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Home > Media

The TFT TV Hall of Hell

23 January 2005

Imagine a show called 'Combat 18 House', in which hundreds of hours of TV are given over to a house full of racists. Initially such a show would be compellingly shocking and, at a stretch, educational, if you weren't aware of quite how racist some people are. Combat 18 House might even be quite funny in its own way, given the unbelievably weird views of many C18 types.

But what appeal Combat 18 House might have would quickly fade. You'd soon start to feel depressed by the grimly repetitive conversations about 'niggers', 'queers' and 'reds', and possibly a little exploited by whichever channel screened the programme. Eventually you'd just say to yourself 'I've had enough of listening to this SHIT!' and change channels.

Unfortunately, the latest Celebrity Big Brother engenders rather similar feelings of disgust, boredom, being exploited and general ennui.

The franchise is looking distinctly exhausted: instead of members of the public who are shallow, uninteresting and pointlessly opinionated, we've got celebrities who are exactly the same. As if the Big Brother concept wasn't already overworked, we recently had the deeply unlikeable Big Brother: The Panto.

For those of us who like TV, it's yet more bad news. And with ITV planning a series called Celebrity Wrestling, it's easy to conclude that TV is getting worse, not better. Which started us thinking.

Long-time subscribers may remember TFT's attempt to discover the worst film ever made. Not merely low-budget toss like Cyborgotron 4, but those films that have had money and talent lavished on them, and which are still unspeakably awful.

Readers made some astute suggestions: Blade 2, Legally Blonde ('That's two hours of my life I'll never get back'), Anaconda and so on. Since then the film industry has raised the bar somewhat when it comes to crap, with the release of films like The Chronicles of Riddick, The Cat in the Hat and Sex Lives of the Potato Men, but to return to the point:

We'd like you to share your worst TV moments with us. The criteria are simple: it's something that is a professional piece of TV (rather than, say, zero-budget porn) but is still bad, bad, bad. Late Night Babes is never going to be a good piece of TV, but it has never claimed otherwise. Instead, perhaps you've experienced one of the following:

- Missing a programme the first time round, hearing good things about it, then making a point of watching the repeat, only to wonder what all the fuss was about;

- Becoming genuinely angry at something on the screen despite the fact that you can switch it off and go and do something more interesting instead;

- Starting to believe that Nathan Barley is a real person, not a fictional character, and is somehow controlling your TV's output;

- Ever had a choice between sport, sport, sport, sport or Open All Hours.


Of course, your own TV Hell may be something completely different. But even so, share. If nothing else it will be therapeutic and thus save you having to buy a new Sky handset after you've hurled it at the wall.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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