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I would agree with 99% of it.
middle class writers writing middle class articles in middle class papers for middle class readers complaining about how middle class tv is. pot kettle black.
there's nothing wrong with being middle class. its only a problem when you make absurd complaints about the media being middle class when you belong to that same middle class media. i just think in general the arguments he makes about 'reality' and 'authenticity' are pretty stupid.
No more absurd than a white person saying 'white people can be racist' or a copper saying 'coppers can be wankers.' You're bound to have an opinion on the social/economic sector of society you come from, aren't you?
Regardless, he makes some good points.
besides anything else, i think his notion of what counts as 'authentic' is pretty stupid. and furthemore, it is stupid to complain that television writing is dominated by the middle classes; of course it is, because being a writer is a middle class job, and its a job which is very difficult to do without a certain degree of education which kinda precludes you from being 'working class'. ie, i come from a very 'working class' area (by which i mean i lived in a council house and most of my neighbours were unemployed), but i wouldn't consider myself working class because i was lucky enough to grow up with supportive parents and go to university. the people who could show you an authentic account of the 'working class' (which is a pretty meaningless term anyway because we don't really have much of a genuine working class in this country any more) wouldn't be able to because they wouldn't be able to write a television screenplay.
isn't the same as being working class.
so someone who comes from a working class family and then goes to university and gets a job writing scripts for television is still working class? really? you really think that?
there is mobility between working and middle - maybe not upper. "someone who comes from a working class family and then goes to university and gets a job writing scripts for television" may be considered gauche by the upper-middle classes but is unquestionably middle class.
but what job you have is tied into other factors, such as education/wealth/attitudes; in fact, its impossible to separate from these factors, and as such you can't rally dismiss these arguments by saying that class is more complex than the job you do, because the job you do says more about you than simply what job you do.
they accept scripts from anyone, not just uni graduates who were taught how to write (which is a often sure sign of they're being quite poor at the craft of writing).
Hence, the guy who created Life On Mars (which was a good show, to hell with the coolness of slagging it off) was a market stall trader. He wrote a spec script, sent it in and got a job. Anyone can do it, if they're determined enough.
Just one reason why the BBC should not be privatized.
I've totally forgotten the original point of my argument.
I think it's the same with anything. Artists are better when they're fighting to be heard. Once they get accepted and slip into the life of luxury (subjective as that is), they usually lose their edge.
about "life on mars"
Granted, the guy has churned out some appalling shite, but the original point is still valid.
doesn't it just prove that when you hire people because they're 'real' and 'gritty' they churn out shit tv?
So he's just one reason why the BBC should be privatized.
BUT THEY'RE NOT GENUINE! DON'T BELIEVE THE FIGURES!!!
Shameless can GTF.
Fine examples of how to balance comedy and drama in an hour-long show. It had heart, wit, and genuine warmth.
Ever since then it's gone to shit.
Utter. London. Tosser.
Couldn't the FA have built the new Wembley in Coventry for a tenth of the price and twice the transportational accesibility of where it currently is?
But they didn't.
Is that a surpsirse?
I'm using that from now on.
I'm from the north but I didn't find that much about it to be patronizing or owt.
Maybe I'm just numb to the disdain cast down upon me by southerners at this point.
Used in the way it was, that phrase nullifies any validity of any of the other comments made in the article.
Everything that he has said about TV drama could be said for traditional print newspapers.
TV and newspapers (as pointed out by Charlie Brooker et al) haven't had a clue what to do with themselves since the intertron arrived.
The internet is still in it's infancy, really. The balance of power is shifting. It'll be an interesting decade.
is a good example of the chaos due to lack of power and understanding that the older generations have with regard to the intertron.
That blog is seemingly picking 'em off one by one.
Looks really interesting.
as if by putting the studios in manchester the shows will somehow be authentically working class. making stupid arguments like that just shows how out of touch the guy is, and hence shows up his article as stupidly hypocritical.
is an official BBC, and by extension, all television broadcasters term delineating non-nationwide output. there is also "the nations" indicating country-wide, but not UK-wide, output.
but it's daftly patronising and London-centric.
And when bemoaning the paucity of non-London productions, using phrases like "the regions" is just silly.
although, "london & the south east" is one of said 'regions'. you can't really blame the writer for using an engrained industry term.
all BBC protocol is correct and timeless.
"The regions" is second only to "the provinces" in the 'everywhere that's not London is a single collective' daftness mentality.
What's the phrase for 'everywhere that's not (for e.g.) the South West'?
middle-class centric thing but with the written word rather than TV?
is one that tries really hard to be working class.
you notice that the majority of great programmes avoid specifically identifying themselves with a particular class. I'm thinking of The Office or Alan Partridge, but there's probably a few others.
It's just crap. His point about "authentic working-class drama" is a misnomer, because there's no "authentic middle-class drama" or "authentic upper-class drama" either. Maybe Shameless isn't authentic, but then neither is My Family or Brideshead Revisited. They're not supposed to be.
The very idea that drama should be authentic is just wrongheaded. The very point of drama is that it's not realistic. If it was realistic then characters would act somewhat erratically, the pacing would be terrible, there would be no real plot to speak of, conversations (or snippets thereof) would often repeat, and nothing would ever wrap up or reach any kind of ending, amongst other things. It's supposed to be unrealistic because the point of drama is to tell us stories that enable us to forget that reality is really cold and uncaring and help us create some meaning in the world. Authenticity doesn't come anywhere near it.
Considering that The Guardian used to be based in Manchester.
For shame Grauniad, for shame.
The one thing he misses is that it's not really a class issue. However it is an issue of the path which TV writers take to becoming writers these days.
When I was in my early twenties I wanted to be a scriptwriter (I still hope to be at some point). I did a degree in Scriptwriting from 18-21 and then was encouraged to get work in the TV industry (which I did not do) as the best way to get contacts and become a writer. Later, after doing an MA in production, I knew people who became writers and the majority of them were people in their twenties working in TV as script editors etc. who moved into writing.
There's two issues with this:
a) Due to the demand for entry into the TV industry the majority of people who make it do so after a period of unpaid/low-paid work to gain experience. This is really only open to people who grew up close enough to an area producing TV shows to live with their families for free/low rent for a while or to people with enough money/enough money in their families to be able to afford to not work. There will be a few people who get lucky breaks but this will be the majority of people.
b) If the people who go into writing have only got career experience of the TV industry this will limit their life experience somewhat and mean they draw far more on experiences of other TV shows than they do of "real world" situations.
Effectively the problem isn't anything to do with the class of the characters, or even the region it's made, but that there's too many TV writers writing for the sake of being writers with no knowledge of or enthusiasm for the subject matter.
But I think it's very hard to get work on existng shows via this method. So, yeah, it's very possible (although harder) to get something commissioned if you have an idea but I'm just saying that a lot of the "jobbing" writers brought into things like Shameless or All the Small Things or the other shows he mentions to write a few episodes will be people who've got into it via working in the media/knowing people who work in the media.
It's not a system that can't be broken into (you could make the effort to know the right people and I've known at one point or another people who've worked on Holby City and Eastenders who could in theory have helped me get my break writing these shows if I'd written a sample episode, which I never did) but it's still one heavily biased to people from certain sections of society.
The BBC accept unsolicited scripts as a matter of policy. It's how Gervais and Merchant got their break (only they submitted a videotaped 'demo' of The Office).
I also think you're pretty much right on the money with everything you said. You write about what you know about life. If you don't know much, you get very safe programming such as 'My Family' or 'Eastenders.'
it's a sign of someone who isn't committed to life in the media. Well, that was what I was told by someone who was supposed to be my 'mentor' at two broacasting companies. I did the MA anyway....his office cut me off and I was no longer inivited to networking events etc....
That is a general point about the media though..you have to commit yourself very early for unpaid/low paid positions.
however, for writing I sort of disagree with you..it is more open..
Even though I lost all the opportunities working in production you find calls for script submissions everywhere..
I also get these 48 hour challenge emails too..
which I might do one day if I can be arsed.
I think if you have the time to build on an idea script writing is much easier to realise than any other media career
much easier obviously at the bbc..because effectively it is easier to get into the bbc.
smalelr companies hardly advertise...
the alternative is to set up your own prod company and do everythign and sell it
i dont give a fuck about class.shameless this series>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>every other series