Books and Movies Reviews

Despite the conventionality of television drama, there are moments when alternative strategies emerge which continue to explore the boundaries of the medium.”

Often, while sitting in front of the television, we hear one another predict what is going to happen next, or play a guessing game as to how this week’s “issue”of a prime time TV drama will be resolved before the hour runs out.Our minds have become accustomed to the tried and tested conventions tirelessly used by most TV producers.Our eyes have become reliant on the bright, colourful studios, the numerous camera angles, the choreographed stances and deliberations of the actors. Our ears have come to expect clean, politically correct, cheerful language.We assume every problem will be resolved within the confines of an hour – every cloud has a silver lining…. and every action within a TV drama serves a purpose to produce future drama.
When a drama hits our screens that doesn’t pander to these conventions – that breaks almost every one of them, it makes us sit up in our seats.We look around with puzzled faces – maybe not realising how it’s different, just knowing it’s not what we’ve come to expect.There have been quite a few British dramas that have made up sit up in our seats in the last few years.Last Summer saw the emegence of a new type of voyeurism when ‘Big Brother’ appeared on our TV screens and took over the evenings of most young people.’The Royle Family’ has caused quite a stir by entertaining us with the mundane happenings in the less than pleasing sitting room of the Royle’s.But before any of these entered our sitting rooms, one of thefirst British TV dramas to adopt an unconventional, voyeuristic approach was ‘This Life’ when bombarded our TV sets on Monday nights in 1996.It took people a while to notice, nobody could quite explain how, but everybody knew it – something knew and dra!
In the early nineties BBC chiefs realised they had a problem.BBC2 was failing to attract a young audience.Their demographics were all wrong.They were attracting an older audience and losing their young viewers to…


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