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I’m moving rapidly towards an information age monoculture of entertainment and information. The BBC, that paragon of Britishness, has become my main source of entertainment, news and sports. Perhaps that’s just one of the more unexpected side effects of a British education

As far as TV goes, my favourites shows by far are all on the BBC now. Top Gear, Hotel Babylon, Life on Mars, QI, Dr. Who and Waking the Dead are all the beneficiaries of Auntie’s high quality production. They come from a variety of genres and represent true quality in terms of acting, plots, execution and enjoyment then more action orientated American shows, which tend to be more glitz and glamour but a less substantial end product.

I used to be big on American TV, especially CSI Las Vegas but their recent episodes have been rather disappointing. Series 7 started with a cliff hanger, but even that succulent prospect wasn’t enough to make me actually bother watching episode 2. You might deduce it wasn’t much of a cliffhanger.

The other show I loved but don’t find myself able to watch anymore is the excellent House M.D. The brilliant Hugh Laurie in the eponymous title role and the medicine/investigative driven nature of the plot has been replaced by a much more character focused and character driven storylines. The false conflicts with all too predictable resolutions detracts from the real genius of House; its fusion of Sherlock Holmes and ER.

With that gone, all that’s left is the depressing Scrubs, which as you may have surmised, I don’t hold out too much hope for. I never got caught up in the Lost, 24 or even the newer Heroes hype and so they’ve passed me by mainly, though I have seen the odd episode of all of them. They just haven’t been intriguing enough to justify following.

For those more serious moments, the BBC succeeds far better then any other organization. Their website is a top notch news source, and their television channels, BBC News 24 and BBC World, are also excellent sources for comprehensive, global and genuinely unbiased as it is possible for a news source to be. Compared to the drivel that they call news on Fox or the mess of a site that CNN is. The big press agencies such as Reuters does have its own site, and MyWay is a particularly brilliant implementation of that. But they’re very lax generally on global coverage, and they’re not designed to make news accessible and informative, and don’t provide as much contextual information as the BBC does.

For sports, without access to Cable here in Hong Kong, I’m forced to resort to highlight shows produced by the BBC to get access to high quality football programming, the only sport I now really care to watch the action in. They have the world famous show Match of the Day, with a much better standard of analysis attached to it and better production values then anything produced by the local market. As even the highlights show is locked away on Cable, there really is not much else I can do to watch the weekend’s action.

I have everything I need to be entertained, bar movies and books, provided by one provider. In an age where the diversity of media and the open access to the market provided by the internet is meant to make us more inclined to find our niche in specialized services, it seems archaic but interesting that one company, albeit a giant one, can provide everything.

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One Comment

  1. Keep an eye out for Joost. This is high quality internet TV with some not-too-shabby backers, including Viacom which owns Comedy Central. If it ever makes it out of beta (think Gmail) we may just forget TV and cable.


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  1. […] trends and the different emphasis I was trying to carry off on different days, but since Dom has recommended Joost to me as an entertainment source, I thought I would give him the benefit of my opinion […]

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