Goes well with Cheese

Television Viewing: A How To Guide

If you're going to be picky, I'll have cider

If you’re going to be picky, I’ll have cider

The world turns and we no longer accept practices that were once normal.  Quite right too – there’s no place for all that… nonsense in modern society.

But what’s going on with wine?

People are sniffy about homeopathy because any effectiveness relies solely on the placebo effect, but wine fails blind test after blind test yet people still accept all the guff. If it’s really true that blindfolded people can’t differentiate white or red wine, and the same wine submitted twice to experts is judged differently each time, one is left to conclude that the whole thing is a monumental racket.  It’s particularly lame when experts suggest wines to go with particular type of food.  Look at this cobblers.

Goes well with New Zealand Chardonnay

Goes well with New Zealand Chardonnay

Light styled Red Burgundy. If that isn't too narrow

Light styled Red Burgundy. If that isn’t too narrow

A hare casserole goes well with a fruity beaujolais, apparently.

Your Combozola eating experience (it’s a cheese hybrid, from Germany), is enhanced if you get yourself some Tokaji Aszú, whatever that is.

Get yourself a life, more like, you ponce.

We know that context is important for TV programmes.  A drama can transport you from your mundane life to an immersive adventure – it’s a personal thing and works well with some lush attention.  Other programmes are more social – best enjoyed with other people watching together.

But how often do TV channels ever suggest to viewers that they consider matching the programme to their mood or situation.

On Demand TV is entirely based on you watched that, so you might like this, as if our future choices must be determined by our old ones.  But On demand is necessarily more about the content – it’s an active choice: one reason why it attracts such a small share.

But beyond scheduling programmes at particular times, live TV doesn’t bother to advise its audience, even though we all like to imitate others and to be nudged with suggestions.  Only Gogglebox shows you how to watch TV programmes (sit on a sofa and comment… that’s it...) no wonder it’s Channel 4’s biggest programme.

Many programmes show Twitter hashtags as a nudge to engagement, but only a tiny fraction of viewers can be arsed to join in with those.

How about some hashtags to instruct all the viewers:

#getyourhankiesready  #goodbitcomingupgetyourwifeinfromthegarden.  #itsthenewssositupstraight  #itsacomedyhaveyoutriedlaughing  #eatachocolateyouknowyouwantto

Here’s what TV channels could be advising its viewers about their programmes:

The News – show a crowd of people standing in front of their sofa saluting the screen, and the slogan  -‘The News, it’s what adults do’.

24 Hours in A&E – watch this while holding a photo of someone you love.

Top of the Pops – it’s now 1980.  Get the oldest person in the house to slag off the stupid hairstyles while the rest of you dance around. Do both if alone.

Do you use your phone in the cinema? Do you text during a play? Do you fuck. Put the phone AWAY. Avoid distractions, and show yourself some respect, it’s time for Antiques Roadshow.

Sunday Brunch – pour yourself a sherry, it’s a Sunday morning tradition. No wait, a bloody mary…  even better. Well, if you’re having vodka anyway, have a scotch. Two.

First Dates – it’s a programme about people on dates, looking for love. Wait until your partner’s asleep, then sneak down and watch while taking notes.

No Offence – to be honest, if you’re dim, you won’t get this one. Goes well with a complex Merlot, or Wensleydale.

EastEnders – admit it, you define yourself by the fact that you don’t watch it. Grow up. Define yourself by something else. Tonight at 8, take a positive step to a new you and tune in.

Springwatch – ever feel overwhelmed by the enormity of existence and diminished by the effort to get on? This programme goes well with existential angst.

University Challenge – Special mnemonic ‘M8 GAFF’ – ‘Monday, 8, Guess Answers For Fun’

Question Time – For goodness sake, don’t watch this with any old people. (or if you’re old, with any young people).  Better yet, don’t watch it at all.

Why don't more people do this?  It genuinely enhanced the adverts

Why don’t more people do this? It genuinely enhanced the adverts