Not a film, not something huge or groundbreaking in terms of television, so why am I making a post about it? Well to start off, I’m a big lover of Channel 4’s reality TV, I love their documentaries and some of their reality series, stuff like Gogglebox, One Born Every Minute, 24 Hours in A&E and 999 What’s Your Emergency? But on Friday the 23rd September my housemate and I decided to stay on Channel 4 after watching Gogglebox and watch The Lie Detective, a new series where a specialist human psychologist brings couples, exes and singles together to find the truth about relationships. An interesting premise at first, it then turned into something I regret watching.
The show was an obvious plug to appeal to audiences who love over the top drama that people sometimes experience. I think I’d literally described it to my housemate at the time that it was like a ‘flashier version of the Jeremy Kyle Show,’ and that’s exactly what it was. The graphics are better, the cinematography is more appealing and half the questioned couples could well have been models. To give you more of an idea of this show, the basic formula followed this structure: a couple are introduced with a bit of a back story shown, the couples then undergo an individual ‘control’ session with the human lie detector where he asks them questions about their relationship, the couples then come face to face and the lie detector picks a set of 20 questions which he ‘thinks may be beneficial’ to the couple who ask them in turn to each other. Basically the ‘lie detector’ was given the chance to meddle in the couples relationship to provoke an extreme reaction for the audience.
The couples who were supposed to be questioning each other would be interrupted frequently by the constant third wheel who was pretty much poking a crocodile with a stick to make it move. The questions favoured one person over the other to the point that the scenarios became interrogations with the cameras fixed on each persons face in close up to see those all important squirms.
It wasn’t even necessarily the ‘lie detector’ himself that annoyed me, but even the couples and back stories were just so unnecessary. Take for instance the couple who had been engaged for 3 years, then broke up and had been split for 4 months. Apparently needing someone else to interfere and fix the issues, the couple appeared on the show and went from hating each other and arguing to all of a sudden being re-engaged to one another. It was literally a case of blink and you’d miss it. The issues the couples were experiencing were ones that in any normal relationship should be fixed between the two of them, not with some American psychologist ‘poking the crocodile’ so to speak. The relationships were in essence repaired the way that one man thought they should be repaired without the people actually in the relationships having any kind of input.
The whole show was just so many major irritations one after the other. Completely staged and completely unnecessary. The people were extreme, take the guy who reckoned he’d slept with over 300 women, the scenarios were extreme, see above, and the American with the irritating interruptions just aarrrrgggghhh. It’s shows like these that just lower the tone of good television. I can tolerate some trashy TV don’t get me wrong, but when it’s TV just to indulge in other peoples misfortune, who themselves want their moments of fame it takes the mick. I can almost feel the rage building up again just writing this. Hurrah, finally a negative review. And you know what? I enjoyed it.