Television

The new Doctor Who is a woman…so what?

So, after much speculation and some definite doubt from myself, the BBC have only gone and done it. We finally have a female Doctor, and of course, the reaction is massive. There’s the happy, the sceptics, and the downright ignorant. Yet why is it even a big deal? Yes, we are seeing progression in one of the BBC’s most celebrated shows, and I am so excited to see Jodie Whittaker in action, but what I’m now wondering is how long it’s going to take for the dust to settle.

The reveal of a new Doctor Who is always a big deal, usually accompanied with a massive build up and an hour-long documentary, but this time the BBC did it in a different way, which I guess is only fitting for a completely different Doctor Who. As a somewhat more ambivalent Doctor Who fan- I definitely wouldn’t call myself a Whovian, that’s for sure- one thing that always fills me with excitement is the announcement of the new Doctor. This time, I didn’t really have much time to anticipate, or even really speculate. Yet, suddenly, when Roger Federer grabbed that Wimbledon title, I suddenly felt a rush- and that was when I was convinced it would be Kris Marshall (who I have loved since his My Family days).  So when a feminine figure was revealed, I had the same excitement that I would have had if it was the former, because really who the hell cares whether its a man or a woman, it’s someone new playing one of TV’s much loved characters.

Regardless of their gender, the beauty of the regeneration of the Doctor is that its someone new. A different actor to take on the role in their own way. Of course, there are the usual traits and quirks that Doctor Who will always possess, but I haven’t seen any rulebooks that specify that they’re only limited to males- have you?

Of course there are the sceptics and the bigots who ‘refuse to ever watch Doctor Who again’, but most of them probably stopped watching when Pearl Mackie was introduced as the Doctors first named LGBT assistant. Despite that, I guarantee that this Christmas episode will be one of the highest viewed episodes since the show returned in 2005- because we all have our curiosities on whats going to happen next. And whether people are watching for good or for bad, they’re still watching- and that’s only going to benefit the future of the show. Roll on December 25th.

Television

Help! Love Island has taken over my life

“Did you see what happened with Amber and Kem last night?”

“Who?”

“From Love Island…”

“Oh- I thought you were talking about people you actually knew.”

This has been a situation I’ve had to deal with a few too many times over the past few weeks, and I feel like it’s time to accept my fate. My name is Maria Loizou and I’m a Love Island addict. It’s been just under 3 weeks since the 6 episode a week series has started this year, and I’m ashamed (or maybe a little proud) to say that I’ve not yet missed an episode. That’s 17 whole hours I’ve spent watching people I don’t know engage in inauthentic relationships, and I say I never have any spare time?

It doesn’t seem to be just me either, if I was to check into Love Island rehab I could bring at least 10 people with me, in fact we could even book out a wing. There’s clearly something about the show that’s engaging people – but what actually is it? I’m definitely not saying it works on everyone either, in fact it seems to be one or the other- love  or hate, the marmite effect strikes again. Except I actually despise marmite, so why am I so invested in Love Island? I’ve thought of a couple of reasons why…

  1. It’s escapism. Although technically it is a reality show, it’s not like we all sit in bikinis by a pool, discussing what our type would be ‘on paper’ (what does that even mean?) In a frankly shit world right now, the chance to take an hour out of your evening and watch people who’s biggest issue is which (unnaturally attractive) person they can date is a refreshing break from all the horrible tragic news that’s going on in the world right now.
  2. It’s a social experiment. Like all shows of the type (and there are so many right now) I find it fascinating to put a group of people together and see what actually happens between them. What’s even more interesting about Love Island is that, whether they like it or not- they’re pretty much all THE SAME PERSON. So why do some get on and some clash? And how can one person coming in change dynamics so much? We all know that people are interested in people, and although it’s not exactly David Attenborough stuff, we’re still watching (technically) a species interact with other species here. Hey, I didn’t say my reasons were scientific…
  3. We love a show. No, I’m not being as literal as this may perhaps seem, but remember every Christmas as a kid? What would you most likely go and do? You’d see a pantomime. In the end, that’s what programmes like Love Island, Ex on the Beach and Big Brother are like, they’re pantomimes. We don’t switch the TV hoping that everyone will be sat around a table drinking a cup of tea, we want action, we want drama, frankly, we want to see someone ripping someone else’s hair out. There’s a reason why Come Dine With Me is so popular, not because of the meals people make, but because we love an argument. There’s no denying it. The proof is even in Love Island itself, when it came to a public vote of who should stay and who should go, the most harmonious couple was voted into the bottom- and they got split up. The next day it was all over the tabloids that one of the couple had gone straight out of the Love Island villa and slept with a fellow evictee- who was not her boyfriend. Did we feel sorry for either of them? No- we soaked it in, because we LOVE it.

Now I know that there is much better TV out there, much MUCH better. But I don’t see half as many people tweeting about what’s just happened in more high-brow shows such as Poldark, and that doesn’t mean that they aren’t good… they just don’t strike up that sense of ‘OH MY GOD’ that trash TV often does. Perhaps I’m wrong, I’m not sure my social media bubble is the most accurate way to poll, but I think I’m onto something. Now I’m off to do a quiz on which islander I’m most like… I hope it’s Montana.

I told you- I’m hooked.