Dear Angry,

I am writing to you as the executive producer of the popular reality television show America. Recently, we have been in strong competition with our rival programme Great Britain, with both sides of this ratings war trying to one-up each other with more over-the-top storylines. For example, when Great Britain ran their absurd “Brexit Means Brexit” episode, we countered by having long-time comic relief character Donald Trump become President of the United States. As Great Britain continued with their admittedly hilarious “Vote Leave” angle, we felt the need to up the ante by having Americans elect a climate change denier just before the worst bout of weather in US history.

However, I feel our writing staff may have pushed the envelope too far with our season finale, which sets up a third world war. The as yet unfilmed episode sees the foolhardy President Trump launching a tactical nuclear strike on his North Korean equivalent, Kim Jong-un. As brilliantly action-packed as all this sounds, I am honestly not sure where we can take the show dramatically after World War III. Moreover, as much as a post-apocalyptic America sounds like captivating television, I think the audience will really miss our traditional episodic formula of gluttonous celebrities, racial stereotypes, toxic food and disturbing hardcore pornography. As executive producer, all I want to do is make America great again, and to get the whole world watching it with the shock and awe that it truly deserves. Have you got any suggestions?

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Eric Russo

Dear Eric,

I have never been a proponent of reality television. Having witnessed the devastating effects that lowest-common-denominator pabulum such as Love Island, I’m A Celebrity and other goofball garbage has on society, I’ve proudly stood against the tide of scripted reality. Nonetheless, the general public have been very accommodating of it, and they seem to have taken its ugly ways to be some sort of blueprint for 21st-century life. The pursuit of “likes” from total strangers on the internet, the need to make drama out of meaningless everyday events and the notion that self-indulgence brings happiness all stem from this reality television disease.

Unquestionably, the normalisation of such insane behaviour has now penetrated every institution in the land. For example, there are enormous parallels between the electoral system used in your show America and the “vote off” concept commonly deployed in the likes of Big Brother. The unwitting TV audiences are frequently asked to pick between two crooked, ego-driven greed-heads, with one being voted off and the other being kept around in order to keep the show “exciting” with their terrible personality. This is essentially what happened with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with America’s public voting off anybody with actual talent in order to have a final showdown between two individuals who seemed fully capable of starting World War III.

As much as extremist characters, heated debates, public protests, street riots, race wars, military interventions and nuclear holocaust are all guaranteed ratings winners, the preservation and progress of humanity is ultimately more important.

However, television executives appear to have become addicted to promoting and championing idiotic content, regardless of how provably destructive it is. Recently, the BBC continually gave a platform to notorious bigot Nigel Farage in order to boost ratings. It apparently didn’t matter to them that Farage is only popular amongst far-right thugs or that he recently received a standing ovation from Nazis in Germany. Similarly, the BBC’s popular quiz show Have I Got News For You has led to the rise of such dire buffoons as Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg. Indeed, some of the very worst people in Britain — Katie Hopkins, for one nightmarish example — owe their sickening success to TV executives pushing them as credible personalities, rather than the malevolent clowns that they are.

Sadly, the public now appears to be completely unable to distinguish fact from fiction, as reality television has blurred the line between both in every format from dance shows to politics. I’d suggest that viewers would be better switching to the History Channel, but unfortunately even that has now become home to such deep-seated nonsense as Ancient Aliens and a litany of other conspiracy-related gobbledygook. The only exception to the rule appears to be the honest world of professional wrestling, where producers have the courtesy to admit that its content is entirely staged from the outset. Which is ironic, as WWE appears to have become somewhat of a breeding ground for future US presidential candidates; perhaps the way to spice up America without the pain is to put John Cena or Dwayne Johnson in the White House? If we must embrace this needless theatricality, could we at least do it in a way that is fun, humorous and ultimately harmless?