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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Carré Viiip marks a decade of reality TV in France

It's 10 years since television viewers in France were first "treated" to the delights of reality TV.

And to mark the occasion, TF1 has launched what can only be described as a right load of rubbish - wannabe-celebrity style.

Carré Viiip - yes there really are that many "i"s in what presenter Elsa Fayer told the almost four million in front of their screens for Friday's launch - stands for "Verrry eemporrrrtant perrrrrson".

It unites eight supposéd celebrities with the same number of anonymous wannabes eager to take their place.

Celebrities Benoît Dubois and Thomas Vitello (screenshot from Carré Viiip trailer)

From now until the end of May the viewers will get the chance to determine which particular non-entity will walk off with the €150,000 first prize, and the show promises to be as idiotic as the concept.

A concept which is simple - isn't it always? - with no need for Einstein revelations.

Eight supposéd "stars" (the term has to be used loosely) - each a product of previous TV reality shows of similarly dubious taste - are challenged for their VIP status by eight "wannabes" (or Wanna Viiips).

They live together in the tackiest (it's all a matter of taste perhaps, but...) of luxury lofts and are expected over the coming weeks to "create a buzz" within the media and drum up something that resembles more than 15 minutes of fame.

At their disposal they have the support of several weekly glossy gossip rags, personalised websites, a whole machinery of self-promotion provided by the production team and daily appearances (of course) on French TV screens.

Each week the public will vote and one not-so-important-after-all person will be eliminated.

As usual the means to stay in the game are likely to be as vulgar as those that have become the trademark of reality TV: screaming, shouting, insults, lewdness, nudity and general idiocy - which shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

If anyone who flips on the television remote is under the impression that it couldn't get worse after Loft 1 and 2, Secret Story 1, 2, 4 and 4, Dilemma, Ile de la tentation, La Ferme Célébrités, Qui veut épouser mon fils ? and a whole host of other trash TV, then TF1 looks set to try to prove otherwise.

Perhaps it's all meant to be "ironic" - well apparently at least as far as the production team might be concerned.

But the line-up of celebs and wannabes somehow casts doubt on that, as most would probably be incapable of spelling "irony" let alone recognising its existence.

Yes they might be "playing a role" - or "overplaying" it might be more appropriate - in a completely fake concept destined to amuse and entertain, but somehow it's hard to imagine that the likes of Benoît, Cindy or François-Xavier (some of the so-called celebs) or their pretenders, Xénia, Aurélie or Noam will have anything other a fleeting impact on those watching.

Let's hope so.

In the meantime it's "Vive la France, vive la télé-réalité!"


Anonymous said...

"Gutter press" describes the trash newspapers which are very popular in the UK. Is there a similar expression to describe the highly cultural television programmes you are talking about? "Gutter TV" seems appropriate. I will surely avoid watching TF1 in the next few weeks!

Anonymous said...

The funny fact is that type of show is called "Trash TV" (in english indeed)

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