A penis in full view during a game show cost DStv R10 000 earlier this year. But Susan Erasmus finds full-frontal nudity a lot less offensive than astonishingly brainless game shows.
I am sure DStv has been weeping in its pillow for months because of the enormity of the R10 000 fine. Hell, I alone have probably paid that them that amount in the last few years. It doesn't even qualify as a rap on the knuckles. The same goes for M-Net's fine of R40 000 imposed this week for screening adult content during the daytime.
Let's get to the offending penis in the game show first. Back in April, in a game show called Banzai, viewers had to bet on which one of five Speedo-clad contestants was likely to be the most well-endowed. And then the winner dropped his pants in front of the cameras.
I know the show is a British spoof of Japanese game shows which fall in a category of dreadfulness that borders on the psychotic. Not to speak of Italian game shows and some from the US.
But still, whoever came up with the brilliant idea of pick-a-penis was obviously having a brain cramp. What's happening in the next show? Belching or farting competitions? What about a spitting or vomiting contest?
The name 'Banzai' in itself does not bode well. It is a Japanese word which either means 'ten thousand years' (which is what it feels like sitting through a game show like 'Banzai') or a word for a last, desperate military charge. I wonder which one of these two meanings the producers had in mind when choosing the name. Possibly both.
But do not for one moment think the show 'Banzai' is out there in a class of its own – although I use the word 'class' very loosely. There are quite a few other mind-numbing efforts: such as 'Deal or no Deal'. Out there in the world you find light entertainment - and then you find brain death.
At least with quiz shows people appear to be reasonably well-informed, and have most of their teeth. On 'Deal or no Deal' these are obviously not requirements for the contestants. All they have to be able to do is to be able to choose at random one of 22 sealed boxes. My cat could do that. (Although when I checked, applications for taking part were now closed – sorry Kitty.)
What gets me is that this show, apparently originally from the Netherlands, has now spawned endless copycat shows. This is the depressing thing. The more brainless the game show, the more prolific the spin-offs. I am probably missing something here, but what could possibly be exciting about watching something like this?
Where I am also missing something are the endless game shows featuring contestants who fall off wooden beams, plastic balls, dodgy platforms or rotating obstacles of some kind into the water. Again. And again. OK, guys – this is what someone looks like in a wet T-shirt. Get over it. People falling into the water can only be that funny.
I despair of civilization. So much painstaking effort went into the development of humans over a period of millions of years: and 'Banzai' and 'Deal or no deal' are the best that we can come up with? Hardly seems to have been worth it.
Back to the penis. Nudity has its time and its place, but when it pops up willy-nilly in the middle of a game show without any warning, I am sure the collapse of civilization has to be near – that's if it hasn't already happened, but we were too busy to notice, because we were all glued to the TV watching the new game show "Piel or no Piel".
(Susan Erasmus, Health24, November 2012)