Thursday, November 09, 2006

The End of Civilization

Sad news amigos. I've just been on the phone to my agents. It was ostensibly to set up a meeting with an exec producer at a network. But what came out in the conversation depressed the hell out of me.

They had another writer meet the same exec producer a couple of weeks ago. The writer pitched his pitch which included references to such seminal classics as The Avengers and Budgie.

And the exec producer said she'd never heard of them.

My fucking God.

Budgie well maybe that's an age thing. But The Avengers? You are making programmes now and you have never heard of The Avengers? Even the abysmal Sean Connery movie?

No wonder TV is so crap when you have a generation of idiots in control raised on Casualty, Holby and The Bill and think that is great drama.

Is that too harsh?

I don't think so. John Yorke is head of drama at the BBC. Dammit, I didn't mean to mention the BBC. He's a soap man, out and out. Passionate about it. And that's a good thing. Passion is always good. He's so passionate he's set up a writer's academy. The only problem is the writers in the academy are being solely trained to write Holby, East Enders, Casualty and Doctors.

Hell, I make a living writing these kind of shows but do I consider them to be memorable, ground-breaking drama? Do I buggery.

How about a writer's academy that teaches writers about writing? Not perpetuating the moving wallpaper that passes for drama and caters to an ever shrinking audience.


wcdixon said...

Tell me about it... I've had too many conversations over the past year where I've referenced shows far more recent than 'The Avengers' (and coincidentally, have referenced that show) and got the blank stare. I suppose one could argue whether the referenced show was relevant or not, but to have never heard of it? Sad.

English Dave said...

Will, are we just a couple of guys complaining that the cops are getting younger? LOL

Piers said...

No, I don't think so.

I say we throw the moneychangers out of the temple. And then shoot them in the head. And burn the corpses. And jump up and down on the fucking ashes.


I'm not so sure.

wcdixon said...


Well, when you put it that way...I'm just going to put my "Prisoner' eps on a loop and sulk.

Best Writer Ever! said...

Is it frustrating to be so much smarter than television viewers, other writers and executives?

English Dave said...

Bestie - you've resurfaced. How reassuring. The scribosphere has missed your caustic wit and hyperbolic

Lucy said...

just to be awkward, I think shows like Holby in particular offer a public service. I mean it. a) people want to watch them and b) they can offer positive role models for young people. Connie Beauchamp is a big heroine of my sister's who's training to be a doctor. That's not to say she prefers her to say, a REAL woman doctor, but it's giving women like my sister the impression that females CAN get ahead in a male-dominated environment like surgery. That's gotta be worth something, surely??

But I agree - they aren't the BEST progs in the world. But I'd sure as hell like to write for them.

Oli said...

I've not seen Budgie; I've heard of it but it's not immediately familiar.

But The Avengers? As I remember it, wasn't that repeated more or less EVERY DAY on BBC 2 until about 1996? How'd you miss that?