If you read any TV-based entertainment news while you’re actually supposed to be working, you’d be forgiven for believing that your televisual choices for the duration of winter are:
- Watching Strictly Come Dancing;
- Watching X Factor; or
- Crawling under your bed and licking your flatmates’ old running socks until spring arrives.
Due to the twin drawn swords of ITV and BBC, the two celebrity studded juggernauts are once again head-to-head, so that at the close of every weekend, nobody gives a crap who sang well or danced passably, but only which of the shows triumphed in the ratings.
This year the competition has taken an altogether more insidious turn, as X Factor has spread its calloused and sweaty fingers across Friday, as well as the more traditional Saturday and Sunday. If things continue this way, you won’t be able to turn on the television without Dermot O’Leering’s perma-tanned mug informing you that THE COMPETITION IS HEATING UP. If it gets any hotter my very cheap television may very well be a puddle of green wires and plastic on the floor by mid-October, which might not be such a bad thing.
The solution to this, as I see it?
REBEL (not the Mac lipstick, though I like that also but the pure, human act of REBELLION).
Put two fingers in the air to the man and turn off the television.
Deciding whether you’re an X Factor woman or a Strictly Come Dancing stalwart does NOT have to be the same as deciding whether you’re a cat person or a dog person. You could be a hamster lover (illegal). Or a goldfish goon. Put Simon Cowell in a wee cage and give him snacks if he runs on his wheel. The BBC doesn’t own the shiny pieces of your soul, and nor does ITV EVEN THOUGH they brought us the likes of Sherlock and Downton, which has vastly improved the quality of life in most first-world countries.
There are many alternatives to watching wannabe and has-been slebs reduced to tears by high notes and high kicks, and I present to you just a few:
- Make a Banoffee pie from scratch, then go to London Zoo and attempt to feed it to a monkey. Creative, fun and possibly the beginning of quite a good made-for-television movie.
- Count how many items of clothing in your wardrobe are from Primark, add up the total cost of these items, and see if, with that sum, you’d be able to buy the cheapest thing in Victoria Beckham’s flagship store (a 160 pound key ring, if you’re interested).
- Think about the fact that if you live in London, you’re never more than 10 meters from a rat.
- Paint your nails and then IMMEDIATELY do the dishes because you’re a MAVERICK and you DON’T FUCKING CARE and TIME IS A CONSTRUCT.
- Go and see Lucy at the cinema and contemplate the fact that the theme of TIME AS A CONSTRUCT really makes a horrible fucking concept for a movie but it doesn’t matter because Scarlett Johanssen is such a magnificent being.
- Go to Regents’ Park and try to catch a goose.
- Go to Leicester Square and try to catch a pigeon.
- Go to Shepherd’s Bush and try to catch an Australian.
Or, you know, watch one of them and watch the other later On Demand because, really, it’s simultaneously a terrifying, repetitive, wonderful world we live in and sometimes you need to watch someone else make a song and dance about it.
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