Quality TV – where are you?

What has happened? It seems that only a few short months ago I was luxuriating in TV shows that were defining a new style of television:

  • Life on Mars was the most inventive cop drama seen in years
  • Dirt may have left a bad taste in the mouth, but it was compelling
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was more of the same from Aaron Sorkin; but when the same is that good, why not have more?
  • Weeds was devilishly wicked; ripping the veneer of suburban America to expose a disenfranchised (and largely high) society
  • Californication was able to show that even someone who we should consider as unredeemable has a decent side
  • Heroes was a cool 21st Century take on superheroes and comic books
  • Even ‘What About Brian‘ was a nice little guilty trip (and ‘October Road‘ continued the same theme) both of which were probably made more interesting (for me at least) by the presence of some extremely easy-on-the-eye actresses (Sarah Lancaster, Tiffani Thiessen and a grown up Laura Prepon)

Each week I would get home from working away and was faced with a dilemma: Which of the quality TV shows on my PVR would I watch first?

And now…. I tried to get into the recent BBC period dramas (‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility’) and they didn’t take. I am probably the wrong demographic for either of them, but you can’t blame the source material- after all I love the BBC version of ‘Pride and Prejudice’.

I am trying to stick with Damages (that one might last, but I am not convinced yet), Mistresses (which is IMHO a bit of a chick flick on TV- maybe I am trying to get in touch with my feminine side… Yeah right) but only Torchwood (think ‘Doctor Who’ for grown ups) is getting anywhere near the peaks of last year. And part of the appeal of Torchwood is the impending arrival of Martha Jones (played by the wonderful Freema Agyeman– is there a theme working its way through my viewing habits?)

At least I will soon be moving into my apartment in the Netherlands where there will be no TV signal; just a TV, a DVD player and a pile of DVD’s that I haven’t got around to watching- and the DVD’s are often of TV shows- just the good ones 🙂 .

I can’t wait.

The Quality of Self Publishing and Californication on TV

Not that many people have noticed, but I haven’t had time to post anything in a while. A number of influences have resulted in me thinking about the quality of my (and others) posting in the blogosphere. And this may be a dangerous comment, given that most people reading this firmly inhabit the same world, but I think I should say it.

I have written this several times before- the difference between most, if not all, blogs and traditional media is the concept of an editorial process. In my “real” job I wouldn’t ever publish a technical document without it being peer reviewed, critiqued and going through several editing cycles. And yet, on my blog (here) I can publish all and any thoughts without any checks.

In some situations this is a good thing- the very act of spontaneously writing can be good. In many situations it is not.

Furthermore, I am in no way a professional writer. I have friends who are journalists and authors and I can recognise the additional quality, care and craft in the words that they use.

Finally, I was watching a TV show, Californication, that is somewhat about a professional writer who is “reduced” to writing a blog. At the end of many episodes he voices his latest blog posting. The following is a transcript of his supposed latest posting. I am not proposing that it is great literature- even I can see the derivative of Dickens in the third sentence- but as I sat and listened to it I realised that is was better than anything I have ever posted

Will this stop me from posting? No. Will it make me take a little more time and care over the words I write? I hope so. Unfortunately, the upshot of this is that the postings may be less frequent.

Good Morning LA. In the land of the lotus eaters time plays tricks on you. One day you are deaming, the next your dream has become your reality. It was the best of times, if only someone had told me. Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, harsh lessons learned.

My family goes on without me while I drown in a see of pointless pussy. I don’t know how I got here, but here I am; rotting away in the California sun. There are things I need to figure out- for her sake at least. The clock is ticking, the gap is widening. She won’t always love me, not matter what

I have had to create my own punctuation and I am not sure if the grammatical mistake (while/ whilst) is my mis-hearing, an intentional mistake on the part of the writer to convey a the nature of writing the blog or genuinely a mistake. But that notwithstanding, and overlooking one glaring omission, the passage of time, the changing dynamic of family and the discordance in our personal life all rang true. Or maybe I am reading too much into it, and as women frequently tell me “Get over it”. If only I knew what it was.