Update 9pm. I’m sorry. Looking at this entry, I realise it’s as dull as ditchwater. I strongly recommend you go read something else. I’ll have something better for you tomorrow.
I used to love TV. I don’t anymore. If anything is an example of how my love for TV has diminished, it’s The Bill.
In the early-90s I loved The Bill; perhaps part of a fascination at the time for all things British. For a while I taped every episode, and re-watched them regularly. I also watched a lot of other TV, and taped episodes of things for keeping. Some well-known, such as The Young Ones… others more obscure, such as British drama like Underworld, Eureka Street, GBH, or A VeryBritish Coup. The video tape collection was growing, peaking at about 300 tapes.
By the mid-90s, I was watching The Bill every week, taping it (in case I was out) but deciding to wipe it the next week if it wasn’t very good. I continued to tape a few other shows. I had started to wipe old tapes in favour of new shows, as I’d realised how much stuff I taped but never watched.
In the late 90s I stopped taping The Bill, unless I knew in advance it was going to be good, such as when Burnside returned.
I stopped watching The Bill completely about five years ago, when it got so stupid. I’d swear the emphasis used to be on stories about crime. Believable stuff. The makers actually used to advertise in The Listener about how they sent their cast members out on the beat. This is no longer the case. It’s gone totally soap.
At the same time, I lost interest in most other TV, too. Perhaps it was the arrival of broadband in the house that did it.
When I moved in 2003, I remarked that I had too many video tapes. I swore I’d clear them out.
The clearout happened as part of the 2005 move. Almost every tape of The Bill has been chucked out, as have most of the others. Some, such as tapes of The Late Show, have been earmarked to give to friends.
At least 75% of the tapes have gone. The collection is down to an almost-sane number; taking three shelves of a bookshelf.
These days, the news, Media Watch and a handful of series are all that get watched.
I was hoping to finish this post with something profound about the state of TV. But I can’t think of anything.