Stereotypes are great, aren’t they? It’s brilliant reducing a certain kind of individual down to a distorted essence, then getting a magnifying glass and making that essence seem like their entire being. Even better if you do it with a whole nation. Great stuff. Not offensive at all. Nice work BBC2.
I tell you what – on top of portraying the British as a bunch of pissed up idiots who only procreate when off their nuts, let’s also look at the culture of arranged marriages through some rose-tinted specs, ignoring the fact that it ends in complete disaster on occasion.
And so we turn to Arrange Me a Marriage, one of the most stupidly ignorant pieces of television ever commissioned.
Apparently, according to the Asian Gillian McKeith, Aneela Rahman, we Brits have got it wrong when it comes to courting. We go out and get pissed and end up with some slob/wench we’d never have even considered if we hadn’t had a few beverages. What a bunch of idiots we are. We have so much to learn, in fact, that Aneela is on hand to find some lonely, vulnerable middle class English boilers to give a proper going over.
Her remit is to set up a network of family and friends who will use their knowledge of the victim to select the ideal husband. It’s this search which makes up the bulk of the show, after about twenty minutes of Aneela blathering on about how arranged marriages are way better than anything Westerners have come up with. Which would be great, if she was right.
Last night, because the lady in question loved horses, the main point of contention in interview appeared to be whether or not the bloke was allergic to the horrible creatures. Call me old fashioned, but isn’t that a bit of a minor point? And apart from that one specific criteria, every other line of questioning was wishy-washy bullshit-nothingness. ‘He seems very nice’. ‘He’s very fit and athletic’. Blah blah blah. The show is doomed to failure and was from the voiceover at the beginning. The fact that the two didn’t get together at the end was the only satisfying thing about it.
It may not have worked, but apparently now Lynn’s family and friends are always actively matchmaking for her. Yes – matchmaking for dates is very much an Asian concept – we never do that in the UK, ever.
So what exactly has Aneela contributed? All she’s done is stopped Lynn’s family and friends from thinking of her as a hopeless case. She’s done nothing in terms of arranging a marriage. No marriage has been arranged. The families were boozing on champagne at the first meeting, which kind of backtracks on Aneela’s constant sniping at our drinking culture. The only nod to Asian culture was the fact that they wore flowered garlands round their necks while being introduced. The arrangement, inevitably wasn’t followed through. They weren’t coerced into going through with it. They were given a choice, which many young Asian men and women aren’t.
What’s next? Arrange Me An Honour-Killing?