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.