Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Balls Of Summer

Apologies to Don Henley for the title.

I thought with the advent of multi channel tv the networks would stop using the Summer months to shove on any old crap, be it repeats or second rate shows that even they were too embarrassed to slot into the autumn and winter schedules. Apparently I was wrong.

Perusing the Radio Times I can find absolutely no drama I want to make an appointment to sit down and watch. Nada. Zilch. If anyone has a recommend I'd be happy to hear it.

The staples like Casualty, The Bill and Holby just don't do it for me. There seems to be an 'homogenisation' of Tv right now where whatever you watch seems to have been constructed on the same template. Heck half the programmes even seem to have the same actors. Not surprising really, I know for a fact that a previous controller of drama on a network had a list of about 10 actors and no matter what the project always insisted they were used. Nothing wrong with that per se, it's all marketing, but personally I thought at least half of those on the list were pretty damn diabolical in the acting stakes.

It occurs to me that maybe this homoginisation is the result of an over reliance by the powers that be on the idea that writing is a science and not an art. It can be constructed, taught and controlled, like making widgits. Bear in mind that that there isn't one solitary writer amongst the powers that be. So you can understand how that fallacy gains weight.

I recall a couple of years ago some well meaning bod at a network sent some missive to all writers they knew. It was about how to construct a character and was penned by some guru who hadn't had a thing produced in their lives. But this was the Holy Grail of the moment to the commissioners and editors. I read the first sentence and it was along the lines of ''If the character was a tree, which tree would he be?''

Utter bollocks. The delete button was hit. If I were in a meeting and some eejit asked me that I'd be tempted to lamp them. Scary to think that was doing the rounds as perceived wisdom.
But writing is scary. Certainly to a lot of execs. They don't understand it so they feel the need to create some kind of formula to give them comfort. Hell, I don't understand writing but I know there is no formula. Rather there is no formula for good writing.

Anyway, so much for the summer schedule. I was going to give Bonekickers a try, but having read the reviews, [including Good Dog's 'Cock Knockers' lol] perhaps I'll have to watch 'The World at War' on the History Channel yet again.

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