Newest Review: ... comical underlying feel to the over-the-top fights and arguments between guests, The Jeremy Kyle Show is something far bleaker. It v... more
Car crash television at its worst
The Jeremy Kyle Show
Member Name: anonbg
The Jeremy Kyle Show
Advantages: Give you sense of superiority, occasional laugh
Disadvantages: Waste of time watching, depressing, trash tv,
For those of you who have been living under a rock, for the last goodness knows how many years, the Jeremy Kyle Show is a mid morning programme that essentially discusses relationship problems in front of a studio audience.
In the UK the morning show format first became popular with Oprah Winfrey, then it was adopted by the British with Robert Kilroy Silk ('I'll see you... in the morning' - he used to say pompously at the end of every show). Those shows used to discuss a topical issue and the audience would have their say and occasionally people argued with one another. The standard of debate was pretty good and one got the impression that occasionally people learnt something and there was entertainment value too.
Then the entire genre went distinctly downhill in the 90's with the arrival of Jerry Springer - if I recall correctly initially shown late at night in the UK.
Fast forward a number of years and we have a number of Jerry Springer clones which have been slightly watered down including Trisha Godard and the Jeremy Kyle Show which started in 2007 and is the current market leader.
A blow by blow account of the show I feel is unnecessary, save to say that it involves conflict between 2 people on stage with Kyle providing a dose of 'common sense'.
Invariably claims and counter claims by those in a relationship dispute occur, then a friend comes on stage to back up one partner and a relative come on to support another. Then the sanctimonious Kyle lectures one or both of the participants. Finally, lie detector test results are reeled out and we discover who has been lying about having an affair, stealing some money...yada yada yada.... get some counselling. Next case please!
Occasionally one of the participants attempts to attack Kyle verbally, whilst this can liven up the show for a minute, more often than not the intelligence level of the participant is too low to rain down any effective blows on the host. It is also possible that anything embarrassing to Kyle is simply edited out.
Now I've heard people muse who watches it? I prefer to turn this around to ask who is this programme designed for?
It is primarily designed for people to look down their noses at others. For the upper and middle classes it is an opportunity to sneer and laugh at the 'below stairs' behaviour of the working class, at their lack of education, at their lack of perceived morality and above all, the way they wash their dirty linen in public.
The working classes watch it for a laugh, to kill time, or to make themselves feel better about their lives 'well at least I never did that' or 'what a bunch of prats going on tv'.
Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed watching the odd episode of Jerry Springer back in the day, it was something new and there was little pretence that it was anything else but entertainment. Actors, prostitutes and attention seekers would go on tv and we would basically laugh at them and they would get their five minutes, or try to develop their careers ('as seen on Jerry Springer!').
The Jeremy Kyle Show however is car crash television, and you can see it etched on the faces of the audience when they cut to them - they watch with a mixture of fascinated horror and malicious enjoyment at the shenanigans on stage. The show is dressed up as a no nonsense approach to get to the heart of problems and to solve them by sending participants to mediation / counselling, but its clear to anybody with a grain of intelligence that this has everything to do with entertainment and precious little to do with helping people.
The latest news is that Jeremy Kyle has been commissioned to do his show on a channel in the US. Its hard to say how it will be received. My sense is that it will depend very much on cross promotion. If he doesn't get the initial backing / support from the channel and all its partners, it will likely fail, if he does then the sky is the limit.
The Americans might well enjoy having a no nonsense Brit berating supposed trailer trash about morality and declining standards.
Summary: Don't waste your time with it