The other week a journalist asked me for some quotes on how our TV summer season was faring and I pointed out that historically, the 09 / 10 season has offered an abundance of choice -at least compared to when we had just 5 channels, half of which were stuck on sport.
This year the amount of content has boomed, thanks to our extra digital channels.
But when the article appeared in print, readers hit back saying summer is still a dead zone. I got slammed. Well, it is if you stick with Australia’s Funniest Home Videos Daily Edition or Whacked Out Sports. Or you settle for a repeat of a 1995 movie. The key is to drill down and look at what is being offered on GO!, 7TWO, ABC and SBS. There have been some fantastic shows that are overlooked and deserve a little more word of mouth.
On Free to Air we’ve had The Circuit, John Adams, Lillies, Bush Slam, Torchwood: Children of Earth, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, Shrink Rap, The Graham Norton Show, Killer Whale Attack, The Colbert Report, Reaper, My Place, Gourmet Farmer, Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam, Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes, White Collar, Kingdom, Burying Brian, Make Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, Rex in Rome, Chandon Pictures, The Fixer, The Middle, and Elders with Andrew Denton.
Maybe you’ve been getting reacquainted again with old friends like Survivor, Ugly Betty, Nip / Tuck, Weeds, The Wire, Californication, Band of Brothers, Futurama, The Unit, Stargate: Atlantis, Beautiful People, Inside the Actor’s Studio or ER.
Are you basking in smiles now Big Love is back? Are your eyes popping out of your head at the steamy scenes in Dante’s Cove? Does Fringe still have its fans since its been playing new episodes? Are you now a fan of Man vs Wild or a late-night convert to The 7pm Project?
And has anyone out there actually found a gem on SBS TWO they simply have to share?
Pay TV’s offerings are too numerous to mention but summer highlights would have to include Satisfaction, The #1 Ladies Detective Agency, Gossip Girl, The Contender Australia, Hung and of course Dexter. Not succumbing to ratings pressure, the Pay sector isn’t really doing much in 09 / 10 that it didn’t do twelve months ago, whereas the landscape in Free to Air summer is wildly different.
Let’s not forget a ‘summer gem’ isn’t really a big broad hit title like Dexter or new episodes of Glee. It’s something you’ve discovered, possibly by mistake, that nobody else seems to know about.
I found another one this week: Taking The Flak. A British satire about Foreign Correspondents working for the BBC in the fictional African state of Karibu, and the lengths they will go to in order to land a story for the 6pm News. It was like Frontline meets guerilla soldiers. It’s buried at 10pm on Thursday nights on ABC2. Definitely worth a look, and I only wish I had found it earlier to write a review for the first episode last week (Ep 1 is on iView). Getting On is another little gem (it starts tonight on ABC1).
So let’s hear it. What are your newest discoveries we should all be taking a look at? Please try to keep answers succinct guys.