The Middle Brow: Free to air Australian television? Disappointing.

The Middle Brow: Free to air Australian television
By Ed Holburn (aka Gentleman with a Bag)

Division 4's Terence Donovan and Gerard Kennedy c/o Classic Australian TV
I am feeling down, depressed, disillusioned and frustrated by the lack of entertainment on our 'free to air' networks. And I am alone judging by the ratings 7, 9 and 10 get. Is it just that there is nothing else to view?

Quite frankly, I am all 'cooked out', 'danced out', 'built out', 'sung out', 'travelled out', 'bad child-ed out' and 'security-ed out'. If this is reality, I am bored. I want out. Perhaps I should leave my couch, put my coat on, venture out.

But, I ask you, how many ways can you serve a prawn; how many dance steps and tight-fitting costumes are there; how many internal brick walls need need demolishing; how many undiscovered large people can sing; how many countries can I make an idiot of myself in; how many children can I produce who can't say "please"?

How many ways can I have a heart attack and break my big toe, how many beers can I imbibe before my car becomes a lethal weapon and how many South East Asian veggies can I eat? "What has happened to our TV networks and production houses," I ask, from my comfortable couch?

They used to produce good Aussie drama. We have the facilities and top technicians, actors and writers at our disposal, and, yet... more reality TV! Obviously, we have no money. That must be it!

Not so many years ago, the big production houses like Crawfords gave us shows like Homicide, Division 4, Z Force, Rush and A Country Practice. Now we have been hit by a mini series about bikies – they love their Harleys, their brothers, sisters, mums and dads, wives and children, their guns and baseball bats.

Is this the best we can do? Is this the sort of thing you want your family tuning into? I'm more inclined to take the Long Way Round than my Brothers in Arms. Please don't shoot the messenger.

Thank heavens for the ABC. I am a fan of New Tricks, Whitechapel and Taggart. As for the commercial channels, I am restricted to re-runs of Hogan's Heroes, Mash and Get Smart. Perhaps that's a sign of my vintage. But I fear we are all prisoners of war to the dumbing effects of reality TV.

A (disgruntled) Gentleman with a (man)Bag


Rebecca said...

Agreed! How many murder-crime-investigation shows do we need too!

Anonymous said...

Boom! Totally agree.