Because stuff needs talking about.

Top 5 #12

Top 5 Programmes That Put You off Food

We’ve all been there, it gets to dinnertime and you’ve got to root through the cupboards to find a few ingredients that will hopefully go well together.  What you really should be thinking of however, is the more important partnership of food and television.  What’s the point of putting the effort in and making something nice to eat if you’re not going to be able to keep it where it belongs?  You can’t run the risk of flicking through the channels when you’ve already sat down to eat, so here is a short guide to the most off-putting programmes (in handy Top 5 format) to save you unsuspecting souls who don’t have the common decency to eat at the dinner table!

5. Man Vs. Food:  This one has managed to sneak on to the list purely because of the amount I like to watch it combined with the variety of times it is shown throughout the day.  I’m not certain but I reckon you could stand to get put off by this show at every meal of the day, and that includes brunch and afternoon tea.  There are a lot worse programmes to eat to, as you will soon see, but something about seeing an already obese American force feed himself horrifically spicy wings or gargantuan portions of deep-fried awfulness doesn’t really do much for my appetite.  I just can’t help but feel sorry for the guy’s digestive system and that ain’t the kind of mental imagery you want to have while trying to finish you’re comparatively pathetic meal.  On the flip side though, I do find that I sometimes experience an unfamiliar feeling of pride over my body and diet when watching Adam sweat and gag his way through his own body weight in burrito, but still, there’s only so far I’ll go to feel good, and watching this whilst eating is a step beyond.

4. Anything Charity Based:  By this I mean programmes like Comic Relief or Sport Relief or anything along those lines.  They might seem like a good idea when perusing the listings; an opportunity to see all your favourite stars doing embarrassing things for a good cause, maybe a chance to see a football team…do something embarrassing for a good cause, and of course, you’re guaranteed to find James Corden pretending to piss off a room full of famous faces.  It’s often quite embarrassing, but don’t worry, it is for a good cause.  But wait, don’t start hurling all over the place just yet.  The worst thing you can find yourself chowing down to is obviously the appeal.  Nothing hits home harder than moving on to your last (and completely unnecessary) slice of overly-indulgent Domino’s and having footage of starving children and famine stricken countries come up on-screen.  You can’t quite shake off that guilt once you’ve seen the pictures and you sit and wait for minutes (you’re way past the point of changing the channel by now, seriously, you have to do it before the first image comes up and the voiceover starts, fact) for John Bishop to come back on and tell you it’s alright to eat again now.  They’ll soon lighten the mood anyway; they’ll probably get Phil Tufnell to do something he’s not very good at.

3. Supersize Vs. Superskinny/ The Biggest Loser/ Anything about Massive People:  I maybe stating the obvious here but just so everyone knows, programmes featuring morbidly obese people don’t make the best mealtime accompaniment.  There are so many variations of these programmes now that the experts are running out of matter that has been expelled by the subject to rummage through and use as a barometer to their fatness.  These programmes rely on shock value for their popularity and it has been decided that the best way to do this is to confront the embarrassed food addict with their weekly intake, all blended together like a terrible, ambiguous milkshake.  Suddenly the realisation of their monstrous intake hits them, and they overcome by the ungodly (and completely irrelevant) sight of their diet in a mixed-matter state while the host tells them how fat they are.  If The Mega Blender wasn’t enough, the body-fat free presenter then accentuates his point by sifting through a variety of bodily fluids and excretions to find evidence that…well I’m sure there is some reason for it.  Anyway, incredibly overweight people, disgusting junk food cocktails, and in-depth examinations of faeces, don’t make for a palatable mealtime accompaniment.

2. 24 Hours in A and E:  An utterly horrendous programme to casually flick onto, although really, you should’ve had your dinner by now, shouldn’t you?  This is one of those programmes where I don’t understand why anyone would watch it at any time, regardless of whether they’re eating.  It’s basically an hour of the worst kinds of pain and emotion that I can imagine, complete with the harrowing realisation that everybody dies and some people do so in huge amounts of pain.  Surely there’s some reality that TV doesn’t need to go near, and death and pain has to be one of them.

1.  Embarrassing Bodies:  Awful.  Just awful.  Again, I don’t understand why anyone would choose to watch a programme which is more of a gross-out than a Dirty Sanchez special starring Tom Green with the humour drained out of it.  Last time I came across it flicking through channels, a woman was complaining through a web cam about having massive poos.  To make sure we took her seriously though, she’s wrapped one up in cling film to show the sceptical audience.  I mean, what the fuck?  I don’t need that shit, literally.  The whole programme is nauseating tightrope walk between repulsion and pity as the depressed victims of misfortune (and carefree sex) are somehow convinced to show their ailments to an audience of millions, despite being previously too scared to show to anybody.  Whatever you might be unlucky enough to be caught eating to this programme, I guarantee that somewhere within the show you will find something on someone’s body that resembles it.  That is why this programme is number one, and why I will always have my dinner at the table.

So there you have it, a helpful guide to the stomach-churning minefield that is the TV listings.  Enjoy!

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