If you want to be in the Danny Dyer film making business, you have to make films that follow the rules.
These are the rules and don’t stray from them otherwise you will end up with a good movie. Danny doesn’t like good movies. If you don’t believe me, watch (or don’t) the one where he plays an amnesiac taxi driver with two birds on the go. It truly lives up to his surname.
It’s interesting to read an article by BBC Controller Kim Shillinglaw looking for something “disruptive” and “anarchic” along the lines of SNL, The Tonight Show etc. The type of programming to go against the grain of the current crop of panel shows and other esoteric light entertainment containing mainly middle class presenters. Something “edgy” and “different” to break the current stale bland schedules. Clearly these guys want something to bring back they youth and make terrestrial television Kool again. Anyone old enough can shout out Def 2
From my experience of keeping my ear to the ground I find the same thing being echoed down the halls of commissioners’ offices. They ask for something different but get the same-old-same-old as it is a safe bet. Sometimes they take the same-old-same-old and try to sell it as a completely different beast. That’s why the same panel shows are commissioned with minor tweaks to the style but sold as bold new formats.
They all seem to have HBO / Lorne Michaels envy and want to find TheNextBigCulturalThing to add to the WaterCoolerTalkingPoint. The problem I see is that the established production companies have a stranglehold on the commissions so the pool for innovation is smaller. If you want something disruptive you need to find the right people who are not corporatized by the standards of television and actually bring in something fresh that reflects society now.
Also do these people know what the term “disruptive” actually means? What they want doesn’t seem like it will disrupt the media ecosystem, especially when it is to be shown at 10pm on BBC 2. Netflix disrupted the business model of waiting each week for the next episode by releasing all 13 parts of House of Cards in one go. That is the term used correctly here. I will let is slide as people love buzzwords like Zeitgeist.
Personally and again this is due to my peculiar taste but the last fresh original anarchic programmes were Nathan Barley and Tramadol Nights. I believe the latter was the last time something so funny and controversial was screened across the airwaves. Granted you can shout out that Toast of London is very funny but I wouldn’t say it’s groundbreaking, just a very funny series.
Commissioners want to discover the next Monty Python and bask in the glory of leaving a televisual legacy and if these people really want to think out of the box they need to talent spot people outside of the safe pool of comics and writers and start developing them. And I don’t mean box ticking. Real risk taking like Lorne does with assembling the writers.
Yes I know the Diversity debate rolls on and people are probably sick to death of hearing about it but compare SNL which has a diverse cast compared to British television. One only has to look at the oft mentioned british exodus to America, look at Armando Ianucci’s, success with his show. The HBO model was to get the talent and leave them alone and have some sort of faith. It worked for them.
As legend has it Only Fools and Horses only starting becoming a ratings grabber after series 3 but nowadays they feel they need to hit the ground running.
Essentially,widen the talent pool and you will be surprised what you will uncover. Be inclusive, not exclusive
Here’s the thing. Nowadays, look at the standard television channels and you will see a lot of programmes where you will literally think “who the hell is going to watch this trash?” There is currently a Laurence Llewelyn Bowels obs doc (as of this writing) going to China to release a range of lingerie! Secret life of cats! The very public life of dogs!
How are these shows commissioned still in this day and age and still be woefully out of touch with modernity and why are the commissioners out of touch? Or are they, because they do get the ratings.
My guess would be the background of the commissioners and producers where they think these ideas will please the masses. I constantly ask industry foot soldiers the state of television and they say it’s going downhill and lowbrow but then again I don’t have that many cat loving housewife friends who make up the demographic. I simply don’t travel in those circles.
Brands like Vice are making huge inroads with documentaries and Netflix the same in terms of bold strokes with drama. Also a worthy mention is the Maverick philosophy of HBO where they make programming that people not only watch but talk about afterwards. When was the last time you said ” oh goody! A Lawrence Bowel-Movement programme with a twist”… I would presume never unless you are over 65 and act suspiciously spinsterish.
The thing about programmes such as this is that those in power still want attain the level of mastery on their choices but as the commissioners are in power, they ask for what they think the audience wants, not what they actually want.
Water cooler moments are few and far between and the last time I had one of those for a television programme was The Office and after that Nathan Barley. Nowadays the posts left on my Facebook page rarely consist of MOR television programming.
Another irk is the obs docs nonsense which admittedly my wife watches like 24 hours in A&E which she finds entertaining due to the “human stories”. But a new fly-on-the-wall programme set on night busses? basically just transmitted HD cctv footage with audio and edited for “the best bits”… I blame BigBrother for giving birth to such conceit.
The biggest surprise for me was Gogglebox, hated the premise but accidentally caught a programme and actually found it funny… It’s rather popular too. Unfortunately this success has made the industry think they have their finger on the zeitgeist. They don’t and as the ages pass, their grip will loosen further until their next shows have to find kickstarter for funding.
British television needs to be bold, not saccharine.
A self reflective Clarkson opinion piece you won’t read in his Sun column :
That’s the thing about public school educated people like me who end up on television. Because of our superior nihilistic education, this gives us an elitist world view on what we call the downtrodden. If you drive anything less than a hot car/ woman (delete as appropriate) you are dead to me.
We tend to sneer at the lower classes, and poke fun at the foreigners because we deludedly think that our audience will find such things funny. Well, the less intelligent do. The reality is that our cars drive the show. What you are actually watching are just a set of struck-it-lucky wide boys who use a politer form of racism coated in humour for our followers. We sit on top of this perch pissing on everyone below while maintaining a world view marred by the self imposed nihilism, all harking back to our time at those wrenched-from-our-parents boarding schools. Did i mention that we make a LOT of money for the corporation in merchandising sales?
This is the shining example of why, even though the viewing figures are large they are mostly a greying bunch thereby leaving the younger crowd to move online. We never understood all that anyway as we are the old guard free from such changes in the media landscape. All we did was go HD because you demanded it.
Maybe that punch up with my working class producer was a good thing.
Right, off to the pub.
We all know that soaps such as Eastenders have comfortable stereotypes removed from all of reality. A situation created by the White Folks in Power who think will make it easier for the audience to switch off and get into the drama so why not go the whole hog and make it the selling point? Voila! Here’s one I made that the corporation can use with pride.
The television industry has covered nearly every aspect of the Good War from Dunkirk to D-Day and exhausted nearly every creative angle….
All except for this titillatingly obscure historical novelty.
Motorized German soldiers doing inter-battle kinkiness while dressed in combat gear. Who would have thought?
Re-think what you will of Dogging being a modern day event, this should be the final word in World War 2 documentaries.
The BBC bird watching show is popular but very 1950’s and in dire need of updating for a younger generation so what better way is there than pitching this great idea. A human side of the bird watching franchise along the lines of One Dead Every Minute (or whatever it’s called).
To anyone in the know this is a genuine BBC Commissioning window and let’s face it, the idea itself can make the BBC the new Channel 4.
Dear Tommy Robinson, Nick Griffin and The Daily Mail
I constantly see you downplaying your racist views by saying you “respect” the Sikhs for what they have done.
Every time someone slings a comment at you, that is your instant reply.
I assume by respect you mean the Sikh military conduct during World War 1 & 2 and not the fine restaurants dotted up and down the city centres that I am sure most of you enjoy after a lager or ten…. Oh, am I stereotyping you?
Let’s all be clear about one thing, you hate immigration and foreign workers and as a son of Sikh migrant workers you essentially hate us. My grandfather served for the British during WW2 but if you saw me on the street, that wouldn’t be taken into account would it? In fact any kind of service my ancestors have done will not be taken into account and if I did bring it up would it make a difference?
If you had a chance, you would turf us out alongside everyone you feel is unfit to live here.
So we are back to the fact that you try to use us to be “less racist”. Well, stop using as a case to be legitimate, it doesn’t work.