I loved Big Brother when it started, so I couldn't wait to see the first episode of Channel 4's new reality show Seven Days before going on holiday.
I was very impressed (technically superb, fantastic concept) but, I'm sorry to say, not that interested or intrigued.
C4 call it "a docu-soap ... a new kind of documentary series in which viewers can follow the lives of a variety of compelling characters as they actually happen."
Maybe I just wasn't interested enough in the characters (compelling??), who seemed too interested in themselves to be interesting to anyone else (eg models Laura and Samantha, as opposed to Javan and Moktar). I had the nagging feeling that it was closer to Richard Curtis' vision of Notting Hill than the real Notting Hill. Couldn't it have been set in Dalston or Camberwell? And how 'real' is it meant to be, anyway?
I read some media comments as I contemplated catching up on 4oD. It seems I'm not the only one with misgivings. Viewing figures have apparently dropped from around 1.2 million for the first programme, to 646,200 in week 3, according to the Independent.
One viewer commented "the only guy who gets any credit in my eyes is Moktar and I wish him well in his legal studies. Channel 4 stop wasting our money! Times are tough and we can do without this".
C4 does have some public service broadcasting commitments but is commercially funded. Its Director of Sales described it recently as being about "irreverence, the new and fun; self deprecating and challenging the status quo. Inspiring change and being maverick". None of which seem to me to apply to Seven Days from a content point of view (as opposed to the concept/format), although it's early days.
Having researched the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and with the Commonwealth Games now on TV, I am far more intrigued in the lives and efforts of athletes than I ever was.
C4 launched its Paralympic coverage recently with 'Freaks of Nature' and is planning more documentaries including 'Inside Incredible Athletes', profiling seven athletes and a 10-part documentary series, 'Hidden Heroes'.
I feel more interested in watching someone I probably have far less in common with than a Notting Hill resident suffering from 'fashion stress'. Whether this makes me traditional or edgy, I'm not sure.