Saturday, 31 October 2009

Hole in the wall

Another one of our occasional posts from this blog’s television critic. I have just been watching a programme on BBC1 called Hole in the Wall. The premise is easily explained. Celebrities take it in turns to face an oncoming wall in which there is a hole in the shape of a contorted human. Before the wall arrives, the celebrity has to contort him/herself into the shape. If s/he succeeds, s/he goes through the hole and the audience cheers. If s/he doesn’t, s/he crashes into the wall and it knocks him/her into a pool of water.

The interesting, or arguably uninteresting, thing about this programme is that it is completely lacking in any sort of narrative arc. All the other programmes on Saturday night are a gift for a narratologist: with their judges’ scores, audience votes and dance-offs/sing-offs, they are all crisis, crescendo and narrative resolution. But Hole in the Wall is different. It’s just celebrities going through these differently-shaped holes in the wall, again and again and again. Of course, they try and dress it up as a half-hour programme by splitting the celebrities into teams, awarding them points and employing minor variations on the same theme, like having two people go through the hole at the same time. But they’re not fooling me. Hole in the Wall is the groundhog day of Saturday evening light entertainment.

It’s apparently the second series, so someone must like it.

Mundane quote for the day: ‘There is no such thing on earth as an uninteresting subject; the only thing that can exist is an uninterested person. Nothing is more keenly required than a defence of bores. When Byron divided humanity into the bores and bored, he omitted to notice that the higher qualities exist entirely in the bores, the lower qualities in the bored, among whom he counted himself. The bore, by his starry enthusiasm, his solemn happiness, may, in some sense, have proved himself poetical. The bored has certainly proved himself prosaic … The bore is stronger and more joyous than we are; he is a demi-god – nay, he is a god. For it is the gods who do not tire of the iteration of things; to them the nightfall is always new, and the last rose as red as the first.’ – G.K. Chesterton

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