I’m Obsessed…

June 19, 2008

The wonders of moving to another country lie not only in the culture, but also in the television shows.  As I’ve stated several times within this blog, I was a latchkey child.  Meaning for me…TV is second to breathing!  I’ve worked very hard over the years at weening my dependence on the “Plasma God”, but it just doesn’t work.  I don’t even think that “Schick-like” tactics of forcing TV down my throat for hours and hours intertwined with shock therapy would dissuade me from seeking out my beloved best friend. I’m that hooked.

With this said, I love BBC Television and Channel 4!  This isn’t BBC America, it’s just good ol’ BBC regular viewing television.  I know it’s not Irish television, but we get it over here in Ireland, and I find that I’m constantly amazed at the array of interesting shows they have to offer on a weekly basis.  The documentaries are absolutely superb, and there are a slew of reality type shows that I MUST watch on a weekly basis.  A few of my favorites are, Embarrassing Illnesses, Freaky Eaters and Supersizers Go…

Embarrassing Illnesses is currently in re-runs right now, but it is my favorite show to date.  I’m typically a bit squeamish when it comes to medical shows, but this one is like no other.  It’s a show where 3 English medical specialists have set up a clinic for people who have ailments that they’ve been too embarrassed to seek attention for at their local GP.  So instead, “why not go on national television and share your embarrassment with the world?”  It’s amazing to me what these people are willing to expose!  Granted, they are seeking help for something that is truly bothering them and inhibits their quality of life, but seriously!!! It’s amazing!  They show breasts, penises, vaginas, rear-ends, you name it, they show it.  It’s educational, informative, absolutely disgusting, embarrassing and fascinating all in one swoop.   I’m in love!

The second show is Freaky Eaters.  This show is currently on hiatus as well, but again, FABULOUS!  The premise of the show is real life adults with food phobias come on the show and meet with a nutritionist and a behavior modification therapist to help them get over their phobia.  They have 8 weeks to begin a crash course in therapy and nutrition, and the show culminates with them cooking and eating a proper meal full of the foods that they feared.  It’s incredible to see the phobias that people have, the extent to which it impinges on their life, and the diets that many of these people have been living on for basically their entire lifetime.  There was the guy that had a fear of fruits and vegetables, he literally couldn’t even touch one. He broke out into a full out panic attack holding a mango!  AWESOME!  The woman who only ate burnt sausages and crisps, the woman who only ate white bread and crisps, etc.  They typically eat processed foods, and have very little fruit, proper protein and vegetable in their diet.  The fear that overcomes them is intense and the variety of therapeutic interventions fascinates me.  In America, I wouldn’t be able to incorporate the tactics that this guy uses, such as hang gliding, but they often work and his patience with the different people is just amazing.  The people are always successful in the end, although not completely triumphant, but the therapist in me is always rooting for them and I often finish watching the show amazed at their progress and feel satisfaction that there is one less “severely anxious” person in the world.

Finally, and my new favorite show is Supersizers Go…  This is my latest obsession.  This show follows the premise of Morgan Spurlock’s movie “Supersize Me.”  The show centers around an English food critic named Giles Coren and a female journalist, named Sue “something”.  For those of you who watch the F Word, Giles is sometimes featured on it, tasting Gordon Ramsey’s food and/or going on exploratory journeys of his own regarding food preparation, etc.  Each week, Giles and Sue immerse themselves in a particular time period, and try to live, eat and drink as they did within that particular period.  So far I’ve seen the early 19th century, the late 19th century, the 70’s and just this past Tuesday, the late 1500’s (Shakespeare’s Era).  They go to a physician at the beginning of the week to get weighed, and tested and to discuss the probabilities how the diet might effect their innards.  They only live in each time period for 7 days, but altogether it makes for great TV viewing.  They usually have a professional Michelin starred chef cooking up their meals. The chefs are able to cheat using modern cooking utensils and means, but they must use all the ingredients of the period and typically are preparing the food following a strict recipe from a cookbook from that time.  It’s disgusting the things that they cook up and eat.  Brains, testicles, tripe, full lambs heads, giant meat pies full of disgusting animal innards, etc.  The show makes sure to be chock full of food historians, general historians knowledgeable of the period, and they follow cookbooks and etiquette guides that were published during that time.  It’s just AWESOME!!!  I missed the first episode, so I’m hoping in typical English TV fashion they will re-run the show soon, but really it’s just great viewing on a Tuesday for now. Plus since it’s on the BBC, NO COMMERCIALS!  Love that! 

I know that there are a gazillion shows in the US that I have not caught up on and I have no idea what’s going on with them, but I’m thankful that I can still feed my nasty habit with the prime viewing of English Reality TV!  Now, if I can only adapt my take away food habit to love the take away food over here…now that’s gonna be tough! 

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One Response to “I’m Obsessed…”

  1. Lisa MB Says:

    OMG, if I spent a couple weeks there with you we would truly have appointment television watching! I would totally be with you on show #1 and #3. The last one sounds like a combo of “Supersize Me” and “1900s House”, where a family volunteered to live as if in the 1900s, with servants who are treated like robots at best and animals at worst, and NOTHING that was invented or used after that time period. For example: NO SHAMPOO OR DEODORANT. It was awesome!

    Ooh, BBC is spreading some documentary-freakout goodness here. They have a new series called “BBC America Reveals” which sounds a bit similar to the Freaky Eaters one, only it’s more general. The one I made sure to watch: “BRITAIN’S WORST TEETH.” You have got to check the link:

    http://bbcamerica.com/content/292/index.jsp

    I’ve flossed five days in a row since then.


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