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Whats wrong with TV today?

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,151
Thanks: 53
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Whats wrong with TV today?

Just over a month or so ago, the Mrs was given a birthday present of the complete TV series "Upstairs Downstairs" I was somewhat in two minds about this as, when it was originally shown my ex-wife and her odious mother (the original mother-in-law from hell) stopped everything to watch this programme on a Saturday evening, for reasons not necessary to go into here, I usually beat a hasty retreat, and only saw it intermittently, usually over the top edge of a book.
For the last couple of weeks we have been ploughing through this 21 disk DVD set, and I have to admit to being absolutely enthralled with the sky high standards of acting and cinematography, not to mention the delicious Nicola Pagett and a cast of truly handsome women. Brilliantly cast, wonderfully acted, superb production...sorry I mostly missed it first time round. We've just got to the point between the two world wars, with about 5 disks to go, and wonder what on earth we're going to watch after its finished SWMBO is making noises about "The Forsythe Saga" uhmm! I think I might be persuaded.
Altogether, a shining example of what is wrong with the television production these days. BBC and ITV executives should be taken to a darkened room and not let out until they've viewed it in its entirety.
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69 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

Anglia Television used to have a production department and made some fantastic wildlife programs, the current a year in the life of a CCTV camera and the BBC etc in no way compare.  Anglia also made other type of productions, now no more. 
Also the latest news - What news we are doing away with most ITN locals!
Look at a weeks programs now - a repeat of a repeat, they dont even tell you most times now that it is a repeat
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Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

Absolutely petlew. I have, on occasions, borrowed videos from our library. Many of these were old TV series such as Poldark and I have found them to be excellent viewing. Just brilliant acting and no 'extras' like instrusive music and gratuitous violence.
I used to like Play for Today but when the BBC did a similar thing in a one-hour drama slot in the afternoon, again, it was interrupted by music which often left you unable to hear what was being said. Producers seem to forget that the brain has enough to process with listening to the dialogue never mind the music as well.
The other week my friend and I went to see an Alan Ayckbourn play and it was pure joy to see the wonderful acting and to be able to concentrate on that and the storyline.
jmd
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

The series I really enjoyed some years ago but cannot afford on DVD was "Our Friends in the North" - then acting was good, the storyline excellent.  It reminded me of all the things that happened in the 60/70s.
The thing is they never repeat the really good programms - they keep repeating rubbish! Sad
geewizz
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Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

Today's rubbish is tomorrow's nostalgia. Who are we to deny the youngsters of that?
Oh yeah, we're the grumpy old gits. Smiley
TV has always been churned out in a variety of qualities. There's a lot more airtime to fill these days and that means there will be more rubbish. I believe there is much more of the high quality stuff around but it is spread more thinly over the channels and the hours that tv airs.
As an experiment, go to the BBC i-player and search out 3 hours of really good quality tv. It shouldn't take you too long. Then find the TV listings for a whole week, across all channels in the early 80s and see if you can find 3 hours of television which can compare with the offerings from the i-player alone.
johpal
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Registered: 20-04-2008

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

My personal favourite and recommendation is "Brideshead Revisited". If you do go for the "Forsyte Saga", remember it is in black & white!  Crazy
Community Veteran
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Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

Quote from: johpal
My personal favourite and recommendation is "Brideshead Revisited".

Now you can see it on the BIG screen !  Cheesy
And what a lovely place it was filmed at..... Castle Howard,  Yorkshire.... Smiley
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

Quote from: Petlew
Altogether, a shining example of what is wrong with the television production these days. BBC and ITV executives should be taken to a darkened room and not let out until they've viewed it in its entirety.

Yep I agree, I think I made my feelings clear about ITV in my last post Smiley
It's sad the state it's gotten into now, and I remember when I was younger it all used to work so well. My view is that it was the franchise changeover of 1993 which saw the beginning of the end of ITV as we know it. So basically was destroyed by the Broadcasting Act 1990 and therefore the Tory government of the time. Not only did the auction replace some companies which made a significant contribution to the network such as Thames and TVS, but it also relaxed the rules allowing the companies to merge (giving ITV PLC and STV as we have it now) and replaced the IBA with a lighter-touch regulator the ITC. So we lose good companies, introduce Carlton to the network (spit) allow them all to merge, let them pump out whatever shit they want while the government does nothing about it.
The IBA would never had allowed what the Ofcom would, I read a saying about them once "Ofcom - no teeth, but might give you a nasty suck". For example ITV want to save even more money by merging (or getting rid of) some of the regions. Can't see the IBA allowing that, in fact they made ATV restructure itself into Central in 1982 as it considered the company was not doing enough for the region.
I remember it occurring, I had nearly left school - it would have made me 16 at the time, and watching the last days of TV-am and Thames round my parents Smiley
It's funny because I had a hunt around YouTube and the news reports from October 1991, when the results were announced, and hearing some of the things that they predicted would happen. Well none of the companies went bust, which in the case of Carlton is a grave shame, but I remember Greg Dyke (head of LWT at the time) predicting that all the companies would merge and they'd only be a few ITV companies left (well, we now have 4) and various people saying there would be less money available for quality programmes and we'd see more programmes produced on the cheap, using formats which would be more likely to pull in audience figures.
Many of what we'd class as classic programmes now didn't do that well the first couple of series, and so it was a risk to continue producing them in the hope that they would catch on (I think Minder was an example they gave). They said that it would be less likely for this to occur in the future.
And look what has happened Roll eyes
In regard to Anglia, I was staying in Norwich over the weekend, so went and had a look at their building as it was just down the road from where I was staying. The original is still there (I assume it's listed), but they've built a new bit which adjoins onto the original building.
Looks quite strange and the place is fairly big considering the only local programme it must be pumping out now is Anglia Tonight.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,845
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

looks like I have to get a new set then !  Embarrassed
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,845
Thanks: 1,130
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

I quite fancy this model....
pierre_pierre
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

you got your birthday present then
techguy
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Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

Even though I'm only 26.
Fawlty towers gets my vote for classic comedy
As for productions, I thoroughly enjoyed the adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (which I bought on DVD) and the relatively  recent ITV productions of classics such as Nicholas Nckleby 
Favourte shows when I was a kid were Knight Rider (as you might have guessed from my profile pic) and the A-Team
Recently heard they are reviving Knight Rider in the states alas without William Daniels as the voice of K.I.T.T.

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Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

I've bought the 'Open All Hours' set and they never fail to get tears running down my cheeks. Grin Grin
I get a big smile on my face when the theme tune starts Smiley
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techguy
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Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

Ah yes, forgot the genius that was Ronnie Barker and of course David Jason
And of course mention of the latter brings Only Fools to mind.
I also used to enjoy Alexei Sayle and of course Hale and Pace
Community Veteran
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Re: Whats wrong with TV today?

LOL Grin
Well after slagging ITV off, I see this on ThisIsLondon:
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23562542-details/ITV+pop-up+ads+that+can+appear+DURIN...
So the future is looking bright isn't it? More adverts? Roll eyes
Also found this article:
http://entertainment.uk.msn.com/tv/features/article.aspx?cp-documentid=9832483&GT1=61503
While it is certainly a step in right direction, it really doesn't go far enough. "GMTV can go it alone" it says, they are actually separate from ITV covered by a separate franchise (although ITV now owns 75% of them, they've yet to be merged and subsequentially destroyed like most of the regions).
We're long overdue for another franchise round, this time with strict conditions as to what is required.
Not that it'll happen of course.