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Tallafornia - Public Service Broadcasting?

I am a 28 year old male. I was no angel in my late teens, early twenties. At one time in those years I would have entertained my fake persona quite often, which ensured I showed little respect to family, friends and crucially myself. When I think back to those days, I cringe often, but thank God more often, that I have such a great family and such good friends (of those who remain) for understanding that I was going through some sort of a bravado late teen / early twenty period. I did many many foolish things in that period of time. However, I copped on, I grew up very quickly and recognised what a prize idiot I had been and again how lucky I was to have made it through that period pretty much unscathed.

It's because of this experience that I feel somewhat disgusted at TV3's latest piece of "entertainment". I am an open minded person. I have even been accused in the past of being too liberal in my social views. But even I draw a line. I watched many episodes of Tallafornia. Some of you may think that sounds somewhat hypocritical, perhaps I am a hypocrite. I did not watch for entertainment purposes though. I watched out of sheer shock and horror after viewing the first episode out of curiosity. Who were these seven young people? Was this the normal carry on of people just a couple of years younger than me? Even in the most foolish of my days, I did not carry on with half the rubbish these people did. What the hell does "creeping" mean? Presumably getting my "pump on" means I am going to the gym? But one question I found drowned out the noise of the rest. How could a seemingly responsible broadcaster allow seven immature, vain, quite frankly stupid young people demean themselves to such an extent on prime time TV?

I work in advertising, I have for near on ten years now. Never in that time, have I had a boss, or anyone within any company I have worked for, promote or indulge the theory of demeaning young impressionable naive people, with a view to boosting ad revenue. And make no mistake, this is all about ad revenue. Tallafornia is about ratings. It is not some groundbreaking documentary, filmed with the intention of getting the station accolade and recognition.

So with the motives of Tallafornia figured out, it brings me to the most horrible aspect of the show. It was recently criticised by David Norris, a man not known for his conservative views, for promoting drink fuelled parties and pseudo personas, both of which the individuals within the house regularly took part in. I agree with him, I think that both do damage to the perception of young people and in particular the guests of the show. However, I think there is a massive elephant in the room, which one can only presume is being dodged because of fear of singling one person out. Nikita. My problem with TV3 is; Nikita is a 19 year old girl. From what I have viewed of her, she may have some psychological problems. TV3 allowed a 19 year old girl show her personal parts to the world, while she was pole dancing for another guest who clearly has issues of his own with women. They then showed her having sex under the covers with the same guest. On top of that, she was made the focal point of alot of the episodes, where the men in the house made bets about how "easy" she was. She regularly lost her temper over seemingly small things. She just generally wasn't portrayed in a positive, even sane light. So TV3, at best are taking advantage of the naivety of a young girl and ensuring she will have ruined any opportunity for herself in her twenties, or at worst, ignoring deep seeded psychological issues in a young girl. Both are deplorable. No one is arguing that nineteen year olds get up to mischief or do similar acts to those contained within that house. If I had a camera on me when I was nineteen, I am certain I would deeply regret it now, only nine years later. What I object to is TV3, run by adults and seemingly responsible people, is ensuring that a young girl is banished to minimal job opportunities, other than appearing at club openings and possible appearances on red top rags, scantily clad. And all this from a TV station that regularly objects to RTE receiving the full benefits of the TV licence fee. On the recent evidence of Tallafornia, I don't think RTE have too much to worry about from TV3, with regard to their public service broadcast remit.

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