Daily Telegraph columnist Joe Hildebrand
Daily Telegraph columnist Joe Hildebrand

Watch out for the reality TV superspreaders

There are three things you need to know about reality television:

1. It's not reality;

2. It's not really television; and

3. Kylee and Braydyn dry-humped in the diary room.

Once you come to terms with all of this it's really quite easy to enjoy, as long as you accept that your soul has been sucked out of your lower appendix and your favourite kebab shop is no longer open.

Such was the feeling that washed over me last week as I tuned into The Bachelor, a cheerful show that never pretends to be more than it is, which is probably for the best.

This year's bachelor is Locky - a ruggedly handsome man who looks more like a geographical feature than a human being. In the essays of Francis Bacon the mountain comes to Muhammad. In The Bachelor, the mountain comes to Kaitlyn and Bella and Nicole.

The Bachelor’s Locky Gilbert.
The Bachelor’s Locky Gilbert.

But this year the primary concern isn't the unexplained movement of topography, it's whether whatever the mountain is doing is COVID-safe.

This brings us to The Masked Singer, a show that ought to be the poster child for infection control. Yet despite more face-coverings than an ISIS convention, the coronavirus still snuck in.

Clearly the only scientific conclusion is that Osher Gunsberg is a superspreader.

Despite more face-coverings than an ISIS convention, the coronavirus still found a way onto the set of The Masked Singer.
Despite more face-coverings than an ISIS convention, the coronavirus still found a way onto the set of The Masked Singer.

Gathering restrictions have also had a powerful impact on the big American entertainment behemoths. I had always assumed that US late night talk shows were supposed to be funny, but it turns out that without an audience they are indistinguishable from first year politics tutorials. At least, unlike universities, they are free.

Fortunately, in the far more serious arena of football they have taken the honest and honourable course of inserting fake crowds and fake noises.

Now all they have to do is insert fake racial vilification and it will be indistinguishable from the real thing.

Indeed, 2020 has shown itself to be a new golden age for television. Turns out all we had to do to make people watch was barricade them in their homes. If only we'd thought of it sooner.

 

Originally published as Watch out for the reality TV superspreaders


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