Even though I have had the privilege of having higher education... the most important lessons in life... I learnt from life itself.
And one of of those lessons is that - sex sells. And of course, for the benefit of those who like to jump to conclusions, I should clarify that by sex.. I mean sexuality, and not the act of sexual intercourse itself (although I'm sure, that sells just as well).
Which brings me to my point of contention today- This Article written on March 29 (Can Local Programming Get Any Worse?) . Writer Jian rants about Mediacorp producing shit programmes and that -"Ideally, they should be producing television shows that are compelling, meaningful, have universal appeal and help Singaporeans and global audiences alike make sense of life in the ever-changing world."
My response to Jian, who claims not to understand why Mediacorp is producing yet another programme like this (after Grid Girls, and Eye for a Guy, etc) is that it sells. Sex has been employed in media and advertising since the beginning. If it continues to be a driver for many TV programmes, then it must be working!
I'm not against having "television shows that are compelling, meaningful, have universal appeal". But the key is having variety.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with having programmes which set out simply to entertain. If everything on TV had to have a snooty higher order purpose ... we'd all be bored shitless.
He then goes on to talk about 'the male gaze' and objectifying women.
Where do I even start with that?! (I do want to go to bed soon).
Well, the crux of it for me would be... that women are not victims. The 'male gaze' is just some feminist ideology which puts forth the victim-oriented premise of a woman's status as a passive object.I am not a victim. I am not a passive object. I know exactly what I am doing.
If a woman chooses to show some skin or exert her sexuality (on screen or in real life), and has the choice and ability to feed the needs of the male ego... who is at whose mercy ? Who has the real power here?
And then a couple of paragraphs later, he goes on to say that he hasn't got an issue with the portrayal of women sexually "That’s not to say I’m deeply offended by the level of indecency. Actually, I’m not."
"What I’m offended by is the level of sheer stupidity."
Well, to that, I say that you've only watched a one minute trailer. You obviously don't know what really went on. Just because there were a few stupid moments in the show does not mean that the whole show is like that.
Even if we (falsely) protrayed every woman as intelligent and free from any flaws... does that make it a reality? No. There are all sorts of women out there and that is what the show reflects.
And also, it doesn't take a genius to understand that if you want the competition to be entertaining, you have to have a whole mix of characters, the reason why the stupid moments have been picked up and shown in the trailers is because people love watching moments like that.
It's mass entertainment. That is how the industry works.
Every programme has to be judged based on its own merits. Of course you cannot compare S-factor on the same grounds as you would the evening news.
Bottom line is.. sex sells... and so does controversy. And people reacting the way Jian has, helps create an even bigger hype and stirs up interest (even before the programme airs!). So on behalf of Mediacorp, I thank you Jian for being part of the marketing master plan. :)
And... here are two more trailers for the show :) Enjoy!