I am not a fan of … but …

Ok, the secret to blogging more ? Reading Twitter, it seems…

This morning’s gem (from the amazing-in-everything Mark Gatiss):

For me this strikes me as part of the same problem highlighted by the also-excellent Charlie Brooker:

…The first face was Bob Hoskins, prompting a wave of respectful applause through the auditorium. He was followed by a photograph of the writer Eddie Braben.


Eddie Braben, of course, wrote most of Morecambe and Wise’s classic material…

From: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/19/political-automatons-nigel-farage-wacky-neighbour-sitcom

So, whilst I happily say I’m not a fan of affirmative action (the fact it exists at all is a damning statement of how wrong our collective decision making is), this feels like something that can be very much more easily remedied for TV and Film writers as it’s obvious that some of the audience are forgetting that the actors are just playing a role and that it’s not real. It would be tempting to blame reality TV for this lack of knowledge, but despite writers names being prominently featured in the title sequence, that’s typically where things stop unless you enjoy using IMDB.

So, BBC, Netflix, Lovefilm – this is your time ! Rather than the dull online categories (and yes BBC iPlayer, I’m looking at you when I find that Arts doesn’t include Music when listing TV programmes… Hmm…) lets have a prominent ‘Writers’ top level heading. It only takes one curious person who enjoyed a drama to go and click to discover a trove of material, although it takes away from the current approach of the all-hail-machine-pesudo-AI ‘Recommended For You…’ and puts control back in the viewers hands.

(aside: this is perhaps no bad move, as for myself I now ignore ‘Recommended’ lists as they are mostly ads which are not even thinly disguised anymore for most part (Lovefilm, hmm…) and easily skewed by buying presents for others…)

So whilst we’re at it, let’s get more useful and have a ‘Strong, well-written female lead’ section – ok, the wording may need some work (but hey, I know where to find some Writers now !) so we can properly address the ‘hero bloke/simpering female’ formula.

Hmm, come to think of it, perhaps we need TwitterRebuttal as a new site, where ranty people have to write more than 140 words to go on about tweets that irritate them…

← Previous Post

Next Post →


  1. Hear hear on the content of this post! I presume you’ve read this on the NetFlix categories? http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/01/how-netflix-reverse-engineered-hollywood/282679/ (apologies if you sent it to me originally :D)

    Re the first line of your post: If you really want to know the secret to blogging more… read this: http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/06/30/how-to-streamline-your-content-creation/
    You can safely click through the ‘no’s to get to the juicy ‘content’ inside.
    Prepare for your mind to be well and truly blown.
    Looking forward to hearing your road-to-Damascus story of SEO conversion.

  2. Interesting tech in the Netflix link, although I take issue with:

    When they create a show like House of Cards, they aren’t guessing at what people want.

    and counter with:

    When an American media company wants an instant hit, they take a non-US show and rewrite it to remove too many layers of subtlety and ambiguity and give the actors ‘understandable’ accents for local consumption. Viz: House of Cards and The Killing

    But given the sheer geekery of the article I can kind of forgive that πŸ™‚

    For the second, first disable JavaScript and the site is almost useful (thanks Chrome !), but it’s less a road to Damascus moment and more a desire to walk off into a field of landmines trying to pick flowers… The whole page is nothing but a call to waste time and energy doing absolutely nothing – if Harri Seldon’s theorems existed, it would show the site is a zero sum game, with the added disincentive of wasting energy and increasing entropy.

    Notice how since SEO stopped working a few years back (you, know, when META tags made a huge difference to ranking) the number of article about how to write content and SEO increased ? For the same reason that you’ll never see Sarah Beeny on TV when the property market is working well for (re)developers, there is no way to mystically ‘generate content’ that is truly worthwhile – it’s the same long hard slog as all book writers go though, and there is no shortcut.

    Yes, you may find a rich vein of personal knowledge/experience which strikes a chord and works well with little effort, but that entire piece was based on taking a large amount of fluff from A. N. Other and then regurgitating it – note that the article itself was at pains not to sound derivative, but was inciting other to derivation whilst subtly plugging the services of a copy editor.

    Ah, so there you go. Bored/underworked editors from print papers want some income, so dress up the sales pitch as information and Bingo ! SEO hits (hot topic) and a potentially helpful boost to ad-hoc proof reading, the main advantage of which is that it can be done across any time zone or location so is easy to fit in a large number of clients, even around a day job.

    So I have to ask, which blood-pressure medication firm paid you to send me the links ? πŸ˜‰

    (ahem – a public apology in advance for that Crispin ! Couldn’t resist the ending…

    …and seriously: thanks for the Netflix stuff – that was fascinating)

    • πŸ™‚ agreed on all points! (although I suspect SEO still works, in a different way… closer to traditional ideas of true marketing…)
      I think I’ve been guilty of this, I find that quicksprout article quite as odious as you do:
      “A classic liberal pitfall is the idea that by repeating one of the opposition’s ridiculous lines, you make it look even more absurd.” – http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/01/george-lakoff-interview (incidentally awesome article on frames of reference between conservatives and liberals)