Monday, 16 March 2009

The bleak shall (not) inherit the earth

So British drama controllers are planning a shift away from the 00s 'bleak paradigm' to return us to the programming which prevailed back in the days when Tony Blair was a wisecracking ingénue and foreign policy meant, and only meant, 'Maastricht' or 'Sarajevo'.

It might be a stupid question, but can't we have both kinds of television? I've been happy to avoid the torrents of Tunbridgian disgust that have no doubt accompanied Channel 4's somewhat risky decision to adapt Red Riding, but I also accept that there is a significant sector of the audience demographic who will always be a little bit more Hamish MacBeth in their tastes, no matter how hard the expensively-denimed advocates of broadcasting edginess try to convert them. Unrealistically sidelining financial questions for a moment, surely there is another form of programming which could be downsized to make way for more drama and, since we're being utopian now, more intellectual content of the John Berger/ Kenneth Clark/ Death of Yugoslavia mutant Reithianist school (the one that educates the viewer but probably in a way incompatible with Reith's ideology)? Come to think of it, are the light entertainment/ reality TV hybrids that are so common now actually any cheaper to produce than some sexily conscious Play for Today type material?

Alright, I'll stop fantasising and return to my lesson plan. Sorry.

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