Friday, June 6, 2008

Showing On A TV Near You: The Ten Dumbest Things

TV - Observation - The Gist

It has happened to virtually every one of us…

You sit down and turn on the TV. After watching in amazement for a few minutes you can’t help but to wonder how much dumb programming manages to slip through all the broadcasting barriers of programme conception, creation, marketing, censorship and transmission to land on your idiot box.

Yeah, I know. I’ve been there too. So here I am watching and thinking: why am I watching this? And what can I do about it? Rather than spend the next few hours of your short lives watching DUMB TV, here are some things you just might want to consider steering clear of.

Several warnings though before you read this:

a. The term “dumb” means: incapable of speech, silent, lacking intelligence (in other words, stupid), taciturn, etc and can even be used as a term of endearment akin to dum dum, dummy, etc where the person being so affectionately addressed does not fully grasp the subject in question. (If you didn’t get the above definition, then you are well…dumb)

b. Sequel to the last section of above definition, some of the programmes listed here aren’t totally dumb themselves but do contain Elements of Dumbness.

c. I’m going to step on a few toes. Not everybody reading this is going to like it.

d. Drawing up a list of the Top Ten Dumbest Things on TV is probably a dumb thing to do. You’d be shocked just how much of the stuff there is out there!

f. And in case you don’t figure it out, the rankings go from 10 (Dumb) to 5 (Dumber) and up till 1 (Dumbest).

OK, (Drum roll)… Let’s BEGIN!

10. Ultimate Soccer Experience: Anchored by Mike Maiyaki, one of the greatest sports analysts alive, there is actually nothing dumb about this great sports programme apart from the half-screen format used during sports analysis. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why the producer insists on squeezing the visuals into just the right half of the screen. What’s up with the left side? If there was some sort of marketing or sports info scrolling there, it might probably make some sense but as it is, this is just so dumb, dumb, dumb.

9. Moments with Mo: Yet another talk show but this one has got CLASS. Check out the avalanche of sponsors and you’ll be left drooling if you are a media marketer. But if you’re a member of that audience you must be dumb! Why? Because THE AUDIENCE IS CUED! Cueing an audience is as fake to Nigerians as canned laughter and occasionally on this show, the fakeness shows way, way too wide. Case in point: the episode that featured John Fashanu and Nkechi Okocha. Someone must have given the wrong cue signal because when John Fashanu was describing the ankle injury that put him out of professional football for good, SOME MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE ACTUALLY APPLAUDED!
Hello??? The right cue card was supposed to say: GASP!!!
And don’t rejoice either if you catch Modenine on this week’s episode. It was most likely recorded last year (Copyright 2007 Inspire Africa, if you catch my drift…)

8. Morning Ride
: Showing live on the NTA every Sunday morning circa 1000 hours, this Becky Madojemu - produced programme suffers from just one great big mishap: it is full of broadcast transmission glitches. The presentation is OK and the guests typical of any breakfast show but an evil sprite seems to be tweaking with the transmission knobs. It isn’t uncommon to have several cuts during a single broadcast forcing someone on the editing deck to keep a stack of ad inserts handy for such moments. For a programme that has been around since 1988, not having sorted out its transmission issues till now is just plain... dumb!

7. The New Onga Advert: Yes, the new one featuring Kate Henshaw-Nuttal. I love the chick to pieces but I just don’t get what she and her “daughter” are yapping about in that ad about cooking and not forgetting tradition. Given the foreign trip and the hype that preceded the shooting of that ad, I’m sorely disappointed. Someone must have fallen asleep somewhere during the production process, but it definitely wasn’t Kate.

6. Quizline: It’s a BIG waste of talent really. Three (in my opinion) very good TV personalities trapped almost every day in a programme where they talk mostly to themselves for all of 50 minutes while playing sometimes crazy music and giving away money to people equally dumb enough to phone in. Here’s a secret you didn’t know: Guess what? The odds are stacked against you wining anything substantial or else how do you think Akin would have been able to maintain his dreadlocked hairstyle? Or Omowumi, her eye shadow? 3 o’clock can be a very boring time on TV. And yes… I was dumb enough to try phoning in too.

5. National Sports Lottery: Ify might have gotten popular on Big Brother Nigeria but she must be really determined to lose that popularity fast. I’ve tried not to help it but watching her host the NSL show is nothing short of irritating. And her shrill voice, funny wardrobe, non-flowing lines, the civil servant/bus driver-type audience and the occasionally odd co-hosts aren’t helping matters. Check out the SA versions of TV Lottery. At least the witty hosts do look like they are enjoying what they’re doing. In line with the NSL slogan of “Levels go change”, her levels are changing alright… for the worse!

4. The Guinness Football Battle Advert: As a follow-up to their Udeme campaign, the guys of the Brown (or is it Black?) Bottle decided to go for a football-battle style ad where two opposing teams work together to retrieve a football from a runaway truck. Simple. The ad is nice and even funny in some parts but why, oh why, is the truck driver sleeping? Check out that portion of the ad just before he looks into the rear view mirror and sees the chasing crowd and you’ll see his eyes are FIRMLY closed for a couple of seconds or so. Naughty, naughty! FRSC ought to hear of this. On another note, the FULL ad shows the two teams’ henchmen opening their bottle caps against each other’s bottles. The fact that the National Association for Food and Beverages (a body to which the Brewery Bottle Boys belong) launched a campaign seriously kicking against such means of bottle defacement meant that part of the ad had to be edited out. D. U. M. B.

3. The Presidential Media Chat: ‘Nuff Respeck’ to Mr. President, Ijeoma of Thisday, Reuben Abati of The Guardian and all the others that graced the May 27 edition of the Presidential Media Chat. At least the journalistic panel wasn’t as patronizing as their predecessors of the Obasanjo era and they did throw some barbs at Oga Nigeria (the most recurring adjective was slow-coach). But what did we learn from the hour-long Question and Answer programme? NOTHING… Same old story 9 years later. Different presidents, same robes.

2. Some Reality TV Shows: Remember “House 4”, that Big Brother wannabe? It was dumb. Remember “Angels”, the Reality show where some so-called Angels showcased “African” traditions and values in the bush while referring to the show’s mystery voice as “My Ancestor”? It was dumber. Watched several episodes of it and couldn’t figure out what these “angels” were actually supposed to do apart from gossip around a tree clad in wrappers. Now they say they want to do Season 2. That sure takes the cake for dumbness…

1. The Yo Yo Bitters Advert: The third advert to make the dumb lineup and winner of the Dumb and Dumberer Awards, this ad is probably half of the reason why Morning Ride made the line-up in the first place. Sponsors of the Health Monitor segment, the poorly produced ad with a wack soundtrack highlights the miracles of the wonder drug as seen from the eyes of a “healthy” man who now no longer suffers stress and “is now useful in bed”. Whoever the man is, he must be confused about the sexes of his children because he goes ahead to refer to the boy and girl as “Junior and her sister”.
His wife too must be given credit for increasing his bed usefulness seeing that she wakes up from bed with an unattractive nightgown and FULL makeup on! She then “catches” him taking the said Bitters which was openly “hidden” in the fridge (remember Junior and her sister have been taking the drug obviously without the knowledge of their mother). But wait a minute! Wasn’t she the one who put it on the dining table sometime earlier in the advert? Confusing, weird… and TOTALLY DUMB!!!

PS: Now that I’ve done this, I can’t wait to begin List 2. Nominees, anyone?

Watch out for more dumbness…


Woomie O! said...

Like I said earlier, I'm totally loving your blog. We should get EVERYBODY to read this.
I couldn't stand that reality show, Angels, for a split second. Worse still, i couldn't understand how people sat down to watch that thingy, really. I think it should have come before No. 1 if there is to be any such thing.
Somebody should please tell them to have a rethink on Season's a terrible terrible mistake.

4NE, i have been embittered by the TV content for our young children. Their brains haven't formed well as a result of what they see on TV.
I say this because a great part of the things i know today, i learnt on TV as a child (you will agree with me). Now, when i tune to local TV stations, I don't see the Sesame Street, Barney, Sarafina and other educative Sci-Fi cartoons I saw as a child, instead, these stations 'hammer' our children's brains with Johnny Bravo, Animaniacs, Pinky & the Brain, Cow & Chicken, I am Weasel etc etc.
I try not to let my neices watch too much of these things, they learn ablsolutely NOTHING postive from them...truth is, they don't even understand any message (if any) behind these cartoons.
I look at these kids and I want to cry...I am embarassed by what this new generation do with their spare time.
our loval TV stations are brain-draining our average Nigerian Kids.
Somebody should ask the Bruces of Silverbird TV, John Momoh of Channels TV, Tinubu (or whoever is in charge) of LTV and the now-reduced-to-mediocres of NTA network, if it is what they watched as kids on Nigerian TV stations that they have reproduced and are presenting to our kids...If these things didn't work for them then, what makes them think they will work for our own kids (and their own too) now?
Did the defunct ClapperBoard and the old NTA network emmigrants leave with the tapes???

Naughty Eyes said...

@ Woomie: Congrats! You seem to be one of my few loyals...
There is such a thing as before No. 1. Let me tell you a joke:
A guest checking out of a dreadful hotel asked the receptionist, "Just how many stars does this hotel have?"
To which the receptionist calmly replied, "If they gave us just one sir, we'd come up to zero!"
Got it? I don't think the "Angels" did...
As for the 2nd part of your comments, I'm posting it as a full post on its own. You read my mind exactly.

trae_z said...

it's a pity but it's this bad: I'd rather have 12 years of Obasanjo than to sit another moment tortured with "The Presidential Media Chat". Yardua's as dry and dry can be. damn, God bless Obama.

trae_z said...

it's a pity but it's this bad: I'd rather have 12 years of Obasanjo than to sit another moment tortured with "The Presidential Media Chat". Yardua's as dry and dry can be. damn, God bless Obama.