Monday, April 06, 2009

Listen carefully...

How bored are you of hearing about The Wire?

Yes, I've seen it and yes, I loved it. But enough already! All you ever see/read/hear is how marvellous US shows are. Well they bloody should be with the amount of money spent on them.

But let's not forget that there are actually some really good British shows around too. I think Law & Order: UK is good (though I prefer the law to the order), EastEnders, though often a bit silly, is really very watchable. That drama Five Minutes From Heaven was good, though a one off, and I've enjoyed series like Doctor Who and Moving Wallpaper. That said there is certainly a lot of crap around, but there are also a lot of crap American shows around too, but we don't see those. We only see the good stuff.

How annoyed would you be as a British writer to find your work constantly dismissed as rubbish, while the world bangs on about how brilliant Mad Men is (and it is), when it gets under 100,000 viewers. What's wrong with people talking and writing about programmes people actually watch?

It's a bit like loving a band until they become famous. It's a snobbishness, an elitism and it's really irritating. I bet Wire fans are furious that it's now on mainstream BBC2, albeit in the dead of night, because it might become accepted by the masses and therefore no longer cool to be associated with. To me, that's the bottom line of all this Wire wanking.

Enjoy by all means, but shut up about it.


Dan W said...

Very true. When you read a good book do you re-read it over and over again. Or do you read something else? Arrested Development is probably my favourite comedy show of all time (and would easily be my Mastermind subject) but I haven't watched it in over a year. Once something's been praised and watched it's time to move on and find new things to write about.

(I would say articles about Mad Man are okay right now because it's still on TV).

TimT said...

Have you seen the Media Guardian today? There's an article on a very similar theme by Steven Armstrong.

I'm not sure I agree with you about fans of The Wire. Certainly the people in my office who watch it seem pleased that it's now on BBC2, as it means more people can join in their conversations. There's no sense of elitism at all.

One of the great things about TV (and one that we're in danger of losing, now that fewer and fewer people watch TV shows at the time they're first broadcast) is the 'watercooler effect' - that feeling of coming into work bursting to talk about last night's episode. (With me it's Mad Men at the moment.)

That's what makes TV, for me, one of the supreme art forms - it has a 'sharing factor' you don't get with novels or paintings, for instance. If you stop people raving about shows they're passionate about, you kill off what makes TV special.

Five-Centres said...

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Clair said...

I watched the first of The Wire...but please, every night at 11.20? It's all too much, and far too late. And I shan't be buying the box set either, so that's another conversation I shan't be able to have.