Television show, broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK.
Faking It is one of the most compelling reality TV shows of recent times. The general premise runs thusly:
- Think of a profession, the more glamorous and/or specialist the better.
- Find somebody who epitomises absolutely nothing about this profession.
- Get some experts in the field together and give them four weeks to teach aforementioned victim any and every mo'fucking thing about said profession.
- Get some more experts to try and pick the victim out of a group of three real-life practitioners of said profession at the end of the four weeks.
- Sit back and watch the viewers roll in.
A simple concept, to be sure - but frighteningly good. This isn't a show that I had waited for with baited breath. This is a show that I happened to have on while cooking my dinner once, and couldn't find the remote control to turn it over. And, hell, if it didn't just suck me in completely.
Some of the most memorable Faking Its have been nothing short of orgasmic in their payoffs for the viewer. The homosexual, callow young country squire who successfully became an East End bouncer; the Newcastle burger-van owner who fooled four Michelin-decorated restauranteurs into believing that he was a cordon bleu head chef; the classically-trained male ballet dancer who for one night lived and breathed as 'The Highwayman', a professional wrestler; and the ultra-square cellist from the Ulster Philharmonic Orchestra who went from thinking 'dance music' meant chamber music and a stately minuet to becoming a hard house DJ in London's clubbing scene - all to the delight of their mentors.
The true draw of the show for we, the viewer, is in the last five minutes. As expert after expert picks one of the legitimate practitioners of their own profession as the faker, they crumble incredulously - and the mentors rejoice with the viewer. It is a true mark out moment.
Of course, as with any reality show, the question pops into even the least cynical of minds - is it all staged? To be honest with you, there are few forms of entertainment that fill me with the same euphoria as did the good old days of professional wrestling, before I knew it was all fake. Faking It makes me feels as good as I did when Hulk Hogan triumphed over insurmountable odds to win the WWF Title. And that can only be a good thing.