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Compulsive TV

Posted by ESC on May 23, 2003

In Reply to: Compulsive TV posted by Henry on May 23, 2003

: : : : Hi,

: : : : I have some difficulty understanding the bracketed clause. Could anyone do me a favor?

: : : : ITN sought to portray the news in 'human terms' through reports which brought onto the screen people whose day to day lives had not often in the past been thought worth reflecting on the air. It gave a new meaning to the journalistic concept of the human interest story. In Fleet Street the term meant stories that were interesting because they were of the unusual, the abnormal, the exceptional. But here the cameras were making fascinating viewing out of ordinary everyday life, bestriding the gap between the classes- (and making complusive television out of it.)

: : : : Thanks a lot.

: : : : Purple

: : : That first sentence was a doozy!!

: : : I don't know what "complusive television" is. But I'm guessing that it's along the lines of a recent network slogan in the U.S. -- "must-see TV." Meaning shows that people absolutely will not miss. They plan their lives around when the show is on.

: : By "compulsive television," the writer may have meant programs that viewers won't miss or programs that the producers thought they had to make.

: By compulsive television, the writer means a programme that you must watch until the end - you cannot turn it off. A similar phrase is compulsive viewing. 'The story made compulsive viewing.'

People in the U.S. have gone nuts over "reality television," particularly the Survivor shows and American Idol. I am proud to say I've never seen any of them. I was, for a time, addicted to "Trading Spaces," the U.S. version of "Changing Rooms."