Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brooking no dissent

I'm thinking of hiring myself out as a consultant to television productions, pointing out the bleeding obvious.

"The format of the show is cleaner and less complicated with just three judges, which was not fully appreciated ahead of filming," a spokeswoman for Talkbackthames said.

"Although Kelly brings a huge amount of warmth to the show and we've loved having her on board, the complications it adds to the filming process and format of the show means that unfortunately, and with huge regret, we have agreed with ITV not to proceed with a fourth judge."

Now I've seen about five minutes of Britain's Got Talent, but even I could see it was based on three judges voting people through to the next round or not. So if two of them put up their big red Xs, it didn't matter how much Amanda Holden cried, because it was two against one.

Well done to them for soldiering on for a full six days of filming though, most of which presumably consisted of Simon Cowell sighing and reaching for a coin to flip over and over again. I'd be quite cross if I was one of the people who'd auditioned whose stuff will have to be junked now, even if they were told they were through to the second round.

I could have sat in on the commissioning meeting for last night's Heston Blumenthal thing, Big Chef Takes On Little Chef, too, and shouted really loudly IT'S A SHIT IDEA AND IT WON'T WORK.


Insults said...

BIG CHEF LITTLE CHEF was like watching Noel Coward trying to teach Sly Stallone how to act. Weird show.

James said...

My favourite thing about Big Chef Little Chef was the awkward way all the scenes of Heston driving were shot. The director was in the back seat, with the camera in the passenger seat. For some reason though, Heston couldn't talk to the director to answer her questions without craning his neck around to face her. I have no idea what he was saying during these scenes, I was too captivated by the sight of a man hurtling up a motorway whilst facing the other way, like some sort of Uri Geller third-eye demonstration. Surely the director deserves a Bafta for making it through the whole show without screaming "SHITTING HELL, LOOK OUT!!! HE'S BRAKING!!!"

PS Just noticed Mark Lawson's written about this very same thing in today's Media Guardian. Disappointed to see he didn't think to use the phrase 'Shitting hell' in his appraisal though. I thought he was meant to be a professional.

Adam Macqueen said...

It's part of a really annoying new trend in telly - started by Mary Portas, and continued in that Country House Rescue thing on channel 4 - to have presenters interviewed by a director off-screen, and then cut out all the questions, so that they're just talking really irritatingly slightly to the left or right of the camera on what should obviously just be a straight-to-camera link piece. It's really, really annoying.

And so is the apprentice/restaurant-style overuse of helicopter shots, which was another one of the infuriating things about Heston Services (what's the betting C4 tried their marketing department before moving on to Little Chef?)

Dave the Flack said...

Perhaps they could combine both elements of your post, and have Simon Cowell and two other judges (doesn't really matter who) publically judging people's ideas for television programmes and commissioning the best ones under an onerous contract (with soundtrack released by SonyBMG).

Simon Cowell would literally be the saviour of all ITV programming.


Rock Rivals and Echo Beach would have got three big red Xs for sure.

Anonymous said...

"I could have sat in on the commissioning meeting..."

...if only your attempt at getting into the TV industry hadn't been such a flop.

Adam Macqueen said...

I don't understand, Anonymous - have another go.