Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Springwatch

Oddly enough I thought we were pretty much into summer now. Not that the weather would be any clue as of late. Let me start by saying that I love nature programmes. Sit the ill man down in front of some meercats or some gazelle or some anteaters and he's happy as a pig in shit. Anyway, I was rather looking forward to Springwatch, BBC's backyard nature show featuring bird watcher and former 'Goodie' Bill Oddie. It's a live show featuring a variety of garden, parkland and forest wildlife. Very nice. The live aspect worried me a touch. I mean, animals can be terribly frustrating things to observe, doing the strangest, most interesting things when you aren't looking and then when you have the camera on them they go and take a (metaphorical) fag break..... It seemed to work ok except for one very annoying aspect. It seems in the past few years there has been a tendency for nature documentaries to fall into mawkishness and anthropomorphism. I can just about understand why names are given to animals being studied in isolation, but it seems that every bugger is at it now. The worst part of this trend is that the subjects are not only given names but they have human emotions and attitudes bestowed upon them. There seems to be an insidious belief that people will not watch something(animals/vegetables/minerals/BB Contestants) unless they can directly relate to it, unless the subject of the programme can be shown to have felt and experienced similar things to the viewer. How long until The Beechgrove Garden starts giving us 'A Day In The Life of Fergus The Tomato Plant'? Who wouldn't tune into that? Seriously though, Springwatch kind of lost me after about ten minutes when I realised they had given family names to the different sets of birds they were observing. In a later snippet Bill Oddie explains the behaviour of the mother bird in terms of 'bad parenting'. Argh!!! Another bloody soap opera............. I don't think it's as bad as i'm making out, i'm just slightly miffed that a very good idea for a tv show has been messed up a tad by pandering to a perception amongst tv people that the public cannot be enraptured and entertained without the injection of some kind of 'human interest' angle. Anyway, go watch it tomorrow, or check the rather good link and tell me i'm talking out of my ring.............

2 comments:

Larry Teabag said...

Having watched the show for the first time last night, I agree with you.

However there's something else: Bill Oddy. I can't stand that twat. I mean he's not a bad man or anything, not like Clarkson, but his irritating husky voice and his beard, the unfunny things he says, and the say he says them - I find him unwatchably awful.

ill man said...

Can't say i've ever had too much of a problem with Bill Oddie. He's ok. I don't find him as annoying as Tony Robinson for instance. Or Alan Titchmarsh.