Saturday, October 08, 2005

The greatest TV show of all time


Bullseye was a gameshow where people played darts. It was hosted by old-school comedian Jim Bowen. For some reason, a half-hour gameshow on Sunday evening where people play darts is about the most sublime thing in the world. The human drama on the faces of the dart-throwers was so plangent, and it all happens so fast.

We lambast modern television for dumbing down, which as any fule no is nonsense. Bullseye is no intellectual work-out. But somehow, it delivers on every level. From the knuckle-gnawing interchanges between contestants and Mr Bowen to the delicious celebrity round (where underperforming stars would frequently reach into their own pocket to boost the £75 they had raised for charity), not a second is wasted.

I was excited to discover that Challenge TV shows Bullseye - not that I had ever wasted more than 3 consecutive seconds on that channel prior to making the discovery. In fact, the day I found this out, my spirits were at a very low ebb. It's strange to think that 30 minutes of 20-year old light entertainment can be the difference between walking tall and throwing yourself under the wheels of a passing ice cream van. But I digress.

Seen both as a game-show and historical artifact, Bullseye exposes the eighties as a long-abandoned country. Lady contestants (who are probably younger than me) contrive to at least double their ages with high waisted trousers and aspirationally tall hair. The men all work in ironmongery or concrete works! Contestants who appear to have attended university are skittish dart-nerds, yet to drink of the confidence-boosting wealth of the coming information economy.

If you have digital TV, don't hang around, don't wait. Per-second, nothing (and I do not say this lightly) beats a bit of Bully.


m!ke said...

what is awesome? the fact that NO ONE CAN FOLLOW THIS POST UP WITH ANYTHING.

best. blog. evar.

Bee said...

Ssh! Did you hear that?

I think it was the sound of lots of Americans going "Huh?".

Ray said...

Anyone who doesn't watch Challenge TeeVee now and again isn't living life to its full potential.

Bully's alright but it can't match the sheer nipple-tweaking entertainment obtained from watching Takeshi's Castle.

Roman said...

One could get the same effect here in the states by watching old reruns of "Sale of the Century" on the Game Show Network. Was that program hosted by the inimitable Monty Hall? I believe it was!

John A said...

I'm too scared to watch Takeshi's Castle, its name is so full of promise that I fear I can only be disappointed.

tubby said...

If it were possible to watch Takeshi's Castle without Craig Charles, it would be a sublime experience. As it is, entire cats implode rather than listen to his commentary.

Christophe said...

I've always said it.

The best bit was when they won Bully's star prize it was always something entirely impractical (to the working class and let's face it, most of these blokes came from down 'pit) like a Jet-ski and when they lost it was always a car...