Because I generally don’t have access to Virgin Media, Sky or even Freeview, last week, I took advantage of having access an unfathomably long list of channels. I could hardly wait to my gorge my brain on the television equivalent to microwavable kebabs: BBC Three, Bravo… Friendly TV–I remember these!
First off was BBC Three’s I Believe In UFOs: Danny Dyer, in which self-proclaimed ‘ard man Danny Dyer tries to prove the existence of UFOs. (This is not a joke).
As I sat down to watch the programme, I couldn’t help but wonder who had approached whom. Did Danny approach the BBC with the idea of proving the existence of UFOs or did the BBC approach Danny?
I eventually concluded that the idea for the show was probably conceived after a particularly awkward meeting with the BBC, in which Danny, fresh out of ideas about men beatin’ shit, eventually said something along the lines of, “UFOs–show about space and shit?”
Of course, this is purely speculation, but it is difficult to comprehend how an idea like this could have been given the green light. Even by BBC Three, the channel behind My Weapon Is a Dog. (This is not a joke).
I was sceptical, to say the least, that Dyer, star of the film Football Factory, could prove the existence of UFOs, but the mental image of Dyer being the first human in history to make contact with beings from another planet was enough to keep me watching.
As I noticed while watching his previous documentary series, Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men, Danny, like many self-proclaimed ‘ard men, seems to have mistaken “bein’ ‘ard!” for chronic gas. In fact, Dyer’s gas problem only seems to have gotten worse since then.
Dyer sways and staggers his way through his opening monologue, where he vows to track down people who are brave enough to prove the existence of intergalactic space people, and with his trademark swagger, half belches and half dribbles the worlds, “My name’s Danadyer [swoosh!] and I believe in UFOs,” as if he’s just downed a shaken can of Dr. Pepper.
The first course of action for Danny: interview Sir Patrick Moore, who, much to Dyer’s dismay, believes that the chances of life existing somewhere on another planet is highly likely.
So Danny, now beaming with confidence, sets off to prove the existence of creatures of the third kind, but as Danny so correctly says, “Just because you see something weird in the sky, it doesn’t necessarily follow that aliens were involved.”
As the programme progresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that Dyer probably isn’t going to prove the existence of the UFOs. But despite my initial concerns, I actually found I Believe In UFOs surprisingly engaging. Perhaps I was just too curious to see what bizarre move Danny would make next, but it was oddly entertaining to watch. Ridiculous. But undeniably entertaining.
After I Believe In UFOs, I decided to turn over to something fun; something with nudity; something like Channel 4’s Sexperience, which I thought sounded vaguely raunchy. It’s a show which encourages people to talk openly about sexual taboos.
“For years we’ve been laughing at fat people having sex,” claims the presenter, as posters for Big Momma’s House and Norbit appears on screen. She continues, stating that it’s perfectly normal for fat people to have sex and far less funny than all our favourite films may have suggested.
She then backs up her claim by interviewing a morbidly obese woman who boasts that she gets it “three times a day”. On top, apparently.
Anyway, the show, not content on simply punishing the viewers at home, decided to reduce the sex drive of a whole assembly of pubescent school children by having a group of deflated old people walk out in front of them. The teens immediately exploded with laughter and start declaring in unison that they have no desire to look at “old man knob”. But after several minutes of looking at “old man knob”, the once cheerful teens were practically vowing never to let another sexual thought enter their heads ever again.
As they were told that this will inevitably happen to them, the colour gradually started to drain from the teen’s faces. They were confused. Confused in particularly by one old man’s penis. One boy vehemently protested having to look it, as if the mere sight of it could have some sort of immediate ageing effect.
To make matters worse, the geriatric line-up started to look worryingly inanimate, which I’m sure only fuelled the anxiety of the children. The man with the suspiciously disturbing genitals was especially inert, no doubt questioning why he’d decided to agree on exposing himself to a group of terrified comprehensive school children.
Like the teens, depression and fear started to set in, so I decided to switch over to LIVING’s Four Weddings, which at the time, seemed marginally more up-beat.
Four Weddings, I soon found out, is a programme in which bad people attend bad people’s bad weddings, and like a lot of these trash reality shows, Four Weddings has the ability to make you feel as if you’ve just stepped into a Ralph Steadman illustration. Somehow the producers have managed to find enough horrific caricatures of real people to make an entire show about them. It’s essentially Come Dine With Me, but less entertaining and it leaves you with a profoundly dejecting feeling inside. There’s also some nausea.
Like Come Dine With Me, we’re supposed to find the rude people in Four Weddings funny, but unlike Come Dine With Me, it’s not funny. Come Dine With Me kind of works because it ridicules the awful people, but Four Weddings is entirely just awful people ridiculing other awful people. And badly at that:
When commenting on the appearance of the soup she was served, one particularly rude woman commented, “I did say to the girls, ‘ it looks like snot in a bowl!'”
Immediately prompting me to gasp and scream and cry, “Oh, my word. What is she like!?”
To be fair, yes, these weddings are crap, but do we really need the comments of a semi-aquatic lout to work out that Cotton Eyed Joe and 5, 6, 7, 8 by Steps aren’t good wedding songs. Songs which, according to one guest, belong to the “Country bumpkin” genre of music. You know, like Kenny Rogers.
This wedding, by the way, climaxed with a couple of male guests stripping until they were completely naked, whilst a group of Heat-reading bints with camera phones gathered around them trying to snap a picture of their sweaty genitals.
Yes, class was the theme for this one! Although, surprisingly, the guests seemed to think it was a nice touch. Suspiciously coloured soup–bad! Stripping oafs–good! This is why Four Weddings is so infuriating. No one makes any valid criticisms. The groom could drop his pants and urinate on the priest for all the contestants care, they’re too busy trying to think up funny one-liners about soup.
So all in all, it was an eventful evening. I learned that not everything you see in the sky necessarily mean aliens were involved, old people don’t look good naked, obese people have sex more than I do and that Kenny Roger’s plays “Country Bumpkin” music. Thank you, television.