2010 Critics’ Choice: …and the worst
Aussie TV critics pick their worst for the year and identify some of the key trends of the last 12 months.
In the second of two feature articles, Aussie TV critics pick their worst for the year: amongst the list are Cops LAC, The X Factor, Warnie, The Matty Johns Show.
They also identify some of the key trends of the last 12 months. What will be 2010’s legacy to television?
DOG OF THE YEAR: Cops: LAC
COLIN VICKERY: In one sense this is the easiest section to answer (so many barkers) but narrowing it down to one is a problem. The public voted with their remote controls and rejected The Bounce, The White Room and Australia Versus amongst others and the public was right – none of those shows had any redeeming features.
JAMES MANNING: The Matty Johns Show.
AMANDA MEADE: The X Factor
GREG HASSALL: Warnie. OK, expectations weren’t high but this was awful. Once you recovered from Shane’s blindingly white teeth there was the least revealing interview ever recorded (James Packer) and an ancient, racist and unfunny 12th Man sketch. And that was just the first 15 minutes of episode one.
HOLLY BYRNES: Cops LAC and Beat The Star; and a dishonorable mention for Warnie’s dentist – those pearly whites were a shocker!
RICHARD CLUNE: From the opening – a foot pursuit along Coogee Beach – there was a pungent smell of the familiar attached to Nine’s woeful Cops: LAC. It got worse, of course, Martin Dingle Wall the main offender, with Kate Richie doing her best with what was a meandering and clichéd script that took Aussie drama back two decades. Audiences proved their desire for intelligent, original drama and quickly turned off.
ANDREW MERCADO: Cops LAC.
NICOLE BRADY: a tie between Iron Chef Aust and Warnie.
MOST OVER-HYPED: The X Factor
COLIN VICKERY: Cops LAC – Kate Ritchie’s return to a starring role on Aussie TV was a huge letdown. Bad scripting made even seasoned actors like Roy Billing and Gary Sweet look ordinary. Other shows in this section would include The X Factor, Top Gear Australia and Hey Hey It’s Saturday.
JAMES MANNING: The Matty Johns Show.
AMANDA MEADE: The X Factor.
GREG HASSALL: The X Factor. It was noisy, unfocused but worst of all featured very little talent. The judging panel showed neither authority nor charisma.
HOLLY BYRNES: The X Factor.
RICHARD CLUNE: Underbelly: The Golden Mile – sure it proved better than Matt Newton’s extended nudie run in A Tale Of Two Cities, but the hype didn’t match the execution. Emma Booth made the rest of the cast seem amateurish – and this was arguably her softest role since filming kids TV in Western Australia. Firass Dirani also deserves a nod. Gratuitous and unnecessary slo-mos had me expecting a guest appearance from David Hasslehoff, while Dougie The Pizza Boy (let’s be honest, no one knows his real name) and Shane from Home and Away were surely written as copper caricatures? Thankfully Toby Shmitz and Claire Van Der Boom step up in one of next year’s films – here’s hoping the writing does too.
ANDREW MERCADO: The X Factor.
NICOLE BRADY: Junior MasterChef.
TRENDS OF 2010: The Year of Multichannels
COLIN VICKERY: The Block showed that there is still plenty of interest in home renovations – something that will please Channel 10 with their big event renovation show next year. The end of Lost and poor figures for The Event spelt the death of brain twisting TV dramas for the forseeable future. The rise of shows like Glee and Beauty and the Geek showed that feel-good TV is still very much what audiences want at the moment.
JAMES MANNING: In terms of audience numbers – small can be beautiful.
GREG HASSALL: The rise of the multichannels and the resulting resurgence of free-to-air TV. Suddenly it looks like a viable business again – as demonstrated by Packer and Murdoch buying into Ten. Long-term challenges remain but for now it’s looking good.
HOLLY BYRNES: Twitter feeds. The audience got active and nowhere better than on Q&A.
Digital channels. Yes there’s the expected clutter of crap but a great platform to build on next year.
RICHARD CLUNE: Multi-channels and the cannibalisation of the main FTA audience as viewers finally embrace “those other channels”… Now the networks need to produce some local content for them.
ANDREW MERCADO: Hopefully the year singing talent contests died in the arse.
NICOLE BRADY: Cop shows waned.
PROGRAMMING TRENDS OF 2010: Rinse and Repeat
COLIN VICKERY: A prominent Channel 9 executive once said ‘a repeat isn’t a repeat unless you’ve seen it’ – hence the endless repeats of Two and a Half Men. This year, Nine applied the same philosophy to Top Gear and still managed excellent ratings. Ten even got in on the act, deciding to do endless repeats of Modern Family – even though it had only screened one season. Madness.
JAMES MANNING: Fascination with real crime came to a screeching halt and there seems to be an audience resurgence for lifestyle so watch for that to come screaming back into primetime in 2011 and/or 2012. The LifeStyle Channel reckon they have ever decent show locked up, but we’ll see!
AMANDA MEADE: Interactive TV, as in watching Q&A and tweeting.
GREG HASSALL: Hopefully we’ve seen the end of the talent show for a while. The failure of The X Factor to take off, Ten’s axing of So You Think You Can Dance Australia and its cancellation of Don’t Stop Believing all point to a genre that is depleted and an audience desperate for a change. Also notable this year was how few new ideas were aired. Most shows were ongoing dramas and franchises or local versions of overseas formats.
ANDREW MERCADO: Digital channels proved to be just as unreliable as the main free-to-air channels with last minute program changes, interrupted runs and an overwhelming focus on American and British repeats.