At Home with the Furys: TV shows about people you'd rather remain ignorant of

TV execs think viewers want to immerse themselves in the lives of boring celebs, people with any sort of job, and outright weirdos. Here are some you could definitely live without.

At Home with the Furys

Ever wondered what it’s like to live in a house, or have a partner, or own a sofa? Prepare to have your mind blown. Watch as Tyson does precisely what you’d expect a retired boxer to do: go on holiday, return to the ring for lucrative novelty fights, and have the odd disagreement with his wife. At one point he claims his family are ‘all frigging crazy’. They’re not. Netflix should ask for their money back.

Keeping up with the Kardashians

This hinges on you being fascinated by Kim, Khloe, Kylie, Kryptonfactor and Khlamidia or whatever. If you’re not it’s really no different to watching the boring day-to-day activities of a marketing agency. Yes, they have arguments, but who knows what’s real? Your partner could call you a ‘rat-faced paedo nonce with shit hair’ every day for the rest of your life and it’d be well worth it for $1.7 billion.


A show where delayed flights and checking suitcases were treated as high drama. There were never any thrilling drugs busts because drug smuggling is basically hiding things in bags, not Tony Montana smearing Jeremy Spake across Heathrow Terminal 4 with a frag grenade. It was always sold on its ‘behind the scenes’ appeal. Why? You don’t care what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ of a tyre factory.

Made in Chelsea

If you got a pound every time Binky, Millie, Jamie et al discussed some incredibly minor relationship problem, you could buy Chelsea and bulldoze it to the f**king ground. Reality TV stars can make serious money, and considering this lot were all pretty rich anyway it was slightly sickening to realise they were coining it in from peasants like you. Still, at least you were only watching the dreary show, not working 18 hours a day in a field for their feudal lord ancestors.

Benefits Britain: Life on the Dole

Incorrectly categorised on the Channel 5 website as ‘entertainment’, Benefits Britain had a habit of zeroing in on the most troubled individuals in the UK. The benefits were kind of irrelevant – the most hopeless cases needed constant supervision, because spending a housing benefit cheque on bingo was just the sort of stupid shit they did. Also, it’s hard to enjoy watching a house so filthy it makes you want a bath after seeing it on TV, never mind going there in person.

Little Lady Fauntleroy

On paper Lauren (formerly James) Harries sounds like an ideal subject for a lighthearted documentary. She was the precocious child antiques expert on Wogan, but her adult life was quickly revealed to be a massive, miserable, pathetic lie. She and her mother were eking a living with bogus counselling and metaphysics degrees, including ones issued by ‘the Cardiff College of Humanistic Studies’ – their own house. A classic of the genre of elevating someone so unusual they shed light on nothing except their own strangeness, not helped by the choice of presenter, the ever-humble and sympathetic Keith Allen.

Tiger King

Not hugely relatable due to everyone in it being mental. The only compelling question was how a zookeeper (loosely defined) hadn’t realised a 500lb carnivore would quickly work out you’re made of meat. Really the main appeal was seeing if someone would get mauled, and the Guardian’s wanky obsession with ‘must-see watercooler TV’ would have ended pretty abruptly if we’d seen Joe get his ribcage ripped open.

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Fire drills, and other brilliant disruptions to the office day

THERE’S nothing more magical than an unexpected event bringing your office to a standstill. Here are some distractions from work you pretend to hate but actual revel in.

Fire drill

Someone might spill coffee on themselves if they jump at the deafening alarm, which is hilarious. Then, as everyone pretends to be annoyed while secretly being terrified they’re about to burn to death, you get a lovely trip into the fresh air, and a nosy at everyone else who works in the building. A perfect double feature.

Wifi outage

The perfect excuse to do nothing without even having to pretend to look busy. Practise for the Oscar you’ll get one day by saying how much you were looking forward to this afternoon’s back-to-back meetings. Be sure to leave to ‘work from home for the rest of the day’ before some IT creep fixes it.

First aid training

You’re a hero, not unlike Batman, for jumping at the chance to get defibrillator certified. Potentially saving a life one day will feel almost as good as the extra hour for lunch you got so you could sit in the training seminar. 

Global event

Establish yourself as someone with a deep interest in international news. This way any big BBC news story is the perfect excuse for at least ten minutes of noble thinking. Say superficially intelligent but actually vacuous things like ‘The question is whether this will strengthen or weaken Putin’ when really you’re thinking: ‘How long can I spin this out to avoid work?’

Emergency vehicle

It doesn’t matter which one, seeing some sirens on the street outside is a valid excuse to investigate. For the safety of your coworkers, of course. You’ll be able to provide critical updates, eg. ‘It’s definitely an ambulance’ and ‘I think they’re leaving.’


Not the most time-inefficient distraction, but you can still milk it. Get everyone involved in a big chat about how it had been really humid today, or make them count the seconds between the lightning and the thunder clap. Don’t mention there is zero danger in a modern office building unless you go onto the roof and fly a kite connected to a copper wire. Although you would consider doing this if it meant a 20-minute skive.