A word about reviewing. I’ve been paid to review stuff in the past so I like to think I know what I’m talking about (even though I don’t). And if I’m reviewing stuff here... well, a word about where I’m coming from.
It’s fun, giving things bad reviews. It’s easy; you can be devastatingly sarcastic, exaggerate for comic effect, invent colourful abuse. Writers better than me have made a career of it. But it’s something I’ll be steering to avoid.
Reason one – writing on the internet is peculiarly permanent and might one day be read by goodness knows who. Reason two – I’ve worked on things that have turned out to be rubbish, despite the best intentions and hard work of all involved, so I realise that pointing out where others have ‘gone wrong’ is not merely unfair and hypocritical, it’s ignorant. Nobody sets out to humiliate themselves, after all.
Reason three? Because just as success breeds success, failure breeds caution, loss of confidence and reduction in investment. I want original TV dramas and comedies to be successes, because then more TV dramas and comedies will get made, which means I stand a better chance of getting work (and having something decent to watch). Purely selfish reasons.
And because with each TV drama that fails, half-a-dozen other more challenging dramas won’t get made, and with each TV comedy that fails, half-a-dozen other more adventurous comedies won’t get made. The more failures there are, the more the TV people will go safe, mainstream, middle-of-the-road. So we all have a vested interest in ac-cent- tchu-uating the positive and not dwelling too long on the negative.
And reason four – I’m not an idiot. I’m not going to slag off someone’s work if there’s a chance I might have to work with them one day.