Friday, April 17, 2009
Believe it or not the photo above has not been Photoshopped by me; it is a genuine publicity shot for Channel 4’s new series of Embarrassing Bodies.
Karen and I caught it by accident on Wednesday night and promptly wish we hadn’t.
Now, I’m not a prude. I’ve seen my fair share of questionable acts and physical performances that would make a professional voyeur gag on his binoculars but let’s not discuss my surfing history here.
This show had Karen and I heaving.
It was grotesque. It was macabre. It was unforgivingly gynaecological. So much so I felt I ought to be wearing a pair of rubber gloves and squeezing a speculum.
The basic premise of the show is simple. Members of the public with a varying assortment of embarrassing conditions (everything from verrucas, lax sphincter muscles and prolapses of every shape, form and orifice) visit one of the show’s three doctors – on camera – to display their poorly dangly bits to all and sundry in an attempt to help the rest of us overcome any embarrassment we may feel about our own spots and blemishes. The fundamental ethos of the programme is good: don’t put up with it – grasp the nettle by the horns (or the scabs) and get it sorted out by your friendly neighbourhood doctor. Don’t let embarrassment ruin your life!
But do we really need to see a prolapsed cervix up close and personal in grindingly red HD ready Technicolor?
And the poor man having a catheter inserted down his jap-eye... was the macro lens really essential?
We just didn’t need to see it. It added nothing to the show. It enhanced my viewing pleasure not a jot except to provoke in me the same feeling of revulsion I sometimes get when I pass a butcher’s shop window early in the morning.
It was simply too much.
The programme was more like a training documentary for would-be surgeons than an inoffensive and informative programme that everyone from little Tommy to his granny could happily watch of an evening without retching up their freshly masticated oven ready meal.
Have we become so self-obsessed as a species that we now need to commission reality TV shows about our bottom malfunctions and our toe fungi in our overriding desire to probe every single avenue and biological cul-de-sac of our scatological existence?
And this was on a full hour before the 9 o’clock watershed!
No warning. No cautionary voiceover. Just wham bam here’s my spam.
To finish, my final thought is this: surely you can’t be that embarrassed if you’re prepared to let a Channel 4 technician plunge his camera mount so deeply inside you that your pelvic floor effectively doubles as a lens cap?
Embarrassing bodies my arse!