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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


June 18, 2009

Review: Hawthorne 1x1

Posted on June 18, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Jada Pinkett Smith as Hawthorne

In the US: Tuesdays, 9/8c, TNT

There's a sudden rush to get dramas about nurses onto our screens. We've already had Nurse Jackie on Showtime, Mercy is coming to NBC in the Fall and now we have TNT lifting the lid off Hawthorne.

Unlike Nurse Jackie, Hawthorne is one of those caring, sharing angelic types of nurses, who do their best in terrible circumstances, never doing anything bad. And much like its eponymous heroine, the show might have its heart in the right place, but it's also very, very dull.

Continue reading "Review: Hawthorne 1x1"

June 17, 2009

The problems and dilemmas facing ITV

Posted on June 17, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

ITV1 logo

ITV is having problems. We all know that. It's share price is down the tubes, it's having to cut jobs, its ad revenues are in decline, it can't afford to do local news any more, its ratings are falling, it's even having to cancel Primeval.

It's having problems.

Over the last few days, I've been swanning around various people blogs (including Dan's and Joe's) and mailing lists, explaining to everyone who hates ITV - which is pretty much everyone - what its problems are and why they're not all its fault. I should have been doing proper work, I know, but all these years of trade journalism haven't been for nothing you know, and I do like the sound of my own typing.

Anyway, I thought I'd cobble together all the various postings, try to assemble them into some kind of coherent but occasionally self-contradictory mass, and let you muse on them - and argue the toss if necessary. Note, a lot of it's been off the top off my head, so don't quote me for truth or even accuracy on all the details: imagine them as broad sketch outlines of poor ITV's problems - and why it had to cancel Primeval.

Continue reading "The problems and dilemmas facing ITV"

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June 16, 2009

Weird old titles: Picture Box

Posted on June 16, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Picture Box

Normally – by which I mean "in the three previous and indeed only entries in this series of weird old title sequences" – there's been something weird and off-putting about the titles themselves. This week, we're going to be a little different and have a weird and off-putting theme tune instead. 

Picture Box was a schools' programme that went out mid-morning during the week and showed a ragbag of international, often entirely silent and quite mesmerising short films introduced by Alan Rothwell IIRC (TV Ark says Dorothy Smith presented in the 60s when it was in black and white). Although you'd be hard-pressed to remember a single one of those films, the really quite eery music played on what sounds like a fairground steam organ will have stuck with everyone who ever watched the show.

Press play and you'll see what I mean if you went to school in the 70s and 80s. Whether you did or you didn't, by the end of it, you should be expecting the grey ghost of an old carnie to beckon at you whenever you look in a mirror.

No Alan with this clip, although you can see him very briefly in this unembeddable version over here.

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