Thursday, February 09, 1995

TV: The Girlie Show

In the beginning there was The Word. A male preserve concocted of two-parts alcohol, one-part people prepared to eat worms/vomit/dung in order to get on TV. A show for the people... who had just returned from the pub. Down to Earth, yet with its head firmly down the toilet speaking echoey prayers to the deity of over-indulgence on the other end.

And low it was in deed.

And then TV created woman.
And for her It created a hostess of other programmes, all identical, both to themselves and to their predecessors. With one significant difference. The programmes for women could be fronted entirely by attractive women, whereas for a show to be watched by a male-dominated audience, this would have been called sexist, exploitative, beautyist, and many, many more. But if the program is supposedly for women, who’s gonna argue if the presenters look like they have walked off of a catwalk. Indeed, in the case of one of the presenters, they literally have.

I find myself asking, has the viewers changed from the Word to the Girlie Show? Is the percentage of each gender in the audience the same for both shows? Or is it really a male-free zone? Men make up a good percentage of the studio audience. I know of more men than women who watch it, or have seen it.

Personally, I think the program is a much more of a male fantasy rather than a serious attempt to put on a show for women. All three presenters are very, very attractive, have the sort of bodies most men and women would kill for, and are far from the usual bimbos wheeled in to decorate such shows. (Sorry Amanda.)

I will agree you can say the program has an attitude. But it is evolving as they realise the large male-base of their viewers. It has gone from the open derision of men, to being highly sympathetic in three weeks.

My favourite part, is actually two parts. First they show a group of men out on the town, in order to show what a sub-species they are. I sit there and squirm at the mind-numbing senselessness of my gender, its severely lacking in sense of humour when in a pack, and its shameless search for something that isn’t mineral or vegetable to shag. Sometime later they show a group of girls, out on a different town, to show that girls know how to have a good time. I sit there and squirm realising that it’s not my gender I am ashamed of; it's my species. Both groups seem pretty much the same to me, which may be a product of the homogenisation that has been occurring between the genders over the last few years. I am not complaining over any assimilation of the sexes, but to show two nigh-on identical nights out and say that one is men behaving like the disgusting creatures they are and the other is sisters going out and doing what they wanna do and striking the way on for womankind, seems to be missing a point. Or maybe the producers are aiming for a subtle irony.

Or maybe I just don’t know how to have a good time. And wouldn’t know one if I was forced to watch one once a week, by my loins.

I for one will continue to watch The Girlie Show, for it is a highly instructive gender-based socio-anthropological study. And what’s more that Sara Cox is dead gorgeous.