Just Plain Awful 'Comedy'

GNC

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I get a bit bored of this "we should have been damaged by the stuff we watched in the 70's" argument.


It was called life back then.
I see what you mean, but it is entertaining to see what's become unacceptable, and even just to reminisce about old stuff that spooked you way back when. Plus it can be laugh out loud funny at times.
 

Stormkhan

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When you say 'unacceptable', it suggests there are auditors/censors out there who protect the morality of the general public.
Some shows are blatantly in bad taste, and only got through in the past because it was acceptable then but not now.
Other shows (I can't honestly think of an example at the moment) are labelled (by someone?) as unacceptable and then have to walk you through what exactly is offensive.
 

GNC

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When you say 'unacceptable', it suggests there are auditors/censors out there who protect the morality of the general public.
Some shows are blatantly in bad taste, and only got through in the past because it was acceptable then but not now.
Other shows (I can't honestly think of an example at the moment) are labelled (by someone?) as unacceptable and then have to walk you through what exactly is offensive.
OK, I won't say "unacceptable" anymore, I'll say "embarrassing" or "naff".
 

Stormkhan

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Ah ... that's better. :D
Often I watch a show I remember raving about decades ago and, when I discover I can watch it again, I find it doesn't stand up to my memory version. It's not the subject matter or situation, mind. Just the humour. Like many things, I think our tastes change with time and experience.
 

GNC

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Ah ... that's better. :D
Often I watch a show I remember raving about decades ago and, when I discover I can watch it again, I find it doesn't stand up to my memory version. It's not the subject matter or situation, mind. Just the humour. Like many things, I think our tastes change with time and experience.
Yup, you can't stand in the same river twice. Of course, sometimes something that didn't click with you when you were young can truly chime when you've had different experiences since.
 

Stormkhan

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Some UK TV cop shows had the odd marvellously weird episodes. The xmas Bergerac specials sometimes featured a supernatural theme.
My one 'stick in the mind' favourite episode of Bergerac is "Fire in The Fall" which is incredibly supernatural. That and many Wycliffe episodes, especially "Wild Oats".
 

gordonrutter

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Volume Two arrived today!

And that's about the 80s so you'll be OK NF.
Volume three is about the ‘80’s as well so don’t be complaining some of your favourite memories are missing!
 

Bad Bungle

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I remember an episode of 'Crown Court' - it may have been a Christmas one, I don't remember, where the whole premise was that someone had had an accident and gravity was on trial for causing it...or something like that. Anyone else remember it? I was watching on my lunchbreak from college, so it would be around 1978/9.
Sorry I don't remember that one, as even as a student I had little time for day-time TV. However there was one episode of Crown Court from that period that did stick in the mind. An Asian shopkeeper (I think) was on trial after the Police discovered a 'bomb factory' in his house - a phrase that's appeared in newspapers many times since. His Defence pointed out that the 'bomb factory' amounted to a can of petrol in his garage, an empty milk bottle on his doorstep and a couple of J cloths under the sink.
 

catseye

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Am trundling through Wycliffe now on ITV3 when I'm home. Still waiting for a supernatural type episode, spending most of my time being offended by the dreadful pseudo-Cornish accents.
 

cycleboy2

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Am trundling through Wycliffe now on ITV3 when I'm home. Still waiting for a supernatural type episode, spending most of my time being offended by the dreadful pseudo-Cornish accents.
I watch a lot of TV crime shows – and I mean a lot – but while I have read most of the Wycliffe novels, I don't find the TV show convincing.
 

catseye

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I watch a lot of TV crime shows – and I mean a lot – but while I have read most of the Wycliffe novels, I don't find the TV show convincing.
I think it's an artifact of its time - rather overdramatic cases backed with very pretty scenery.
 

escargot

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I think it's an artifact of its time - rather overdramatic cases backed with very pretty scenery.

Like a lot of TV crime shows! The landscape itself becomes a character.

I love Columbo for its interesting cityscapes. A hilltop location was often used, either the golf course or the scrapyard, from where the distant buildings and smog of Los Angeles could be spotted. Gorgeous.

Then there's Oxford, of course. :)
 

catseye

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I don't watch all that much crime TV, but I have noticed that there's a bit of a tendency for detectives to walk and chat in the most picturesque and identifiable areas of a locality. Vera was at it last night, Bergerac used to do it, and Midsomer Murders does seem to do a lot of rural walking and talking.

I suppose it's all to do with merchandising to countries where the setting is part of the attraction. But I do find myself wondering why they would be talking there, as opposed to back at the station with all the tech and information at their fingertips.
 

Peripart

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Like a lot of TV crime shows! The landscape itself becomes a character.
Wallander being a case in point. The recent Hinterland tried something similar with the landscape around Aberystwyth, slightly less successfully.
 

escargot

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Wallander being a case in point. The recent Hinterland tried something similar with the landscape around Aberystwyth, slightly less successfully.
There's also Hidden, featuring North Wales locations that Techy and I know well.
My family are from the area and I also had a bloke there so there's a lot of winding the TV back and shouting 'Been there! Been there!''
 

escargot

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there's a bit of a tendency for detectives to walk and chat in the most picturesque and identifiable areas of a locality.
Morse was famous for this. We watched it on about its second TV run when Escet went up.
He'd tell us how the students would snort when the detectives walked through a country pub's side gate and emerge on the Trinity lawn! :chuckle:

Incidentally, the walking and talking trope is anathema to David Chase, producer of The Sopranos. He calls it cliched and insisted on using other methods of plot elucidation.
Doing without is harder than it sounds. Even the ancient Greeks had the Chorus to move things along.
 
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Schrodinger's Zebra

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As a fan of old telly stuff from the 70s and 80s (although I'm not old enough to remember the early-mid 70s stuff ;)), I am also perplexed at the idea that this stuff was damaging. On the contrary I think that some of the public information films, for example, should absolutely be shown nowadays because the messages they portrayed are still just as relevant nowadays.

Yet somehow it's as if we're all too "soft" to be shown that stuff now? For instance how to cross roads properly, don't walk around in the dark without being visible, don't overfill chip pans, etc. etc. How is that stuff not as important now?

Those books do look fun for the reminiscing aspect, though.
 

Trevp666

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Well I think they realised after spending the money on 'public information films' in the 70s that it'd be easier and cheaper to let 'natural selection' take it's course.
I spent my childhood being partly cautious of using public phone boxes lest somebody driving a Mk 1 Escort should be driving along happily at 23mph then suddenly hit the accelerator and veer off the road, smashing down the kiosk I was standing in!!!
Plus you'd need to use some celebrity to really ram the message home and they don't come cheap.
"Clunk Click, Every Trip"
 
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Stormkhan

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Am trundling through Wycliffe now on ITV3 when I'm home. Still waiting for a supernatural type episode, spending most of my time being offended by the dreadful pseudo-Cornish accents.
There's 'creepy/spooky' episodes but not out-and-out supernatural ones, as far as I remember.

I must declare my 'specialist' interest in crime fiction, and Wycliffe in particular. I possess and have read nearly all the published works of the series, and enjoy them immensely.
I've lived and worked (for a short while) in Cornwall, so I love the scenery in the series for bringing back memories etc. Yeah, I know, it has it's moments when places are ... er ... out of place, such as the aforementioned going through a gate which - if existing - doesn't actually lead to where shown. A particular back-alley seen in an early part of A Fish Called Wanda does this to me, as do scenes in several movies that are shot in the Brompton Cemetery ( Johnny English and Sherlock Holmes being notable).
The excuse I can see being reasonable is that for many non-aficionados, the irregularity isn't visible. They're watching the plot, not the scenery for familiarity. We must accept that some things in a book cannot be translated to a visual medium. Like unfamiliar settings lead to info-dumps and internal dialogue becoming 'stating the obvious' to a second character.
I enjoy the Wycliffe series for two separate reasons: I like being reminded of familiar scenery and - unconnected, sort of - watching a plot unfold or a story told.
And as far as real-life procedures being overlooked, well ... it's for dramatic effect isn't it? Why would a senior lab pathologist undertake criminal investigation when that isn't their job? Why would a copper over a certain rank be 'on the beat', interviewing suspects? It's drama. And often, real life isn't very dramatic.
This is why soap operas aren't about real life. The incidents portrayed do happen, granted, but not in such a limited milieu and in such a short space of time. Generally. It is obvious that the setting for Midsomer Murders is too crime-ridden for reality in the same way that Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote would have no friends because this would ensure that at some point, they'd be suspected of murder! :)
 

GNC

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I took the "Scarred for Life" title as being a humorous one, not an actual claim that those things really scarred children for life. Can anyone who has read them confirm?
Eh, it's kind of a mix of being amused at what was presented as entertainment but was actually disturbing and a respect for it going as far as it did. For self-published books they're pretty good: though a few mistakes slip through ("the oppressive yolk"?!) it's clear they have watched/read/heard what they're discussing prior to writing about them, so it's not like a Twitter thread of half remembered vagueness.
 

catseye

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There's 'creepy/spooky' episodes but not out-and-out supernatural ones, as far as I remember.

I must declare my 'specialist' interest in crime fiction, and Wycliffe in particular. I possess and have read nearly all the published works of the series, and enjoy them immensely.
I've lived and worked (for a short while) in Cornwall, so I love the scenery in the series for bringing back memories etc. Yeah, I know, it has it's moments when places are ... er ... out of place, such as the aforementioned going through a gate which - if existing - doesn't actually lead to where shown. A particular back-alley seen in an early part of A Fish Called Wanda does this to me, as do scenes in several movies that are shot in the Brompton Cemetery ( Johnny English and Sherlock Holmes being notable).
The excuse I can see being reasonable is that for many non-aficionados, the irregularity isn't visible. They're watching the plot, not the scenery for familiarity. We must accept that some things in a book cannot be translated to a visual medium. Like unfamiliar settings lead to info-dumps and internal dialogue becoming 'stating the obvious' to a second character.
I enjoy the Wycliffe series for two separate reasons: I like being reminded of familiar scenery and - unconnected, sort of - watching a plot unfold or a story told.
And as far as real-life procedures being overlooked, well ... it's for dramatic effect isn't it? Why would a senior lab pathologist undertake criminal investigation when that isn't their job? Why would a copper over a certain rank be 'on the beat', interviewing suspects? It's drama. And often, real life isn't very dramatic.
This is why soap operas aren't about real life. The incidents portrayed do happen, granted, but not in such a limited milieu and in such a short space of time. Generally. It is obvious that the setting for Midsomer Murders is too crime-ridden for reality in the same way that Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote would have no friends because this would ensure that at some point, they'd be suspected of murder! :)
I worked for a long time in Cornwall, on a dairy farm near Tregony. I don't have a problem with scenery being shown at all, it's just when it takes the place of character development or even vaguely believable plot. "Never mind that the suspect has escaped because of a huge and implausible plot contrivance, and has told the detective on the phone that they will meet them in some secluded and isolated spot to tell them the main crux of the matter when they could have just said it on the phone. Look at the lovely coastline! LOOK AT THE TREES!"

I laught at Midsomer Murders for this very thing. Still enjoy watching it though.
 

escargot

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I worked for a long time in Cornwall, on a dairy farm near Tregony. I don't have a problem with scenery being shown at all, it's just when it takes the place of character development or even vaguely believable plot. "Never mind that the suspect has escaped because of a huge and implausible plot contrivance, and has told the detective on the phone that they will meet them in some secluded and isolated spot to tell them the main crux of the matter when they could have just said it on the phone. Look at the lovely coastline! LOOK AT THE TREES!"

I laught at Midsomer Murders for this very thing. Still enjoy watching it though.
Yup but would you want all the exposition done on the phone? As you say, this stands out in Midsomer Murders but you still watch it. You're watching it because it's beautiful.
(That's part of the joke, of course. Midsomer Murders is high black humour; the basest of human behaviour depicted in the most delightful English rural environment.)
 

Schrodinger's Zebra

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I worked for a long time in Cornwall, on a dairy farm near Tregony. I don't have a problem with scenery being shown at all, it's just when it takes the place of character development or even vaguely believable plot. "Never mind that the suspect has escaped because of a huge and implausible plot contrivance, and has told the detective on the phone that they will meet them in some secluded and isolated spot to tell them the main crux of the matter when they could have just said it on the phone. Look at the lovely coastline! LOOK AT THE TREES!"

I laught at Midsomer Murders for this very thing. Still enjoy watching it though.
It's a running tradition here in the Zebra household that as soon as a character in a programme/film has telephoned the police/a friend to tell them they have something important to divulge, that we both say "oh that's him/her a gonner then" or somesuch, because we just know that character isn't going to live long enough to say it :)
 
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