Tuesday, 29 December 2009

How angry about Day of the Triffids is too angry about Day of the Triffids?

I think the watershed moment for me and every single film and TV programme ever came in the year 2004, when as a skint young buck living in Canada, I ended up watching all the 'making of' extras on Deb's copy of The Two Towers at least three times. It sort of shattered the magic of cinema for me, seeing as how it made me realise that films these days consist not of fluid action, but millions of two second long close ups, filmed at opposite ends of New Zealand, in different years, in front of blue screens, then arbitrarily pasted together into a masterpiece by gore-obsessed beardmeister Peter Jackson.

Anyway, ever since then my joy at the celluloid medium has been haemorrhaging at a rate of knots. Whatever happened to that innocent little boy who used to slump pissed in front of Big Brother at 5am and be thoroughly entertained by watching some boring people sleep? HE DIED.

So yeah, people who don't watch TV and make a point of saying they don't watch TV are the most hateful people on the planet, so I take no pleasure in suggesting that I might be done with the medium, but I watched two innocuous shows with my parents last night and they left me in a seething rage, and not the good kind.

First some programme about how people of the past coped with climate change, presented by Tony Robinson. It was beautifully shot, and clearly everyone involved had got a nice holiday out of the deal, but SERIOUSLY: the show starts with Robinson talking about this ancient Peruvian empire that had somehow profited from drought in the past: he simply refuses to tell us why for 20 fucking minutes, he's just killing time, reiterating the same thing, and I point this out, angrily, and my dad has the TEMERITY to not really mind, he's quite enjoying it. And don't get me started on the ten second establishing shot where Baldric has to stand in a church graveyard at night just so that he can say '... the Black Death' while some portentous strings play in the background. Then I watched Day of the Triffids and I hated every single thing about it. I think I swore in front of my parents for possibly the first time ever as a result of the fact that I thought a sci-fi show about giant killer plants didn't plausible explain why everyone on the planet had gone blind. Seriously, it took me about an hour to calm down afterwards.

Admittedly these were but two programmes but I don't think being taken to these summits of rage by TV that is meant to divert and entertain is really very good for me. Maybe I can get some of my license fee back.

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