In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Monday, 23 January 2017

HOVERING OVER THE TV OFF BUTTON

I'm more of a DVD box set guy these days. TV by and large bores me silly. Occasionally, something will grab my attention and I'll watch it. A lot of the dramas sound pretty good on paper but less than fifteen minutes into episode one, the pace is too slow, the voices are too low, the music is overpowering and thinking ahead to another five of a six-part series just makes me want to dig up John Logie Baird and ask him why he invented television in the first place. It was and is a great idea but like a lot of great ideas over time and in the wrong hands the greatness evaporates and a once exciting and brilliant invention goes from wow to oh.

Television has been infested with a plague of celebrities, quite a few of whom have no talent, skill, ability or appeal whatsoever. Panel shows and game shows are littered with the usual suspects, stand-up comics who think being a clever arse is the same as being a great comedian. I can't think of a current comedian who makes me laugh like a tickled donkey. They all appear to be clones from a laboratory that spews out observational automatons. No, I still can't think of one. I can't even think of a comedian who tells jokes these days.

The same old, same old faces syndrome also reminds me that I now have an aversion to political shows, especially the Sunday ones, to antiques, cooking, talent and unreal reality shows, in fact any show with a judging panel or where viewers are encouraged to vote. We all know what can happen when the public is allowed to vote!

The TV news is now a "show" and the weather forecasts go on forever. Football has never been my thing, so I red card it whenever it comes on.

I am sure they are all perfectly nice people but I'm getting a bit sick of seeing David Attenborough, Brian Cox, Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and others, and, currently in the acting department, Toby Jones. He has popped up in so many things recently on TV and radio and he seems (I may be wrong) to be playing the same dour, downbeat character every time. TV grabs hold of personalities and celebrities that have risen in the popularity stakes and it squeezes every last drop of that same popularity out of them.

But I'm from a generation that didn't have 24/7 TV fodder spewing out of the tube. I was born into an era of two channels that became three then four before the televisual Big Bang that gave us an avalanche of options and, strangely, a lot less quality and choice. Flick through a jolly channel hop and the chances are high that you will come across a chain of advertisements that make your eyes water for better days and your ears bleed because its the same old drivel. In the olden days, children, TV shut down for a couple of hours at teatime and shut down for the night around midnight, with a wee voice telling us all to unplug or we could go up in a blue flash in the early hours. Simpler times.

I've been looking through this week's TV listings to mark things I do not want to miss. I'm at Wednesday and the only things I've highlighted are Michael Portillo's train programmes. Yes, folks, that's how desperate it can be sometimes.

Back to my box sets, methinks, and wondering why I pay a licence fee and subscribe to channels that fail to provide value for my money. Logie Baird's idea might have been ruined but the inventor of the remote control has my undying admiration.

Click!


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