As television watcher and reviewer, I take very seriously the prospect that a production company is watering down the product or not doing all it can to entertain me. Conversely, if it's not broken divn't fix it.
Top Gear, a programme I've been watching, it seems like for ever, is it possible it's gone soft in the middle and lost touch with it's audience? Is it possible the Guardian and a few other Top Gear haters are right? I only ask as that I myself found myself getting weepy at the sight of vintage British sports cars on one of the eps of the last series. Top Gear sells itself as a car enthusiast's magazine. From such a show I expect to be informed, educated and entertained. If I'm honest I'll admit that sometimes it verges on the sentimental and soppy when they revisit the classic cars, but are they out of date? I don't think so. I can honestly say that the presenters reflect the interests and cares of the average modern BBC viewer. Through all the silliness that keeps me coming back for more, it seems enough car news and automotive knowledge seeps in that I can carry on an intelligent conversation about the latest trends and features in motoring.
My other un mentionable thought is even worse than the first.... Is it possible that the RTD years of Doctor Who were .... how to say this ... too slick?
Doctor Who after Ecclestone. It's not that they weren't good. On the contrary, despite my criticism of Russell T Davies and his decision to isolate the Doctor by making him the last of his kind, the eps were gripping first class drama. They squeezed out tears fears and exposed the raw nerves and bizarre paranoia that lurks in all of us. No the eps in question, with several Tenant exceptions, are lacking the kind of individual scenes that taken separate and apart could serve as humorous interludes, small slices of Doctor life that inform more on the character than just the current story line. Re-watching the old Whos and the Gene Hunts, I found myself looking forward to many specific scenes and was mouthing dialogue as if it was HHGTTG, Torchwood or a Python sketch. Perhaps my core criticism is that RTD took Doctor WHO too seriously. He turned it into Spooks in Space and Time for a while.
A propos of nothing, next time you watch a show on telly, pretend the cast is on a near empty sound stage, then picture a painted back ground, if the acting and the writing still holds up even with the barren set, you know you've got something special.
Master Chef UK. I like the current format, I know the Australian version is massive and breaks records. But I've seen the format in the US version. It's got weeping contestants telling sob stories to get in the starting 20. I don't want to see three weeks of preliminary frying of eggs mixed with tear jerker stories of just how much this will mean to them if they win. For me it's always been about the cookery. I stopped watching X factor and BGT for the same reasons. The success of Master Chef UK so far has centred on the notion that the cooking is the star, the ingredients are the supporting cast and the contestants are aware they are only there as long as the cooking is up to par. I don't care if the contestant is a single mum or a struggling artist, for me it's down to one thing....as Greg Wallace says, "But can he cook?". The perceived need by production companies to inject pathos is incomprehensible, what's wrong with just talent?
Till next time ....So long and thanks for all the fish.