Italian TV: Tacky Vision

Picture the scene: a chiselled hard-bodied specimen of a man takes the stage. The lights are low, enhancing his high cheekbones and pearly white pearly whites, while his rippling shimmering torso is peeking through his skin tight, open to the belly button shirt. The low throb of a funky house record rumbles underneath, while our hero is crouched in his pose like a well-groomed funk panther. Before you know it the lights have gone strobe on your ass, six girls in boots and skin tight PVC shorts have bounded onto the stage legs-a-kicking, while the main man himself leaps into the air and gets his freak on – never before have the studio audience seen a pair of leather trousers and a haircut work a crowd like this, and they’re loving it, clapping along to the plodding, pedestrian beat of a tune that is the signature sound of the suburban All Bar One. They bring their perfomance to a (teenage fumble in the back of a Ford Orion) climax, grinning and panting heavily into the camera, taking every second of the barely-deserved applause, before the floor manager cuts back to Camera One and Jeff Stelling says; ‘thanks guys, now over to Oakwell, where Chris Kamara has news of a dramatic twist in Barnsley’s favour!’

Thankfully you in the UK don’t have watch your glorified vidiprinter filtered through light entertainment toss, but that’s not the same over here, oh no. Every Sunday Quelli Che il Calcio brings in the socres as and when they happen, but because it focusses solely on Serie A (the other leagues play on Saturday), they have some serious time to fill, hence yer previously mentioned dancing queen. Think Soccer Saturday mixed with Britain’s Got Talent and you’ll have an idea of just how horrid it is. Half the time the presenter Simona Ventura was bigging up her own stint on L’Isola Dei Famosi, the Italian equivalent of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! A show that upon watching proved to be  just as tacky and pointless as the British version. Although at least one of the stars is Vladimir Luksuria, the world’s first transgender MP, which is a damn sight cooler than Joe Pasquale and Gemma Atkinson. Miss Luksaria by the way, is the least convincing woman I think I’ve ever seen, nothing like those confusing trannies you used to see on Ricky Lake, or if you were really desperate for a she-male fix, Maury Povich.

But I digress. What is interesting about football shows over here is the amount of airtime women have on them, and I don’t mean by adding a photogenic face to a smooth link between highlights packages. Women are often either hosting the shows, providing analysis, interviewing players other sorts of terrifying freedoms that in Blighty would surely result in the very fabric of society having a flowery girly pattern sown onto it. Which seeing as Italian society is incredibly sexist in ways that you wouldn’t even imagine (Spangles once spoke to a woman who upon returning from London was racked with insecurity about her looks because men didn’t openly sex pest her in the street – seriously) is a trifle odd. You see it in the stadiums as well; there are loads of young women in the Sud, who know all the songs and go just as crazy (and swear just as much) as their male counterparts. Not once have I seen lechy behaviour there either, despite the fact quite a few of them are particularly diverting.

I don’t have a conclusion, other than something vague about the match being a release from the chains of being a worker drone or housewife and therefore melting the impose gender barriers that confine and oppress us all, but such cod-sociological piss water will not infect my personal space. Instead, take a look at this video of the show from Sunday just gone, where British pop mediocrity Estelle bashes out a little number.

I mean, what the fuck?


5 Responses

  1. well, there’s seven minutes of my life I want back.

  2. I’m going to assume you mean the video and not my post.

  3. The post is ace.

    What I find interesting in this whole phenomenon is the extent to which women like Ilaria d’Amico and Paolo Ferrara have used the opportunity provided by the “bimbo with a clipboard” system so beloved of Zio Silvio to establish themselves as respected pundits (and in D’Amico’s case, a respected journalist on non-football subjects).

    Yes, they are still required to show more skin that Fabrizio Ravanelli with his shirt over his head and totter about on heels that are taller than Gianfranco Zola, but that is true of Italian TV (and much of Italian society) in general. What matters is that they have established themselves as people to be taken seriously about a famously chauvinistic subject in a society in which serious female role models are all too rare.

  4. The acceptance of women in football is near wholesale compared to the UK. I got mock beaten up by two girls who wernt to Roma with a gang of other girls the other day for being a Chelsea fan. You don’t really see that level of participation from women in the UK when it comes to going to games, mostly you seem them either with their bloke or as part of a gang of guys.

    It’s obviously wrong and unnatural.

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