Friday, April 27, 2007

The 'Ump: RIP Popworld

The British music industry is the second biggest in the world. Some of the most respected contemporary musicians have hailed from these shores, and today, the UK is still home to some of the most exciting new music and artists on the globe. Yet, with the news that Popworld has met a grisly end, not one show on TV is left to reflect that.

Seriously, what’s up with that? That’s not a rhetorical question. We’d genuinely like to know. It was distressing enough to watch CD:UK slowly turning to runny shit before our very eyes, but then Top of the Pops carking it achieved new levels of disconcertment (and we’ve still got a death warrant out for Andi Peters). Now, the lone remaining pop show on the box has gone the same way, leaving us to flick through videos across an onslaught of appalling music channels, and perhaps catching the odd performance courtesy of a bleary-eyed GMTV appearance.

Equally as annoying as the axing itself is the blame placed on Alex Zane and Alexa Chung, who, in the opinion of The Sloppy Dog, actually rescued the show from the bitchy, merciless gutter of self-indulgent bunkum it had previously languished in. Having gazed upon a few message boards across the web, it would seem the common opinion is that the departure of Simon Amstell and Miquita Oliver was the flatliner, and everything since has been merely postponing the cracking open of the embalming fluid.

Lookit, we don’t ‘get’ Simon Amstell. We never have. The unfaltering malice that he liberally shat on every guest was, at times, genuinely uncomfortable. Sure, we like a good bitch now and then (hell, this whole column is dedicated to it), but how can one person produce so much bile? Bile which meant Popworld wasn’t a music show, it was a solid hour of insecurity peppered with a performance or two. So when Amstell and his toady subordinate legged it, Popworld actually became the show it deserved to be.
But alas, the British public didn’t see it that way. What exactly will it take for both viewers and telly bosses to notice that the music industry is more lucrative and revolutionary than ever, and that not everyone’s music consumption amounts to frothing over some unsigned It-cunt on MySpace? Tell you what, channel execs, once you’re done with the facts and figures and focus groups, give us a call. We’re brimming with ideas, we’d like to think we’re fairly clued-up both musically and televisually, and quite frankly, we’ve witnessed enough music TV tragedies up close to know what doesn’t work. Til then, you are cordially invited to hang your heads in shame. Or, y’know, just hang.

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