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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Britain Hates the BBC

Why does the British government want to do away with the BBC? It's making money hand over fist. Someone is getting rich from the royalties on merchandising for its most popular shows and the world is in love with Britain in a way that I scarcely recall hearing of except in my mother's stories about living through WWII. So why do the Brits in the Houses want to do away with it?

Is The Doctor supplanting The Queen in popularity?
Is Sherlock showing up the Yard? Oh, wait, he always is but I don't mean that as literall... well, yes I do. OK so Sherlock could be an issue.
Are we upset that Moriarty's ringtone is reviving interest in the BeeGees? Who's afraid disco balls will come back into vogue?
Is someone upset that everyone knows the Top Gear guys names and no one can name more than 2 members of either House?
Or is it the theory that if the BBC doesn't produce it America can't steal it?

Most likely it is the infuriating fact that the people around the world have voted that the most valuable thing Britain can offer anyone is an excellence in programming that has garnered such favor and feverish devotion like no other product in Britain has done since Winston Churchill's PR machine went head to head with Nazi propaganda. If I'd been a kid in the 40s I would have wanted to be British. I am so in love with the BBC shows that come our way in the States that if I can't live in Germany I would live in Britain. It must hurt the pride somewhere close to either the greasy elbows in the House of Commons and the silver spoons in the House of Lords for television, of all things, to be the thing. And it is The Thing.

If we are going to have a Fahrenheit 451 life surrounded by four walls of chattering boob tubes then I vote that the BBC be in charge of the programming. I'd rather have Sherlock blathering on about how bored he is than deal with one more reality show from here in the armpit of mediocrity. Oooohh, better still. Four walls of televsions, the four walls of the TARDIS, being on the inside! Being up close and personal with The Doctor himself. You would never get me to leave the house if there was anyway in Hell that I would be able to be in a surround experience like that when Doctor Who is on. You want to rebuilt the British Empire? That's the way to do it.

Instead of building a broadcasting juggernaut that would topple Turner with the merest lift of an eyebrow, someone over there wants to dismantle the BBC. Being independent of advertising money has made the producers and writers work harder t have a quality product that attracts attention and gets the shares of the viewing audience. The competition from seemingly endless pools of funds has made them better. The BBC are the Olympic Athletes of the Broadcast World.

Oooohhhhh, that's it is it?  You've a bureaucrat who is being swayed by advertisers to ditch the BBC, force the shows onto commercial support channels and use the bribe of losing the fee to do it. Oh that's good. But you know what? It is stupid. Keep the fee. Keep the BBC. It makes them hungry to do well. And if the BBC is too much competition for the advert support channels then those channels need to up their game and make better shows. If you don't the whole of your entertainment industry will be nothing more than a glut of reality TV shows and you'll look like a bunch of lazy Americans.

On a personal note, the only TV I watch is the BBC on Netflix. I'd buy a license so that you can stream my shows right to me. People around the world being tortured by Sherlock and Doctor Who spoilers while waiting for their appearance on regular TV here would buy that license. Then the only thing I would watch would be the BBC and I wouldn't have to hit up youtube for my Graham Norton.

In other words, Britain....

I want my BBC! 

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