Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Theatre of the absurd


So everyone's raving about the latest US import FlashForward. I watched the first one and didn't think it was all that. It's an interesting premise and the special effects were good, but I found it hard to care for any of the cast, and so wasn't bothered whether they could change the future as seen in their premonitions or not. But that said, I'll give the second ep a go, when it's repeated this week. But to be honest all this US TV love has got way out of hand.

Remember when it was frowned upon that there were too many imports on TV? They were banished for ages, but they've crept back in and they now dominate. But for every Mad Men, Lost or Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, there's a Knight Rider, Warehouse 13 or a Crossing Jordan. It's not all beer and skittles.

Take True Blood. I don't think it's aimed at me, but I thought it was a load of bloodthirsty teenage tosh with some sex thrown in. Stephen Moyer was ludicrous as the vampire. (What is all this vampire mania at the moment, anyway?). And there's the rub. If you asked Tim Roth to star in an ITV show about a man who solved crimes by simply reading body language, he'd laugh and probably tell you to fuck off. But with work in the US comes a big paypacket and a bigger profile, so why not? It's a shame. There's almost an acting brain drain going on.

Of course once it all dries up over there they can look forward to coming back here and joining Emmerdale (Amanada Donohoe), Holby City (Emma Samms), or worse Hope Springs (Alex Kingston).

I think what I find the most annoying is the Guardian/The general media's obsession with The Wire. Yes it was great, but is it any better than other things that have gone before? I'm quite sure some people only latched onto it because they thought it put them on a higher cultural plane than anyone else because it was so cult as to be almost invisible, even in the US. That's all changed now it's been on BBC2 and utterly failed to set the world alight. (The time slot could have been to blame for that though).

I'm not saying I don't like US shows because I do. I'm a major fan of all the good one's I've mentioned and hundreds more, and they'll always be a place for the really good ones, like it's only the really good sitcoms that survive over here. But surely this is simply a craze, just filling in the gaps while British TV has an injection of cash, catches on and catches up?

It should get a bloody move on.

3 comments:

Clair said...

Anything post-Six Feet Under (my actual favourite series ever) is awful.I was Lost by lost after episode one, and as for The Wire, anything you have to watch with subtitles that's supposedly in English is not for me.

If I want subtitles, it's Engrenages on BBC Four for me; easily the best thing on the box at the moment until the original Swedish Wallender comes back. I *heart* the EC these days when it comes to telly.

Five-Centres said...

YEs I agree. Spiral is great, and I really, really love Swedish Wallander. I can't wait for it to come back. I was said to hear that the girl who plays Linda Wallander committed suicide after being caught in that big tsunami.

Mondo said...

No I can't be doing with US dramas - there's something too demanding about the logistics . You have to accept the premise, the angle, the characters and the space to commit to watch every episode and who knows how many follow on series from the off. Any glimpses I've grabbed of these shows, always have the earnest worthiness (which comes across as bland and boring) that crept in with the X Files

As for lusty vampires (again *sighs*) - fangs, but no fangs.

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