Friday, September 19, 2008

Why Ugly Betty?

Why do I love 'Ugly Betty'?
I was just watching 'Wire In The Blood'.
This is essentially a poor relation, juvenile pretense at ersatz 'American' drama, as imagined by the tired old collection of mentally neutered dramatists employed by ITV.
They want to sneer at American drama, as too violent and melodramatic, yet seek to 'prove' that England is just as exciting by relying on the very same drama-bites and throb-cues for an effect which is so much less than the sum of its alleged parts.
There is no plot, no mystery, no characterisation - the non-events are puppeteered by gutless cyphers and the entire process is nothing more than televisual roughage intended to act as a vehicle for the requisite number of advertisements in the requisite number of hours.

The BBC imitates this, but without the adverts.

Oh yes. And everybody looks miserable to convince us of the seriousness of the non-proceedings.
Even Doctor Who has to be pimped up by using a full blown symphony orchestra to play the theme tune.

Ugly Betty is actually very, very good.

British drama is badly acted, badly written, and boring.
The talent exists somewhere, but it is all pissed up the walls of the studio executives offices in the name of keeping egos down.
It is not for nothing that Patrick McGoohan lives in exile in America. This country was too small-minded to hold him after 'The Prisoner'.

Generally, America is also filled with a surfeit of very bad television, but occasionally the talents get together and produce something good. Of course, Ugly Betty is based on a Mexican soap, but sometimes it takes talent to know talent and adapt it.
Similarly, underdog films in America, such as 'Thank You For Smoking' and 'Crash', are absolutely superb, while the vast majority of mainstream Hollywood produce is pure shit which is not worth watching. Recycled shit at that. But at least it doesn't rely on nauseating English whimsy like most domestic crap, and at least two or three good films are produced each year.

1 comment:

Pietr said...

Irish drama? The land of Joyce and Parnell?
"If Oi act Oirish will you give me some money?"
Eurovision? The biggest prize for the biggest whores.
At least when they were setting off car bombs they were being honestly expressive.
French drama?
"I went to 'Ollywood, but I stay in France and make films about France.'
Like Gerard Depardieu, the entire French film industry and actors guild rolled into one.
Germany? 'Downfall' was superb, especially in the original German.