24.7.07 , Posted by Geoff Thorne at 23:17

I'm not going to compare British TV to American. Honestly, I'm not. There are a lot of things and a lot of shows that we do VERY VERY VERY VERY well. I just despair sometimes that the sort of show I like, the kind where an apparently outlandish concept, say, aliens living in a normal suburban neighborhood, somehow gets the too-many-cooks-treatment and whittled down to something easy to ignore and ridicule. There's a reason the X-Files worked for so long and there's a reason that a lot of the attempts to follow it didn't. Yes, we have Battlestar Galactica and we have Eureka and we still have Lost for another season (and Heroes and, when we had them Angel and Buffy). But, mostly shows like MIRACLES and FARSCAPE and FIREFLY, innovative challenging shows that actually try to put some science in their fiction (or Horror, in the case of Miracles) don't get to last. And then i turn on BBC. I see DR. WHO. I see JEKYL. I see ROBIN HOOD and HEX. I see TORCHWOOD and the SARAH JANE ADVENTURES and the BRILLIANT LIFE ON MARS I wonder, "What the hell are we doing wrong?" Do Americans REALLY lack the necessary broadness of mind to tolerate good scifi that's well written? I wonder. Some of these shows are already being Americanized but I wonder why it's necessary. Pound for pound, Battlestar Galactica was probably the best written drama on the air for the last few seasons. Challenging, interesting, even realistic if you can imagine such a thing. And yet the title alone keeps "mainstreamers" away from it, despite the critical trumpets being blown in the show's favor. Is this a problem backstage- too many cooks, like I said? Or is it really that our mushy American brains actually PREFER tripe like DEAL OR NO DEAL or yet another BIG BROTHER (yes, I know BB is a transplant but, DAMN). I can't tell but I have to say I'm getting well sick of the existing paradigm. Why should I have to look to the BBC for this stuff? We used to do it ourselves and quite effectively, thanks so much. What the hell happened? Like I said, I'm not comparing the two systems. I just don't know enough about how BBC works to make such a comparison. I'm just tired of most of my fun coming from across the pond. I'm going to have to think about this.

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