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Bafta Awards - The Ex-Communicator

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May 24th, 2011


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07:13 am - Bafta Awards
I am working so hard at the moment - adjusting to a new job. This morning I have four hours of lectures, and in the afternoon I have to sit in a room for four hours marking exam papers. Yippee. I am tired all the time - this is normal - I will get through it and it will become a manageable ordinary job.

The Baftas were interesting rather than completely gratifying (see full listing here). Misfits was up for more awards than any other show, but gained only one - Lauren Socha for best supporting actress. I am very pleased to see her get this award - she seems a lovely person, and her character is a strong sensitive working class woman. It's ironic that Misfits missed out, because this season was better than season 1, but with the quality of the competition the major awards could not have gone two years in a row to a minority-audience comedy SF show. My other major TV obsession of this year - Forbrydelsen - received the International award. The success of this program in Britain is an example of the discerning audience leading opinion, rather than being led by the TV studios. The show was bought for next to nothing by the BBC, and screened on BBC4 in the Wallander slot, almost as a fill-in. It surprised everyone. I am once again impressed that AMC in America spotted it, and rapidly produced a decent US version, which is currently two-thirds of the way through.

Sherlock won best drama series, and Martin Freeman won best supporting actor. I feel that Sherlock is still 75% potential, and what you actually see on screen is the framework for a program which is yet to appear. There have been three episodes: the second was pretty bad, and the third was inconsistent. And yet, I do agree with the choice, I think the awards committee is flagging up what they see within the three episodes, not yet fully developed. Also, I believe that this potential will in fact be realised. In contrast to other shows I have been following avidly (Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead for example) I am not worried that the next season of Sherlock will let me down. In fact I believe that the enthusiasm of the audience will encourage and embolden the creators of the show to push themselves to great achievement.

I do have one concern - and it's a general one for TV - which is that TV subtext is a delicate bloom (as Wilde would say of ignorance 'one touch and it is gone'). TV teams get it now, and that's a dangerous knowledge. When ulterior meanings - not just sexual ones of course - arose spontaneously from within shows (in the 'olden days' of TV), that gave these meanings a kind of unforced power. Nowadays TV and film makers sometimes ladle on the subtext in a crude and pandering way. That can spoil the bloom. I believe Sherlock can avoid this pitfall, as Life on Mars did.

There were awards for two TV-nostalgia shows, one-off dramas that I watched and enjoyed, about Morecambe and Wise and Coronation Street. TV shows about TV history seem to be palaces balanced on thin air, but I found both of those to be moving dramas in their own right.

There are some obvious additions to that genre - shows about the history of TV - which we'd like to see - right?

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:espresso_addict
Date:May 24th, 2011 07:30 am (UTC)
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I was surprised Sherlock won best drama series, though I haven't seen the competition. The first episode was an excellent one-off drama which left me begging for more, but the following ones let the premise down, IMO. I don't share your optimism that the promise will be realised, though I'll probably still give it a chance.

TV subtext is a delicate bloom (as Wilde would say of ignorance 'one touch and it is gone').

That's a wonderful Wilde quotation. Watching some of the ways in which the classic noir films handle sexual subtext, heavy handed would be an understatement. I find it quite hard to watch.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:May 24th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
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I am not as pessimistic about the other shows as I sounded in my post either. just have such high expectations that I expect I might be disappointed.
[User Picture]
From:tehomet
Date:May 24th, 2011 09:28 am (UTC)
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I do have one concern - and it's a general one for TV - which is that TV subtext is a delicate bloom (as Wilde would say of ignorance 'one touch and it is gone'). TV teams get it now, and that's a dangerous knowledge.

Good point.

[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:May 24th, 2011 11:43 am (UTC)

A Dangerous Thing?

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On a related matter, we can always hope that they'll drink deep of the Pierian Spring.
[User Picture]
From:tehomet
Date:May 24th, 2011 12:41 pm (UTC)

Re: A Dangerous Thing?

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*crosses fingers*
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:May 24th, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)

Re: A Dangerous Thing?

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and realise that they are still only on the training slopes of innuendo, with mountainous peaks still to be scaled
[User Picture]
From:vilakins
Date:May 24th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
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I do hope that Sherlock will improve, but I heard the writer of the bad second episode and the DW pirates one is doing the next season finale. Why? Does he, as someone jokingly suggested, have something on Moffat? I'd have thought they'd have realised from fan reaction that another writer might, you know, be better.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:May 25th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
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Oh no, that is a TV writing titbit that I hadn't picked up on. As you say, perhaps he knows where the bodies are buried. Now that would make a good TV show.

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