Yesterday was Pi day and it was also my birthday but I’ve arrived at an age where numbers and birthdays don’t mix well. I’m on my own with the kids this week, so it was a subdued affair. Had P. been here, he would have whisked me off in a limousine to a secret destination overlooking the sea for cocktails and a romantic dinner. Oooops, do I sense a recent scenario from Desperate Housewives insinuating itself into my psyche as a future false memory?
But I’m not nearly as old as the subjects of 49 Up — the documentary series that has been following a mixed group of people every seven years since they were seven years-old. I’ve been watching the latest instalment and I have to say that the participants all seem a little jaded now. And old.
Perhaps having their lives dissected by millions of TV viewers was an interesting experience when they were young, but now being subjected to that level of scrutiny seems to be an intrusive annoyance for most of them. So what’s the attraction for the viewer? As the 49-year old John says towards the end of the most recent programme, it’s probably akin to the appeal of any reality show only with the added bonus of seeing people put on weight and go grey and bald.
A metamorphosis taking place on one side of the tv screen only, clearly.