There is a period television series on British TV called “Downton Abbey”. I like it very much. It has now finished its 4th series. I have followed every episode. It is set in aristocratic England, starting just before the start of World War 1. It has moved on a few years now.
On Christmas Day (as usual) they broadcast a special episode. Last year, the special concluded with the road accident death of a young man. Viewers were stunned.
So this year, the writers decided to have a less gruesome episode. It was calm and classy and nice.
Then in step the television critics.
In one of the leading daily newspapers (I can’t name it because they guard their copyright as if it was important !!), the critic shouts “Sweet, but Uneventful”.
“Outrageous”, I say. “Nonsense”, say others. “Get a life”, another was heard to mutter.
It would seem that the days of nice television, where we can sit back and enjoy the professional acting (Downton is first class by the way), have been cast aside.
- “Rudolph tramples 5 people to death on his way up to the roof”.
- “Santa held on suspicion of drugs in his sleigh”
- “Carol singers murder man who gives them a donation”
- “Gun shots heard at Midnight church service”
Are we so obsessed with violence and bad language that we simply don’t know how to appreciate good television…?
It is a sad reflection on our social lifestyles that prime time television leaves corpses all over our living room floor EVERY night. Subpoenas litter the floor. Jury members sit on our sofas transfixed by circumstantial evidence. The words “objection” and “sustained” are now uttered by our 3-year old grandchildren.
Are we so influenced by terror and horror and death, that we cannot tell TV producers that we want nice stuff. Let’s face it, they only sell us what we seem to want. Alas, not for me.
Give me “Dad’s Army”, or “Cheers”, or ”Are you Being Served”, or “Fraser”, or “Mary Tyler Moore”, or “The Two Ronnies”, or “Morecambe and Wise” and many more.
Heaven knows what that “uneventful” TV critic would have said if he/she was tied to a chair and forced to watch “The Waltons”. How I would love to watch THAT.
“I watched an episode of The Waltons last night. Oh my God, it was horrible. Not one murder, not one bad word, no-one shouted at anyone. Disgraceful. How on earth could those stupid people live together on that stupid mountain and not kill each other..? If this is quality television I may have to start watching YouTube.”
Unfortunately we have become a society that thrives on death and destruction, and even when we turn on the TV for light relief, or entertainment (a bad word these days it would seem), we are inundated with blue flashing lights, sirens and screaming.
I think I’ll retire to the Olderhood, enjoy my Facebook friends and just say …
“Goodnight Sue Ellen, Goodnight Jon Boy”