Guilty pleasure TV - we love it
As the second series of The Royals gears up for production - full details on Production Intelligence including crucial hires, dates and studio - we thought it might be a good time to take a look at some of the shows that make great viewing in a "I-should-be-watching-something-more-highbrow" kind of way.
1) The Royals. Leading the way is the aforementioned The Royals - an unashamedly glossy, glamorous, and over-the-top offering that sees Elizabeth Hurley as the Queen Consort of England and our hero Dame Joan Collins as the Queen Mother. What's not to love? Anyone who is sniffy about this one is just hiding the fact they would actually really love to be part of such a fabulously frivolous folderol…
2) First Dates. Channel 4's will-they-won't-they blind dating show which has just won a fourth series commission with a bumper run of 24 episodes, is right up there in our book. From factual and entertainment behemoth Twenty Twenty Television, the series follows singletons as they embark on blind dates in a swanky London restaurant. We find ourselves rooting for the genuinely lovelorn and cheering on those whose feelings are requited. 24 episodes will do us nicely, thank you.
3) Any kind of soap omnibus. OK, we know, in these days of multi-screen VoD and binge-streaming, an old fashioned omnibus on terrestrial telly may seem a little pedestrian. But. There is nothing better at the weekend than waking up with a Dirty Martini hangover and finding to your delight that a whole week's worth of Corrie is about to start. Through your fuggy haze it feels as if you have happened upon the Rosetta Stone, only more important.
4) A & E ob-docs. We can't get enough of Channel 4's fixed rig show 24 Hours in A&E. Those genuinely crucial minutes in the emergency room and the unflinching professionalism and modesty of the nurses and doctors (ob Docs?) who do such extraordinary things every day in order to save lives are truly compelling. And the life-affirming gratitude shown by the patients is pretty affecting too. Properly humbling stuff.
5) Judge Rinder. This just shouldn't work but it does. For those of you old enough to remember, it has a touch of Crown Court about it, even though the cases that Rinder presides over are real. A low key, modest, sometimes downbeat kind of reality TV, portraying some of the most obscure and unlikely small claims somehow keeps us watching. Plus, when you're watching the enigmatic Rinder at work, you can't forget that he is one of Benedict Cumberbatch's bezzie mates, which leaves you in a state of bemused jealousy and fascination.
So there you have it - our pick of telly programmes that just keep us coming back for more. Let us know your favourites by leaving a comment below.
Also on The Knowledge
Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC, has said more will be done to improve the corporation’s balance of production spending in Scotland over the next decade.
A new joint venture between Pinewood Group plc and StoryFirst PST Limited has been announced, in the shape of Pinewood Television Limited.
Danny Boyle’s follow-up to the seminal Trainspotting is gathering pace nicely, with a late spring shoot on the cards.
A feature-length adaptation of Jasper Fforde’s fantasy novel The Last Dragonslayer is in the pipeline at Sky 1.
Damian Kavanagh, who is leading the transition from terrestrial to online, has today outlined specific details of the plans for the channel.
Film production needs to do more to represent society, says Asante.