Everywhere you look these days there seems to be someone making a complaint about a TV show. Whether it be people saying Come Fly With Me is racist, that Frankie Boyle’s comedy shows are too rude, that Rihanna’s X Factor performance was ‘too sexy’, or people casting aspersions that the whole X Factor show in its entirety is fixed, everyone seems to have something to complain about. When did we get so sour? I just can’t see the point in it. TV was designed as a form of entertained, as in something that we get entertainment, enjoyment from. So why choose to watch it only to vent your anger in some kind of explosive outburst that would be more befitting of a stroppy child?
To actually go to the effort to complain about a show, to feel that level of negativity about something that appeared on a small screen in front of you just goes over my head. In life we’ve managed to control many of our emotions, so to succumb to negativity in such a way as this and ‘choose’ to see something in such a bad light that you need to complain about it just seems silly. Why are the people watching these shows anyway if they find them so awful? Maybe on some level they’re craving the enjoyment these shows so clearly provide to millions of other people.
No, the real reason why people seem to complain goes beyond this. One of the best ways this was illustrated by Danyl-gate in X Factor, when everyone got into a bit of a fuss over some comments Dannii Minogue made to contestant Danyl. On the original instance of the show being broadcast, only a few people complained, but as soon as the newspapers printed articles about it, the number of people complaining massively increased. What seems to be going on here is people jumping on the bandwagon in a rather pathetic attempt to exert some kind of ‘power’. To some people, the act of complaining seems to ‘empower’ them. They feel that they are having influence beyond their own small, individual lives – exerting power on a national level. They are venting their negativity in a silly knee-jerk reaction. Surely it’d be better for them to vent this energy in a more constructive form?
In any other situation, yes, maybe these shows might be inappropriate; but the things is, this is TV, comedy, entertainment. It is a format designed specifically for people to sit down and enjoy, to be entertained, to laugh, to forget about the labours of real life for a little while. With shows like X Factor and Come Fly With Me, who’s viewing figures exceed 10 million, it is clear audiences love them – the percentage actually picking up the phone to complain miniscule in comparison. Yet it is the complainers that get all the press. Let’s hope next time when one of these complainers gets the urge to pick up the phone, instead of thinking ‘Oh My God! How can this be shown on TV, HOW OUTRAGEOUS!!!’, they’ll instead just change the channel and think ‘You know what, I don’t think that show’s my cup of tea’.