Television

Excellent Telly

Bit of a great telly weekend, Green Wing finally seemed to find its feet on the script front and avoid relying on its cast to make the laughs. There is still a lot of reliance being placed on Mark Heap but it is getting back to being more of an ensemble piece with the key gags being the backchat and banter. On the other hand the car in the office was fantastically surreal.

The West Wing is just great in its final season. It is probably the only decent drama about politics on at the moment. This season it has managed to broaden its horizons by featuring a Presidential election race between two centre ground canididates. I think any program that allows its characters to have both ethics, ambitions and ideologies is to be praised but more so because it dares to challenge the lazy cliches about politicians all being the same and being corrupt.

The West Wing has nasty party politics on both sides of the political divide and is all the better for its honesty. Democracy has a nasty way of giving the voters the leaders they deserve rather than the leaders they need and this show is brave in holding a mirror to the ugliness of the voter.

And on the subject of American shows, what the hell happened to Without a Trace. They seem to have found some money to pay for decent actors outside the regular cast and seem to told the writers to stop writing formulaic crap and do what they want. The most recent episode, told (ER style) from the point of view of the family missing their child was actually clever enough to say what the viewers already know. That all American TV cops are arbitary, patriarchal bastards who are to be avoided at all costs. Bravo!

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