Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a lot of rubbish

Mr FF is away for a few days and last night I decided to see if there was anything to watch on English tv. When he is here we usually watch films on our wall with the projector or play Scrabble on Facebook or just laze about chatting, seldom do we watch television - if we do then it is usually French tv to help with language skills.

I watched about 15 minutes of two programmes last night and couldn't decide which appalled me more; first there was Katie Price and Peter Andre's reality show about them moving to LA. It showed how unpleasant a person the former Jordan really is and I don't understand how she could have agreed to let a film crew follow her and record every nasty rejoinder to her husband. He wanted to go to the gym and she replied 'I know you are having an affair with someone there Peter - folks you heard it here first (looking at the camera). She then told him he was a liar and that she didn't love him any more and his little boy ran over to her and she encouraged the child to diss his dad. How can she behave like this in front of a) her kids and b) all of us sitting there mindlessly watching?

So I switched over to Channel 4 and watched a bit of Gok Wan's fashion makeover show. One item he does each week (although this was the first time I'd seen his show) is select some high street fashion items and then a 'rival' selects similar things but of a 'designer'nature and the audience choose which look they prefer the most, although they - and us - do not know which is the 'cheap' version and which is the astro-currency one. This show made me actually realise how out of touch with consumerism I have become since moving to France. -okay, I have my Rocket Dog (very mild) compulsion but that is it really. Anyway, I even found the 'cheap' high street prices quoted quite a lot of money , let alone the few thousand that each so-called designer outfit cost.

I think this whole 'staying in fashion' concept is a ludicrous one, although I didn't think so when I was 25 and as addicted to labels and needing to have the latest look/colour/style as the next fashion victim. For that is what these people are - they are victims and I've decided that I'm happy, delighted in fact, at being out of that loop.


Frankofile said...

There are so many tired-formula programmes, aren't there?

Last night we watched 'Toy Story Deux' on TF1 :-)

Anonymous said...

I got the satellite just so I could access English channels, and there are only CNN and BBCnews. So I'm stuck with Canal+ which isn't so bad. They show Desperate Housewives, at least.

I agree with you that anytime I see American/UK media, I am shocked at how much junk there is to BUY!
Hope M. FF comes back soon.

Anonymous said...

There was a time when we only had two channels. Programs began at 7pm and closed at 11pm with an interval in between programs. TV was black and white, reception was bad with interference whenever a car passed the house. We loved it and thought ourselves to be very entertained.
Now I pick and choose,or switch the bloody thing off and read a book. The BBC is still able to produce quality with their period drama.
My most hated thing is advertising:

Lane said...

I had the misfortune to catch Gok's programme too. Add a 'cheap' belt from the high street he said. Price? 45 quid. Sad.

I know you don't read The Mail anymore but there was an article the other day by Liz Jones who confessed to spending four hundred thousand on clothes. Even sadder.

LadyFi said...

What are Rocket Dogs? Sound like some kind of canine space dogs...

I hate this kind of reality TV - I just find it soooo boring... I was never in the loop when it came to dressing and fashion - I've always ignored all that. Thank goodness. Back then in my twenties I was a loser, now I'm just cool! ;-)

Lulu LaBonne said...

The cost of stuff's a difficult one, people will boast about picking up a top for tuppence at Primark without thinking about what the children who make them get for their efforts...

The ludicrousness and ethics of fashion lead me to the second-hand/vintage shops for most of my stuff. But I'm with you on Rocket Dogs.

Oh and Dedene - what do you think of the dubbing on DH?

Maternal Tales said...

I used to be the biggest TV addict - couldn't get enough - especially in the evenings when the children had gone to bed, but now I've discovered blogging I can hardly remember how to turn the TV on any more! And when I do manage it, you're right - it is always disappointing. Hubbie watches France 2 btw...

And yeah, as much as I love clothes (am with you on the Rocket Dogs) I have always seen following fashion as a complete absurdity. (and the people who are fashionistas the most vacuous of all).


A Super Dilettante said...

I haven't watched TV for many years. I watch a lot of DVDs at home. But with TV entertainment, one has to be selective. Talking about being selective, I don't know what to make of Gok Wan! My female friends think that I'm Gok Wan. I don't know if I should take it as a compliment or not. But I don't look like him. Above all, he lives for fashion. I don't.

Dumdad said...

The best of British TV is the best in the world but there's a whole load of rubbish as well. You have to cherry-pick from all the channels. French TV is pretty dire. I used to watch it to improve my French but now tend to watch movies in English.

Bill Stankus said...

I think there's great irony in the fact we have such incredible television technology available to us ... It is almost that of science fiction ... the flat screen digital panels with surround sound and crystal sharp Blu-ray players, gizmos such as Tivo, and yet the general nature of broadcast programming is at rock bottom.

The irony ... The Golden Age of TV was the 1950s! All they had were grainy black and white sets - big things and usually not reliable.

Owen said...

Glad to see you are getting back up to light speed again, or should I say, television wave speed... most of what is on the wavelengths (that is frying our DNA as Bloggertropolis was saying the other day) is total manure, I am with the person above who said that since discovering blogging, I have put down the remote control for the TV set entirely.

Was just chuckling over your comment about Coke... there are some French people who deride Coca Cola as being American champagne... and I'm with you, a good bottle of bubbly goes down well just about anywhere !!! :-D

Sydney said...

Bill makes a good point. I left New York (and LA before that) a few years ago, and was a celebrity fashion stylist so I was right in the middle of that world. There are a few things I miss about it, but much about the world that I don't. I will look forward to seeing the pics of the new Rocket Dogs on their way, as hinted at on the right. I to want to know what they are but since you said you are wearing tartan ones, I'm guessing they are rubber boots like Wellies?

French Fancy said...

Frankie -I do a search on UK tv about once a month and I'm always amazed by the same old same old aspect of it all.

Dedene - we've got a UK satellite but get loads of channels; I wonder why you are limited to just those two in the English language. We get Canal on our little French box but I don't think it's the + one; we just get it first thing in the morning for the news and then some evenings.

Moannie - I'm all period drama'd out. I've just seen too many, most of them adapted by Andrew Davies and I always have a bone to pick with his versions I'm afraid.

Lane - I'm glad it wasn't just me - and I thought both lot of clothes looked horrible (although maybe I'm just jealous that I'm not slim enough to wear anything he showed.

Um - confession time - I've stayed off the biscuits but (gulp) now and then I do look at the Mail online and I did read Liz Jones article. Stupid cow isn't she!

Ladyfi - oh you lucky thing - there is a whole world of Rocket Dogs out there waiting for you. They are the most comfortable and colourful footwear in the world. I've just won a bid on ebay for some that have been discontinued and I'm rushing to the door everyone time I hear the postie van - any day now.

(I have been known to watch Big Brother uk but not any more) - and I bet you were never a loser, just someone who didn't subscribe to the dictates of those stupid fashionistas (guilty I'm afraid)

Lulu - I inherited a lot of clothes from my paternal grandmother - I flogged a lot to Antiquarius in Chelsea and wore the rest - that gave me my first taste of vintage.

I never watched dubbed programmes - it's my worst tv or film thing ever!

MT - blogging is so much better than television, I totally agree. I like France 2, 5 and Arte.

ASD - I bet you are nothing like Gok Wan. I don't like the look he goes for - I bet you are much more classic and classy - you could never call him classy.

Dumdad - we watch English movies but with French subtitles - best of both worlds - educational and fun.I never do it the other way round though - French dubbing and English titles - I hate dubbed films of any language

Bill - I don't even know what a Tivo is and as for Blue Ray - nope, it's not entered the Fancy household yet.

We do have a good projector though and, at the expense of having a huge white wall bare of paintings, we do turn our living room into a little home cinema. I even bought a popcorn maching but it is lying unused in a corner of a cupboard.

Owen - I have a wine allergy which results in my nasal passages swelling up and I have difficulty breathing but - astonishingly - it doesn't happen with champagne. Lucky old me eh?

(although on my birthday when we bought the most fantastic wine I had ever drunk and which was a real real extravagance, I did not get the allergic response. That wine was from 1964 and they must be doing something different in this more modern cutting-corners age)

Sydney - Sorry to criticise your old profession (mind you I've done the same to Dumdad in my thoughtless way). I just feel it is very sad that some people get so obsessed but, as I've admitted I used to be just like that.

Rocket Dogs started out in LA incidentally.

Anonymous said...

We only get 2 english stations because our satellite has a French hookup. Merde!

French Fancy said...

merde alors ! - that's to Dedene by the way - I've not gone blogger tourettes

Ayak said...

I was rather excited at being in the UK at the moment and having access to all these Sky channels on enormous screens,but it's made me realise just how little I watch TV these days. So much of it is so boring.

Steve said...

The Jordan programme sounds so appalling I almost wish I'd watched it! There is something oddly compelling about car crash TV - the more obnoxious the better. And I say that at the same time as I loathe it. I'm just a hypocrite.

Veggie Carrie said...

I barely watch any TV either these days. However, I admit... I find Katie and Peter's show strangely fascinating viewing. They are a very strange couple. Peter is far, far too good for Jordan. The way he loves Harvey is touching.

I watched the episode you refer to, and agree that the way they argue in front of their kids was shocking. I also thought Peter shouldn't have got so cross at Junior for wearing nail varnish, and saying he will grow up wanting to kiss boys, and that is bad. Junior is about three - what's the harm in wearing it?

claire p said...

I have to admit that I don't watch either of these. But I also have to confess that if I still lived in a big town, and was three dress sizes smaller I would be a bit of a fashion victim (sorry).

A Super Dilettante said...

Thanks a lot, FF! I value your judgement :-) Besides, I don't go around asking ladies to strip naked on the TV like Gok Wan! I'm a gentleman!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Ah, FF, Gok has been a bit of a saviour of plus sized women everywhere - When so many others are reduced to fascist style hectoring of our wobbly bits... You probably missed his earlier progs, celebrating female loveliness...

I agree that this series is boring enough, although he is trying to get people to re-jig fashion, and not just be a slave to designer labels. There is lots of designer label here snobbery in the UK, and I know it's not the same abroad... I agree about the cost of clothes here - So I tend to refresh my wardrobe about three times a year at most - I am very keen on your rocket dogs, and am looking for suppliers here... We do not do enough to celebrate individuality IMHO - It's all about wearing what the latest WAG has been seen in, sadly...

As for Jordan, yes she's sad and probably well deluded, and it's a shame to wonder how her children will turn out after all, but she will have riches aplenty because she's always all over the press and TV here... Zelebs dahling, welcome to UK TV! Love to you, FF x

Mama said...

YIKES! Jordan is moving to California, oh no!! don't let it happen, having said that, nobody gives a fig about the Beckhams over here so no biggie really.
Gok Wan I have only ever seen on Ramsay's cooking show and he sulked something rotten when the customers picked Gordon's dish over his :-/, so I imagine he does the same with his fashions. I looked up rocket dogs, very trendy. I love your photo of the old tv's, very apt, TV's not great anywhere these days, I miss the pubs, do people still go to the pub in the UK?. :-( ).

lakeviewer said...

We are not truly stylish until we rebel against what is sold us, and discover style that makes us feel great when we wear those items. My elder brother worked for Valentino, and I was in awe of everything that came out of fashion houses, until I realized how many hours/years/decades I had to work to afford those pieces.

marc aurel said...

I know you have little time for memes, but you can never have too few readers.I sent you a meme.

Joy said...

Re: You out of the 'fashion loop'... Kid, I like your style!

bARE-eYED sUN said...

TV sux, Fashion Sux; and we are un agreement somewhat.

hooever, your morning street photo looks ao very kool on our desktop! :-) buy who are those little dragon-thingies with tails? :-0



La Belette Rouge said...

I am in L.A and I don't know who Katie and Peter are. Should I be afraid that I will soon have this people as a neighbor? The show sounds terrifying.

bindu said...

It's been a year since I stopped getting cable at home and I don't regret it! I watch some shows (jon stewart or colbert) that I like on the internet or rent them when I have time. Otherwise, as you say, they are not worth much.

justme said...

I rarely watch tv, and when I DO I remember why that is! Just recently I have found one or two quirky programmes that I like, but I only remember to watch them if the Boy is around and puts the tv on.
Rocket Dogs are comfortable shoes?? I will google them. I have huge problems with shoes....

French Fancy said...

Ayak - oh you are in my thoughts quite often atm - re boring tv schedules, isn't it just. It seems to be the same sort of thing on every channel. And the thing with French tv is that when I watch it and it's time for the pub
(adverts), I've never lost that feeling of being on holiday - with foreign ads 'n all (only I'm the foreigner really)

Steve - I know what you mean. I actually thought that Peter André had been subsumed by Jordan, but watching the ten minutes or so he is beginning to fight/answer her back - and that is why she seems so nasty and bitchy - the worm is turning and she doesn't like it.

But to try and bring the kids into the 'argument' (only he wasn't arguing, it was just her) is despicable.

Veggie Carrie - I thought he was very unreasonable about the nail polish as well. He must have suddenly realised he was in danger of sounding homophobic as well, because he then added the bit about - you do what you want when you are 33 not 3.

Claire - and do you know what - I would probably do just as you said as well.
Being in the French countryside though - where fashion simply doesn't matter (although quite a lot of Parisians own holiday homes here and they do - for the most part - stand out with their elegance) I've lost the urge to worry about new clothes.

(I sound like a bag lady but I do look okay, honest folks.)

AWONI - I'm also on the plump side and have no problem with it or no time for body fascism. Of course I'd like to lose some weight but never obsess about it and Mr FF likes my curves. I know Gok used to be large too - he did well to keep the weight off.

I hate this celeb culture - but the more I read about the past I don't think it has even been any different - just degrees of it, only this era seems to celebrate style over proper substance and intellect.

Mama - yes, to me Gok seems like a hissy fit sulky type masquerading as a nice bloke. I could be way off but that is my gut feeling.

Isn't it funny when one is out of the UK and you read UK news and you think the rest of the world is bothered/involved with what is happening in one's own little country - never realising that other nationalities don't give a toss about us.

lakeviewer - those Paris ateliers are incredible, the amount of work that goes into each garment, but to live in that world - the buyer as opposed to the seamstress - must be very stressful.

To be so obsessive about one's appearance that it completely dominates every waking moment (Liz Hurley/Victoria Beckham come to mind here) - I just don't know how these women function. It is completely alien to me these days,

marc - my old bloggy friend whom I never seem to see these days - thank you

Aw, thanks Joy - I do have my 'own' look, tis true and thus it almost ever was.

BES - I must put the full load of those demon photos up - they are very odd and dreamt up by a Russian art collective (yes, it does sound odd) for the centre of Lille

LBR - be afraid, be very afraid - she is a monster

bindu - yep, you made a wise decision there my friend.

Blu said...

Oooeer..I must have left my comment on the wrong blog..I did leave a comment honest I did..

But the main thing I said was I dont even know who (the first people you wrote about) they are???...maybe that a good thing since she sounds horrible!

Rob-bear said...

The first thing that caught my attention was the old Cadillac stuck in there with the rest of the trash. Struck me as appropriate, especially considering General Motors economic situation these days.

A lot of the stuff on television is trash. We watch a few crime-drama shows because of the excellent writing and character development that goes into them. We watch the news. We watch few spots things, very occasionally. We have cable, and could watch a lot more, but I can't be bothered. Television is such a wasteland. I'd rather read a book, or blog.

But the technology -- cheaper (often) to replace than repair -- really annoys me too. Our Volvo Estate Wagon is almost 20 years old; it continues to provide good service, but we've got very good tradesmen who work on it. And I rarely even buy new clothes -- there are lot so good second-hand things in thrift shops (often Salvation Army or Mennonite). Yes, we're big on recycling; how did you guess?

French Fancy said...

Blu - I think it's marvellous you have not encontered either of them. It shows how well you have immersed yourself in France really -

Rob - there have been a few US progs that we've thought were first rate - The Sopranos/The Wire/Six Feet Under. Things like that are few and far between on UK television.

We also like to just sit in the same room, reading our respective books, dogs by our side, glass of wine for Mr FF, looking out at our lovely view. It always seems a shame to resort to telly watching - although I've gone through phases in my life when I did over-watch.

Stone said...

***first there was Katie Price and Peter Andre's reality show about them moving to LA.***

Oh my goodness, how VERY relevant...what's wrong with people? Who wants to see that type of intellectual garbage??

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

I read this yesterday then my battery died as I was about to comment. I was going to drone on about naffness in the UK, but today I'm in a good mood - all is not naff!! There are a few very good programmes FF, you happened across two pretty bad ones. Also do not despair of your countrymen (as the French do us) we are not all materialistic, that's just media frenzy.If I was living abroad again and only listening to how the media or TV depicts our country I'd have a pretty misplaced view of it. It's quite nice here most of the time - honest!

Cynthia said...

Hi Mrs. French Fancy,

I have had trouble adjusting to TV also. We recently got a satellite dish installed and what a change! What noise! What disruption! I can barely watch so many self involved people and/or deal with the commerical interruptions. I usually retreat to another room and select a movie or book (or both!)since we only get programed TV on one of our televisions.

For example, I was surprise about the shows people are watching; Teen Crib? A show that highlights wealthy teenagers and how "great" they have it! You really notice the overt materialism when you are away from tv for over a decade.

I'd rather not know what is "in" but I find it fun to see others play with fashion. It's quite impacting to see people with blue and pink hair...or strange piercings...or playful wild outfits. Still, for me, I prefer to be comfortable and simple.

Btw come over to Oasis Writing Link and pick up your award. Oh and I'm feeling much better. Thank you for your concern. I'm sorry I worried you with my disappearing act. xx <3

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Dearest FF,

Thank you SO much for the sponsorship money. Great that you are my first sponsor as well. I owe you one!

Your blogging skills put me to shame. I'm almost getting rusty!!

Our local town is also twinned with St. Meen le Grand in Brittany so you never know I may pop over some time to say "Merci Beaucoup" in person.

As for is pretty much rubbish but when I used to live in Spain, Italy and Egypt the telly was far worse. I just miffed that they put the ace American series on around midnight when I am well tucked up. M**** alors!

French Fancy said...

Stone - unfortunately lots of people seem to want to watch rubbish. I guess after a hard day at work they just want to sit in front of a screen and suspend thinking. It's different for me because I'm at home (or local) all day and if I watch tv then I want to be made to think and wonder. I enjoy good documentaries but they seem to be more common on French tv now than l'anglais

Reasons - you've got it in one - and that was one of the reasons I stopped (but do take a peek now and again) reading the Daily Mail online. After a session with that I'd think that if I walked down a road I'd be knifed by yobs, bullied by chavs, blown up by fundamentalists or too uncool to be seen in public

Cynthia - yes, I should have mentioned the noise - it is very noisy; there is always background music, adverts that blare out much louder than the programmes - don't I sound like an old fogey?

Ta for the award

Hadriana - thanks for the thanks - I know you will do well. I've whizzed through St Meen and it did look very pretty. If you ever participate in a trip for the jumelage (twinning whatsit) I'd love to meet up with you.

Jennysmith said...

Hi. Can't believe i missed your post again - been feeling really ill this week eg cold and that.

Anyway welcome back (belatedly).

No, the only labels I know are the ones from the Post office! x xxx

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

FF - You left a message saying I was never dull or verbose- thank you, that is one of the nicest compliments I've ever had. x

nikkicrumpet said...

I've never heard of either of these shows...but I know what you mean about some of the stuff we have to choose from on TV. It really is quite sad that people will watch most of it. However I will admit to the guilty pleasure of watching American Idol and Dancing with the stars. I just can't seem to help myself!

Anonymous said...

Oh FF, I couldn't agree more.

I've to go and find something to wear for a posh wedding in a fortnight and would rather go to the dentist than shop for clothes.


French Fancy said...

Jen - you seem to have slipped from my radar - this will be remedied very shortly

Reasons - your blog is great, really lovely and I'm glad that my words made you feel a moment of happiness. Please don't stop blogging.

nikki-we all have our guilty pleasures, my dear :)

NWBD - good luck with the hunt. Ive got the dentist Wednesday and I must say that I would rather search for clothes.