Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Guilty pleasures

I might have given the impression that I am somewhat of a swot, head buried in books, at my happiest when planning and writing essays; anyone who knows me well knows this is far from the case. I have a secret pleasure - one that I am mocked for but I just can't help myself. I've tried to kick it over the years but something keeps drawing me back, sucking me in. I have to admit it - I am hooked.

I watch Big Brother, a UK reality show and, for those who have been away on the planet zog, it is a show where several strangers are stuck in a house together and the cameras film them 24/7.

Now most people of a certain intelligence are meant to shy away from this sort of populist tv. They think it is mindless dross, aimed at the lowest common denominator of the viewing public. They mock me for admitting to enjoying it; they say they would never in a million years watch this sort of tripe and they then proceed to discuss housemates with me (thus giving a lie to their not having seen it).

After the first ever series 10 years ago - it was new and innovative then - I didn't like the thought of being addicted to a television programme. Therefore I ignored the second series the following year, missed out on the Helen and Paul saga and could join the sneerers. However, when BB3 began I followed it avidly and thoroughly enjoyed it and have watched it ever since. My favourite series was the 6th (the Makosi show) because I somehow managed to obtain access to the live streaming (normally impossible for those out of the UK) and could watch much more of it, not just what the programme's editors chose to show. Those were the days.

So, we come to the current series and this is a series that Channel 4 have done their best to ruin. There is very little live streaming, I think it is on from about midnight to 4am. The show that most people watch is a highlights show which is on for an hour. There are some good forums that some interesting people post on and the biggest topic of all is about the lack of decent live feeds. Many 'names' have joined the plea to Channel 4 for them to resume it but they are adamant. How much easier it is for them to control things this way. They don't have to worry about housemates saying things that can cause international outrage (remember the Shilpa Shetty business?); they don't have to pay staff to sit and watch the show all the time (lucky buggers); they can drum up support for the feeble videos that they post on the show's official page - some fans will watch them just to get a bit more of the show - a lot will not go near the place (yes, that's me in the latter camp).

The bookies' current favourite, Freddie - a sweet, vague, rich guy that most in the house do not like - is the person I am rooting for. I stuck a fiver on him the first night and really hope that he manages to pull it off. I'll always go for brains.

Now on to other things:

Cynthia was kind enough to give me an award recently. It is the Palabras Como Rosas award and is for 'words that like roses, leave a wonderful perfume, lingering for a while'. Now I no longer pass on awards but it would be lovely if some of you were to take this image below for your scented words.

Talking of scent - I have finally tracked down the source of a strange smell in the kitchen. I shouldn't really admit to this but, in the interest of proving that I am not a domestic goddess, I have to confess to finding a potato that had turned into brown mush right in the far corner of an almost inaccessible cupboard. I used to be much more diligent about this sort of thing - who am I kidding?


Ayak said...

I have to admit FF that if I was able to get BB here I would probably watch it. I've seen bits and pieces of various series on visits to the UK...but never seen a complete series.

Oh...the rotting potatoe...I think we've all done it...not necessarily potatoes, but something that seems to find a little place out of sight but not out of smelling range.

Carol said...

I watched BB for quite a few seasons but then kinda felt like it had lost some of the things that made it special!! (although Chris and I did get hooked on the celebrity BB). Who cares what anyone says...if you love it you love it!! Stand up and be proud!!

LOL at your potato story...and I only have one thing to say to that..

Only dull women have immaculate homes :-D

C x

Ps. Congratulations on the award

LadyFi said...

I'm afraid I'm one of those who just cannot see the appeal of shows like Big Brother.. I hate all those kinds of reality Tv...

On the other hand, I don't watch TV... and thanks to the kids only watch Disney or Pixar films.. Books and blogs are more my thing.

Now - a rotting potato! There's something I can appreciate! ;-)

Dumdad said...

I'm no fan of reality shows but live and let live etc. I don't like soaps but I have friends who are thoroughly addicted. But I like TV and love series such as Morse and Lewis and Lovejoy etc, which are sort of soaps in their way.

Congrats on award!

Lulu LaBonne said...

10 years ago a sweet young girl was living with us, she was mad for a new show that was on in Holland and that she had applied to be on the UK version, she explained the concept to us and we were utterly bemused.

She didn't get through the auditions but her enthusiasm infected us and we did get into that first series.

Since then I have tuned in occasionally, it does rather seem to revolve around making people want to vomit...

Lulu LaBonne said...

And was the potato story to leave us with the lingering perfume of rotten vegetables for a change?

WV = sentswee!!!

Nora Johnson said...

I'm no great fan of reality shows either but will 'fess up here IN PUBLIC to an addiction to cop series. Particularly The Wire! Long may it run: Wonderfully Witty The Wire!

Great post as always,

btw congrats on the award!
PS I too get "failed connection" on accessing your blog! Weird. I simply use the reverse button to re-access!

Lane said...

I don't watch it but my teenager does. Avidly. I watch a lot of other things that could be considered 'dross' though and I'm not ashamed to admit it:-)

Anonymous said...

I can't bear any of those 'reality' shows myself though Attila is usually glued to BB. Possibly her arrears of coursework, or her shiny new boyfriend have deflected her this time round!

I can certainly relate to the rotting vegetable scenario. I have to do regular sweeps to clear things out of my veg rack/salad drawer /fruit bowl and anywhere else they get to.

I have had a lot of trouble getting on to your blog recently too. It opens up, then my computer blows me a raspberry and shuts you down!

JennyMac said...

I have never watched BB but some people are fanatics here. Our 16 year old sister loves it which is why I can not watch it. haha. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Do you follow Secret Story on TF1 as well? Ok, reality shows are lame, but there's nothing else on TV.
Congrats on your award! Don't worry about the potato, I'll never tell.

Ann said...

I used to love BB FF, numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 was very dull, and 5, the circus came to town, and I did not want to watch that circus, twas full of weirdo's, trying too hard.

My fav was BB3, I loved Alex, okay, he was strange, but okay strange, has such a dry sense of humour, Sandy the Scot who jumped over the wall, of course Jade was in that one, she is gone now, so I wont comment, Kate won, Johnny prat came second.

The best part was when they divided the house, and posh Tim, was left in the house alone with all the goodies, the others had beans and pulses, delicious TV, it really was, I got all the neighbours into this show, and they would all come over and watch.

Loved Brian Dowling in BB2, so funny, so natural, then there was daft Helen and Paul.

First show, I am sure we all remember Nick, jeez what a schemer he was, Craig won, the lovely Anna second.

As you can tell I did once love BB, pity they changed it.

Mama said...

My dad has had to buy himself a portable TV for the bedroom, I asked why? and he said (she) my mother, keeps watching Big Brother lol, poor dad!!. he says it's because she is nosey by nature YIKES!!. I must admit I watched some of the very first show, I think Davina McCall is hilarious and was happy Craig won, I also watched the Jade show with all that going on. Watched about five minutes of the US version and then completely lost interest.
Hubby used to tut, tut at us then proceed to rattle on about each and every contestant (must have been the spyholes in the newspaper trick.
You enjoy it and pay no attention to the mockers, I hope Freddie wins. Congrats on your award and I have taken one for my blog, thank you. Those potatoes do find some strange places to hide from us don't they. happy week to you, hugs, Kathy.

Jennysmith said...

Yes, FF, I am with Half-Wit all the way. Husband heard that he could win it. I don't know tho' - i just don't think a lot of people get him.

Yes, i liked that BB - the one with Derek Laud in it. He really said what he thought. My other favourites are jon tickle and Alex (the bloke from BB3).

However I have to say, it has all been done now. And no-one i know watches it now.


Steve said...

This current series of BB is the first that I haven't watched - and not through conscious choice; it just seems to have slipped, unnoticed, beneath my TV radar. I think it's had it's day really. The format is now old and predictable. The only possible lure for me now is the divinely gorgeous Davina McCall.

cheshire wife said...

I have only ever seen snippets of BB. It has never really appealed to me and I think that one of my work colleagues summed it up by saying that it reminded her too much of sharing a house at university. So enjoy it while you are doing your OU degree!

Elizabeth said...

Presumably the dog below enjoyed the little dabble in the canal?
My guilty pleasure on TV was the Sopranos which went on for ever and was WONDERFUL.

As regards reading I'm merrily ploughing through all the Persephone books -currently the Fortnight by the SEa originally published in 1931.
The Stevens go to..............drum roll please........
I always find AS BYATT hard work in comparision with her sister.
word verification:

a cross between Possession and something possibly rude?

French Fancy said...

Ayak - do you have to rely on Turkish tv? We watch a few programmes both on our French set up and our English one, but neither of us are great telly watchers.

Carol - BB is not a patch on what it used to be. Bring back the old ways - and the live feed

Ladyfi - I find it fascinating watching people interact in certain situations - I don't watch most other reality shows - I used to enjoy Strictly (the dance one) but then it got too formulaic.

Dumdad - yes, each to their own. I'm no fan of detective series but loads of people are - in fact I'm not really a tv fan at all - just the occasional drama, documentary and tripe like BB

Lulu - I loved the first series - it was a totally new concept then - and the fact that the eventual winner gave his winnings to the Downs Syndrome girl. Nowadays if a potential winner was going to do summat like that they would talk about it all the way through the prog

Nora - The Wire is our favourite tv programme of all time in this house - runner up is The Sopranos. Both are pure class

Lane - we all need a bit of dross to help us relax

CA - isn't it odd how some of us can't easily access certain blogs. It happens to me - but never with yours.

Hello to you Jenny - Gee, I love something your younger sister does - sorry :) - but seriously, once you get into it, it does make interesting viewing

Dedene- yes,I do watch Secret Story sometimes - but aren't they attractive - too good to look at really - all potential models I think. The UK one is nothing like that

Ann - yes, we loved number 3 and both wanted Alex to win. We sometimes both do the scene when Sandy went over the roof and Alex - in his slightly strangled nasal tones went ' be careful Sandy, you'll fall' - we say that to each other at times of balance crisis :)

Remember the chickens? Marjorie? - I wanted Alex to win and did not like Kate - although the time when she fell over whilst drunk was a classic BB moment. Now and then I think of Jade in that series and feel momentarily sad.

Mama - hurrah, another Freddie fan - I do feel sorry for him. Good on your mum for enjoying it - I'm very curious about people too (sounds better than nosey:p)

Jenny - I loved the Tickle too - wanted him to win. I always go for the intelligent oddballs

Steve - I used to like Davina but I think she is too over the top now. Plus she fawns over housemates that I despise - I want her to boo them, yet I know that she cannot. Amazing figure - I've got her keep fit DVDs and I don't look ike that.

cheshire wife - when my dad lived with us here his moaning during BB used to drive me mad. He was very representative of the British public who think that it is cheap tv at its lowest (and I know that it is) - didn't put me off though. I just took my little extra tv and sat alone, leaving him to history documentaries (which I also enjoy)

I love some of those old Penguin classics. The last one I read was Chesterton's 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill' and thought it was tremendous. The oldies are the best.

I'm enjoying the Byatt very much though - it is a bit soap opera family saga but there are so many historical facts that I do believe, verily, it is quite educational.

Val Erde said...

Last time I watched Big Brother was when they had the rather revolting Pete Burns...

I am not given the temptation any more as we can't get channel 4 here! However, when things go digital... I may get tempted again!

or do I mean..

bindu said...

Congrats on the award! Between reading and writing heavy essays and this, your mind finds balance. :)

Ann said...

I can kind of understand Sandy climbing over the wall FF,an Engerland match was on TV, there is a limit to what we Scots can endure.

My fav moment with Alex, hiding behind the door, music comes on, That's the Way I Like It, and he mimes to it, oh such a delicious moment.

Loved the chickens.

Jade, I did not want to mention, oh she made me squirm with embarrassment, though I am very sorry that she died at such an early age.

Did not like Kate either, there was just something about her that was not right, though, you are right, when she fell over while drunk was a wonderful moment.

claire p said...

I have to say I have never got into BB, partly because I know I would get hooked. My guilty pleasure, as you all know by now, is all things Twilight. It's good to have an escape hatch.

I also have an odd smell, in the pantry, will have a spud hunt!!

Ann said...

Oh I am always finding potato's in the back of the cupboard, or even the front with long shoots everywhere, have also found brown, mushy vile smelling puddles that were once potato's.

I look at it this way, if we were supposed to be domestic goddess's, then surely we would be born with marigold gloves on our hands.

Oh I envy you going to see The Killers, friends of mine saw Brucie in Dublin, said he was fantastic.

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

Oh FF I am so happy to read that you have common bone to in your finely tuned body! ;-) Actually I hate BB myself but we are all human and have our weaknesses. Mine is I'm a Celebrity, I love it and hate it, it wastes my life and rots my brain. But there you go, that's reality TV for you. I just spied your How I met Mr FF - am off to read!

Mama said...

Hey there FF, tks for the visit, that's Monterey, we took my sister there, she really wanted to see Carmel but it was so foggy you couldn't see anything, so we spent the day in Monterey about two hours from here. Vanni is not a techie rofl, he is useless with computers. he's a marine engineer(ships are his thing). and almost 24/7. I totally understand you not wanting to leave your dad. I almost never came here and have had one foot on that aeroplane ever since. I know I must sound ungrateful but I ache for my kids, I really do.
Not sure I miss Big Brother though lol. speak soon, happy weekend, Kathy.

Sara said...

FF, I have to confess to a sticky obsession with Celeb BB in fits and starts :(

As for the mushy potato, come over to the realm of Ladies Who Don't (do housework, that is!) x

Clarity said...

Oh I thought this was an Orwell post... but alas - BB, more BB?

One of my good friends insists on watching it, hates it but watches it anyway. I am aware of who that character you mentioned is via her. I am also aware of the "Spitting incident" from last year because of her. What on earth am I going to do knowing that?


Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi FF, How did your exams go? I'll have to catch up with your backlog of posts. Thank you very much for the encouragement.

Am intrigued that you do not pass on awards. Maybe I will follow your example because I am rubbish at doing that! ;) Hx

Mama said...

So you were the Rose among the thorns today, happy weeding and wear those gloves, hugs, Kathy.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, I watch it too and what's more I've corrupted Sir Prancelot too.


Veggie Carrie said...

I too like BB, although since I got married I've given it up, so I didn't watch it last year and am not watching this year although sometimes I feel tempted to!

My favourite series were 2, 3 and 5 (I missed 1 & 6) and I agree with some of the earlier comments about Alex, who was also my favourite ("That's the way I like it").

Larry M. Brow said...

I think the mate of your potato may be hiding in my wife's car. Haven't actually found a source yet, but the car's getting cleaned tomorrow.

And I apologize for the six weeks without a post on my own blog. All the reasons just end up feeling like excuses.


Ken Devine said...

I believe you when you say you don't watch telly much...how could you with this many followers?

I'd be interested to know details of your projector and screen. Just what I need to keep in touch with UK sport when I eventually make the move. Definitely NOT BB, it's crass!

Love your fresh flowing and expressive use of writing.

French Fancy said...

Val - god, I remember the Pete Burns one - wasn't he poisonous and vile. That classic cat moment between Rula and Gorgeous George is a personal highlight.

Hiya bindu - it does seem to surprise a lot of people I know in real life - my love for BB. It's a mindless antidote to over-thinking

Ann - yes, the Alex behind the door moment was wonderful. I occasionally You tube it - I loved that series so much. Poor Alex - he was treated very badly by Mel from the first series (was it the first one she was in?).

claire p - when Mr FF read my post he said ' so that was the smell' - he was sort of astounded. I don't know why though (although at one stage I thought we'd have to get a plumber in to track down the source).It was in front of some hidden pipework for the dishwasher which, when on, made the smell fill the downstairs.

Ann (again p) - *brown, mushy vile smelling puddles* - yes, that was it exactly.

There is so much good live entertainment in the UK and Ireland. The Killers were on from Glasgow last night and it was shown live on BBC3 - they were superb, tremendous. It makes me wish I was back in the UK again although at least we have Vieille Charrues - France's biggest festival - very near to where we live

Reasons - sometimes I love rubbish tv. Used to watch Wife Swap in the beginning and I'm a Celebrity. The thing is that I get bored after a few years and stop watching - but I've always been loyal to BB.

Mama - I loved Monterey and Carmel, even though we just spent a day in each place. I had to laugh - in Monterey we stayed in a little hotel that was opposite the olde worlde historic adobe school (classed as the oldest building in the area) - it was dated about 1810. No wonder the Americans love all the history in Europe.

I think it is fabulous that you went and started a new life somewhere so glamorous. If I could choose between where we are in France and where you are - I'd be on that plane to join you in an instant. Now Mr FF - who actually has the skills to enable us to do just that - prefers Europe to the STates. (shame)

Sara - thanks for a new blog tip - I'm so busy dusting and hoovering all day that I'm not sure I could find a spare minute to creep into a slatterns' blog - oh ok then.

Clarity - oh I can't remember who did the spitting now (Spitgate?) Off to check.

Hade - hello there. I get my result mid-August and I'm waiting to find out if I'll get a grant to help me with the exorbitant cost of overseas tuition. A lot of people apparently leave bequests to the OU - when it is from someone overseas it goes into a pot to help expats pay for their courses. Fingers crossed

As for not passing on awards - I used to but it got harder and harder to select some over others and didn't seem fair.

Mamam hello again - I hate wearing gardening gloves - I like to feel the earth, but those thorns are lethal.

NWBD - hurrah, another fan. Freddie to win.

Carrie - oh watch it again - it's turning into a good series -

Larry - good luck with the smell search in the car. Maybe a rotting sandwich under the mats in the back. I suppose with kids around the smell could be anything really :)

Hiya Ken - I can thoroughly recommend a projector. This is our second one - the first was when they were very pricey and we went for a reconditioned one. This one we got from a very good site - Misco.fr. It was only about €400, delivered a couple of days later and it is really worth opening an account with them when you come to France for all your IT stuff.

As for the screen - I bought a fold down screen which we never use. What we did was paint a wall white and use that - it also means that the entire wall is the screen and it is a fabulous experience. Good luck with coming to France

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi FF, Blogger destroyed what I just wrote. So am writing this quickly:
Good luck with OU!
Agree with your view on awards but please accept or just look at one last one from me!

Ann said...

Duh, first of all friends live in Washington, that was where they saw The Boss, not Dublin.

Watched the same thing myself last night FF, " Are we human, or are we dancers ", I love that song so much, it really does something to me, from the first bar, sends my blood tingling through my body, just put it on, yep, blood tingling away to itself, feet tapping under the table. Snow Patrol on tonight, and Keane. Been to T in the Park a few times, great atmosphere.

My friends went to watch Rod Stewart last weekend in Limerick, I usually go with them, knew we had friends stopping so had to say no, they bought me a most wonderful Rod t-shirt, to go with my many others, love collecting t-shirts when I go to watch my fav's.

Think quite a few treated Alex very badly in the house FF.

Okay off out to do some gardening, cool now, that's the way I like it.

French Fancy said...

Hadriana - oo, I love getting them but am just a bit lacklustre at passing them on - I did use to pass them on and then it got harder and harder to select some over others.

Ann - it was one of the - if not THE - best concert I've seen on tv. They did all my favourites except for 'Neon Tiger' - I'm hoping that will be put in when we see them Thursday. I've never been one for crushes on 'celebs' but I have to admit that Brandon Flowers seems the sweetest guy - nothing to do with how he looks, he just seems so modest and humble and grateful to the fans that have made them so famous.

The tracks I love especially are 'Read My Mind' and 'Bling' - both from Sam's Town. I do love 'Human' though - I mean who doesn't? (although Mr FF does go on a bit about the 'dancer' - )

Ann said...

It was a great concert, I love The Killers, as already mentioned ha!, even Mr Ann does, and he is not into music, though he has little option, I always have it on, Ipod, and playing.

Oh Brandon is quite gorgeous FF, ( are you my clone ha! ), just about to boast here, Scottish ancestry, you can tell of course by the good looks, he is lovely when interviewed.

Ah, Mr FF, " dance ", a lot of people were perplexed, the heated debates, some thought the word was " denser ", I heard Brandon myself on an interview say it was " dancer ", people were trying to work out the connection between, " human/dancer ", believe it has something to do with a comment made by somebody, that America's teenagers were turning into a nation of dancers, which to me is better than a nation of thugs, anyway, I don't care, I love the song so much.

Say hello to Mr Flowers for me please when you meet him, send him a kiss from me.

Phil Lowe said...

I'm gonna sound a terrible snob but I can't stand the programme. lol

A while ago, I went to see my ex wife on a social visit and she admitted to an addition to BB. I knew there was a reason we were meant to divorce! tee hee.

I suppose I would only watch it for the interest in social breakdown in an enclosed space.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Yes, FF, absolutely agree with you. I feel as if I have committed a major faux pas...suggesting that I can pass on your very personal one. What can I say? The brain is just addled. (Trying to juggle too much as usual.) A mega, mega, huge apology and I have corrected that impression (faux pas...at least I hope I have) on my blog. Hx

Cheryl said...

I'm glad to see you're posting again!

But I have to admit I generally avoid all reality game shows except for the Bachelor every once in a while. The competition, people being their meanest, just gets to me and I have to turn away.

The old potato - v. funny. Something I would do. I wish I were more of a kitchen lover/good cook. It's on my to do list.

Deb said...

Hi ~ I am not much of a TV person myself and have never heard of BB. I avoid series because I know I might get addicted.

I know that rotting potato smell all to well...gross,huh? It is a relief when I find where the smell is coming from.

Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

French Fancy said...

Ann - I'm going to be very far away from the crush around the stage. Fancy the fans at the front of T in the Park standing for 12 hours just to be so close to the stage - I'm the opposite, I hate to be hemmed in (especially as my back hurts atm) - I'll be relying on the giant screens.

I've looked at the running times and am a bit disappointed that they are coming on from 7.30 - 9 and then Springsteen is on from 9.30 to midnight (with other acts on throughout the day) - I would have liked them to have longer.

Phil - it doesn't sound snobby at all - you sound like most of the people I know. Nobody I know watches it. I like the psychological inter-action of it al - I like to see group dynamics at work.

Hadriana - oh thank you, hope I didn't sound a bit pompous - it is a fault :)

Cheryl - I wonder if The Bachelor is the show that I once saw - all these wannabee females trying to date the hero of the series - he wines and dines them and sets them challenges to get to know him better - and then it turns out he is not the rich playboy they thought but an Ordinary Joe

Deb - hiya - Big Brother is rubbish really and I don't blame you for not wanting to get sucked into television series.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

No..you don't sound pompous at all. Thank you for pointing it out to me. Somebody did the same to me a while back. I felt more than a little piqued! Big hugs and get better soon. Hade XX