There are many reasons I love Channel 4: their dedication to culinary comedy (Come Dine With Me), their help to causes worth our time (Fish Fight, Jamie’s School Dinners) and archaeological offerings (Time Team). But if there’s one thing Channel 4 do well, it’s show us things we don’t know much about.
Channel 4 balance outrage and intrigue with sensitivity, not giving in to the sensationalism common to Channel 5 documentaries, nor straying into the dull, often overly dry offerings common to the BBC.
Seven Dwarves and My Transsexual Summer are good examples of the kind of docu-soap Channel 4 excels at with Dispatches and Cutting Edge coming in as some of the best investigative journalism British television has seen.
The BBC does its best with consumer television, but falls short with Watchdog’s magazine format that tends towards the formulaic and contrived. And what is the point of Matt Alright’s Portuguese sidekick? Their asides and hammy acting undermine the sincerity of their quest to get rid of cowboys and rogues.
Channel 5 is the place to be for the exploitative, controversial and voyeuristic taste, with shows featuring syndromes galore. Those featured no more than a side part to their illness or affliction. We’re invited to stare and point at humans undergoing traumatic experiences.
And then there’s the reason I pay my BBC license fee: Frozen Planet, Blue Planet; in fact, it’s the leviathans of factual, educational entertainment – bio-Dimbleby irreverently skewering slimy politicians and Attenborough extolling the virtues of the beauty of the denizens of land and sea that make it worth my while.
Overall, who gives you your favourite hit of programming? What kind of shows do you like the best? Factual or fictional? Sci-fi or romance? A bit of both? Let us know in the comments below.
Posted by Tannice for the Custard Tv. Follow Tannice on Twitter.