By my made-up reckoning, 80% of TV now is some sort of competitive living, writes Colm O’Regan
I’m calling it a mid-year’s resolution. An interim step to being a better me.
Here goes. Next time I watch TV about someone’s house: What they plan to do with it, what they’re doing to it, what they couldn’t do with it because they found a lump of concrete, what they’ve done with it, what they did to the garden, I’m going to not get annoyed.
For a start, there are so many of these programmes, I’d be constantly in a state of irritation. By my made-up reckoning, 80% of TV now is some sort of competitive living. Ireland’s Favourite/Best/Top Somethings Of The Year is a juggernaut that cannot be stopped so it is futile to complain. We will never go back to the days of slow TV when RTÉ would wake up at 5, reach out put on the snooze button and throw on The Sullivans until the Angeles. When they could get away with a play on after the news where Yer Man The Actor sat in a pool of light on a black and white stage and shouted at his unseen mother before being led away by the British bastards.
There are surely more programmes to come.
We are only a few seasons away from Ireland’s Shed of the year, Ireland’s Lane Round the Side of House of the Year and Ireland’s Neighbours of the year where judges spend time listening to the sounds from next door to see if they’re still at it. Ireland’s Soundest Landlord, where the bar is so low that you could be in the shake up for the final, simply by dint of not being an arsehole. The winner would be a fella in badly fitting Wranglers jeans who grudgingly came around and fixed the front door, muttering about not being made of money, before disappearing off again in his 181-Rural-Reg Audi jeep.
SO I’m going to stop getting angry at people who’ve done nothing wrong. I’m going to stop getting annoyed at judges walking in with their cool-glasses, dramatically sighing, tut-tutting at a dado rail, accusing the contestant of not being brave, dismissing the contestant’s replies, before saying Well Done at the end, despite mostly slating them. They’re usually edited to appear that way. They were probably having great craic with the home owner off camera.
I’m going to stop getting angry at the person who has had the temerity to want to do up their house or just has a lovely house. I’m going to stop shouting YES BUT WHERE DID THEY GET THE MONEY FOR THAT I’D LIKE TO KNOW.
What business is if of mine where they got the money? Unless it was clear they paid for the house in cash and Dermot Bannon couldn’t get near it one day because the Criminal Assets Bureau were around confiscating the tiles he chose, chances are they got the money from hard work and saving and having a dream.
The annoyance is all my fault by the way. It’s my fault these shows feel like a personal judgement of me and my house. It’s not. When a judge says “and you can really see the personality as soon as you go into the house” they are not turning to the camera and saying “unlike when you walk into Colm’s house and see his trousers hanging on the coat hook because he meant to bring it upstairs” I’m going to stop comparing myself to these people. They are good at Doing House because they want to, not because they want to rub it in my eye.
(Unless it’s someone I know. That I will not take.)
I never get this annoyed about someone else’s nice car, or clothes. There is something about property. Maybe it’s because we see it as very visible reflection of our choices. But memo to Colm: No one cares about my choice. They’re too busy with their own lives.
So bring on Ireland’s Jacks of the Year. Good luck to all the contestants.
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