Ep 217: Quentin Crisp telemovie, BBC changes

john-hurt-as-quentin-crisp.jpgIn Things You May Have Missed, John introduces us to An Englishman in New York, the continuation of the story of Quentin Crisp. We discuss the changes going ahead at the BBC and also look at whether or not the Golden Age of Television has now passed.

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For some more information about the BBC’s digital channel cost-cutting, see these items:

We mentioned that Shaun Brown is still unhappy about the funding situation at SBS.

Also, you might be interested in seeing the full list of Logie nominations for 2010, but you probably won’t be.

Maybe you’re trying to find our list of shows in the Golden Age of Television.


  1. We also mentioned clips from the US remake of Spaced had surfaced on the interwebs – you can see it here (if you dare):

  2. My brain is a sieve. I had so many things to comment on, but I forgot them.

    One I remember is the GAOT, I think it is over. Maybe it's a mindset thing, but there are 3 shows I habitually wait to see, the rest I can see whenever.
    The Office (US)
    Better of Ted
    How I Met Your Mother. (this is my Lost – who is the mother?)

    Are they Golden Age stuff? Probably not. I know that when the Golden Age was first done, that some of the selection criteria was about groundbreaking TV, I don't think the current set of shows achieve that, they are good, without being must-watch or groundbreaking.

  3. Aaah, here comes my brain. 😉
    7pm project, I for one do quite like this, but I can see why people get frustrated, yes, it's comedy, but they want to be taken seriously, so they do some 'hard hitting' pieces.
    I think the big problem they face is that they are a victim of what else goes on around them. Examples:
    *No more Rove, so they need to Hamish and Andy on (now I love the guys, but they have no TV vehicle – so 7pm project is that Roving Enterprises vehicle).
    *Again, no real variety shows (don't get me started on Hey Hey it's Wednesday 1983) so they get a little stuck with having touring celebs on.
    *It's too short (ok, this is maybe their own problem) so they do seem to cut short and rush through stuff.
    *Charlie Pickering – now I'm a big fan, he seems to me to be a pretty smart socially conscious guy, but was he on the show as that or a comedian? Now he's funny too, and smart funny, but I think he wants to be seen more as an astute commentator than comedian, we end up with a half and half wishy washy version of him.
    *oh, again, no Rove, so they end up pushing his environmental save the tigers and pandas thing…. not sure it's their bag, but they end up doing it.

    ok, that's some of my thoughts on that. I will say I like Carrie, and as for her ipad joke, it's cool, it wasn't like she was the only one that said it, or was thinking it! 😉

  4. on the flow now.

    The demise of the BBC – interesting move to cannabalise themselves before someone else does.

    This is a continuing conservative trend that worries me, I know that the UK government are communists because they want to provide a TV station (likened I think in the show to the US Health Care Bill), why the hell can't governments provide services? Hell, we've seen how well privatisation works here in Melbourne with public transport. And we've seen how well the Bush administrations contracting of everything out has worked too….. we need governments to provide services, sometimes at a loss, but I'm sick of people who only care for their own interests! Let the BBC provide television, and good content at that, you want to compete, get off your butt and compete, don't lobby in the background to bring them back to the lowest common denominator!

    It's not news though, as mini-murdoch and his ancestors knew that the government provided a TV service, and the chose to take them on! Now they bemoan the fact they can't compete and lobby for their competitor to be knobbled. It's crap. Very Crap. I don't buy it.

  5. Can't wait for the re-review on GAT – I always thought you'd cut it off before the well had truly ran dry. The Brits especially seemed to get a hard run (hello 'BBC Planet Earth series; oh hi there 'Top Gear' seasons 7-12; how do YOU do, 'Coupling'), but put that down to Josh's long standing hatred of British shows-

    That said, I take the original point – whilst there's some good stuff still, absolutely it does feel that a moment in time has passed. More interesting than anything else we might talk about – why has it passed? With Lost, Fast Forward, V, the Prisoner V2.0, I-can-go-on-there's-plenty-others, there's as much sci-fi and non-traditional non-linear storytelling as has ever? been (and since the 60's, definately). Hell, there's probably more content being generated, period, than ever before. And the story options presented by say, Weeds, or maybe Big Love have never been so available as now…

    …and yet… it's not blowing anyone away, exactly. Why, I'm not exactly sure. But the weirdest part is how films seem to have followed the same trajectory; in the same period as GAT, we had LOTR films vs Spiderman vs the Star Wars Prequels, all vying to be the biggest things ever. Which isn't to say that these were super-dooper-high-art fare; but there was an energy and a frisson that seems to have dissipated.


    As for Murdoch, well, just remember the great leveler; thou art mortal, and I look forward to the almighty bun-fight amongst Rupe's offspring when Satan finally closes *that* particular contract out. Followed by a long, slow decline of the Empire into irrelevance such as what Fairfax has experienced. I think the ABC/BBC model will outlast the media moguls era; not to say it won't be painful in the meantime, but realistically the goodwill of the public is too strong for Auntie or the Beeb to be wound up anytime soon. They'll see off Rupe, and then…
    …well, who knows?

  6. BTW – and apologies for the double post – but just wanted to point out for newer listeners (or co-hosts!) that John's “Cliche' of the week” segment is actually not a NEW segment – Before John was John, he was known as Ross (my head hurts, already), and COTW actually started all the way back in Episode *mumbles something about Episode eighty or ninety or thereabouts*
    Even had it's own intro, back in the day…

  7. catbrain says:

    On the matter of ABC2 showing programs not labelled as repeats: with each new channel, do the operators then have a new quota for local content? And if a show has already screened and is classified as a repeat, does it count towards the quota or not?

  8. Currently there are no requirements for any of the multichannels to show any new local content as defined in the Australian content standard.

    There's a really good explanation in this Media Watch episode.

    On the Media Watch page there are links to more resources as well.

  9. catbrain says:

    ah yes – I remember that now. Thanks, Josh.

    Next question: even though there is no requirement to show Australian content on the new digital channels, are the networks allowed to count any Australian content on those channels towards their quota? I see nothing in the Standard that states the Australian content has to be broadcast on a particular channel. And going back to my original question, whether repeats count towards quota, perhaps this is a loophole? – perhaps repeats don't normally count towards quota, but if the program is broadcast on a new channel then it doesn't get counted as a repeat and does count towards the quota?

    Or perhaps I'm overthinking this whole thing…

  10. It's not just you guys. Television really was rubbish last year.

    Dexter lost its lustre for reasons too numerous to go into here; 30 Rock went flat somewhere around the middle of series 3, and only picked up its game halfway through the current series; Doctor Who's 'gap year' was a crap year (see what I did there?) with a truly atrocious finale; Survivors was just bloody awful; Battlestar Galactica experienced a slow decline and a dreadful ending; Underbelly was bad even by the standards of those who bothered watching it in the first place; The Librarians was a mess. I could go on. I won't.

    Breaking Bad, however, was exceptional, and I'm sure Venezuela state television ran a pretty good series of That's My Paella. Perhaps Venezuela can save us all.

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