Oh, BBC, why can’t I quit you?!?!???

10 Nov


I love the BBC.

But I also hate them.


They make me love a television series- like, love love- and then they kill me because there are only six episodes. Or 13. Or maybe 20. And the series ran for multiple years… but that’s all there is. Why, BBC? Don’t you want me to be happy?

Andrew Lee Potts. Whole lotta awesome.

Andrew Lee Potts. Whole lotta awesome.

Earlier this year, I fell hard for Primeval. Which had ended it’s run after 36 episodes. Something that seems to rarely happen. Or at least rarely happens in the series that woo me into watching. Of course, my love of Primeval stretched into needing to watch other series and films with the cast- look, you knew this was going to happen; I have issues, we know this. So of course I was going to check out the recent run of By Any Means because Andrew Lee Potts was a star and I’ve come to adore him.

By Any Means. I NEED another season. Or three.

By Any Means. I NEED another season. Or three.

And By Any Means just ended. After 6 episodes. 6 episodes does not a television series make! That’s a mini-series! The original mini series had more televised time!

Warren Brown.  Um... what was I saying?

Warren Brown.
Um… what was I saying?

And damnit! I’m invested in the characters now. In the 6 episodes you get backstory on one character and hints into the others. You have enough on Potts’ character to almost say there is a known backstory, but you’d be fibbing. Don’t get me started on the lead- you have hints, breadcrumbs really, but nothing concrete enough to truly explain why he is who he is and does the things he does. It’s damn annoying. But also intriguing! And gosh darnit, the character (Jack) is played by Warren Brown and wouldn’t you know it- I’ve now got to see everything of his that I can get my hands on because he was just fabulous! I mean, if he hadn’t done such a great job with the character, I wouldn’t have cared much about the show. But as it is- I’m invested and pissed off because I need more.

And the BBC knows this. And they seem to live to torture me. Damn them.

Luther. So damn good.

Luther. So damn good.

Brown led me to watching Luther, with Idris Elba- something that’s been on my list for a few years but I hadn’t sat down to watch it. Damn show was compelling! In three series (seasons to us yanks) there are 14 episodes. 14! I get pissed off when a cable show gives me 11 and calls it a season. Are you kidding me? Anyways… 14 episodes of this dark and evoking police drama. Gritty. And I watched it in a day and half all together. And yes, now I need to see Idris Elba’s work, but that has to go on the back burner for now.

In the US, a season has around 22 episodes. The writing and stories told in a BBC series are often more thought provoking and gung-ho, but if you think about it- they have to be. They have much much much shorter runs to hook viewers. At least 2 episodes of a US primetime series season are utter wastes- generally there to fill in time or fluff a story (Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s “Beer Bad”, comes to mind). They aren’t integral to the arc of the story, and can often be skipped over during a marathon viewing (though they might have some clever lines or moments). I have yet to see this on a BBC series (mind you, I do not claim to have seen every BBC series ever made- I’m picky); I believe this has to do with time. The shorter runs means there is no time to waste- every story connects to the arc.

It’s logical. But that doesn’t make me any happier.

doctor who

The many doctors of Doctor Who

I wish I knew how to quit watching BBC series, but I’ve been doing it all my life. Doctor Who was on the local PBS when I was a kid; as was the Michael Praed led Robin of Sherwood which, while veering off the legend, was a delightful romp. So… I’m stuck; destined to remain tortured for years to come because of damn fine storytelling.


Robin of Sherwood, with the original Robin- Michael Praed. Not that I didn’t adore Jason Connery…

If this is my cross to bear, so be it. I’m sure I’m not alone…

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