Show Me The Monet – TV review

Hanging Committee – Show Me The Monet

Dragons Den would have been my pick of the night when He and I were hard working corporates, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. We would dream of the entrepreneur start-up life. Then, I had a taste of it and spat it out; it’s no dream.

And Britain’s Got Talent, X-Factor and The Voice were never a reason for me to stay in on a Saturday night but, one benefit : at least the Smalls in our house didn’t object to our going out as they sat, with the babysitter, glued to the ‘talent on the box’.

Curiously, watching the first episode of the second series of Show Me The Monet (9th July BBC2), I had a strange feeling that both of these programme genres had been combined to create… yet another talent show. Presented by one of television’s most popular sports presenters Chris Hollins, the show’s judges evaluate wannabe artists’ talent. But, are we judging and viewing more than just the art here? It does seem that the heartstring-pulling personal lives of the entrants play an important part in the programme’s content.

Among those competing for a place in a prestigious London art exhibition and sale are a former costume designer who has beaten breast cancer, a forklift truck driver and a former gravedigger. Together with their piece of art they face the highly critical Hanging Committee. Charlotte Mullins, a frightening blend of art historian, critic and broadcaster, David Lee a renowned art critic and historian and Roy Bolton, a curator and dealer.

Unlike singing, dancing or even spotting the latest ‘yellow post-it’ invention, art is an entirely personal connection. What might evoke emotion in me, probably would mean nothing to you. As you can imagine, the judges are scathingly ruthless in their feedback and, as the competitors need at least two of them to respond positively, many do not make the exhibition and sale.

So, tune in for the latest reality talent show at your own peril. You might even find yourself exploring your own artistic taste but personally I found the judge and talent set-up to be dull and tired. Maybe, it’s the art or maybe it’s the format. Either way, Monet is currently turning in his grave.

Show Me The Monet will air for 15 episodes, every weekday at 3pm, from 9th July on BBC 2.


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