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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Seriously America?

As you well know I loved the first episode of Broadchurch. I've love British TV for a long time and have spent most of these last 6 months catching up on all sorts of goodies. So today I, as I am contemplating the feasibility of another trip to the doctor's office, I am cruising Google UK for some updates. And what do I find?

Fox wants in on the Broadchurch action.  Really?

SyFy remade Being Human. And that is a good show. But SyFy is about Science fiction and can be trusted to do things right. Love the show. Not sure the network isn't going bat shit crazy (Sharknado. Ugh. And that name change! Still bristling.) CBS has Elementary which I've already said is not as good as Sherlock if you are a purist.

BritTV is the domain of PBS. It means that we sometimes have to wait a little longer to see something like Masterpiece and Mystery! but it is always worth the wait. And PBS does a great job building its own programming.

FOX. FOX on the other hand is only really good at pissing people off. I hope that Chris Chibnall has a great experience with them as the executive director. He better have a great experience. Doubts abound on that score because FOX is well.... FOX. It steam rolls everyone until they can prove that they have more value than FOX's concerns. Matt Groening and Seth McFarlane have both had their share of grief and threats from FOX executives regarding content and style. American TV is really good about being formulaic. And once it finds a formula it likes it has to convert everything into that formula.

I think that is why we don't have our own Doctor Who. THANK GOD! And it is why we don't have our own Downton Abbey. So why do we have to have our own Broadchurch? Because Fox programs lost too many shares to BBC programs in Britain? It's Britain. Let them have their own stuff! And let them share with us. Why do American fingers have to get sticky with everyone else's creative juices only to water it down in the end?

Sometimes I doubt very little why the rest of the world hates us. We force feed our products down people's throats and when their product is presented to America it is changed so much from the original that no one recognizes it any more. And if American execs at FOX make Chris miserable there is little doubt this will be the last time anyone agrees to work with us. If they would take a few chances in developing programming they would not be losing shares all over the place. Formulas get old. When programming gets stale people lose interest. That is more than half of the reason that I am watching something besides American television. I've watched all the Criminal Minds I can watch. After 8 seasons its the same show. Same with CSI, NCIS and everything else I was watching.

One of my other concerns about this maneuver is the casting. We all know a huge part of what makes the show is the cast. If you've a great premise and an awesome script and you cast the wrong people you have a disaster. Part of why I tuned into Broadchurch was because I miss David Tennant's Doctor (And he is soooooooooooo not Ten). The show doesn't rest on his acting chops; I was hooked before he showed up. Casting, though, is huge. And casting an actor with a following as devoted as David Tennant's is simply brilliant.

I love Broadchurch. But I don't think that the American grown audience is going to that big into the show. It's about a kid dying under suspicious circumstances and it is dark. I just don't know that we can do it justice. I don't know that FOX can do it justice. Dear God I hope they treat Chris better than I think that they will.

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