Sunday, 29 December 2013

Health Warning - Bad TV Rots the Mind

Leading writers, it seems, agree that bad TV rots the mind. This news is worrying enough, given our collective addiction to TV, but the situation may be worse still. It may be that @all TV rots the mind. Even good TV requires nothing very creative on the part of the consumer. This is why, by and large, we writers prescribe good books as the surest antidote.

Here at Carter Towers we are at present stuck in the groove that lies between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, a perfect time to be reflecting on the ghastliness of most TV. My spirits are occasionally lifted as I peruse the Electronic Programme Guide to see some classic film slated for transmission, only to have my hopes dashed by finding that the said film is a recent re-make, for which read: almost certainly an appalling piece of drivel that bears no relation to the original.  And why? Because it will have had every ounce of delight wrung from it by a producer whose sole aim is to make as much money as he can from our cherished memories.

This approach, I refer to as "mining." It's the very opposite of creative endeavour. It's cowardly and exploitative and I hate it with a will. Even as I write, there will be hundreds of maggots in the bowels of Hollywood, trawling feverishly through material we once loved, wondering how they can work up an angle sufficiently palatable to dupe us again.  Anyone who doubts this should compare the original "Bedazzled" with the re-make. Enough said.


  1. You're right. Surely there must be at least one writer worth a damn working for the meat grinder that is Hollywood. Or did they all perish after The Italian job was finished. I just sat through the first half of the new(er) Total Recall before almost killing the TV set. Even my vast store of expletives fail me.

  2. But, Robert, how do you really feel about remakes? Just kidding :) I agree with you. I avoid remakes because I know I'll compare them to the originals and find them wanting. Usually all a remake adds is color, sex and violence, which I can get from contemporary programs if I want. It does often seem as if there is a dearth of creativity out there.