tue 20/08/2019

If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World, TLC | reviews, news & interviews

If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World, TLC

If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World, TLC

A bleak vision of a haunted dystopia in a brand new light entertainment show

TLC have found their Hammond and Clarkson

The premise is a simple one. Get some fairly well-known celebs – preferably at least one comedian – stick them in a room, get them to say some contentious things in front of a studio audience for some un-PC LOLs and then edit it down to a hilarious TV hour. By gifting this vehicle to the singular talent of Katie Hopkins, a person whose DNA seems to be comprised of twisted fragments from the Daily Mail sidebar of shame, TLC have found their Jeremy Clarkson. A no-nonsense star who doesn’t suffer fools. Or, it would seem, the disadvantaged, poor and vulnerable.

Keeping order in the melee, as journalist Liz Jones, comedian Paul Foot and TOWIE’s Gemma Collins suggested outlandish and flippant laws they would impose under their imagined dictatorship, was comedian and presenter Mark Dolan. His simultaneous goading and sniggering disapproval of Hopkins’ worst excesses, marked him out as a Richard Hammond to Hopkins’ Clarkson, all mock outrage and disingenuous concern. The on-screen charisma of James May, meanwhile, was captured perfectly by the ambient heat generated from the studio lights.

If someone exhibits wilfully self-destructive behaviour, it's likely they need help, not a hectoring lecture from an arsehole in a twin set

Anyway, each person took it in turn to say what ridiculous rule they would implement, above… I don’t know, abolishing poverty or reigning in the worst excesses of laissez faire capitalism. Cue tedious arguments about charging fat people more to fly on planes and whether women should propose to men or not. Meanwhile, Gemma Collins told us all about her vaginoplasty (“It looks like a porn star’s”), Liz Jones explained how to steal an unwilling partner’s semen and Katie Hopkins got hot under the collar as she had an "intimate steaming" in an unwelcome segment on personal grooming.

Interestingly, for a show that comprised three strong female guests, it was one that seemed to hate women. Discussion of marriage concluded that women should never propose and, preferably, the wannabe groom should seek permission from the bride-to-be’s father. Hey, there’s nothing like cementing a centuries-old tradition of treating women as property to lighten the midweek mood.

Similarly, when they showed unflattering pictures of the guests following the profoundly depressing grooming debate, there were none of Paul Foot or Mark Dolan, making the programme seem like a poisonous women’s mag, but one made entirely of telly, thus saving you the trouble of turning pages – presumably in case you broke a well-manicured nail doing so.

The studio audience voted on these propositions and I think all got through, though I lost the will to live, let alone pay attention, at times. It seems odd that 100 people can be convinced that being well turned out is a desirable, if not essential facet, yet seem unconcerned that basic politeness is being willingly crushed underfoot. “Who wants to be nice?” asked an incredulous Hopkins in the show’s title sequence (one that interestingly borrows its graphic imagery from Rodchenko’s propaganda posters) and here we have the problem, helpfully condensed. This is an arena in which politeness and empathy are seen as the enemy of straight-down-the-line rigour and impassionate fact. “If you stuff half the fridge in your face and sit on your ass, you’re gonna get fat,” reasoned Hopkins at one point, in an unfathomably misjudged, mid-Atlantic accent. Of course that’s true, but does that mean it’s OK to discriminate and finger point? In fact, if someone exhibits wilfully self-destructive behaviour, isn’t it likely that they might need help? Not a hectoring lecture from an arsehole in a twin set.

If this all sounds a bit heavy for a review of a light entertainment programme, it’s because this stuff matters. The big lie is that if we ignore the brand of bullying that Hopkins has been so keen to ally herself to – and which this show promotes – it will go away. Starve it of publicity and it’ll wither. That’s not true. Against this insidious backdrop, society normalises hatred, self-regard and a crippling lack of empathy. It permeates gradually – a dripping venom. Ultimately, it informs the status quo to such an extent that it makes people unthinkingly accepting of fellow humans… oh, I don't know, being refused surgery. Or benefits. It moves from being the state we're in, to the State we're in.

And to those who say that the likes of Hopkins and Clarkson are telling it like it is, I say, no. No, they’re not. They’re telling it how they see it – which is confused, fleetingly and through a malevolent miasma that renders them morally myopic.

That’s too many ‘m’s I know, but I’m too busy despairing to care.

Hopkins is a no-nonsense star who doesn’t suffer fools. Or, it would seem, the disadvantaged, poor and vulnerable

rating

Editor Rating: 
1
Average: 1 (1 vote)

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Comments

The producers are exploiting Katie Hopkins' mental health issues.

Previous comment spot on. This lady has serious mental health issues and the media is cheering her on to her inevitable suicide.

What on earth is TLC? Obviously not 'tender loving care' - how about 'total load of crap'?

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