Thursday, April 04, 2013

Some people were concerned about SadieJ when it launched in January 2011. Here is one such person's comment from the Digital Spy forums:-

"... In it there is a boy called "Kit" who is suggested will come out as Gay. He acts and sounds very feminine, exfoliates, and lurves JLS. I dont think this is appropriate in childrens programmes. ..."

However, that homophobe needn't have worried at all, because, as readers of this blog know, CBBC bosses believe that portrayal of a gay teen is inappropriate on BBC children's TV. Kit was, indeed, quite feminine. So much so that the subtitlers initially appeared to believe Kit was actually a girl (see blog on 19th Jan 2011) Digital Spy "fears" that Kit would come out as gay were unwarranted. His feminine demeanour proved nothing, and by the end of the third and final series viewers were none the wiser as to Kit's sexual orientation. Nor, in fact, were there any other explicitly gay characters in the series. Here Dede meets her hero Captain Skylo aka Tom Roberts - the "manly but approachable" TV presenter. Tom is, in reality, Robert Evans, the person ultimately responsible for SadieJ.

SadieJ was, generally speaking, an unbelievably bad example of British television. There were three or four reasonable episodes, and the series did introduce some talented actors. But unfortunately there seems to be a complete lack of quality control on BBC children's TV. The poor content standard was evident from series 1, where the last two episodes were mostly made up of a number of short clips from earlier episodes all stitched together in a haphazard fashion into a barely watchable whole.

Despite the awful series 1, the powers that be commissioned another two series. Having got away with it in series 1, it should come as no surprise that the quality didn't improve. In this excerpt from series 3, episode 5, Keith's throw-away remark that everyone loves a competition is the excuse for an assortment of competition-related clips from earlier episodes. And here, in a later episode, Dede's comment about Sadie always causing chaos leads to more rehashed material. Eventually the actual re-use of old content becomes the joke in itself, as you can see here, here and here.

But if you think the problem of rehashed content is restricted to SadieJ, guess again. In fact it is spreading to other BBC children's programmes as well. Look at this excerpt from episode 12 of the latest series of The 4 O'Clock Club. Josh refuses to unlock the door, saying "you've been on my back all term," which serves as an excuse for some flashbacks. Then, after two minutes of time filling, Dexter replies "if I've been on your back it's usually been for a good reason." Cue more recycled stuff. And it doesn't just stop there, the old clips just keep on coming.

Tony Hall talking on Channel 4 News to Krishnan Guru-Murthy

A new Director-General has just taken over at the BBC. Tony Hall told former Newsround presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy that he wants to do all he can to "enable the very best programmes and content to be made." Lord Hall will have his work cut out just to get BBC children's TV back on track.

No comments: