Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Great Smell Of Fish

I am not a big fan of reality TV, preferring to experience the real thing. However, I have been moderately gripped (by which I mean looking up from time to time from whatever is in my lap) by TVB's Bride  Wannabes.

The idea of the show, which is half-way through its 10 programmes (or programs, as the SubStandard would have it, or them), is to take five available over-30 ladies and to groom them to improve their chances of marriage.

There are a number of givens about using this concept. One is that the ladies must be thought to need improvement, i.e. that they are, in the local parlance, pork chops, or verging on porcine, but with redeeming qualities such that they can be raised to tottydom. For example, one of the five is called Gobby, pronounced Gobi, who, apart from having teeth (until they were fixed) like a Victorian graveyard, is - in my view - quite tasty. Nice figure, lips that could likely get life out of even the most jaded todger, and a certain quirkiness verging on sex appeal.

Another given is that some people will hate the programme (or program as the SubStandard would have it) and bleat on about exploitation, adverse effects, and so on. So there is already a Faeces Book page protesting about (drop the 'about' if you are American) the show with 2,000 bandwagon jumpers having said they like the page (not the show). One of the protesters is a Mr. Tsang Fan-kwong, who claims to be a psychiatrist and who says that some of the suggestions from the groomers, such as sitting angles, being offered to the ladies shouldn't be made because he hasn't heard of them. The implication is that he thinks he knows everything and that he, being a psychiatrist, is in the same business as the groomers or, at least, that psychiatrists have a monopoly on knowing how people think.

Not being a psychiatrist, I wouldn't dare comment on Mr. Tsang's own thoughts, but I am sure he spends a lot of time in bars studying the angles at which people sit and which positions work best for chicks on the pull. I am sure it is not simply a case of resentment by one set of snake oil peddlers against another set.

According to the Subbie, Mr. Tsang added "with a snort" (yes, that will endear you to the ladies, Tsangie) that a market fish hawker could offer better advice than the life coaches. Given the rigour with which Mr. Tsang surely holds out that his chosen field operates under, this likely means either that Mr. Tsang has formally compared the advice given by fish sellers and professional groomers respectively, or that he has compared the socio-economic status of fishwives and the rest of the population and found that, as a demonstrable fact, fishwives have married significantly above their station. Perhaps Mr. Tsang is himself married to a fishwife?

The ultimate underlying premise for the show is that there are many Hong Kong women who have not found a Hong Kong man good enough to be their mate. Oh, there you are again, Mr. Tsang.

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