Tuesday, 6 November 2007
A Television Rant
On Danuta Kean’s blog this morning - danutakean.com (blogger won’t let me embed links) I read that Richard and Judy are to be axed. (If you read the Channel Four website it is worded slightly differently of course.) They are, however, keeping the book show. What is the world coming to? Richard and Judy have become an institution. It's one of the few shows that Himself will watch.
But on to matters closer to my heart. Last night was the last episode of Doc Martin, the programme based in the fictitious Cornish village of Port Wenn, featuring Martin Clunes as the grumpy Doc who may or may not get together with the lovely schoolteacher Louisa.
This programme is one of the few that has had me increasingly hooked over the years, for several reasons. The script has a gentle sense of humour, and Martin C’s brilliant sense of timing shows that off to full effect. It is pure escapism – the sun always shines in Port Wenn – and yet the problems that the characters face are all real. Most of all, I love Doc Martin because he is the antithesis of most Heroes. He is grumpy, speaks his mind and has absolutely no bedside manner at all. And yet, he is a brilliant doctor, despite his aversion to blood.
And I’m not the only one to think this. Last week’s show attracted over 9.3million viewers and I would guess there was in increase last night when the couple were due to be married.
However, Himself disagrees. He thinks Doc is an ar******le and when last night’s fix ended in the couple not getting hitched, he was delighted.
‘Why would anyone want to marry an idiot* like that?’ he said ‘It’s a terrible programme, Pop, I can’t think why you watch such rubbish*.’
(*Idiot and rubbish weren’t quite the words he used).
And yet he could have gone to bed early. Did he? Did he hell. He sat and watched every minute, just as I did.
I was bitterly disappointed by last night’s ending. My hopes had been built up (along with over 9 million other people) and I wanted them to get married. My expectations were foiled, and I felt badly done by. Jilted. Yes, all this over a TV programme. Sad, isn’t it?
Presumably this was done to pave the way for another series. After all, if Doc and Louisa married, there would be no story. Or would there? I don’t actually see how they can continue the show having gone this far. But who knows? They have such a hit on their hands I’m sure they have a good plan up their sleeves.
But I went to bed disgruntled and woke up disgruntled. I’d been cheated of my happy ending. And I don’t expect my reaction is unique.
So, for all those that sneer at Romance – think again. It sells. It makes us happy. After all, there’s enough doom and gloom in the news – who wants more? What’s the matter with a bit of healthy escapism?