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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Bienvenue chez nous - snarky French reality TV

TF1 is offering viewers another of those mindless reality TV shows requiring virtually no brain cell activity.

Bienvenue chez nous is a French version of the UK show Three in a bed.

Contestants judging the cleanliness of a (screenshot from TF1 video of Bienvenue chez nous)

It's a Dîner presque parfait (which is a French copy on rival channel M6 of the UK's Come dine with me - what is it with French TV executives? Can't they come up with their own ideas?) for owners of chambre d'hôtes.

Each episode (it's broadcast every evening Monday-Friday) sees owners (they're always in couples) visiting and spending the night in each others' businesses.

At the end of their stay they give marks out of 10 based on four criteria: the friendliness of their hosts, the location of the establishment, the quality of services proposed such as the meals and activities offered to discover the region, and the cleanliness of the rooms and how well-equipped they are - or not.

Viewers get to see the ratings which will be revealed to all those taking part at the end of the week.

Each couple also leaves comments which the featured owners get to read and react to at the end of every programme.

Oh yes. There's one final criterion, kept secret from everyone until the final show - the amount each couple thinks the stay has been worth.

That's the "concept" - yes such a thing exists and is helpfully spelt out on the official website - of the show.

The reality (ouch) is another excuse for people to judge each other, show how ill-behaved and critical they can be of one another in front of the cameras and in general provide a platform for all round snarkery.

Sadly it in no way reflects the bloody hard work that goes in to running a business, and fails to focus on the time, money and effort renovating and maintaining a property or the courage of those brave enough to take the plunge of trying to make a living by inviting complete strangers into their home.

Bienvenue chez nous could be instructive and insightful.

Instead it seems to belittle the efforts made by those who run a chambre d'hôtes and provide a battleground for egos - all in the name of "entertainment".

Bienvenue chez nous?

Given the evidence of those participating in the programme, it would have to be "No thank you."


Anonymous said...

I'm definitely looking forward to watching this programme. Nevil and I have been discussing the idea of opening a "Chambre d'Hotes" in our lovely Dordogne house for several months, and this will I hope give me ideas on how to cook for my guests and to be the perfect host!

Deirdre near Bergerac

Anonymous said...

Hello Deirdre, I'm Debbie - and I also live near Bergerac. I'm looking forward to visiting your house and having a meal there!


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