Tuesday, March 11, 2008

THE FIXER

I'm not in the habit of reviewing programmes I haven't actually seen. But I've recorded this and will watch it when I get these frickin re-writes out the way.

But - from what I hear, ratings wise at least, the boys done good. Over 6 mill for a Monday night 9pm slot. ITV have taken a hammering recently on just about everything they've tried. Seems they might have a ratings winner here.

I saw the first few minutes of the opening ep, and a couple of things struck me. Got to love a drama with the balls to show the protag executing a middle aged husband and wife before the opening credits. Wasn't keen on the hokey voice over basically describing what we could see on screen. Anyway there are few things I bother recording so that's a start anyway.

I mentioned a few posts ago how ITV seemed to making a real effort to invigorate their schedule. Yep there have been failures, spectacular in some cases, but major props for at least trying. They deserve a winner and I hope The Fixer is it.

Funnily enough I pitched almost exactly the same idea a couple of years ago and was told there was no appetite for violent vigilante style programmes. Just shows to go you. Tastes change depending on who holds the purse strings at the time.

But here is an attempt to reach the under 60 audience and they've snagged a good cast to do it. It comes from Kudos, which if you ignore a couple of recent misfires, has provided some of the best stuff out there. Please God, let it be good and not another 'The Outsider'. If it takes off it might open the door for a few more action dramas to balance out the glut of relationship dramas and 'pipe and slipper' viewing.

I genuinely get the feeling that ITV is becoming the first port of call rather than the last. Which they will probably admit they were. They are willing to take risks. And risk is the key to producng drama that is engaging to a literate audience. So maybe that has been forced on them because of the dire ratings and sliding share price, but both those consequences are simply the result of the audience voting with their remote.

I'm off to dig up all those old pitches. The times they are a changing - maybe?

6 comments:

Jaded and Cynical said...

As you said at the start, ED, better to watch the programme before writing the review.

I sat through most of it because the concept made some appeal. But I'd given up before the end.

The casting was quite good, but the script was underwritten. Every line of dialogue was square on the nose ('I am a hitman working for the government,' kind of thing).

And does anything send out distress signals faster than a voice-over?.

It dragged on forever. It needed more narrative and less kitchen sink bullshit. And just to make things drag even more, they filmed the action sequences in slow-motion.

I hoped The Fixer might be a UK version of 24, but it isn't.

Credit to ITV for trying - this is the first new show on the network that I've watched in a long time.

But the execution was lacking. Just as it is with most british shows.

English Dave said...

mmmmmmmmmmm watched it now.

see jaded's review above lol However first eps are always tricky especially when you have execs banging on about 'clarity' to the point of expositionitis. I'l try ep2

Jaded and Cynical said...

Expositionitis.

Nice one.

But you're right. Once the story has been properly set up, it might find its stride.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the opening episode was a bit clunky, but the preview for the second episode looks a lot better, and it would be unfair to trash this series on this first episode, especially with such a good cast

Lucy said...

I thought it was okay, which surprised me 'cos I hadn't expected to like it as I hadn't liked that thing with wotsisface in - the one in Eastenders who had it off with Sharon and then got stabbed. Was that the one you're talking about ED?

I'll be tuning in next week, anyway. And I'm glad TV is emerging out of the doldrums with some riskier programming... I love soaps as you know but some more high concept stuff for the longer slots is long overdue I think and the time certainly seems to be now for it.

English Dave said...

Yep that was the one Lucy. A major disappointment. And a terrible use of the talented Brian Cox.

An example of trying for a ertain tone and mising it by miles.