Sunday, July 27, 2008

I tried, I really did

Via Matt Sinclair, here's A A Gill ripping into the Beeb's latest load of crap, Burn Up. [Emphasis mine.]
Imagine writing this: “It is my belief we are standing on the very edge of history.” Having written it, what would a normal, sensitive, moderately intelligent person do? Well, 99% of us wouldpush the delete button with a faint shiver or tear up the piece of paper so that the young and impressionable couldn’t read it. We understand that it’s utter bilge, but, you see, that’s why we’re not scriptwriters. It takes a very special person to write that sentence and think: “Yes, high five, nice job, really profound! What shall I do next?”

Watching it was a bit like being manacled to the table at a Notting Hill dinner party, or being lectured by a vegan vitamin salesman.

The finger-wagging about global warming was relentless and unabating, all couched in the comfy velour of the edge-of-history and watershed gibberish. The goodies were witty, brilliant, sensitive, imaginative, attractive, sexy and great dancers - rather, I suspect, like the scriptwriters. The baddies were, well,they were all American. This was film-making from the Soviet school of political subtlety, a childishly black-and-white premise, delivered with a patronising blog of a script, which overwhelmed the plot, pace, anything resembling a character and, finally, the audience’s sympathy.

I tried watching it this evening; believe me, it wasn't even that good. I only got half way through the first episode and had to switch it off before I tore out my eyes and stuck knitting-needles through my ear-drums.

Here's another good review of the piece of shit, and Matt Sinclair also destroys the fantasy.
Stephen Garrett, a spokesman for Kudos Film and Television who made Burn Up, was quoted in the BBC press release for the show describing it as "a potent cocktail of fiction and fact that we hope will enlighten as much as it will entertain". This programme can't be assessed just as harmless fiction. It is political propaganda and should be understood as such.

Indeed it is: and, like most propaganda, it was absolute bullshit, lies dressed up as pretty actors peddling plausibility.

Burn Up was unmitigated shite of the very first oil water...

UPDATE: Another good quote from Matt...
Burn Up isn't really trying to enlighten people but, like Al Gore's film, to create an emotional reaction. To scare people so that rational and measured debate over policy can safely be avoided, so that proper scrutiny of policy can be written off as irresponsible and immoral.

That pretty much sums up the entirety of the pro-catastrophic climate change lobby.


Trooper Thompson said...

What's the betting they'll be showing it at school?

Carl Richardson said...

I caught a few minutes of episode one. Pure crap.

A woman set herself afire because an oil company boss wouldn’t believe her about global warming (I think).

That can't have been good for her carbon footprint.

Fophillips said...

I watched the first episode with my Guardian reading parents. They failed to believe that it was a work of fiction, despite me pointing out all of the technical innacuracies (lies) throughout. By the time it got to the bit where they somehow managed to break through some "permafrost" (which struck me as quite odd seeing as permafrost is frozen fucking mud) I was literally shouting at them for being such morons.

Needless to say, I didn’t watch the second episode.

Roger Thornhill said...

That can't have been good for her carbon footprint.

On the contrary, I bet her footprints were very carbonized from that point on...

Anyhow, the "manacled to a dinner table" reminded me of the excellent last line in The Thing blood test scene:

Nosemonkey said...

Proving global warming with special effects was hilarious, I thought ("Look! I've set the ground on fire! We're all going to die! Now shag me, Neve 'remember her?' Campbell!").

Next we'll find Lembit Opik getting his meteorite defence programme funded by getting everyone to watch Armageddon.

In short: it was about as convincing as Star Trek IV's whole "Don't kill whales or we'll be blown up by an immense alien spaceship" thing.

Andrew Zalotocky said...

Burn Up and the notorious White Girl - yes, I know that sounds like a hip-hop act - left me wondering whether the BBC has always been like this and I just didn't used to notice, or whether something significant has changed recently?

There's no doubt that the BBC has been solidly left-wing for a long time, and has produced plenty of radical left-wing dramas over the years. But it seems to me that what's changed recently is that the BBC has abandoned its old commitment to quality. Radical drama would once have meant a well-written piece by a serious writer, whereas now it means moronic agitprop that would have embarrassed Pravda. Like almost everything else on the BBC, the political messages have been dumbed-down and coarsened.

This in turn implies a fundamental change in the BBC's attitude to its audience. Instead of assuming that they are making television for an intelligent audience who will appreciate quality work, BBC programme makers now seem to assume that they are making moving wallpaper for monkeys.

Roger Thornhill said...

BBC programme makers now seem to assume that they are making moving wallpaper for monkeys.

The rot started with Eastenders.

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