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.
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