On Wednesday night we spotted a programme on the TV which seemed to promise a bit of light relief. Virgin 1 show the first in a series of “Shock-Docs”, this one being about how crap us Brits are in bed.
Taking it as a bit of fun we decided to watch the show and settled down for a little bit of chewing gum for the mind. We weren’t expecting an in-depth documentary about the state of sexuality or morals in the UK. We didn’t want to be enlightened about the physiology of sexuality or the neurological responses to different forms of sexual stimulation. We just wanted a non-taxing way to spend an hour.
Starting with such low expectations you would assume we couldn’t be disappointed.
The show had three problems.
First that the lack of factual content meant that humour and vivaciousness were the order of the day. Sadly humour was conspicuous by its absence and the programme seemed stilted and about to breath its last from the moment it started.
Then there was the complete lack of content. They set up various “sexy” scenarios for the people who had agreed to take part. Each of three couples were supposed to take on the sexual attitudes and practices of a different country. Ignoring the sweeping generalisations this made about each of the nations’ sexualities the idea was never followed through to its logical conclusion. I’ m not expecting bare flesh and explicit action, but some words from the couples would have been nice. Yes they spoke, but I can’t remember them saying much about their experiences that was in any way sensuous or sexual.
Then there was the presenter. Decorative but curiously uncomfortable with the idea of delivering a piece to camera. She seemed perfectly capable of doing the job, but during tracking shots where she would deliver the concluding sentence of her link she seemed to stare out of shot before the editor cut away as if relived to be done and eager to get off camera. At times she almost seemed to be enjoying the job but for the most part she seemed wooden.
We actually ended up spotting sex toys we’d tested to pass the time while we waited to see which production company was responsible for this pile of crap. We’d tested all the ones we could see clearly.
One highlight was Ashley Hames star of the show Sin Cities. He’s a sort of adult version of Louis Theroux if you’re unfamiliar with his work. He has the ability to ask the most outrageous questions and get away with it. He also has balls the size of grapefruits and will take on all sorts of discomfort for the sake of his TV programmes. I’ve seen him have enemas, piercings, tattoos and sessions with dominatrixes all to provide articles for his own shows.
Sadly even Ashley was infected by the shows apparent lack of enthusiasm for itself. The production company, TwoFour, have made some excellent programmes for the BBC and independent channels in the past. I can only assume this was produced to a very low budget with a sketchy brief, or that any bits relating to sex were removed by over-zealous editors fearing the wroth of the broadcasting watchdogs.