An email has reached me to tell me about barebones.tv – a live feed of a household of scousers going about their daily lives.
If you’re waiting for a catch, there ain’t one. It’s not a PR campaign, stunt set up by a local radio station or porn channel (more’s the pity). This is a shame, because the reality of watching people doing absolutely sod all for 24 hours a day is exactly as mind-numbingly tedious as you’d expect.
No fights, no diary-room back-stabbing, no secret rooms, no bottles going where no bottles have gone before. This is no social experiment; it is – apparently – exactly what it says on the tin.
In a way, this is laudable. The family in question, the Walmsleys (Dad Jack is described by the Southport Visitor as ‘a local character’), don’t appear to be shilling anything (although they seem to have employed agencies Ripple Effect and Fire Management to promote them) and it’s all rather earnest, even if the write up does give us quintessentially scouse ‘we’re mad for it’-style soundbites.
If you had to make up a brief for how the rest of the country view people from Liverpool I’d guess that Jack Walmesley would be about right.
According to his profile Jack loves Cannon and Ball, steak and chips and Jaws. After he saw Jaws he didn’t get in the bath for a month. Jack hates curry.
Barebones.tv promises ‘no research team plotting the story line or choosing the characters, no editing team to manipulate the footage and certainly no cash reward for the longest standing housemate’.
Unfortunately, it would seem to me that all of those things are pretty much a necessity to make interesting TV.
The sad truth is that Big Brother became a lot more popular once any attempt at conducting an experiment into social interaction went out of the window and deliberate taunting and engineered confrontations starting creeping into the series.
On the few and brief occasions I’ve tuned in, just to work out what the hell barebones.tv is, I’ve seen some people sitting around. They appear to be talking, but it’s inaudible.
Sadly for the family in question, where I might simply call it boring, other corners of the internet may not be so mild.
Apparently from the details the Walmesleys have posted on the web, enterprising individuals have discovered the phone number and address and are happily going about plaguing the family with prank calls.
In what was probably the most interesting moment, the forum in question recounts Dad Jack’s rising anger when faced with a number of phone calls from the sort of people who make phone calls to families and then describe what happened on a message board.
Apparently the Walmesleys have disconnected their phone now, meaning any further pranking is probably out of the question.
So, there you have it, barebones.tv. As dull as dishwater, more boring than watching paint dry and a complete waste of everyone’s time. Like most stuff on the internet I suppose.