‘Tis the season to watch TV

Strictly Come Dancing

The nights are getting darker, the weather is miserable and deadlines are fast approaching. Sometimes the only way to pull yourself out of the winter slump is to sit down with a cup of tea and watch a bunch of celebs try to cha-cha-cha. The glitter. The music. The over-enthusiastic gesturing of Bruno Tonioli. Add Ed Balls dressed as The Mask to the mix and it is impossible to keep a straight face. Hard-hitting drama is fine, but with the state of the world as it is now, a little escapism cannot hurt, and there is no better place to escape to than the gaudy glitz and glamour of the ballroom.

I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

It is that time of year again folks. Those three glorious weeks when the population of our proud nation settles down every evening for three weeks to watch a bunch of c-listers battle for survival in an Australian jungle while Ant and Dec watch with glee. Whether it is that bloke from Homes Under the Hammer downing a half pint of blended cockroaches, or some lad from Emmerdale screaming nonsense words in a cabin full of spiders, we just cannot seem to look away. Maybe we are a nation of masochists, or maybe we just enjoy seeing the unlikely friendship between Larry Lamb and Scarlett Moffatt. If you ask me, it is a combination of both the awful trials and the hilarity and drama that ensues when 12 celebrities are stuck in a camp together. All in all – it is just a bit of a laugh.

The X Factor: No more Honey G. Please.

It is hard to debate the success of ITV’s The X Factor. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you will have heard of One Direction, Little Mix and Olly Murs, to name a few of The X Factor’s more successful acts. The show has also provided a platform for more niche acts such as the singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan. But what is so endearing about the show itself? Why does hearing Louis Walsh say ‘You look like a popstar, you sound like a popstar…!’ for the thousandth time always bring a smile to a fan’s face? Is it just nostalgia, or does The X-Factor itself have the X-factor, an indefinable “something” that makes fans return to it year after year? One thing is certain: if Honey G wins the show this year, it will not be the strangest thing to have happened in 2016.

The Apprentice: Lord Sugar For PM

Back-stabbing. Scheming. Brutal downfalls of characters we love to hate. Is this Game of Thrones? No, this is The Apprentice, the BBC’s version of an American TV show mentioned once or twice during a certain election across the pond. Like Mr Trump, Lord Sugar is known for speaking his mind (‘Your best hope for 250 grand is to buy yourself a scratch card!’), but their careers began very differently: one with ‘a small loan of a million dollars’ from his father, the other selling electrical goods (bought with his own savings) out of the back of a van. Hilarity ensues as the candidates attempt to impress the boss, usually with disastrous results. Suddenly your own failures do not seem so bad, which might just be part of the appeal…


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August 2021
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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