David Dale from the SMH shares his thoughts on the highs and lows of television as we approach the 50th birthday of TV in Australia.
The worst that TV showed us
Arrogance. Billions in profits have encouraged the networks to take their audience for granted. They think they can be deceptive, unreliable, arbitrary and insulting, because the viewers have nowhere else to go...
The best that TV showed us
Homicide. It wouldn't work today as crime drama or as token Australian content. But in 1966, when it won its timeslot for the first time against a US drama (The Fugitive), the critic Harry Robinson noted a cultural tipping point: "Australians may at last be willing to consider their own people with their own ways worth watching. Till now, as any showman will tell you, Australians have preferred to watch anybody but their own kind, no matter what the quality. Perhaps we have grown up enough to give ourselves a fair go..."
I think he's hit the nail on the head with every one of his "worst" category. He wouldn't be far off with his "best" list either.
If anything I'd put a caveat on the Simpsons (which should have been put to rest many seasons ago), and perhaps add "Australian Story" to "Four Corners".