TV now tells you what to feel.
It doesn’t tell you what to think anymore. From EastEnders to reality format shows, you’re on the emotional journey of people – and through the editing, it gently suggests to you what is the agreed form of feeling. “Hugs and Kisses”, I call it.
I nicked that off Mark Ravenhill who wrote a very good piece which said that if you analyse television now it’s a system of guidance – it tells you who is having the Bad Feelings and who is having the Good Feelings. And the person who is having the Bad Feelings is redeemed through a “hugs and kisses” moment at the end. It really is a system not of moral guidance, but of emotional guidance.
There are a few reasons why I’ve not seen much German television. One is that I’ve avoided TV since childhood. Another is that, until the past 6 months, I’ve not lived anywhere with a shared television. A third is that in-person recommendations of what to watch in Germany have never been able to keep up with the deluge of English-languag recommendations constantly coming in through livejournal, facebook and the like.
So, when I do encounter German TV, there’s space for me to be pleasantly surprised. So it was with the satire programme Xtra3. Came across it because Chris was channel-hopping, then quickly realised it’s top-notch satire with a political edge I can sympathise with. This snippet (via karohemd) is particularly great, following up on the ludicrous terror alerts and so on: