Okay, 60 weeks without teevee, what’d I miss ?

Yepady doo, one year and loose change since I aimed the ‘home defence’ golf putter at the screen and began to deal with that clawing, pernicious little addiction in a . . . proactive manner.

Ftr, I enjoy almost anything of quality or that’s genuinely interesting, but I can’t think of much specifically that I wish I’d seen; all I can remember is that:

[li]I still want to see the Johnny Cash ‘Hurt’ promo[/li][li]I’d like to have seen this UK show called ‘Wife Swap’(link two)[/li][li]The second six shows of ‘The Office’[/ul] [/li]But beyond that, nuffin’ comes to mind. Btw, I should mention three things:[ul]
[li]I’m relieved not to tempted by the US series-type imports, either. Nothing personal but ‘Star Trek Regurgitated’ and The West Wank’ seem, in retro, to be the MacDonald’s of populist teevee. Sure I did watch them sometimes, but that’s the nature of addiction . . . . I’m relieved to no longer have those temptations.[/li][li]I catch most sport I want to see down the pub[/li][li]Soaps aren’t my scene[/li]

So, just curious, really; any quality/genuinely interesting ‘must sees’ over the past year that I haven’t ?

How about ITV’s Henry VIII with Ray Winstone or their attempt at Boudica ?

Not much.

Joe Millionaire. But lucky you, you’re not too late for Joe Millionaire 2 (but it might cause you to break another TV).

“Shock And Awe” back in March was pretty cool.

Telly is such disposable stuff that I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything on it that was worth buying a set for, let alone this last twelve months’ worth.

Having said that, there’s been plenty of stuff that seemed amusing enough while I was watching it. The second series of The Office was pretty funny (and is being repeated now), the Dead Ringers impersonation show is good, but no better than the radio version, they’ve mucked up the replacement of Angus Deayton on HIGNFY (still no decision), they’ve got new captains on They Think It’s All Over (David Seaman and Phil Tufnel) and everything else is much as it was.

Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, Teachers and Early Doors have been decent comedies, imho; they’ve introduced QI, which is a panel game for smart alecs, chaired by Stephen Fry (fine, but might as well be on the radio), and have resurrected Superstars to confirm that they’ve run out of new ideas.

Overall there are too many shows about buying/selling/decorating houses and antiques, too many cooking shows and far too many reality TV shows, especially the competitive ones encouraging annoying teens and twenty-somethings that the be-all and end-all of life is getting their mugs on the screen.

I have watched a lot of sport, probably too much in fact, and have enjoyed some of it. I also watched plenty of the Iraq war coverage and enjoyed none of it.

I can’t say anything about Wife Swap, not having seen it, but it seems to have exercised some of our friends over at NADS. Over there they’re also encouraging us to watch The Big Read to vote for Britain’s favourite book. The Johnny Cash vid was good. Soaps are not my cup of tea either (I’ll be asking Santa for a mushroom cloud over Albert Square again this year). I do like wildlife documentaries and they’ve been up to the usual standard at least on BBC1 & 2. They also encourage us to go outdoors and have a look at stuff ourselves and to pay attention off the usual tracks on our hols, which seems worthwhile.

A few one-off documentaries have been worth watching if only to keep up with the water-cooler moments – Derren Brown (not) blowing his brains out on C4 was quite good TV and everyone’s talking about the racist junior rozzer doc on the beeb the other night.

Apart from that the most notable items in the schedule have been films. (Did you notice old Jack Elam popped his clogs?)

Well, the clue was in your question – they were ITV shows. I could only stomach the first half of Henry VIII; Ray Winstone’s all very well in his element but I kept waiting for him to ask Thomas Cranmer who the daddy was. Sid James did it so much better. I couldn’t get past the trailer for Boudicca; I knew it was going to be shite and the critics seemed to agree.

Highlight of the year was Lowri Turner being lowered into molten lead for Comic Relief.

Thanks everyone. I haven’t replied before because I find this subject both intruiging and difficult. I was minded to start an 'Ask the . . ‘guy’ thread to help me think everything through and develop ideas. Yep, it sounds nuts but really, unravelling the meaning and place of teevee in modern life is like peeling an onion. Anyway, for now:
Bob55 - Joe Millionaire I know nothing about but it seems to be popular in the US. It’s weird that I still get curious for a peek but I don’t think I want to watch. I suppose it’s just old-fashioned noseyness.

KGS - Now ‘Shock and Awe – the Embedded Cut’ was different. I didn’t miss the images but I missed the (usually) high quality UK reportage of events such as this. I also can’t form a view on the very dodgy concept of embedded journalists. As I result, it’s an issue I can’t express an opinion on. Which is a shame. But overall, I thought the radio did a fine job.

Thanks everton. Your sentiment of how things seeming fine at the time but not being able to think of much worth relating now, mirrors my experience. It’s a little like eating fast food, imho.

I think I’m actually more aware of the educational role the BBC plays than i was before; whether it’s the variety of indoors and outdoors DIY shows, the nature stuff or this new Big Read thing . . they take their ‘public service’ mandate pretty seriously. But then i think, well what is it I’m learning ? And it’s often what middle-class, middle-brow England wants to know. I know they’re very aware of the need to appeal to all audiences but not much, actually, was targeted at the likes of me.

I’m not sure I can even remember who Lowri Turner is – I have a picture in my mind of a slightly plump, plain woman with uninspiring hair. It that was the highlight . . . .

But thanks for the comprehensive response (and the link to the Cash video, which I can’t get to work). Teevee is so pernicious . . .

You can leave the box off until at least 2005…when Dr Who comes back on the air…

I don’t think that was shown over here (maybe on a satellite channel?), but there was some gossip about it. Apparently a bunch of gullible gold-diggers were set up in a meat market scenario for an ordinary bloke, who they’d been told was minted. Were they really interested in him or just in the cash? How would the lucky winner react when she found out that he was a brickie or something, and he been lying throughout? Can entertainment get any more cynical or depraved?

I think the equivalent over here was Mr Right; a show about a supposed ‘good catch’ selecting his ideal woman from a bunch of candidates on a series of dates. I don’t know about you, but I think having a camera crew there and constantly being grilled about how things are going would cramp my style a fair bit, and that’s how it came across (although admittedly I only saw a couple of episodes). In the end, when he had only two to choose from he turned down the one who would have said ‘yes’ and the one he picked turned him down (apparently he’d got her name wrong at dinner or something). The show was presented by Ulrika Jonsson and after shooting she got hitched to him herself! You couldn’t make it up.

Sky were planning a similar show that would have tested the good taste meter to destruction. Here’s a Pit thread about it.

Can’t really do justice to it outside GD, but suffice to say that, predictably enough, Channel 4 were sceptical about the whole thing, ITV gushed about ‘our boys’ à la the Daily Mail and the BBC finished up offending everyone because they were simultaneously “pro-war” and “anti-war”.

One of the effects of the beeb adding extra channels for digital viewers is to offer more programmes that wouldn’t attract a mass audience. Personally, I’ve got no plans to get the technology, but they are supposedly free of extra charge.

You’d have to draw your own conclusions about whether you fit into their target audience, but here’s the relevant page from their website. I’d draw your attention to BBC4 particularly. The BBCi website itself also carries lots more public service stuff.

Something else I have noticed, although this has been going on for far more than a year, is the decline in pop science programmes. Tomorrow’s World was always a comedy, but Horizon used to be pretty good and it’s shit now. Every edition seems to be a doom-and-gloom extravaganza about global warming, or mega-tsunamis, or incurable diseases, or asteroid impact, or mega-volcanoes, or – well you get the picture – all delivered in a repetitious, sonorous tone just in case we’ve missed the point. I want explanation, not a disaster movie. The presentation is better than it used to be thanks to CGI and the rest, but it’s all wasted IMHO.

I was pulling your leg about the molten lead incident, but you’ve got the right woman – preachy, self-important nuisance who gives Guardian readers a bad name. Sexist too – it’s all “men’s fault” y’see. In fact, beyond giving them a donation, I avoid all the telethons – Comic Relief is about as much fun as a verruca.

I don’t know what a real highlight would have been. It’s the sports coverage I’d really miss because I don’t always find it convenient to watch in the pub. But when I was off with ‘flu a little while ago I watched School for Scoundrels on Channel 4 in the afternoon and was inspired to tape Brothers in Law too. They don’t make ‘em like that again unfortunately.

Sorry Johnny Cash’s video won’t work. He’ll be missed.

Only 60 weeks?

Wuss. :wink: