television

skins_tA 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 spooks_team– 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.

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~ by crisargos on Sunday, 2 December, 2007.

7 Responses to “television”

  1. And ‘House’ and ‘Survivor China’ with the hot guys on it.

  2. ‘House’ i never watched Martin, so i can’t comment. But ‘Survivor’? isn’t that but one of those ridiculous “reality” concoctions. Much as i like hot guys i’m afraid their presence is wholly insufficient to generate worthwhile, watchable television; there remain the matters of script, characterisation, theme, plot intricacy and development, cinematography, intelligent direction, or in the case of documentary or genuine reality programmes, ideas rationally pursued and thoroughly examined.

  3. Picky picky. I hated Survivor until I actually watched this Series (Survivor China) It has quite a bit of the things you list – theme, plot, development, cinematography) although does fall flat in terms of the rest. Still, the hot dudes are gone now, so I won’t be watching anymore.
    I suspect you would appreciate House – although I don’t know if it’s too far along for you to get into the plot (although it’s very well written and I guess you would catch it quickly… it has plenty of plot and sarcasm). House is really very addictive, and scores well on your list of requirements.
    Unfortunately, the plot, in terms of each weekly episode, is slightly predictable, in that there will be a medical mystery which they will solve with 15-10 min available. However, the longer term twists in the plot are very good.

  4. Yes when it comes to tv, but even more so books and films, i’m very picky Martin. i’ll happily concede that there are bound to be perfectly fine tv programmes i’ve overlooked and missed. My intended main point in my post is just that there is too much dross on tv currently. But then, it is a mass medium and my elitist tastes are never going to appeal to the hoi polloi. i shall stop criticising what i don’t like on tv, revel in what i find laudable, and occasionally resort to promoting the notion that more substantial fare in all genres on the goggle box would be educative and a valuable social service.

  5. Torchwood? I reckon Torchwood is good.

  6. Oh, and while you’re not watching television, you could read “Vernon God Little” by DBC Pierre

  7. Never seen Torchwood Chris – will have to take a look. And i’ve got Pierre’s book on my list to read, just haven’t got to it yet – there are a good many books still in that category – guess that’s a good thing in a way, be terrible to have nothing on the “to read” list!

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