Yay or nay to shows like the undatbles?

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I’m a sucker for a debate and this week I found a news article on line that I thought would be brilliant to get peoples opinions flowing. As a disabled person myself I absolutely love seeing programmes that help raise awareness of disabilities in a positive way, so when I found this article on the pros/cons of shows about disabled people e.g the undatables, don’t drop the baby or beauty and the beast, I knew I had to write a post about it.

As with any show there will always be some controversy so you’ll have your lovers and your haters. I’ve got a huge amount of friends who can’t stand these shows for the simple reason that they feel these shows not only belittle disabled people but they also don’t like the backlash of negative attention these shows bring for disabled people. I can completely understand their opinions but I love these programmes and have from day one but like every show on tv these shows have both there positives and negatives.  I love that they all show that having a disabilities doesn’t stop you living a ‘normal’ life, it has it’s ups and downs but you can live as happy and fulfilled life as anyone.

One thing I do hate, hate, hate about these shows is the incredibly small minded and insentive names the big bosses at the bbc/channel 4 insist on calling them, I mean what an earth would make them want to call a programme about disabled people dating ‘The undatables’ How is that allowed??  as a disabled women myself I’m definatly not undatable I’m a bloody good catch! 😉 and too me calling it ‘the undatables’ suggests to other people that they should in some way pity disabled people looking for love, another one was the show ‘beauty and the beast’ a few years back which saw two different people, one with a facial disfigurement and someone who was obsessed with looking good and you got to watch as the pair spent time in the others life. As much as I loved the concept this programme was trying to promote I stopped watching after a couple because I found that the name of the programme in some way made fun of people with facial disfigurements and made them sound less attractive than there ever so beautiful peers.

I have friends who a couple of years ago took part in a programme with a name that they were less than happy with as it was about them being disabled parents and they felt that the programmes name gave the opinion that as parents they weren’t very careful, which of course isn’t true. Disability or not they’re some of the best parents I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and there two boys are some of the happiest and most content kids you’ll ever know.

I understand that the big chefs have to get ratings and by giving these programmes risky names they’re drawing attention to the show so therefore it will get views which of course is great for them and to be fair to them I don’t actually believe that they set out to hurt or offend anyone with these titles but if they just put a little more sensitivity and thought into the names then I truly believe that these type of programmes would not only flourish year after year but they would also help in a great way to raise awareness of how diverse and amazing our world can be.

So now that you’ve heard my rants I’d love to know what you guys think?

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12 thoughts on “Yay or nay to shows like the undatbles?

  1. It is the names that I have a major problem with as well. I worked as a tape logger for a production company (basically watching and then writing down everything that’s been filmed/spoken before it’s been edited) and when I watched the final programme (Unusual Couples or something) it had been edited in such an out of context way, I barley recognised it.

    I also remember watching one of the Undatable programmes where this softly spoken female interviewer was asking this incredibly old fashioned looking guy with – what I think was – fairly strong Asperger’s if he thought the beautiful waitress he’d written a (pretty rubbish) poem for would give him her number. My heart just broke when he gave his utterly naive but extremely positive response and she patronisingly played along with it. It felt like a younger kid being completely ridiculed by the older popular kids and everyone just standing watching, to see what would happen.

    I watched the B and the B (not even going to say the name) series and found it to be really positive for both parties and I really enjoyed it. But then I was watching it for the right reasons, rather than treating it like a freak show as I think a lot of w@nkers were.

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    • Yeah my friend said when her and her husband were in a documentaries they didn’t recognise the final show because of how much it had been edited to suit the producers . I remember the clip in the undatables that you’re talking about and as much as I love it, there are so many times I sit there with my heart breaking for the people who seemed to be being laughed at! B&B along with undatables both get watched for completely the wrong reasons by certain horrible idiots like you said x

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  2. I love this programme, dispate the name I think it still give a huge chance to some people. My heart melts in some point when I watch it! It really makes you think! We moan about silly things everyday not knowing how many people would love to be in your place! I need to learn that! Great blog!

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    • Yeah it is a brilliant programme, I’ve liked it from the start and seeing people fall in love regardless of their differences is lovely! All to often in life like you said we moan without realising how lucky we are! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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  3. I have never heard of these shows…either because I don’t watch much TV or they’re just not a thing in the U.S.

    Regardless, I think openly talking about disability is really a step forward and its great that shows are doing this. However, there is a fine line between appropriate and distasteful and the names of these shows are completely distasteful. The show creators can certainly find a better way to market them than with these titles! Also, as with any reality TV show, which is what these seem to be, I also wonder how real they actually are.

    Sounds like a great concept and the fact that these shows exist is definitely a step forward…but from what I can tell from your post, it seems like the implementation of the whole concept of the shows should be improved so as to not reinforce all the stereotypes of disability in the titles themselves.

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    • Yeah I think they are just UK shows Britta and like you said the fact that shows like this are now becoming more of a regular thing is without doubt a step in the right direction so hopefully it continues to get better 🙂

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      • It would be nice if such shows could be produced in the U.S. I think the topic is one that not many people think about regularly, but it’s so important and should become a more common topic of discussion. Hopefully it will continue to get better with a bit more thoughtful titles. 🙂

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  4. I watched the undateables for the first time today. I had avoided it because of the title, but my friend convinced me to watch it as she loves it, she also said she was going to sign me up!! (she was winding me up) I must say I enjoyed the programme, but still couldn’t get my head around the message they are trying to get across, maybe I’m prejudging because of the title…..
    I understand that sensationalism sells, as producers have to make their programmes to stand out, and the best way to do that is by the title, but I am concerned that it may attract some audiences that view it for what I believe to be the wrong reasons.

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    • Yeah Chris I do definitely think you are right, certain people watch it for all the wrong reasons which really winds me up because as I’ve always been told if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all but obviously certain people don’t take notice to that!

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