|Index||3 reviews in total|
Why can't other arts programming be made to the same calibre as this? I must admit that I didn't really expect much from another list show but after seeing the calibre of the interviewees on the trailer (John Hurt, Robert Lindsay etc) I thought I'd give it a go and was very pleasantly surprised. Apart from being beautifully shot there was a real integrity to both the pool of dramas included, covering over 40s years and every one a bona fide classic and to the people chosen to talk on them. Reading like a who's who of TV, for practically every drama in the list we heard first hand about the production from either the makers or the stars or more often than not both. What's more for once the programme makes didn't assume that the audience at home was stupid it was intelligent as well as entertaining. I didn't agree with all the rankings and some of my more obscure favourites were no way to be seen on the list but then again there were some dramas I had never heard of and will now definitely seek out. You're never going make a list that pleases everyone all the time but as an inspiring reference for the great drama that's made for TV you could do much worse than check this out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Normally I don't bother with these compilation programmes because they
are full of c-list celebrities talking about things without always
having the required knowledge or passion about which they speak.
Personally I do find that annoying because the only point of these
lists is to spark interest and debate. If the contributions can't be
passionate about what is on there, what hope does the audience have?
Well in this case I made an exception because it was shorter than
normal (often these lists are run in two three-hour sections over
different nights) and also on a subject I cared about television
To its credit most of the contributions about each series actually involves people who made or were in the series themselves. This is a good thing as it prevents the usual idiots babbling and gives more weight to the discussion. Occasionally the show will fall into the usual trap and some celebs say some stupid things that reveal that they can barely remember the series they are discussing or, just plain lack any energy for the subject.
Of course this is a problem with this type of show and is hard to avoid. The list is very UK centric, which is of course fine because it is a UK film. It gives a good breakdown of series down the years and there were only one or two that I thought did not deserve to be on there (hey I love 24 but to have it here was a bit of a joke!). My age also limited my interest as I hadn't seen a large number of the series but what really bugged me about this list was what was left out. Now remember that list was voted for by people working within dramatic television and not ready-meal eating council house residents who think that Corrie should be #1. So, bearing that in mind, where the hell was Six Feet Under? This bugged me a little bit but I held out hope right until #2 was revealed (I knew Sopranos was therefore #1).
What I was holding out hope for? Two words: The Wire. Understandable if the viewing public were voting but unforgivable that those working in drama would not even consider it worthy enough to make it into the 50. This bugged me a great deal. To me it is not a matter or me moaning that my favourite show isn't on there it is a matter of saying that one of the strongest television series ever made was simply ignored which is a criminal thing. I had hoped it would make it on and that praise from contributors would win it a few more viewers on TV or DVD. However I was not prepared for its total omission and it did (along with a few other omissions) take a great deal away from my respect or interest in the rest of the list.
Overall then, a solid enough list programme that benefits from having those involved in the shows talking about them in the place of the usual z list. However while some omissions may spark debate and get people talking (Oz? H:LOTS?), the list may leave some viewers just plain offended by the omission of some critically acclaimed shows such as 6 Feet Under. Personally I feel that the failure of these "experts" in the dramatic field to even consider The Wire means that their opinions are not really ones I should be concerned myself with for the three hour running time. So, to save you three hours, if you wish, here are the top 50: 01. The Sopranos 02. Boys From The Blackstuff 03. Edge of Darkness 04. The Singing Detective 05. Cathy Come Home 06. The West Wing 07. Cracker 08. Our Friends in the North 09. Twin Peaks 10. Heimat 11. Prime Suspect 12. Pennies From Heaven 13. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 14. I, Claudius 15. Das Boot 16. A Very British Coup 17. This Life 18. Abigail's Party 19. Hill Street Blues 20. Queer As Folk 21. Sex Traffic 22. Bleak House 23. House of Cards 24. Shameless 25. Talking to a Stranger 26. Doctor Who 27. 24 28. Scum 29. Brideshead Revisited 30. Traffik 31. Blue Remembered Hills 32. Warriors 33. The Naked Civil Servant 34. Bloody Sunday 35. Auf Wiedersehen Pet 36. Talking Heads 37. Hillsborough 38. The Prisoner 39. Shooting The Past 40. Pride and Prejudice 41. GBH 42. Made in Britain 43. The Jewel in the Crown 44. Threads 45. Z Cars 46. Caught on a Train 47. Upstairs, Downstairs 48. State of Play 49. Roots 50. Band of Brothers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This countdown voted by the British public was a very interesting countdown. I had an idea of what might be number one, but I wasn't even close. Dramas are a television programme that uses all emotions in life to tell a story, whether realistic or not. The dramas that featured included: Band of Brothers; Upstairs, Downstairs, Z Cars, The Jewel in the Crown, Made in Britain, G.B.H., Pride and Prejudice, The Prisoner, Hillsborough; Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, The Naked Civil Servant, Blue Remembered Hills, Scum, 24, Doctor Who, Shameless, House of Cards, Bleak House, Sex Traffic, Queer as Folk, Abigail's Party, This Life, A Very British Coup, Das Boot; I, Claudius; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Prime Suspect, Twin Peaks, Cracker, The West Wing - Pilot Episode, Cathy Come Home, The Singing Detective, Edge of Darkness, Boys from the Blackstuff and number one was The Sopranos. With contributions by Paul Abbott, Jon Amiel, Anthony Andrews, Annabelle Apsion, Joe Don Baker, John Barrowman, Brian Blessed, Charles Dance, Phil Daniels, Jack Davenport, Andrew Davies, Russell T. Davies, Anne-Marie Duff, Derek Hatton, John Hurt, Mick Jackson, Geraldine James, David Leland, Robert Lindsay, Tim McInnerny, Kyle Maclachlan, James Nesbitt, Bill Paterson, John Simm, Alison Steadman, David Tennant, Johnny Vegas, and narrated by Miriam Margoyles. Very good!
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