Anmaru: So, Aunt Angela: let me top up your drink. While I’m doing that, what do you think of reality TV shows?
Aunt Angela: Thank you, dear. Oh my: I didn’t think society could sink any lower, but once or twice when I’ve caught a glimpse of someone watching these television programs (just before they are turned off so that civilized conversation can resume) I have to say that I felt quite faint and had to be revived with a medicinal beverage. Of course, things like — is it called Survivor? — are quite beyond redemption. Society has spent the last couple of thousand years evolving to the point where we don’t have to behave like savages.
But, you know, my dear, I think the worst things are those dreadful talent contests. Take America’s Next Top Model. And, sadly, I believe there is a Canadian version. The contestants are expected to understand all the strange technical complexities of being a model. But these misguided young women are also given mixed social messages. Clearly, they are expected to provide entertainment by saying indiscreet things about one another on film. Tears and tantrums, and even unladylike language, are expected. And then they are chastized for behaving badly.
Speaking of behaving badly, there is that truly appalling section at the end where the headmistress figure (I mean, the main character who organizes and narrates the whole nasty business) stands up in front and torments the pack with ritual incantations (only three of you will go on to the next stage; one of you will be sent home tonight, et cetera). Oh dear, I feel a headache coming on at the thought of it.