RTÉ has undoubtedly produced many quality, and beloved, programmes over the years. Even recently, as pressure grows on terrestrial television broadcasters due to competition from streaming services, they still manage to help create some original and distinctive programmes such as The Young Offenders; Can't Cope, Won't Cope; and The Tommy Tiernan Show, and for this they deserve some credit.
However, we need only remember the fact that RTÉ is also responsible for commissioning and creating Fade Street, perhaps the most insanely low quality piece of reality television ever conceived, to realise that something must change. If you are unconvinced, please reacquaint yourself with this scene from the show where a largely disinterested Vogue Williams and someone who I know, simply from the description on the video, to be named 'Louise' talk about going to the now defunct music festival-cum-vast, quasi-refugee-camp-that-happened-to-play-music, Oxegen. The utterly flaccid drama that ensues following their boss' revelation that only one of them can go to the festival is truly remarkable. Really, the miniscule amount of tension they had managed to contrive, immediately dissipates as soon as Louise utters her next line. It. Is. Astounding.
Given that RTÉ was capable of commissioning and broadcasting such a catastrophically mundane programme, within the last decade, it is evident that something needs to change. It is obvious that we, the viewing public, need to rise up and seize the means of production - ie. RTÉ's production department - so that we can ensure that such a travesty is never wrought on the Irish people again.
It is in this spirit that the hashtag #WhatWeWantRTÉ began trending last night. The hashtag saw people on Twitter, and celebrities such as The Rubber Bandits, tweet out the changes they would like to see made to RTÉ, and, for the most part they would seemingly drastically improve things.
1) The Rubber Bandits, as ever, preaching sense.
#WhatWeWantRTE a platform like Republic of Telly was for ourselves. Something for young inexperienced internet writers to be able to dip their toes in professional TV and work with crews. That still stands to me today with my bbc work.
— Rubber Bandits (@Rubberbandits) May 30, 2019
2) A Tweet referencing perhaps one of the greatest Twitter threads of all time. Even if the cost of making this show is for Ireland to accidentally legalise all drugs again, it will be worth it.
A show in which I serve drinks to a different head of state, and interview them while on a different drug eg krokodil with the Queen in Balmoral, honest-to-God yokes in Latvia with Raimonds Vējonis. I'd call it Heads High and it would make you a billion fucken quid #WhatWeWantRTE
— Séamas It Ever Was (@shockproofbeats) May 30, 2019
3) Gladiator Mice? I'm listening....
* A Stand Up show like "Live @ The Comedy Store" on Comedy Central.
* Sketch show that promotes the weird and wonderful from various comics.
* More Irish short films from festivals.
* GAA version of Soccer AM during Championship.
* Gladiator Mice.
— Bernard Casey (@BernardCasey90) May 30, 2019
4) It seems sensible, when the future of humanity and the world in general is at stake, to give air-time to people looking to solve climate problem, rather than to misinformed and wilfuly ignorant TDs, naming no na - the Healy-Raes.
— Cara Augustenborg (@CAugustenborg) May 30, 2019
6) This absolutely hilarious response Tweet from RTÉ, featuring an entirely incongruous gif of the RTÉ logo seemingly being attacked by Homer's make-up gun.
— RTÉ (@rte) May 30, 2019
7) A moratorium on the broadcasting of what are essentially water-cooler chats between RTÉ staffers.
A ban on RTÉ staff interviewing other RTÉ staff on chat shows and branding it as entertainment #WhatWeWantRTE
— Gang of one (@gang_of_one) May 30, 2019
8) Running the country as if it were some kind of 17th century pirate ship where public enemies are forced to walk the plank. Frankly, we don't see why this idea would strictly need to be televised, but that's by the by.
A weekly show called 'Get in the Fucking Sea', where people are selected by twitter poll for ejection off the Cliffs of Moher #WhatWeWantRTE
— Eoin O'Mahony (@ownohmanny) May 30, 2019
There were plenty more brilliant ideas in the full thread. However, it seemed most of all, people were crying out for RTÉ to make itself more accessible to those looking to work in Irish media, and to stop Irish talent being forced to emigrate.
9) This also gets an honourable mention.
What's In The Middle At Lidl. A show featuring all the unused stuff people bought because it was on special. #WhatWeWantRTE
— orchidsonmybudget (@orchidsbudget) May 30, 2019