I can’t decide if The Audience is genius or not…I might need 50 people to help me decide

27 Sep

The Audience. The concept is simple. Find someone who has a dilemma  preferably one that on casual inspection any one of us could have. Add 50 normal people who are prepared to listen, gently question and offer their collective opinion into the mix. Blend together, liberally adding oodles of emotion. Pop onto the TV for an hour and outcomes the beginning of a mega TV hit.

If you missed the Audience so far you missed one of the most emotionally powerful TV programmes on at the moment. Seriously I think Channel 4 might just have landed themselves a slow burner with the potential to become a massive hit.

Today’s episode introduced us to Anthony Powell a twenty something scouse lad. His dilemma  Should he quit his job and travel the world? The 50 good men and women chosen by Channel 4 were promptly dispatched to Liverpool to mull over the dilemma and ultimately present Anthony with their collective decision.

Initially I was left thinking after two very good episodes the format run out of gas? Dude get yourself down to Thomas Cook they will sort you out with a round the world trip sharpish.

I should have known better, one of the hallmarks of the show is the gradual reveal of the true nature of the dilemma  It was no different today. Gradually it was revealed how Anthony how first lost his mum, then his dad, then his grandparents, leaving behind just him and his two brothers. This was gradually teased out over the hour. The circumstance in which his lost his parents were bad enough, but hearing and seeing him talk through this was so emotional.

Anthony was in tears, the 50 wise men and women were emotional wrecks and I sure millions at home were just blubbering wrecks.

Yes you can argue it is exploiting and toying with our emotions, using carefully researched stories, but these are real people and their stories are real.

The 50 good people eventually decided he should not travel but by that point it was almost secondary.

If you missed it and you got a box of tissues to spare head over to  4OD  (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-audience) now!

p.s. If that was bad enough, I caught this on the end of the X-Factor USA on ITV2…


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