Published on June 28th, 2007 | by The Monarch


This Shits Me

I think most of the reviews I’ve done recently have been far too complimentary, so I’m going to write about something that really shits me.

When I was back in the UK last year I watched a lot of TV, when it’s miserable and cold and you’re stuck inside there wasn’t much else to do. Around 4pm or so on most weekdays the TV was possessed by a strange phenomenon known as “Antique TV”.

Basically there would be on maybe three channels, shows about antiques, auctions and general buffoonery. I never understood how such a show could get on TV at such a prime time, kids cartoons should be on! But what I came to realise was that people absolutely loved these shows, young and old, sick and healthy, wealthy and poor … the Brits enjoy a good old “owk-tion”. I couldn’t stand it.

A couple of days ago I was on my break at work and they had a TV in the tea room and it was about 5pm or so and I look up and who do I see on the screen but David Dickinson. This stripey suited fuck is the same one on the British Antique show Bargain Hunt. It’s one of the shows that was on in the UK and has now found it’s way onto Australian afternoon TV.

I find it hard to put into words the rage this creates inside me, I don’t know where to start. Maybe with what the show is about.
The main idea is that David Dickinson with his epilepsy inducing suits has four “contestants”. They are split up into two teams, the red team and the blue team. You can generally tell them apart as they are made to wear Darryl Summers-esque jumpers which bear the colour of their team on them. You with me so far?

So Dickinson takes them to a massive antique exhibition where they wander around and pick out three antiques to buy. Now I’m not totally against the whole history thing. I quite enjoyed learning about ancient worlds and civilizations, wars, history making movements and periods like the great depression and such so hey maybe if they were checking out some of Shakespeare’s quills or Cromwell’s boots it’d be pretty interesting. But no, these boring old fucks walk around and look at enamel plates from the 1960s, or a polka dot lantern holder .. not the actual lantern itself because we don’t want to excite the public too much but the plate it would have sat on had this been 1934.

They buy stuff ranging somewhere between ₤20 ($48AU) and ₤60($142AU) so they’re not busting their bank accounts. Each team will come away with maybe some sort of crappy plate from the 1800s worth ₤20, some kind of painted wooden box also from the 1800s worth ₤40 and possibly a set of metallic coasters from the 1920s worth maybe ₤30 for a set of 4.

Then the idea is that both teams take their items to the auction and people bid on them and from there they either make a loss or a profit on the items so an item bought for ₤60 may only sell for ₤30 and they lose ₤30 which is often the case. The winning team is the one who either makes the most profit or as the case usually is, loses the least cash.

Never have I seen a show where the “winners” are rewarded because they LOST ₤50! Actually rewarded is the wrong word because they don’t get anything other than a pat on the back from Dickinson. Probably 9/10 times the contestants always run at a loss, and if they do come out ahead it’s never more than ₤10 or ₤15.

The contestants are always in their late 50s/early 60s, Dickinson always puts his arm around some old bag trying to do a Larry Emdur on her. Hell, even the auction process pisses me off: they’re not bidding on a new house, they’re bidding on a set of napkins from 1953 that no one gives a flying fuck about. And they all do that “not interested” shtick when it comes to bidding where they pretend they’re reading from a pamphlet but still raise their stupid number in the air to increase the bid ₤5 to make it a whopping ₤25.

They bring in the experts who look at a table and estimate it’s worth and give credible advice like “well if the 3rd leg wasn’t missing an inch at the bottom I’d be able to give it a higher value”. No fucking shit, the fact that tables in shopping centre food courts are more steady than that rotted wonky piece of crap is not endearing me to your show.

Dickinson himself really pisses me off. He must cry himself to sleep each night over the fact he’ll never be Rolf Harris. In between segments he’ll wander around whatever town they’re in and just hope to spot a golden opportunity for him to inject his wit into the show. Maybe he’ll come across some workmen who are painting a wall red and he’ll stop to say “Looks like they’re painting the town red”. Get the fuck off my TV screen you worm. But he will most likely say it from the other side of the street so the camera can zoom in. He can’t get too close for fear of being lynched by the workmen.

Who the hell likes this shit? Why is it on TV when I could be watching that awesome Batman animated series that used to be on whilst I’m on my break at work? The Brits eat this stuff up, there are sometimes 3 episodes of it on back to back.

The Monarch certainly does not approve.

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