Thursday, 22 January 2015

Trash, me and you

Stuart Heritage in The Guardian is celebrating news about a new televisual highlight imminently heading to our screens:
Amid all its troubled antiheroes and fatalistic gunplay, the golden age of television has been desperately short of one thing: trash. Not your common or garden, lowest common denominator, mass market, light entertainment crap – switch on your TV after 5pm on any given Saturday and you’ll practically drown in the stuff – but knowing, high-drama, campy trash. Trash such as Footballers’ Wives and Desperate Housewives.

We’ve come close – Scandal is clearly preposterous but takes itself slightly too seriously, and House of Cards perpetually seems seconds away from turning into a full-scale Frankie Howerd parody of itself – but it has always been hard to shake the feeling that most modern showrunners have been too busy eyeing up prestige to fully commit to trash.

Thank God, then, for Mark Schwahn and his forthcoming series The Royals. It is an American-made drama about a present-day British royal family. Liz Hurley plays the Queen. Joan Collins plays the Queen Mum. If those last 11 words didn’t immediately fill your heart with uncontrollable joy, there’s a good chance that you’re a lost cause.

Do we share his enthusiasm? Hmmmmm.

From a purely camp perspective, this could well have that "Showgirls Effect" - whereby a really bad movie became a cult, beloved of drag acts and "quote-a-long-a" parties for many years - but maybe that's an ambition too far.

Will I watch it? That I very much doubt. I'll just wait for the fall-out...

The Royals premières on Sunday, March 15th at 10pm on E!


  1. "Plays" the Queen Mum?
    I always thought she was already!

    1. Can you imagine if she was? It would be the spectre of Dame Barbara Cartland all over again... Jx

  2. I was going to ask you two questions relating to TV a) are you going to watch cucumber and banana tonight and b) what was it about the ITV Jeeves and Wooster that bothered you (or is it all versions of Wodehouse?)

    I don't agree with the idea that something can be so bad it's good. Dallas and Dynasty were good, in their way. They weren't good in the same way as I Claudius or a The sopranos and no one pretended they were. Why make a show deliberately badly?

    1. a) No. I am listening to the most marvellous interpretation of Richard Strauss' sFour Last Songs by Karita Mattila with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle; and
      b) I thought Fry and Laurie were a bit "knowing", not in keeping with the era of the stories; a little too much of their "Cambridge Footlights graduate/alternative comedy boom of the 80s" background was in evidence and not enough mannered PG Woodhouse for my liking. [Compare and contrast the more recent "Blandings" adaptations with Jennifer Saunders and Timothy Spall...]

      And, I agree - why deliberately make a bad programme? Surely that is exactly what shit reality TV producers do? Hence the "success" of "professional morons" like the cast of TOWIE, any one of the Kardashians or that twat Dapper Laughs.It isn't funny, it isn't big, and it certainly isn't clever.


  3. That's the thing then, I don't think I've read any Wodehouse, but love Fry and Laurie so they're 'my' version of it.

    I hope I'll get to see something of cucumber/banana, it doesn't seem likely at the moment.


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