Friday, March 07, 2008

The Trouble With Gay TV

Okay I may take a few hits for this, but it isn't meant to be homophobic. If anyone thinks it is, bite me.

I was looking at the ratings for the latest Shed productions OTT drama Rock Rivals. Kind of a 'Let's do Footballers Wives, Bad Girls, Waterloo Road again but this time we'll call it.........'

A fairly bad three and a half million tuned in. I think there are a coupleof reasons for this.

Firstly, I think the 'Reality' audience is largely mutually exclusive from the Drama audience. Simply grafting a reality format and drama format together isn't going to work unless you can convince both audiences there is more to see than melodrama and bad dialogue. Seeing Shed, a reality show based drama and Michelle Collins in the same sentence is enough to have me tuning out straight away.

Secondly it is yet another of those type of programmes I was searching for an adjective for - and finally settled for Gay TV.

Waterloo Road, Holby, Casualty, Rock Rivals, The Palace, Hotel Babylon, Torchwood [or Dr. Screw as my son calls it] and on and on and on and on.

There is nothing there to get your average bloke sitting down expectantly, and TV Bosses are wondering why the under 40 male audience aren't watching?

It's because there isn't much for them. Most drama seems to be female centric and so heavily PC as to make almost unwatchable.

Remember a decade or so ago when it seemed that just about every Hollywood villian was a Brit? There was a very good reason for it apart from the quality of the actor. It was because Hollywood knew Brits didn't give a crap if they were depicted as villians. We're pretty grown up here believe it or not.

We can largely separate what is crass and exploitative from what is clever and insightful. Unfortunately from what is on offer I don't think the commissioning editors and policy makers at the networks feel the same way. Hence the steady diet of pap. Innoffensive politically correct melodrama with a view to getting as few complaints as possible rather than as many viewers as possible.


John Soanes said...

Can't even begin to comment on the content of Rock Rivals - was put off it not only by the trailers (feuding couple and she drives his car into the pool? Sounds a bit like the 1980s film 'The War Of The Roses' to me), but by the fact that ITV insisted on playing them seemingly every time there was an ad break. As they're doing with Pushing Daisies - and though I've heard that's supposed to be all right (US import, yes?), if something's pushed at me over and over like that I just get fed up with it before it's even there.

Oli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oli said...

I thought Michelle Collins was great casting - she gets my teeth grating as soon as she hits the screen, much like the real Sharon Osborne.

English Dave said...

John - you can usually tell how bad something is by the excessive amount of promotion.

Comented deleted - don't know why, didn't see it.

Oli - It's just that you can pretty much guarantee the tone and genre of everything she's in. None of which is for me.

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