Thursday, December 29, 2011


I have been enjoying watching “Judge John Deed” via my Netflix subscription.  It is a British legal television drama about a High Court judge produced by the BBC and starring Martin Shaw as the judge and Jenny Seagrove as a barrister that ran from January 2001 to January 2007.

The most recent episode I watched, titled “Popular Appeal”, involved something I predicted would happen years ago - an angry contestant in a British “Reality TV” show called “The Dungeon” kills another competitor on camera, and the show's producers face charges of manslaughter in Deed's court. The prosecution contends that they acted recklessly and engineered conflict in order to get higher ratings.

While some of the legal aspects of the series may be questionable, it is a great show, good tv drama.  This was a good episode and certainly hit the nail on the head when it comes to the steaming pile of excrement known as reality tv (which began in England and Europe before infecting American airwaves).

A psychiatrist working for the station that airs the show testifies that the producers purposely look for psychologically flawed “contestants” who can be easily manipulated and angered (no news there).   

Judge Deed, speaking to the producer of a reality TV show after the jury has returned its verdict, provides one of the best descriptions ever of so-called “reality tv”, and the making of its pathetic “stars” into “celebrities” (the highlight is mine) –

Celebrity: the pursuit of the talentless by the mindless. It's a common disease of the twenty-first century. It pollutes our society, and diminishes all who seek it and all who worship it, and you must bear part of the responsibility for foisting this empty nonsense onto a gullible public.”

What ever happened to broadcast stations’ “Standards and Practices”?  These station functions tried to censure political protest on THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS SHOW and were shocked with the Super Bowl halftime “wardrobe malfunction” of a few years ago – yet they allow this much more potentially dangerous garbage to air unchecked!


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