Saturday, 20 September 2014

Well, There’s Always The ‘Off’ Button?

In an era when every second movie seems to be an offshoot of DC Comics or Marvel, television used to provide relief. Cinema, with its love of big-budget bombast, might be in thrall to the age of the superhero, but surely TV was immune?
Ooops, clearly a bad time for non-superhero TV viewers who can’t find the ‘off’ button and don’t know how to change channels…
Well, think again – because a host of new television shows are set to put the superhero centre stage, from the much-hyped Batman prequel Gotham, which starts on Channel 5 this autumn, to Netflix's take on four Marvel characters, the first of which, Daredevil, arrives early next year.
I’m not aware that anyone’s forced to watch them..?
Yet are we really all holding out for these heroes? While Arrow, a new look at DC Comics' Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, has been a success for Sky One, ensuring that the channel also splashed out for spin-off show The Flash (both airing this October), it's hard not to view the sudden proliferation of superhero shows with a slowly sinking heart.
So…have you considered reading a book? Going for a walk in the park? Watching one of the hundreds of other channels instead?
… all the synergy in the world can't disguise lazy programming. Television is at its best when it makes you view the world through new eyes. Even a procedural can look fresh given the right treatment – just ask fans of Happy Valley, Line of Duty or True Detective. What doesn't work is to say simply: "Here's this stuff that gets them queuing at the movies. Let's stick it on TV too, only minus the charisma and with half the budget."
Let me explain to you how the TV ratings system works – if they aren’t popular, they don’t get taken up. If they start out popular but then shed viewers like a dead dog sheds fleas (I’m looking at you, ‘Lost’…) they get cancelled.

Why any of this should somehow be of ‘concern’ is anyone’s guess…


Anonymous said...


I have never been a fan of the super-hero genre, could never quite see the point. Never thought of complaining about it though.

When I was a nipper, a lot of my neighbours had fought during World War II. I couldn't see the point in idolising a bloke in spandex who wasn't real, compared to a real bloke who in his late teens had fought at Kohima.

andy5759 said...

I am guilty of moaning about all the politically correct films and tv shows here in the UK. As for making an ishoo of it, why bother? As you say, there is an off button, maybe a good blog or book to read too. Thanks.

JuliaM said...

"Never thought of complaining about it though."

I loathe reality tv. But I just switch channels!

Can't understand the mentality of people who have to insist the world revolves around their own likes.

"As you say, there is an off button, maybe a good blog or book to read too."