Driving home

after giving someone a lift home from the pub, I turned on R4 and got the last five minutes of AL Kennedy “the Heart in Drama” (Point of View). It hasn’t gone up yet but it will be at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09pjkqd in a while, I expect.

In it she had some interesting things to say about the reasons for which films and TV have always been inclined to being rather nasty, with no care for the little people. It seemed to me that she was suggesting that this is because in order to rise to the top, people needed to be sociopathic (more or less) and not care about other people being used, and that this meant that they designed film and TV to appeal to them – the phrase that caught my ear was “the sort of programme a serial killer would enjoy”.

Now, I may have got it wrong, or I may be misquoting; I can’t tell until I listen again. But it does make me wonder: is this what has happened to The Archers? If it fell into the hands of someone who enjoyed nastiness (especially nastiness to women), as it seemed at the time, can it be retrieved for those of us who enjoyed listening to it precisely because it would not be enjoyed by someone for whom unpleasantness is a requirement? I mean not, “what can we do?” but, “Is this in fact possible?”


It’s from about 3 minutes in.


I don’t see that it would, structurally speaking, be impossible - although cue loud and incessant whining about ‘loose ends’, ‘damp squibs’ and so on - to remove some of the more lurid ‘nasty’; but without elements of ‘nasty’, there’s not a lot to keep the interest (unless one genuinely is enthralled by the dieases of coos and the Fat Fool’s current sermon rating). And it’s a matter of scale/compass, isn’t it? There can be equal moral repugnance over doings in the village shop/at the F&P/in the cider club shed.
I’d settle for a connection to reality that was stronger than tenuous, I think.
But then I would have made a wonderful serial killer.

I should add that I haven’t heard the AL Kennedy (good egg, imo) prog.


That seems to be SOC’s aspiration. He nearly did for two in the same year.