monkeyboy said:

Even at a young age I detested Russ Abbot. That songs of joy and tears of laughter tune makes me grind my teeth.

 

@dumpster Don’t be dissing Keith Harris though. Guy was on another level.


Also, Russ Abbott inflicted Les Dennis and Dustin Gee onto the nation, and they basically did a terrible Coronation Street impression and not much else. I was lucky, my parents thought all this stuff was terrible and didn’t indulge us in the slightest if one of those shows happened to be on. They certainly watched a lot of crap serious stuff, but comedy wise, we were more likely to hear them guffawing downstairs after we’d gone to bed, and sneak down to find them laughing at Not The 9 O’Clock News, Dave Allen, Spike Milligan, Reginald Perrin and latterly stuff like The Comic Strip Presents.

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3 hours ago, Stoppy2000 said:

Russ Abbot was several leagues below Cannon & Ball. When Cannon & Ball were on I'm A Celebrity they seemed like proper nice blokes. 

One act I could never understand was the Krankies - they seemed to get on kids TV all the time. No idea why. 

I had the privilege of seeing Abbott in the Oliver musical. He might of been a bit crap on the telly, but he was pure genius in theatre 

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1 hour ago, dumpster said:

Have you seen the Keith Harris episode with Louis Theroux @Monkeyboy? I love the scene where he's watching old videos of himself, visibly crying and saying what amounts to, "you see that's what's wrong with these modern acts today. They're crap compared to me".  Its gold. 

That is a cracking episode. He is very bitter. 

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7 hours ago, Don Wiskerando said:

I hope you lot have never seen The Grumbleweeds.   Canon and Ball are Lee and Herring compared to that shit.


I had the questionable pleasure of seeing them in a Pantomime one Christmas when I was about 8 or 9.

 

Never been to another Panto since, and have absolutely zero interest in ever doing so for the rest of my days.
 

Not sure if that is specifically due to The Grumbleweeds, but they sure as hell didn’t help.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Jammy said:

Not The 9 O’Clock News, Dave Allen, Spike Milligan, Reginald Perrin and latterly stuff like The Comic Strip Presents.

I think this just shows that not all TV was crap back in the day. The OP is just complaining about stuff that is still around today, but now fronted by Ant & Dec.

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12 hours ago, Waggo said:


I had the questionable pleasure of seeing them in a Pantomime one Christmas when I was about 8 or 9.

 

Never been to another Panto since, and have absolutely zero interest in ever doing so for the rest of my days.
 

Not sure if that is specifically due to The Grumbleweeds, but they sure as hell didn’t help.

 

 

I saw Canon and Ball in a panto when I was in my twenties.  In the half time interval they came into stage and talked about how they became Born-Again Christians.  This was the best part of the show.

 

Also, can we add 'including bad pantomime experiences' to the thread title?   I'll leave the decision on capitalisation and punctuation to the OP.

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TV was rubbish because we had so little of it. The explosion of TV channels and exposure to foreign produce has liberated our televisual tastebuds. 
 

TV was so ‘white British’ at the time and fairly vanilla in its offerings. You had to seek out the more unique and interesting fodder at the edges of the scheduling. 
 

 

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I never understood how any ventriloquists acts got even vaguely famous.

 

Sooty/Sweep, Orville & the Monkey, Emu, Spit the Dog (wasn't even voiced! Bob Carolgees milked no talent like no other) should have come last in their respective Stars in their eyes episodes.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, dino_jr said:

I never understood how any ventriloquists acts got even vaguely famous.

 

Sooty/Sweep, Orville & the Monkey, Emu, Spit the Dog (wasn't even voiced! Bob Carolgees milked no talent like no other) should have come last in their respective Stars in their eyes episodes.

 

 

 

Don't you dare diss Sooty and Sweep.

 

There is a clip of Rod Hull going around that is absolutely brilliant physical comedy, including the small character details - the actual gag wasn't funny but the concept of someone causing mayhem on a set was quite brilliant.  (As was Billy Connolly telling him in no uncertain terms not to try anything.)

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1 hour ago, dino_jr said:

I never understood how any ventriloquists acts got even vaguely famous.

 

 


The classic one was Peter Brough, who was, rather absurdly, famous for his radio-based ventriloquist act. Went on a chat show, and was genuinely useless. The host kept saying “You’re not very good are you” while he protested through the medium of his doll Archie Andrews, while trying to hide his moving lips by constantly bringing a cigar up to his mouth.

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