11 June 2007

Culcher should be fun

The Times (on highbrow TV) ticking a not inconsiderable number of mediocracy boxes:

How would madam like us to serve up her culture today? ... Perhaps we can tempt you with today’s special: we have a sharp blonde twentysomething former DJ ... Lauren Laverne, recently brought in to front BBC Two’s The Culture Show when the team felt it had become too “bland”. Her style is informal and slightly knowing
postmodern "irony"
as if she’s relaxing with her twentysomething mates. She’s enthusiastic, but not reverent
irreverence
and without any apparent sense of cultural hierarchy
egalitarianism
She also has a habit of cocking one eyebrow as she finishes talking to camera ...

[Ed Morgan who runs The Culture Show says] he works with people in their twenties, “and they just take it for granted that people are interested in Beethoven and Jarvis Cocker”. He could be describing Lauren Laverne. “I’ve always had a catholic approach,” she says. “My aesthetic started with music, but if you’ve got a brain, and you use it, that leads off into other things. Just because you read Heat magazine, it doesn’t mean you don’t watch Simon Schama”.
awareness of politically correct history

Morgan doesn’t want The Culture Show to be too reverential ...
irreverence (again)
And what of the opposite complaint, that arts shows try too hard to be fun? Morgan is delighted to answer by quoting from Sir Kenneth Clark himself, who wrote ... that arts programmes had to be entertaining or people would switch off. ...

Sir David Attenborough once told me that one of the crucial things that distinguished the big series he commissioned as controller of the infant BBC Two, Civilisation and The Ascent of Man, was that the pace was contemplative; they left the viewer time to think. Modern popular culture simply doesn’t do contemplative
thinking is unnecessary and elitist
Perhaps it should, but like all broadcasting, arts shows are victims of the tyranny of the short attention-span
blaming dumbed down consumers
At present we still get the big, thoughtful documentaries alongside the cultural McNuggets, and, in the end, having a variety of programme styles and subjects
diversity
is what matters. In that sense, despite shrinking budgets, perhaps we’ve never had it so good. “There’s a lot of value in being excited
emotion is better than thought
and sharing something
social activity redistribution
and being passionate”
mindless enthusiasm
says Laverne.

2 comments:

Paul said...

I don't watch much TV, but isn't The Culture Show the thing which began as Late Review? I used to watch the latter (as I imagine most must have done) primarily to see whether Tom Paulin could ever make his eyes pop completely out of his head. As for the Mediocracy boxes, I think that it has probably been ticking them right from its inception: I can't recall ever seeing a programme where the guests weren't predominantly of a cultural-Marxist persuasion (the odd token --- usually Ian Hislop --- notwithstanding).

Anonymous said...

i wonder how many boxes i tick off every day?? can you give us a quiz page to test our mediocracy levels? you know, like in magazines?