Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stephen Fry has attacked the BBC for producing 'chicken nugget' television ... and I totally agree with him

I don't watch TV. In fact, I haven't owned one for at least 30 years. Ignoring the fact that most UK TV programmes are a load of infantile, mundane rubbish, I refuse to pay for anything (namely a TV license) if I'm not going to get excellent value for money in return.

Of course, I occasionally watch TV when I'm staying in a hotel and have absolutely nothing better to do. But even then, I spend so much time flicking through the channels in search of something decent to watch that I end up with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

That's why I agree with Stephen Fry when he says that infantilism is the problem: "The number of times I turn on the television and I think Oh my God, it's nine o'clock in the evening. This is for grown-ups?!"

He says that much of the BBC's output is more suitable for children and that it fails to provide interesting and challenging programmes for adults.

"It's just shocking. The only dramas the BBC will boast about are Merlin and Doctor Who, which are fine but they're children's programmes. They're not for adults. They are like a chicken nugget. Every now and again we all like it. Every now and again. But if you are an adult, you want something surprising, savoury, sharp, unusual, cosmopolitan, alien, challenging, complex, ambiguous, possibly even slightly disturbing and wrong."

He's right!

He goes on to warn that broadcasters are making programmes that are too simplistic and do not seem to trust in the intelligence of the audience.

"I don't want TV to be 'pompous and academic', but I feel that broadcasters should make more programmes that 'surprise and astonish'. The more TV trusts that British adults are not children, the better our TV will be," using Sir David Attenborough's natural history programmes as a rare example of shows that have escaped the trend for dumbing down.

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat dismisses Fry's criticisms by claiming that "Stephen is just trying to sound like a grown-up. He loves Doctor Who - he's told me he is a fan. The show is designed specifically to be a family programme. It is the junction between children and adults - the show that everyone wants to watch. Doctor Who is a very high- end, quality show - it's got no comparison to "chicken nuggets" or junk food."

In my opinion, Moffat is wrong and Stephen Fry is absolutely right.

The British are dumbed down enough as it is without TV companies (and the UK press) making matters even worse. You only have to log on to Yahoo! UK to see what I mean. Most days of the week, the news headlines are about some 'shocking' event or revelation in the next episode of 'Corie' (Coronation Street). It's absurd! I mean, for fuck sake ... it's only a soap opera, but it takes precedence over immeasurably more important world affairs.

What an idiotic species we are!


B.R. said...

That sounds like a problem here in America as well. In addition to religious psycho-babble urging thousands of children to hate and despise science every Saturday, we've got tons of moronic "reality" programs that are too fucking stupid to even describe in-depth. Although I'm not sure I'd call Doctor Who a children's program. It deals with extinction events, genocide, fanaticism, and the eventual end of the universe, where all life hurtles screaming into oblivion. If that's a kid's show in the UK, then you guys are way more mature than our kids...

TDC said...

Thanks for your comment, BR. I suppose I'll find out soon enough just how dire things are in America regarding religious psycho-babble. You see, I'm moving to the States soon, so keep popping in to see what I blog about (LOL). As for kids in the UK being more mature than in the US, you may well be right. One thing's for sure, if kids here had the right to vote, they wouldn't have voted for George W. Bush in a month of Sundays.

Keep in touch,


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