As if Monday was not dreaded enough already for marking the end of the weekend, Lebanese TV channels chose to add to the misery by blessing our Monday evenings with a featureless constellation of drama queen-type talk shows.
The Monday evening TV recipe includes everything from extravagant intros to incomplete investigations and from random accusations to fabricated disputes; all in the name of exposing corruption. However, the nobility of this motive is hardly ever rivalled by the programmes’ tabloid-ish structure.
In addition to their blatant scandal-oriented character, Monday evening shows often make use of the disadvantaged (or just vulnerable) segments of the population by blending their stories, struggles and pain into a pretentious television formula that achieves exposure but fails to instigate solutions.
Common effects of watching these programmes could range from mild episodes of purposelessness to severe existential attacks.
Throw in ‘spontaneous’ emotion outbursts and a few hidden-camera installments and you will get the epitome of self-justified cheap entertainment.
This being said, it is time we go back to embracing the sad reality by which we, the Lebanese audience, are the driving force behind the perpetuation of the Monday evening drama.
We crave gossip.
We crave gossip to the point where standard gossip is no longer gossipy enough for our sanity. In our mighty land of pride and posturing, we grew not to settle for less than premium quality gossip, powered by high-profile pseudo-scandals and a dash of carefully-scripted emotion.
Thanks to us, the legacy of Junk Journalism survives and will survive for years to come alongside its all-powerful ancestor: Junk food.