Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

A Grumble About The BBC

So what's the point of the BBC if it doesn't pick up an outstanding series like The Wire?

We're watching The Wire- finally- on our cable provider's "choice on demand" service. They have a rotating archive of programmes- including a stash of HBO classics. The other show we're following is Six Feet Under.

I don't believe the BBC picked up on Six Feet Under either. No it didn't- I've just checked. That originally went out in the UK on Channel 4.

The Wire originally went out in the UK on FX- an obscure satellite/cable channel- to the shame not only of the BBC, but of all the major broadcasters.

We watched four episodes of The Wire last night- taking us almost to the end of season I. 

I don't need to tell you The Wire's good. 

So why do we still pay a license fee- to fund the BBC- when the BBC doesn't show the Wire? I used to be a supporter of the system; now I'm not.

The BBC used to be our major broadcaster. It directed the national conversation. ITV had Coronation Street; the BBC had everything else. It had the best drama, the best comedy, the best documentaries, the best current affairs.

Now we have hundreds of channels. The BBC could still occupy a special niche if it cared to- but most of its output is play-safe stuff. I don't believe they've got a single programme in their portfolio right now that's worth staying in for.

Ok- there's still Dr Who.

I think the heart went out of the BBC when it buckled to the Blair government over weapons of mass destruction and the death of Dr David Kelly.  It was in the right and it allowed itself to be faced down over a technicality.  I wince, I shout at the screen when Alistair Campbell- Blair's hatchet man- the man who gutted the corporation- shows up on the One Show and elsewhere to have his tummy tickled. Did you know he once suffered from depression and has written books about it to ease his pain? Poor diddums!  He ought to be standing in a dock at the Hague.

So what do I still make a point of watching on the BBC?  Dr Who,  The Antiques Road Show- and- erm- I think that's about it. The last British made drama series I really liked- The Devil's Whore- was on Channel 4.

So I'm paying over £100 each year for Dr Who and The Antiques Road Show. Hardly value for money. It would be cheaper to buy the boxed sets.
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