After a first series back in 2010 of "Qui veut épouser mon fils ?" ("Who wants to marry my son?") in which overbearing mothers, totally unaware of the camera's presence of course, did their level best to help their stay-at-home sons find the perfect partner, you would think TF1 might allow viewers some respite from such obvious Trash TV.
But no - it's not to be.
Sadly the programme has returned for a second season, albeit in a late Friday evening slot which should deter too many French from watching (although its debut got off to what TV critics consider a reasonable start with an audience of almost two-and-a-half million).
|Contestant Frédéric doesn't have "any particular preference why it comes to what a woman looks like (screenshot TF1 "Qui veut épouser mon fils ?")|
Yes, France's most-watched television station, is treating its viewers to yet another pile of televisual dung masquerading as "entertainment".
Of course TF1 doesn't have a stranglehold on Trash TV.
Another private and generalist channel, M6, has offered up its fair share of McDonald's type fast food TV over the years including its infamous ground-breaking (please help us) "Loft Story".
But TF1, which is after all France's most-watched channel, seems to have made a speciality of providing viewers with the largest assortment of...well you fill in the blanks, but "merde" while a somewhat vulgar description might perhaps be the most appropriate.
Some are "concepts" unique to France. Others are reinterpretations of similar fodder to be found abroad.
There have been a fair number of flops, usually those "starring" (apologies for the need to revert so often to inverted commas) "celebrities" such "Je suis une célébrité, sortez-moi de là ! (do you really need a translation?) and Carré Viiip, which was cancelled midway through its run.
And there have been those that continue to draw big enough audiences for TF1's execs to take the decision to order yet another batch: "Secret Story" ("Big Brother" - sort of - season seven is in the pipeline for 2013), "Koh Lanta" ("Survivor" which has been broadcast at least once every year since 2001 and has just begun yet another run on Friday prime time TV) and of course "MasterChef".
The list also includes; "Quatre mariages pour une lune de miel" (based apparently on the UK show "Four weddings") in which brides judge and mark each other's big day with the winner being whisked away to a dream destination with her groom; "Bienvenue chez nous" (based yet again on a UK show, "Three in a bed") which proves itself to be the snarkiest possible of programmes as chambre d'hôtes owners do battle to determine who offers the best value for money, and allowing its participants to betray just how mean and inhospitable some of them can be; and "Mon incroyable fiancé", the French version of the US reality TV programme "My big fat obnoxious fiance" but whose title allowed for a variation in the second season where the unpleasant and overweight actor masquerading as a potential beau was replaced with one pretending to be gay.
Are you still following? Or have you, like TF1 bosses it seems, completely lost the plot?
Anyway back - as briefly as possible to "Qui veut épouser mon fils ?"
The novelty of the first series was - wait for this, especially as the debate about same-sex marriage looks set to heat up in France - one of the five mothers looking for a husband for her son.
Just to spice things up a bit for the second season, not all those looking for potential brides for their sons are overbearing mothers: there's also a father.
|Serge is looking for the ideal woman...for his son Julien (screenshot TF1 "Qui veut épouser mon fils ?")|
Cool. Who do you think came up with that innovation (rhetorical question)?
Anyway, the show is on late enough for it to be effortlessly avoided.
But in case you're curious and haven't had quite enough of the...ahem..."cultural" garbage TF1 churns out with alarming regularity, here's a clip from the first programme, with some of the "best" and worst moments.
Thank goodness for the remote control and the on/off button.