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6th December 2011

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 I’ve had a hard week to be fair, really hard. Not least because I’ve been working like a tiny dog or writing until my fingers bleed. Not because I’ve been so busy I haven’t had any time to do any washing and now smell like a hobo who showers in raw sewage. No. Because I was forced (not quite at gun-point but close enough) to watch the hell, the rancid, awful hell that was Desperate Scousewives. I have been trying to wipe it out of my brain, but I can’t. I can’t.

Seriously these shows. What next? Brummy Bums? The magnificent structured reality of the hobo network in Birmingham? The new OC? Basically films of meetings that take place in Oldham Council?

Desperate Scousewives emerged nonetheless. Much like TOWIE and Made in Chelsea but even more badly acted (how - I don’t know) It depicted a bunch of orange, braindead scousers mooching around Liverpool doing a whole lot of nothing. Jade opens the show by saying “Liverpool is looking gorgeous”. No, me neither.

We were introduced to the characters and latest plots - Layla “a shop assistant and model” (shop assistant it is then) lounged about in her pants waiting for this guy called Joe to kick her out after a night of Liverpudlian lust. A lass called Amanda moaned about how hard it is being a single mother, although I would have no idea of her plight as she was never actually filmed with her kid at all. Nothing much happened really, (as per usual with these shows) and it trudged on. Layla got it on with Joe and then got booted out of his house only to go back home with him for more sex later. And there was the gripping storyline that had me on the edge of my sea t- Jodie got herself a job in a beauty salon that specialises in anal bleaching. Yum.

Desperate ScousewivesWith no likeable characters and no glimmer of any real Scouse humour, this was a festering god-awful crap hole of stink, which literally made me want to vomit. By the end I was gagging for The Only Way Is Essex.

Compare that tasteless tripe cutting to the majestic brilliance broadcast on Sunday evening, from the mind of Charlie Brooker. Now, I will be a bit biased here as I love anything this man does. He is like a rough, tramp version of Robert Pattinson, and the embers of my heart burn ever bright for him. My love for him aside, the first part of his ‘Black Mirror’ trilogy was one of the best pieces of television I have seen for several months (at least).

‘The National Anthem’ was as black as black comedy can get, and although disguised as a political satire, was more a comic (but also depressingly) frank study of social networking and  modern media practises.

The premise is simple. A princess (think Kate Middleton) has been kidnapped by a terrorist/prankster. The proof and subsequent demand comes via Youtube. To ensure her safe return the Prime Minister (please, please think David Cameron) has to have live televised sex with a pig. Yeah, a living, squealing, little porker.

As the video is uploaded via Youtube, it soon goes viral. As the media are gagged from talking about it and the government can put no spin on it, the public go into a frenzy, as social networking comes into play, and the word spreads via Twitter and Facebook. As demonstrated previously this year with the London riots, social media has never been so powerful and leads to us, as a collective being one step ahead of the media.

It followed the government and media reaction to how the public were gaging this, with some beautifully dark lines, such as “Get some tasteful graphics up there, no Peppa Pig stuff”.

Brooker fully embraces all aspects of media, the nice and the nasty. There was something so darkly comic about the Prime Minister being told he was now “low in the opinion polls”, for not wanting to enter a little pig vagina.  Scorn was poured over the Twitter mob brigade, as vile insults to the PM’s wife were depicted on screen, closely echoing the Rebecca Black abuse case, in which one rather sentient being was seen to tweet “I hope you get anorexia” in a gross case of real life abuse.

As the programme continued, it became clear that anyone with a TV a smartphone, a laptop, a tablet or anything with access to rolling newsfeed, became a part of this horrible event.

The clock for her safe return ticked, and eventually the Prime Minister finally decided that due to public opinion, he would have to do the deed or risk being hated by an online hate mob.

 With sound advise from his aid, “"Don't get it over too quickly, sir, otherwise, the public will think you are enjoying it rather too much”, the pig sex went ahead. The Prime Minister shuffles into the room, and undoes his trousers behind a rather oblivious pig. “I love my wife”, he says, as the Viagra kicks in.

And so the public entered the pubs cheering and whooping, to huddle around screens, glue themselves to them as they watched a man having sex with a pig for up to an hour. The mirror held up to us as a society depicted all of our disgusting details with a grotesque realism.

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