BY ANDREW MOODY
In the age of Amazon Prime and Netflix and the thousand channels of Sky TV, and even more importantly, the age of imposed lockdown, is it just me or has TV gotten worse? Ever since 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, the last great movie made within the Hollywood system before Trump’s contentious election, and Harvey Weinstein’s ignominious demise in Rikers Island, movies have become poorly written CGI nightmares. It is now 2020, and one must imagine the average age of the Hollywood screenwriter is 35, making them born well after literature was fashionable and computer-generated effects were. The new Skywalker trilogy was about as dull and anodyne as an episode of Bless This House which is currently playing as I type. The Simpsons is onto its 30th season and lost its edge twenty years ago.
South Park made the error of making Mr Garrison a bastardised form of Donald Trump, the first time they have directly disregarded a president elect for no other reason than immaturity and LA jealousy. Now the show has no satirical bite and is haemorrhaging viewers, even inspiring Trump fans to start the hashtag #CancelSouthPark to which Parker and Stone responded with the hashtag #CancelTheSimpsons . Both might be an idea.
Disney and Pixar are amongst the few production companies making a profit, and with the Covid 19 lockdown in effect, cinemas are empty, meaning all new movies that have not postponed their release dates are straight to Pay Per View. Whilst some people will watch anything, it is the children’s movies that make the hard cash and for good reason.
The audience has preferred to become the stars, with social media like Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok and YouTube taking up more time of teenagers than viewing the tube.
The Bitterati, the anti Trumpers and anti Brexiteers are busying themselves attacking politicians and Conservative celebrities online, rotting in their one-bedroom flats and presumably not bothering to take their allocated exercise time in the fresh air.
Families are finding more and more activities they can utilise during the lockdown, if lucky enough to have a garden then football and a paddling pool, chess, monopoly, and the good old book that parents are finding their children thoroughly enjoy. Thank God for Roald Dahl!
Frankly, daytime TV is as dull as it’s ever been, and the only vital aspect of television, the news, has never been so biased.
Television used to be the centre of the British home. I remember TFI Friday, Friends and Frasier on takeaway days every Friday as a kid, and maybe a movie if I was lucky. That seems like a long time ago. Now the focus of the British citizen is the smartphone and the TV a relic in the corner that has little to no entertainment value. It is a brave new world, one where TV may have little place in the new normal.
Follow Andrew Moody on Twitter @Voguishfiction