Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Live Television

When we were watching The Voice, Jack was very excited about watching the live shows.  He was insistent about not being late to the viewing.  He wanted to watch the show as it was happening.

I wasn't too keen on the whole live thing.  I'm kind of scared of it.  

I worry something awful will happen, and I'll have no choice but to see it.

Someone might drop dead from a heart attack.

They might have a stroke.

Someone might go crazy and start shooting people.

And today it happened.

Something scary happened on live Australian TV. 

On ABC's Q and A, one of the panelists (Simon Sheikh) collapsed in the middle of the program.   One minute he seemed fine. The next minute his head hit the table.  

The panelist next to him was a Liberal politician, Sophia Mirabella.  She's getting a lot of criticism because she didn't rush to his aid.  Instead she leaned away and looked a bit disgusted.

I'm wondering.   Is there some accepted protocol for these situations?  What to do if you're on live television and the person next to you collapses....

Personally, I think Sophia Mirabella did the right thing.  Or at least she did the normal thing.

I think in the first split seconds of a freaky medical incident, you go into shock and look totally freaked out.  Your facial expression should say, Holy shit.  What the hell is happening here?

If you're well-versed in zombie movies and viral pandemic horror movie, you need to take at least 5-10 seconds to worry that you're going to be attacked by a newborn monster; or catch a fatal illness.

After about 10 seconds, then you show signs of concern and helpfulness.

Of course if it's your child, all of this does not usually apply. Then you'd probably jump to their aid immediately.  

Sophie Mirabella did not have time to show her ability to be heroic towards ill people.  Simon was quickly whisked away by Q and A staff.

I don't know anything about Sophie Mirabella. She might be awful, for all I know. But I certainly don't think she's awful for briefly shying away from a fainting panelist. 

I think her later actions are more important.  Does she send him a text asking if he's all right? Does she send a card or flowers?

OR does she accuse him of faking his illness to get attention? Does she blame him for his illness?  Does she use his illness for her own political gain?

I hope Simon Sheikh is all right.  Supposedly his scary live television incident was caused by workaholic exhaustion and the flu.

I didn't see it live.

I'm really into Q and A now, though.  I recently started watching random bits on YouTube. Then a few days ago, I started downloading the show. But I've just started working my way through 2012. 

I'm only on episode 2 for now.

I did decide to watch the scary medical bit. I wanted to see if I'd feel there was any merit to the criticism of Mirabella.

I considered not watching it and writing this post anyway.  But  I imagined writing, posting; then later seeing the show and thinking, Oh never mind.   She was awful towards Simon!     

Okay.  That's not my only reason for watching.

I also probably had some morbid curiosity.  I hope if it HAD been a morbid situation, I would have fought against my curiosity. Otherwise I'd probably be traumatized.

Obviously we can't avoid encountering all scary medical situations.  Bad things happen.  Sometimes they happen in front of us. Sometimes they happen to us. Sometimes they happen to those we love.

But if something has already happened, and it's on film, We CAN choose to watch it, or not watch it.

Right now I'm thinking that if Sheikh ends up being totally okay...it's kind of good television.   I'm sure it's good for ratings.  It's like a stunt, but unplanned.

If Sheikh ends up not being okay, if this is the beginning of some kind of long-term serious medical problem,  then it's depressing and scary.  Haunting. 

Hopefully all will be well with Simon Sheikh.