The red telephone box, the black taxi, Buckingham palace, Phillip Schofield, sometimes you just feel proud to be British. Where normally the hugely popular ‘X-Factor’ or ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ graces our screens, at that magic Saturday evening 8 o’clock spot, this week the men, woman and children of this great country were introduced to ‘You’re Back in the Room’.
Led by our great leader Mr Schofield, the gameshow revolves around five contestants completing challenges for money all whilst (here comes that familiar ITV twist) being under hypnosis, forced into doing silly things for the misery of the general public. All this mess-making, play-acting and vomit-inducing shenanigans results in possibly the worst piece of TV to ever grace our screens since Dale Winton forced dying celebrities to wear Lycra for his own twisted entertainment in BBC’s ‘Hole in the Wall’.
Only the bravest of gameshows begins with a title sequence which feels like a sickening nightmare before showing Phillip Schofield adjacent to a ticking clock, reminding you of your impending death as you waste an hour of your precious life glaring into the abyss that is the charismatic star of ‘This Morning’.
‘We are going to override their brains’ Schofield says as he paces across the stage, a line made popular from our deepest sexual fantasies, at this moment a flurry of moral concerns arise. Quite how this gameshow came to inhabit our screens, we will probably never know, but it seems as though ITV are a little desperate for material. What with great shows like ‘Heartbeat’, ‘Tipping Point’ and ‘Take Me Out’, one would wonder why…
The fact that this show quite explicably exploits innocent members of the public is outrageous in itself, and that’s before they’ve even done any of the puerile challenges Schofield and his primary school posse have come up with. Criticism has surrounded the show about whether they’re normal people at all, or actors, but this is beside the point.
Making crude models out of clay, immaturely falling in love with the presenter and made to think there’s a horrific, life threatening storm inside the studio, this juvenile nonsense is reserved for only the worst non-commissioned TV, but even they would turn it down for being too low-brow.
It was after the horrific pottery-making challenge that we were treated to an advert break, desperately finding refuge in the patriotic pleasures of British Gas whilst your mind digests what you just saw. The TV had just sprayed out 20 minutes worth of excrement and now the audience sat there in their own squalor, unable to move, just accepting the fact that they will never experience anything quite as embarrassing as what they just saw.
The flashing lights of primary colours, the goofy music, the helium inhaling, it’s all too much, feeling a lot of the time like a kids TV show, respecting the intelligence of the audience just as much as one . ITV may as well have draped a bib over your belly and forced fed you baby food, by all means give us family-friendly fun, however a family includes adults and also children over the age of 2 months , none of whom would find this atrocity funny.
Feeling a lot like a satire of contemporary day-time gameshows, ‘You’re Back in the Room’ made the general public wish they really weren’t. With lines like ‘meet the man who will be hacking their brains’, you’d find it hard to prove this programme really has the intelligence and respect of the general public in mind. All this from a TV broadcaster who will very soon be hosting a live electoral debate…wow.