Tuesday, 6 January 2015

ITV : The Sublime to the Ridiculous

I'll say one thing for ITV, they certainly believe in variety.

Last night saw the return of Broadchurch, the 2013 hit mystery drama that gripped the nation and reinvigorated the notion of appointment-to-view-TV, back for a second series. Judging by the first episode alone we look set to be gripped all over again, Monday nights at 9pm.

Taking the prime time 9pm slot on Thursday night this week however is a horse of a different colour, a 'reality TV' production entitled Bring Back Borstal




As you can see from the ad above, Bring Back Borstal is one of those headline grabbers that is guaranteed to delight Daily Mail readers. Its premise is to place 21st century young offenders into a near exact replica of the old borstal regime.

So far, so harmless right wing appeasing wank fantasy you might think. But is this really the time to be broadcasting a programme which suggests institutional punishment for the young, given that revelations regarding long term systematic physical and sexual abuse in this countries old institutions from decades previously are only now coming to light?

It strikes me that Bring Back Borstal? is a redundant question in this current climate and that such a programme is actually veering on being, at best ill advised and, at worst, completely distasteful. There can be no question of anything beneficial coming from placing young, impressionable, vulnerable adults in the 'care' or 'supervision' of adults who believe in harsh punishments given what we now know about such practices and how open they were to cruel abuse.  

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