Channel 4 have always had time for documentary in their schedules. And in this day and age that is no bad thing as we are a nation of information junkies. Some of the most striking documentaries I can think of were fathered by Channel 4, or at least adopted from international sources. Who can forget “The Great Global Warming Swindle?” No? Perhaps you were out for a drive that day polluting the atmosphere. If so you can watch it HERE. It might have told a few fibs and a couple of interviews may have been misconstrued but hey – at least they didn’t spend the whole time laughing at a load of underweight polar bears clinging to a shard of ice.
“24 Hours in A+E”, while a bit voyeuristic at times was another extremely well made documentary series that really got behind what a busy emergency department must be like for the staff. Laughs, tears, excitement and even boredom! All done with dignity and with with craft.
“Dispatches” at it’s best can rival and even better the BBC, responding to recent social issues such as the London riots. But it’s always opening a can of worms politically, or more often than not highlighting something gross or irregular. “How clean is your house?” being one example.
When Channel 4 pulls their finger out it often doesn’t reek of shit. But sometimes it does. The kind of shit that is the result of some sinister consumption. This ranges from the “WTF”? To the immoral. With rude and crude shows such as“Supersize vs superskinny” and “Embarrassing Bodies.”What’s next? Inside Alan Carr’s ass? Celebrity suicides with Davina Mc Call? How clean is your fanny with Kim and Aggie?
“Turtle Boy,”a recent factual programme was broadcast by Channel 4 charting life of a little Columbian boy with a massive shell-like birthmark on his back.
I can understand a young lad with a shell on his back wanting to draw attention to that fact. Because first of all he’s got a great big fucking shell on his back so it’s not like he can hide it. And secondly perhaps letting the world in on it may raise awareness and pay for a life saving op. Which it did, bless him. But why does a spotty teenager get his septic slug out in front of millions when he could easily do it down the walk in centre with all the other STD’s and special brew cans?
And how many programmes can TV channels make about hoarders? They must have an entire room of tapes on this issue! Irony!! Hoarding documentaries about weirdos who happen to collect everything from toilet roll holders to bar codes. This is from the WTF category where we can laugh at someone who has filled his house with shit he doesn’t need. Should we be laughing? Maybe not as this guy Richard Wallace (the hoarder) probably has issues he needs dealt with. But, nevertheless we all have a great big laugh.
Even programmes such as “9/11 the missing tapes” which played the audio recordings from the Air Traffic Controllers on that infamous day was awful. It was depressing and all about opening cans of worms. It was thought provoking; however one wishes that every now and again Channel 4 would produce a nice feel good documentary. One that didn’t show you someone’s busted ovaries (Embarrassing Bodies) or an up close and personal shot of a Hippopotamus’ ass hole (Inside Nature’s Giants) Fascinating as they are, you wouldn’t want to have your tea in the same room.
I thought I’d seen it all but it was“The Undateables” that really inspired me to write this article. At first I thought this show was going to be about odd balls. Then thanks to a bill board the size of Russia I learned it wasn’t. The show features a group of disabled people (some more noticable than others) and tell of their anguish that people always give them a second look but for the wrong reasons. They then go on dates to find their true love. Some of it is funny in a sweet kind of first date way as we all can relate to. But through some of it I was thinking that Channel 4 – not for the first time I might add – was hiding behind it’s euphemisms of ‘human-interest’ to sell a program which was primarily built for cheap laughs.
If you see a fat man with piles you’re bound to see Dr. Christian Jessen standing not too far away pointing the finger. What is with this utter prick? All he seems to do is offer his “advice” on all of these awkward sex/body-shock documentaries. I can only imagine he has a sick fetish for all things gruesome. That, or like the rest of us are he is inwardly laughing at all these ludicrously named and shamefully made documentaries from a channel that rolls in controversy.
“Stay with us on Four, up next we have Inside my my big fat embarrassing undateable hippo hoarding midget’s wedding: UNCUT”