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    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    British Television: A Rant

    What is with those Brits anyway? Why can’t they make TV shows like regular people? Don’t they know it’s frustrating when they produce riveting programs like Downton Abbey and Sherlock Holmes but only offer the public a diet portion?


    So lately my hubby’s been working bizarre hours which translated to a few nights of solo telly for me.

    For you criminal types who read my blog: He’s back to his normal routine of being home at night. And during the day, for that matter. And at dawn, and early evening, and late evening, and at 2:00 in the afternoon. And should he ever step out, we have a cattle dog who’s turned herd protection into a psychosis.

    Back to British television.

    I’m prone to watching odd programs on Netflix on the rare occasions when Kory’s not around. See this post about my traumatizing All Creatures Great and Small experience.

    So after a couple of strange movies—Ondine and Working Girl—I decided I needed something more classy. I checked out Downton Abbey and was immediately hooked. But here in the US, even small children know that a season consists of around twenty-two episodes aired weekly from some time in the fall to some time in the spring.

    In the UK, seven episodes are considered sufficient for a season. Seven episodes are just enough to keep you awake for nearly two nights in a row. They are NOT enough to be dubbed a season. I’d like to go ahead and officially demand more of this show.

    Apparently, others have voiced similar opinions because according to the Wikipedia article a new “season” will start in August of this year. However, this “season” consists of only eight episodes plus a Christmas special.


    As if this wasn’t bad enough, along comes the Masterpiece Mystery series, Sherlock. Set in modern times with an aspy Sherlock and a Watson who reminds me of David Gray, this adaptation has all of the fascinating cerebral details of earlier renditions with the added fun of technology. If you haven’t seen the show, you might think that CSI units and DNA testing would ruin Sherlock’s brilliant deductive reasoning technique. But I think the concept has always been about mind games, and I like the way they’ve incorporated modern gadgetry into the show. For instance, when Sherlock or Watson receives a text, we see the message float on the screen. We also see bits and pieces of Sherlock’s thought process in the same manner. Quite fun for a modern audience used to ingesting data in abbreviated formats.

    The only un-fun thing about Sherlock? Its season consists of three, yes three, episodes. Apparently, the Powers That Be have deigned to give us three more episodes later this summer. I’m not sure if I should be happy about that or not. Seems more of a cruelty than a kindness.

    So there you have it. My rant against the stingy makers of superb British television. Now it’s your turn. What are you watching this summer? Any shows got your knickers in a twist?


    Kersley Fitzgerald said...

    Oh, my ears and whiskers, you should have seen Tom watching the season finale of Doctor Who. He was so mad it was the end of the season.

    You got me interested in that Sherlock Holmes. I think we need Netflix.

    Avid Reader said...

    Jericho was good (29 episodes).

    Linda B said...

    I agree with you about Sherlock. I sent it to my daughter in Africa and now she also is waiting desperately for more episodes. And of course there is the tiny little issue that both of the primary actors in that series are involved with filming The Hobbit and may not be available for other projects for some time . . .

    Tiffany S said...

    Well, that sucks. But they're available from instant download on Netflix, huh? I don't get to watch too much fun stuff like that when Jerrod is around, but he is out of town a couple nights a week. Of course I've been meaning to re-watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice again too...