We need to be more British

Several TV shows in the recent past have led me to the conclusion that we need to be more British — off the top of my head, I would name Prison Break season 2, the Battlestar Gallactica finale, all of Pushing Daisies, Firefly and the cancellation of Life on Mars to be the primary factors in my conclusion, but I’m sure there are others.

I’m tired of watching shows that start with a good premise (Prison Break, BSG) drag on too long, and shows that have great drama (Pushing Daisies, Life on Mars, Firefly) get the axe because their audience is too small.

I think we need a more flexible model for TV, like that of British TV, where a series consists of a smaller number of episodes of varying length and number, depending on what the show and the channel can support. In most cases, all the eps of a given show are aired and there aren’t any cancellations. I think this would generate both more viewers and better shows — I’d be much more willing to invest time in a new show if I knew it wasn’t going to be yanked off the air before the story is done (like Pushing Daisies!!) and I think the writing would be better if the shows were of a defined and known length and number (unlike the BSG finale, for example, which betrayed the lack of planning, no matter what Ronald D. Moore would have us believe). This seems like it would be a particularly good model for cable television, with its endless hours of time in need of content.

Now, if only I could devise a The Brain-like plan to take over the world, I could make this happen.

Posted on March 23rd, 2009 by Katxena