True Stories Starsuckers an example of celebrity-obsessed culture eating itself
An entertainment magazine discussing a TV programme analysing the corrosive nature of our celebrity world might be a shocking example of culture eating itself, but True Stories: Starsuckers (More4, Tue 6 Apr, 10pm) is deserving of our attention. Sure, some of the observations in Chris Atkins’ film might be a tad obvious: more people than ever before want to be famous; aiming advertising at kids is a really, really bad thing; and having a five-year-old go on a publicity whirlwind might just have a negative impact on his schooling. And what would happen if we mocked up a paparazzi frenzy with snappers chasing a non-celebrity couple: would people stop in the street to try and catch a glimpse of the fleeing duo? Well, duh, who wouldn’t?
But when the documentary delves into its meaty core, the truly disturbing aspects to our obsession with fame bobs to the surface like Elvis’ dead poo. In a world where proper journalism is being squeezed into extinction by newspaper cost-cutting and the internet’s ‘info-chaos’ and where crazy concepts like ‘fact-checking’ are considered to be quaintly old-fashioned, we see Atkins’ team phoning the ‘Got a Story’ desks on a bunch of tabloids with makey-upy tales of B-list excess. Later on, we witness secretly filmed sit-downs with some blood-guzzling hacks who don’t envisage any harm in illegally obtaining medical records of the stars. I mean, how much do we really care if AN Other-Celeb has spent their cash earned through years of treading the red carpet on a chemical peel?