[Cross-posted] A very amazing ending to Life on Mars. I liked it, as it conﬁrmed some of my theories, but the decision Sam makes on top of the building was unexpected. Let’s just say that I wouldn’t have done so in his position, certainly not for someone whom I could not prove existed. You also do not abandon a parent: if they didn’t have the scene where Sam visits his Mum, I might have acepted it more. (I am intentionally vague for those who have not seen the episode yet. The DVD of series two is released Monday in the UK.)
Despite these personal niggles, I enjoyed what Matthew Graham cooked up for us. It shows that the Brits still can do quality drama and that a network, if it wishes to create “event TV”, merely has to provide excellent writing, acting and direction.
That means shows like Big Brother, Survivor and Fear Factor do nothing for a network’s loyalty and simply opens one up to competition from hobbyists on YouTube. Quality is where the battle is going to be if the networks wish to retain any relevance to society.
Sadly, the short-term proﬁt motive may put paid to that, all while the Emir of Qatar keeps pumping money in to al-Jazeera and reminds the west of what can be done. Sooner or later, someone with that much money might do his own network.
That sounded pretty implausible 20 years ago before Rupert Murdoch launched Fox as the US’s fourth network. This time, however, quality may be the key, rather than the lowest common denominator. Posted by Jack Yan, 12:34
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