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America: We'll Take The Good Stuff - You Can Keep The Bad

THE WIRE IS coming to terrestrial televsion. BBC2 will screen the entire series on weeknights over spring. This tactic, combined with the fact the BBC is free of commercials, makes missing The-Best-TV-Show-Ever inexcusable. The Wire is often mistaken for a cops'n'robbers (or dealers, rather) drama but the sheer scope of the series is much wider than that. The Wire is a portrait of the decline of modern America (and, perhaps, the Western world). Baltimore is an entire city falling apart, from the dizzying heights of political office right down to the homeless junkies on the street. Baltimore is The Wire's microcosm of where we're at... SPEAKING OF QUALITY television... We can all breath a sigh of relief that the American model for raising advertising revenue in television and film - the dreaded product placement - won't be coming to Blighty. The government's three-month consultation raised concerns that lifting the ban on product placement would blur the lines between advertising and content We need look no further than the truly revolting Sex & the City movie, which was simply one long advert, to see how damaging product placement can be to the arts. Now no one would ever claim that something like Sex & the City had much integrity to begin with, but what possible good does this sickening glorification of capitalism, this soulless fuel for greed, do anyone - apart from advertising executives? Culture Secretary Andy Burham said: "My priority has always been to make sure we maintain levels of trust between audiences and broadcasters, and protect the standards of broadcasting for which Britain is known worldwide. I have listened carefully to the arguments on both sides around product placement, and concluded that it should not be permitted in programmes made for this country. There is a lack of evidence of economic benefits, along with very serious concerns about blurring the boundaries between advertising and editorial. Britain is known around the world for the high quality of its broadcasting output. We need to continue to preserve editorial integrity as technology advances. I am well aware that a number of commercial broadcasters are facing difficult economic times and I will continue to work with the industry to explore ways we can support them, but my preference is to consider all other avenues before allowing product placement." Just imagine the effect product placement would have on something like EastEnders. Bianca would we seen doing her grocery shopping in discount supermarkets Netto, or Lidl. The MinuteMart would become a Tesco Metro. Christian would be parading around in AussieBum boxers... Elsewhere - BBC Two to show US TV's The Wire Elsewhere - The Wire re-up Elsewhere - Product placement ban on UK television to continue

5 comments:

Sanya in España said...

Typical: The Wire gets exported and I'm nowhere near to welcome it to the country! Thank goodness for the internet.

Also, I had no idea there was even a debate on the product placement issue! Good on Burnham to maintain the integrity of British Broadcasting!

Mr. Jones said...

Baltimore is an entire city falling apart, from the dizzying heights of political office right down to the homeless junkies on the street. Baltimore is The Wire's microcosm of where we're at...

Though The Wire makes it seem rough, Baltimore isn't a bad place to be. Take it from me, I live here. Traveling to places and neighborhoods featured in that program require a special trip. For me at least.

On a lighter note...Isn't the addicting? The co-creator of the series taught at my high school.

ka-os said...

I don't doubt it for a minute, Mr. Jones. I've never considered The Wire to be a critique of Baltimore - it could be anywhere, it just happens to be Baltimore.

There's a couple of films - Kidulthood and its sequel, Adulthood, which look at the dark side of urban London life, and the stories are a world away from where my life is at...

Mr. Jones said...

Good for you for understand it's the content, not the back drop that's important. You've earned yourself another Mr. Jones point. Soon you'll find out what those can be redeemed for.

ka-os said...

To be fair I've never heard The Wire referred to as a story about Baltimore. But I could see why Baltimore(ans?) would be sensitive about outside misinterpretation...

As for those Mr Jones points - WOOF!!

 
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