Before the drink-driving prohibition, TikTok and television were like Ant and Dec. Obviously, TikTok is great for reminiscing about former highlights from daytime and reality programs.
Remember Come Dine With Me’s classic “Dear Lord, what a sad little life Jane” scene? Or how about that time on Love Island when an enraged Curtis chose coffee-making over morning cuddles?
Or all of Gemma Collins’s previous statements and actions? Greatbritishmemes, Qualitybritishtelly, and Loveofhuns have all accurately chopped, churned, lip-synced, and commended all of them. It makes the forced commercial breaks on All 4 and ITV Hub fly past.
But that’s only the start of this wonderful symbiosis, since TikTok also offers a look into the future of television. Munya Chawawa’s outrageously gifted song parodies have long threatened to break out of the small(er) screen and into the mainstream, as co-host of Complaints Welcome on Channel 4, but his viral music parodies have long threatened to spill out of the small(er) screen and into the mainstream.
And there’s plenty more where he came from, thanks to TikTok’s ability to skip conventional gatekeepers and connect directly with an audience. Bigmiko (if Shakespeare were a roadie…), Abi Clarke (the relatable queen of workplace banter) and Harry Trevaldwyn (who has already been cast in the UK adaptation of Call My Agent) are shaping up to be tomorrow’s panel show regulars.
Indeed, there’s so much undiscovered, unsigned, and often deranged talent on here that it may start to seem like one huge audition room, full with stage-school kids cartwheeling for attention (“I’m Brendan, and I’ll be doing everyone on White Lotus’ reaction face…”). When that happens, it’s time to move on to another part of TikTok TV – and Gen Zs finding vintage Millennial/Gen X period programs for the first time always seems like a safe environment.
Tannai’ TV Guide’s genuine appreciation of life lessons learned from random episodes of Grey’s Anatomy is a tonic, and another Buffy fan Ellie Addis has nailed the aesthetic with her “outfits i’d wear to kill vampires in Sunnydale” piece. Many TikTokers are apparently planning to “cancel” Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell in the future.
The evidence against him is there for anyone to see on Funny or Die. However, be wary of the dangers of nostalgia-seeking. It all begins innocently enough, with a short look through the Friendspaperclips stream — don’t you remember how hot Chandler Bing was back in the day?
Then you’re lost in a super-cut of Succession’s Kendall chewing gum to provocative R&B music before you realize it.
Even still, all TikTok roads ultimately lead back to The GC. Stop resisting it: just write “Gemma Collins in Squid Game” and let the FYP algorithm get to know you properly.
Thanks to Ellen E Jones at The Guardian whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.