Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Missus, Will ya Make me tea? Make love to me? Put on the telly? To the BBC!"*

One of the interesting and ironic things about me is that I use an internet "handle" of BBCAmericanGirl on both Flickr and Twitter, but, in all actuality, I am highly disappointed with the programming on BBC America.

First thing, despite the fact it costs extra to get BBC America, they run commercials, and they run a LOT of them. An English friend of mine who was visiting my house and watched some BBC America couldn't get over the volume of commercials the channel runs. They also edit down their own television shows so that they can accommodate the volume of commercials that we show in America. They cut a lot of "Doctor Who", so much so that my friend MEM had no idea how the episode of "Forest of the Dead" really ended until it came out on dvd. We were reduced to watching the second series of "Ashes to Ashes" on YouTube because PLOT POINTS were edited out. Also, the channel is supposed to be available in HD - well, not on Comcast in Boston!

Next, the programming is not what it used to be. They run a lot of repeats, and for some unknown reason, they are showing "Star Trek: the Next Generation" like it is a first run series. I am tired of seeing the same episodes of Gordon Ramsey and Top Gear. They used to show some wonderful "Sunday night" television like "Monarch of the Glen" and "Wild at Heart" and had fantastic mysteries on Monday nights, but that's all gone now. There are some really great shows on the BBC that we NEVER get to see here. I feel like the best of BBC (and ITV) programming gets picked up by PBS; BBC America doesn't even try to get them. There are costume dramas that we only get on dvd over here ("Desperate Romantics"), and there are comedies that American audiences would appreciate that they don't air either. However, they sell them on DVD and BluRay in the BBCAmerica Shop.

The sad thing is that I am not alone on this. It is disappointing to read the BBCAmerica Facebook page where fans routinely make this same point about the programming, yet nothing is changed. With the technology of this day and age, there are other ways of getting BBC programming without watching BBCAmerica. I really think that the channel would do better to notice these criticisms and see where there is room for improvement. I certainly don't watch it the way I used to, and my mom canceled it a while back.

The good thing is that when I was in Ireland, I was reminded of how great the programming is on the REAL BBC . I just wish that BBCAmerica could be even 75% as good.

* from "BBC" by Ming Tea (Austin Powers soundtrack)

PS. In a recent commercial, BBC America implies that the MIT TARDIS hack was somehow related to them, and the TARDIS was going to show up in other localities. NICE TRY. (not!)

1 comment:

  1. BBC America has improved since the days when they ran lots of Benny Hill shows, but only a little . . . I'm bored with it quite frankly and haven't watched it in a while.



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