Friday, January 22, 2010

Radio Times and Newswipe

Hey look a new series of Newswipe on BBC4 last night, wait it's a repeat from Tuesday why didn't I see it then? Because it wasn't advertised.

With the expanded range of channels it's becoming more difficult to spot what's on hence I buy a listing magazine dedicated to telling me what's on - the Radio Times. But obviously it has the same difficulty in cramming all the channels into an easy to read format and can only highlight the ones it thinks are worthy of attention.

So Newswipe the second series from Charlie Brooker, who's already had three (?) series of Screenwipe and one episode of Gameswipe shown. You'd think that they might want to alert people that this is back on. Same with Mock The Week which reappeared yesterday too, and Rab C Nesbitt after a long absence.

Nope none of these got a choice and for the BBC4 it didn't even warrant a "New" next to it on the condensed listing for Tuesday.

Arguing that they advertise them on the channel is not a reason, I buy this magazine because I can't keep up with all the channels. Even if it was a valid argument you don't do yourselves any favours - oo a ad for a programme Coming Soon oh that's helpful, oo it's on at 8pm damn was that today, or tomorrow or next week; and what channel was that again? I swear I saw one that didn't give a day just a time so I looked through BBC1 - nope, 2 - nope, BBC3 BBC4 nope; turned out it was the next day. Oh and it was episode 3 of something yeah that's helpful reminding people who are already watching it when it's on :-P

So Radio Times here's an idea for you - on the first page of the day where you puff up your choices have a separate box that lists all the new series starting that day so readers can, at a glance, see if a favourite show has returned or something they've been waiting for is starting.


Orphi said...

Gotta love the whole expanded universe of channels. It used to be that only people paying £25,000/month for satelite TV had more than 5 channels. But now seemingly everybody does.

Which wouldn't be so bad, except that now instead of 5 channels of good stuff, we have 500 channels of utter crap. Burried in amoungst all that lot there might be something worth watching… but don't count on it.

I definitely preferred it back when there were only a few channels, but they had sufficient money to put together quality programs, and because they only had a handful of channels, they concentrated on putting together a decent schedule.

Now they seem to take the approach of just blasting out as much quantity as possible, with seemingly total disregard for any shred of quality.

I find this sad.

Also, I am now officially Old. Which is even more worrying! o_O

FlipC said...

Hence the rise in reality TV shows both of the X-Factor and the Fussy Eaters type and channels like Dave which are packed with repeats.

The odd gem is still there, but it just takes more to uncover it. In the same way it's all well and good for them to big-up the catch-up services, but you have to know the programme's on in the first place.

I caught Heroes because it got a big puff piece on that day's Choices page despite the fact it's moved to a different day from the last series.

I caught Being Human only because it got a two-page spread in RT, but I missed part one of Chemistry - A Volatile History on BBC4 as that only got an over the page Choice which is easy to miss.

Hmm so that's BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4 are any other channels showing anything actually worth watching at the moment? ;-)

Nah you're not getting old, you're gaining the wisdom and experience to see how crap things are getting.

Orphi said...

It seems that now we have 500 channels, and they're all showing repeats of On the Busses or Coronation Street. Worth it!

Even the likes of the BBC and Channel 4 don't seem to produce good stuff any more. Scrapheap Challenge lost a good presenter and got a muppet. Then it started to be less and less about the actual science and engineering, and more and more about the personallity clashes. (Uh, yeah, like we care! We tuned in to watch a half-ton scrap contraption flatten a car, not watch a bunch of biker dudes argue about brands of tea!)

I must be getting old. I keep having these delusions that when I was younger, there was good stuff on TV. :-(

FlipC said...

The sad thing is if we went back in time we'd be complaining about all the rubbish on though admittedly I don't think we'd be going on about the constant repeats.

I don't know, is it fair to suggest that there's physically the same amount of good television on now as there was then, but that it's just more diluted in the multi-channel swamp? Is that there really is more good stuff but again it just gets buried so it seems like less?

Difficult to be objective about this.