A week or so before we left on our excursion to Europe and Canada, TV4 began broadcasting the Channel 4 series Skins. Immediately we fell for its quirky brilliance – dialogue in the best English dramatic tradition, a character collection as individual as they are appealing, and plot lines that make you chuckle and wring your heart by alternate moments. Great to watch and then we’re gone. The series is not quite over when we get back but we’ve missed all the central episodes. No matter this is the age of the web and so we acquire the series and are in process of viewing it all through.
Skins is a great treat in the tv desert. So too is Spooks – for just the same reasons – great script writing, intelligent acting and plots that make the heart race and bring you to the edge of the sofa. [And one must not of course neglect to mention the gorgeous Mr Rupert Penry-Jones of whom we can scarcely see enough and of whom we have been in lust since the days of the likewise fondly remembered North Square, yet another of these great British series that are left virtually alone to redeem the tv medium from the abyss.]
There’s much to despair about the dross that presently screens as the majority of the fare on free-to-air television in this country. The major evening new bulletins on the 2 principal channels push sensationalism before balanced reporting and virtually never offer informative analysis let alone background to their subject matter which might make the events a little more explicable. The content range of the shows that screen in ‘prime time’ is so severely limited that often the only interesting stuff to view, when one can’t really take yet another cooking programme, is Deutsche Welle’s Euromaxx.
I should not grumble – this state of poor television means i can read more, and write this blog. And then when a really good tv programme turns up, i appreciate it all the more. Long live Skins and Spooks, Dr Who, Rick Stein exploring regions of Europe and The Simpsons.