Following my post on BBC2′s ‘The Hour’, I found this editorial from today’s Guardian quite illuminating. Lynn Reid Banks worked as a television news journalist in the 1950′s, and she offers her critique of the new drama. I appreciate her firsthand perspective and wholeheartedly agree that a straight drama on news production during the rise of television would construct a compelling programme in and of itself. The spy/mystery/conspiracy/thriller plot is utterly unnecessary. And unoriginal, to boot.
Hector and Bel (Dominic West and Romola Garai): one of television's worst couples ever. Photo: BBC.
As it is, ‘The Hour’ is using the 1950′s period as an excuse to parade stylish, retro fashions across the screen (which, according to Banks, are not even correct). The show is not historically accurate, and the historical events included in the plot take a backseat to over-the-top intrigue and gag-inducing love affairs. (Is anyone else revolted by the Bel-Hector ‘romance’? I fail to see the chemistry between them, and I cannot remember the last time I rooted this much for the spectacular ruination of a couple since George and Izzie. Or Rachel and Joey. That’s how bad it is.)
If you produce a historical drama, then for goodness’ sake showcase the history. Otherwise it’s mere artifice.
Glee's Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Chris Colfer
Is anyone else tired of all the Glee updates?
First, rumours swirled around musical-land that there would be a spin-off with characters Rachel, Finn, and Kurt (played by Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, and Chris Colfer) after they graduate at the end of the upcoming third season. Then it was announced there would be no spin-off, suggesting that Michele, Monteith and Colfer would bid their fans au revoir and disappear from the Glee universe altogether. I can already hear the wailing of adolescent Broadway-wannabes and their collective rummaging for Kleenex. Wait…oh wait, producers then reassured fans at Comic-Con: the Glee trio will not be leaving at the end of season three. And now Fox’s programming president, Kevin Reilly, stepped into the fray with this particular noncommittal, ambiguous gem: “The spin-off was in the wind. We haven’t said we’re not doing it. We talked about it last season…The spin-off will stay in the wind.”
Stay in the wind? Whatever. Does anybody care? I am so tired of Glee updates showing up in my Twitter stream from various entertainment publications and trade journals. Why are they giving this topic so much blogspace? What with this so-called ‘controversy’, Glee’s 3D movie about to assault cinema screens, and further interviews with cast and crew on season three ‘going back to the basics’, there is a massive surfeit of Gleedom right now.
I am no hater of Glee. And I understand that the occasional update appeases and teases fans during the summer break. I enjoy staying informed of my own TV favourites, like Mad Men. These miniscule play-by-play developments, however, are excessive and unnecessary. Do viewers really need to know every step of the potential decision-making process? Do viewers even realize how many thousands of micro-decisions a showrunner (and colleagues) make before scripting a new episode or season? a new show?
For the love of pop culture, STOP. We do not need to know every banal detail or scrap of ‘drama’ behind the scenes. It only feeds the gross oversharing of information already present on social networking sites. (Do I really need to know what you ate for breakfast? Do I eagerly anticipate your daily updates on pregnant life? No.) In the end, all of these trivial updates amount to an insubstantial heap of nothingness. After all, as evidenced by Reilly’s vague (read: pointless) response, networks will only give solid announcements when there is something of worth to be shared. A decision that will stick (hopefully) longer than 24 hours.
At this rate, I’ll be exhausted of Glee before it even starts in September.
What are your thoughts?