Review of 2004

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Karon gets all heated up about what has been on TV in the past twelve months and sugests some changes for the New Year
2004 was not a good year for TV to my mind. Shameless stood out as the best bit of British drama I have seen in a long time.  On paper it sounds like a terrible show; some scallies from a dysfunctional family go around breaking the law a lot and swearing, but on TV its a fantastic, energetic, involving show.  I am looking forward to its return this week. 
Third Watch, which I discovered tucked away in Channel Four's daytime schedule, provided the best consistently moving and entertaining series of US drama I saw all year.  I did rather feel like a glutton at a feast though as Channel Four mercilessly charged through four seasons in approximately six months.  I missed being able to savour each episode and look forward to the next one...still at least I saw it, which was more than most people got the opportunity to. Channel Four have not yet made the decision to purchase season six - so here's a plea - PLEASE DO!!
The Long Firm was a great show.  With high production values and a great cast it held the audience throughout the series.  When the TV channels produce stuff as good as this, and then tuck it away on BBC2 one wonders what the world is coming to.
Big Brother this year was on the whole an uncomfortable and disappointing experience.  The infamous fight was handled badly by Channel Four all the way through, with them eventually unfairly turfing out only one of the protagonists, leaving the other (in theory) in a position to win. There was no clear winner even up to the last day, and I think Nadia was on the whole a poor winner, lying and hiding the truth from people is not really a trait I like to see rewarded. 
I'm a Celebrity, at the beginning of the year, with John Lydon, Jordan and Kerry McFadden/Katona was everything one of these shows promises to be. It was compulsive watching and tremendous fun.  The I'm a Celebrity at the close of the year, was dull, dull, dull.   When Joe Pasquale can be guessed to be the winner before he even enters the jungle, and then wins by not doing very much, purely because no-one else seriously challenged him, you know the show is in trouble.  Vic Reeves was possibly the biggest disappointment of the whole show; he offered no entertainment value, wanting only to kiss his wife...a lot.
I tried to watch The Farm on Channel Five several times, but it never grabbed my attention.  It eventually managed to grab the headlines by having Rebecca Loos grab a pig and masturbate it.  Reality Tv at its absolute worst, and it just highlighted the fact that some of these micro celebrities will go to any lengths to achieve fame. If there is one thing that Channel Five need to learn, it is that they cannot do live reality shows.  The BBC have realised this, and now Channel Five need to do the same.
I avoided any and all sport like the plague, because it is always deathly dull and since I don't care who wins, watching it is like a broken pencil; pointless. It was probably a good year for Britain sportwise if the amount of chat shows Kelly Holmes appeared on were anything to go by.
Overall during 2004 I became increasing tired of the following:
1) Makeover shows - whether it be houses (cleaning, tidying, de-cluttering or painting) or people (washing, restyling or dieting)
2) British cop shows - with too much of a reliance of personal lives and not enough on actual work.  And NO MORE bent coppers please.  Its been done to death.  Most coppers are honest but you'd never know it from TV
3) Casualty/Holby City bedhopping.  Keep your knickers up and give yourselves all a good dose to cure the clap, you'll feel much better. Oh and doing your job would actually help cure patients, y'know.
4) Eastenders/soap bedhopping - what I would like JUST once is for a couple to be signed up for a show who have it in their contract that if one leaves they both have to leave. That way we have none of this, husband trogs off after six months and wife stays for sixteen years gradually sleeping with half of the cast malarkey  YAWN. Done to death.
5) Programmes following some failures emigrating from Britain.  - They've fouled up one life so now they want to run away and live in Australia or on a beach somewhere without running water.  And they've never prepared.  Nine times out of ten they haven't even bothered to get a job or learn the language.  Absolute failures and a pain in the ass to watch.
6) Sell off your heirlooms programmes - there are hundreds of them and they are all desperately sad.  often the tale goes something like this.
Cretin: "Aunt Ethel saved for forty years to afford a Moorcroft vase and she dusted it every day for the next twenty years.  I was her favourite granddaughter so she entrusted it to me in her will." 
Antique's expert; "Well its worth £40 what do you want to do with it."
Cretin: " Well I need to go to Tesco's to do my weekly shop, so I can use the money for that." AAAAGH!!  STOP selling off your familiy's history!  Without roots you are nothing, you cretins!
7)  The Christian did it! In a yawnsome twist on the "Butler did it" plotlines, every murder/bad deed must now be committed by the nearest Christian - preferably a Priest, or Vicar etc but always someone who early on professes to believe in God. Now if we set aside how deeply upsetting this must be to Christians (imagine if scriptwriters were doing this to Muslims, for example, and its all too easy to imagine the public outcry), then we at least need to look at what lazy, deriviative scripts are getting made and why. You can link this right back to the Casualty, Eastenders, cop shows complaints I made earlier; its all part of the same general malaise.
What I'd like to see in 2005:
1) Programmes actually showing how great Britain is.  Not historically.  NOW.  We have pretty okay weather on the whole.  It rains a bit, but that's why our fields are lovely and green and why we don't live in a desert.  I don't want shows about scutters smashing up council estates and dragging the whole area down into a spiral of alcoholism, debt, litter and swearing. I want shows that portray the goodness in us and in our country.  We have been told so many times that Britain is rubbish that we all believe it and we are scared to stand up and be proud of what we have. Other countries are able to do it and I'd like for us to as well. 
2) Original dramas.  If they must be classical adaptations then lets not have remakes of ones that have already been done to death. No more Marple, or any other Agatha Christie, or Pride and Prejudice etc
3) Can someone employ Richard Carpenter to write a drama series.  Thanks.
4) I'd like BBC3 and BBC4 to re-run the shows they showed in the evening (content permitting) in the daytime where I might actually catch them sometimes.
Rant over for this Watercooler - Now, David its over to you.

Page Last Updated Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 20:46:09