In part six of How Television Ruined Your Life, how its notion of informative programming has devolved over the years; from leisurely tours of venerable intellectual concepts guided by boffins like Sir Kenneth Clark and Dr. Jacob Bronowski, to a motley collection of ostensibly “real” fact-bending simulations of supernatural nonsense, grandiose visual spectaculars drawn from dubious prehistorical hypotheses, fatuous online conspiracy bumwash, and thoroughly inane drivel fronted by globe-trotting celebrity presenters.
“TV’s relationship with information has taken fact on a lengthy and unusual journey. Documentaries morphed from high-brow historical lecturing into low-brow, pantomime historical re-mixing… And our taste for experts shifted from knowledgeable, respected academics to tit-witted celebrity puppets. And what about those fact-based dramas? Well this traditional sense of reverence soon got pissed through a tinsel coated hosepipe. Where once the Tudors looked like old paintings, TV now portrayed them like the cast of a sex-crazed 16th century take on Hollyoaks. And the news went from a basic, unemotional explanation of the facts to a non-stop entertainment format sold on the basis of its emotive impact.”