|Index||3 reviews in total|
I was surprised to be really impressed with this. When I first heard
the pre-release hype, I wasn't interested because it just sounded like
a marketing tool for another god-awful soap.
In truth, the soap doesn't even come close to the dizzy heights of god-awful, but the backdrop of the behind the scenes action makes viewing it exquisite.
I imagine the writers are having a whale of a time letting rip at producers and some of the politics behind television, although what we see is clearly exaggerated at least in Ben Miller's wonderful character. How ITV got hold of such a good idea is beyond me. Let's hope it maintains the level it's started out with.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I must confess to some surprise to see this show in the ITV lineup. The
channel is usually filled with run of the mill drama, light
entertainment of the lightest kind, Trevor MacDonald and reality shows.
Here we have a show about the production of a fictitious awful Cornish soap opera - the arrival of a new producer who radically changes the show, hires Jason Donovan and Martine McCutcheon, brings in younger cast members, and even adds dope to the beach party. The unusual aspect of this show is that it's coupled with an episode of the aforementioned soap - so this is really a review of both shows.
Moving Wallpaper's first episode was very good; Ben Miller arrives as the new producer. He makes a lot of changes to Echo Beach (the Cornwall soap) which are then reflected in our viewing of the revamped Echo Beach - such as the addition of the token ethnic member, and his choice of Martine's dreadful dress.
Echo Beach could not be viewed in isolation, it's like Emmerdale and Hollyoaks but even worse! The show within a show idea is not new, and has been most recently done in Extras.
This is the kind of inventive TV that we need. You would normally expect to see this on Channel 4 - I read that it's part of Michael Grade's efforts to revitalise ITV, and I wish him well in that venture.
However I cannot help but suspect that the show will be cancelled after a short run if viewing figures don't meet expectations. ITV have a dreadful record in that department, including the scrapping of the last inventive British soap Night And Day in 2001.
Set among a fictional production team working on real life soap opera
"Echo Beach" this show actually was better than the soap, and lasted
Yes, it's not great, and it's taking shots at ITV doesn't really work seeing as that was the network it was on, but Ben Miller and Sarah Hadland do well with the characters and scripts they are given.
TV shows about TV shows are always tricky beasts to be successful. For every 'Studio 60' there's an appalling '30 Rock'. This show manages to walk the line between the two at times.
It was a nice idea, it nearly worked.
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