Reality TV has a lot to answer for

I’ve just arrived home from Wednesday’s walk with my local walking group. The topic of conversation whilst we enjoyed our morning coffee was a further scathing restaurant review published in last weekend’s newspaper. On behalf of Amelia Park Lodge, we’ve all taken umbrage at this second review. None of us could relate to it, and we all found it to be not only completely unjustified, but cruel and malicious.

You’ll remember last week I wrote about the lovely lunch we had ALL enjoyed at Amelia Park Lodge. Our visit had followed on an unfavourable review by another local restaurant reviewer, so we hadn’t known what to expect. Not one of us could relate to that review, and now this second scathing review has us more than slightly annoyed.

In this latest review the baby Kale Caesar I had so much enjoyed had been given particular mention, the ingredients listed as an ‘improbable combination’, and given the pompous summary of, ‘Jesus wept’. The only thing that seemed to receive any sort of favourable commment in the whole review was the commercial seeded  mustard.

Reading this latest review, I’m sure,  if there is a Jesus, he would indeed be weeping. Not, however at the the menu, which John Lethlean summarised as, ‘a collection of dishes with no common thread’. I suspect Jesus would be weeping at how pompous and insensitive society is becoming.  Jesus would be weeping that people such as John Lethlean and Rob Broadfield are being paid good money to write what to all of us amounted to virtual libel. What is the world coming too! Has common decency completely gone out the window?

All of the ladies from the walking group live in the South West. We dine out regularly, including places that offer both good honest food, and fine dining amongst our choices. There’s no shortage of both in the region, and none of us are by any means country bumpkins that don’t know the difference.

Where has all this insensitivity come from? Why are these restaurant reviewers so scathing in their reviews? There was absolutely nothing any of us could relate to in either review. Even if there had been, we all agreed that a little constructive criticism would have been far more appropriate.

Reviewers seem to be following in the footsteps of the judges on reality TV shows. I think the contestants in such shows are screened, and groomed, and counselled to help them deal with possible psychological damage from the insenstivity of the judges. Sadly, nastiness seems to make for good TV ratings. The question arises in my mind as to how the chefs, staff, and restaurant owners are dealing with the maliciousness of such written attacks that are now commonplace.  Reviews such as these must surely be impacting the businesses, and the lives of all those who work there. How many people out there are in need of counselling to help them deal with the repercussions of reviews such as these.

To all the reviewers out there, please, please start to make this world a better place. You are not ‘reality TV judges’. The people suffering the repercussions of your cruel insensivety are not ‘willing contestants’ in reality TV shows. They’re just real people trying to make a living. The businesses have clientele who are being influenced by what you write. The staff of the businesses have friends and families who read these humiliating reviews. The reviews could literally spell the end for a restaurant, or the uncalled for sacking of a chef. The repercussions of both could go on to have further devastating consequences for the individuals involved, or their families. I’m not saying reviews should be dishonest, but constructive criticism would make for a far better world to live in than the destructive reviews of both Mr Lethlean and Mr Broadfield.  One Gordon Ramsay in the world is more than enough!

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6 thoughts on “Reality TV has a lot to answer for

  1. Your local reviewers are obnoxious. Reviews are meant to be enlightening and even-handed. And even if food is poor, a review can be courteous.

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  2. I totally agree with your comments about these critics but I am sorry to this relates to all professional people the more they earn the the bigger the wanker they are.. They would suggest you sent these comments to the editor of the paper they were printed in along with sending it by email to all your local email contacts inviting them all to stop buying such newspaper as it is printing rubbish and incorrect facts and invite your contacts to send it virual.

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  3. I’ve met a lot of people who earn a lot who are very nice people, so can’t relate to the high earners as all being wankers. I’ve also met a lot of people with very low incomes who are definitely opinionated wankers too, so I can’t really agree with the earnings as having a bearing on it. Personally, I think it’s more to do with the nastiness that’s become norm on reality TV shows, and media hype in general. I’d love to see reality TV shows being boycotted, but unfortunately, the nastier the judges are, the higher the ratings seem to go. People are generally just becoming a lot more outright with their opinions with a total loss of sensitivity – says me, who just wrote a whole post slamming the reviewers with a ‘total lack of sensitivity for their feelings’. Lol – perhaps it’s a case of the frypan calling the kettle black.

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  4. Personally I think reality TV shows are set to capture outspoken, or in some cases, people of a certain temperament. I’ll bet that much of the ‘nice’ or ‘pleasant’ conversations lie on the editing floor. The drama makes ‘the cut’. The verbal ‘blows’ are strung together to make the viewer sit up and take notice.

    Same with panels on talent shows.

    Beats me why Australian audiences want drama, violence or aggressive behaviour.
    Why can’t people issue constructive criticism in a pleasant manner in public or the media. I read a post on a Photography newsletter on just such a subject this morning.

    (I must admit, only this year, that I finally told some of my family some strong ‘why’ & ‘why nots’, after avoiding difficult or destructive statements they’ve made to me in recent years).

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