Photo: Comedy Central

How low should TV go for ratings?

Many people think TV sunk too low years ago, with the arrival of reality shows like Big Brother, Ex on the Beach and Geordie Shore (and their countless copy cats). But now, with a new wave of cringe-worthy offerings filling up our boxes, these shows seem almost educational. Has TV finally sunk too low even for the most TV-rubbish loving of us all, or is anything that attracts high ratings fair game?

One of the newest revived ‘gameshows’ to hit our screens is Your Face or Mine, now hosted by comedy favourites Jimmy Carr and Katherine Ryan. The idea is that a couple must together decide which of the two is better looking and if they choose correctly, as determined by the audience, they win a cash prize. Obviously it goes without saying that you need to be pretty confident in yourself and your relationship to even think about going on a show like this, or just happy to accept it might all end in disaster for 15 seconds of fame.

Just Tattoo of Us Credit: MTV

Other current shows such as Just Tattoo of Us also walk the dangerous line between a bit of fun and cringe-worthy entertainment, and are again happy to potentially ruin relationships for a few high ratings. This show takes couples or friends and allows each of them to design a tattoo that will be permanently inked on their partners’ body before they even get to see what it is. Whilst some are celebrities who arguably have done much more questionable things for fame or money, some of the other guests weren’t as thrilled to discover a stamp reading slut or Donald Trump’s face on their bum.

Of course, all these guests go on these shows by choice and so it’s a whole other question whether they’ll still be happy with their tattoo of their now ex-partner’s face on their back in ten years. But more importantly, should TV be sinking this low just for a few short-lived ratings? These days we have other shows such as Tattoo Fixers which work to cover up people’s terrible tattoo disasters, yet here we are encouraging people to get even more.

In a world of heart-breaking terror attacks, is it so wrong to just want to unwind to some light-hearted fun after a long day?

It is true that TV serves to satisfy public demand and it’s clear from the revival and continuation of these shows that they prove popular with audiences. There’s also something appealing about watching these shows knowing (or thinking) you’d never be one of those silly people to volunteer to be on one. And, in a world of heart-breaking terror attacks, is it so wrong to just want to unwind to some light-hearted fun after a long day?

It’s clear the producers of these shows are solely out for ratings and don’t care about how many relationships they could be destroying in the process. But, with such a huge audience and the fact that there are plenty more fish in the sea for their guests (and just as many tattoo removal studios), can you blame them? So, maybe it’s unfair to say TV has sunk too low for ratings just yet considering the high demand for these kinds of shows, but any further may be pushing it. Surely there must be a limit to what British people are willing to go through for some quick air time?

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