We live in a golden age of TV. We must do because that’s what we’re always being told. This is ground breaking television, that’s a feast for the senses, the other’s the best programme ever. Trust me when I say that the best programme ever is never ever the best programme ever. Never, never, ever, ever. The whole topic is of course extremely subjective and so it doesn’t really help if everyone says something is sublime only to change their minds 3 weeks later when the next big thing kicks off. There is no such thing as perfect TV, any more than there is no truly perfect car, perfect chicken or perfect dildo; everyone wants something slightly different and whilst on a personal level a dildo is as much use to me as ‘Coronation Street’ I can still appreciate why some people would need something like it in their lives. No, that was not a thinly veiled cry for help.
I don’t believe for a second that ‘Chernobyl’ can be anywhere near as good as people say. I’m referring to the drama series, not the horrific, near apocalyptic event itself and which if my memory serves me well was not a high point in anyone’s lives. It’s on our TV list and doubtless it will be good but is it the best series ever according to IMBD? Doubtful, but you never know. Having been distracted to a slightly above average level by the first series of ‘Killing Eve’ it feels we are stalling starting the follow up because, on reflection, it was a bit flimsy and formulaic and I think it secretly wanted to be as good as a film but didn’t come close.
By this point I had also got fed up of hearing what a phenomenal talent we have, and oh how grateful we should be, in Phoebe Wallerwaller Bangbang. Yes, she’s good, but I can’t be alone in thinking Fleabag had so much smoke blown up its arse that it disguised the fact that by the end it was all a bit of a bore – watching a desperate nymphomaniac gurn and wink endlessly to camera while trying to get a interminably confused priest into her knickers. Every knowing glance felt like a lazy way of filling a space where a joke should have been. It did have its moments though, but they often belonged to other people. Maybe that was the point I missed.
Other items on our to watch list include the third series of ‘Stranger Things’, which should be good provided they’ve come up with a new idea or two. We have also finally started to watch ‘Black Mirror’, which is as clever and spikey as one could expect from Charlie Brooker, but is also one of the most relentlessly depressing things I have ever done on the sofa; sometimes it feels like the world is rotten enough without having to watch a programme all about how much worse it could get. Like reading this, perhaps. We’re kind of enjoying the second belch of ‘Big Little Lies’ but it does feel like it’s struggling; like a fat dancer, all tits and teeth but with one eye on a bar stool and a bit of a breather.
So, because long winded TV box sets generally follow the ‘Breaking Bad’ law that something so marked up will always end with disappointment we have had to rely on little 6 episoders of comedy in our house, as and when they pop up. ‘After Life’ wasn’t bad, ‘Year of the Rabbit’ was splendidly daft and why it took so long to discover ‘Mum’ is beyond us (thanks Lorraine). And then this morning we started the second run of Loudermilk, a programme which I am proud to say no one else seems to have heard of. It’s not the best thing ever either, it’s not even close to Alan Partridge in a static caravan but it really is bloody good and is proof that you must go off piste a little to discover those twinkling little runs that prove that smaller is sometimes better. I suppose that goes for dildos as well.
G B Hewitt. 07.07.2019