Value For Money Drama in 2009!
Happy New Year! I hope you’re making the most of the January sales right now. This year, it’s not just the retail world that’s offering up value for money. Despite threats of another writers’ strike in the US and the credit crunch impacting on TV production budgets, licence payers have some veritable televisual delights to look forward to over the coming months.
By now you have either resisted or bought into the temptation of Celebrity Big Brother. So far it’s been all smiles and laughs, but I feel an argument brewing – probably involving gobby Tina and attention-seeking Coolio. And what about Ulrika? She definitely looks like she’s on the verge of some kind of nervous breakdown. Could she follow in the footsteps of Vanessa Feltz and Les Dennis by cracking up live on British television?
Talking of cracking up – laughing, that is, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross makes a comeback this month too. It’ll be good to see the popular broadcaster back on our screens, but who knows how genuine his performance will be considering he’s under the watchful eye of Aunty Beeb.
The biggest comebacks are in drama this year. Favourites like Pushing Daisies, Torchwood, Robin Hood and Secret Diary of a Call Girl all begin a new series soon. The eagerly anticipated Skins also returns for a third outing with a new, edgier cast.
Other returning favourites include 24, which is still going strong seven seasons in, and Lost which embarks on Season Five. ITV has decided to bring back Moving Wallpaper, but this time without the accompanying Echo Beach (alas, no more Jason Donovan in bad T-shirts!). But don’t worry you can still get two for the price of one (sorry, shopping on the brain!) as the series will be complemented by a one-off drama called Renaissance – starring the light-footed Kelly Brook and everyone’s favourite Neighbour, Alan Dale.
Brand new launches for the New Year include Dollhouse, which I mentioned a few months ago. It hasn’t been picked up by a broadcaster here yet but Joss Whedon’s new project is bound to get a following when it does air here. Channel 4 will be screening a new drama called Red Riding, based on the David Peace novels. It’s set in the time of the Yorkshire Ripper murders, so promises to be gritty and probably rather gruesome.
Finally, it’s already debuted in the US and now it’s our turn – 90210 premieres on E4 this month. If you were a teenager in the 1990s then you’ll be familiar with this postcode! What’s more, they’ve made sure us oldies take an interest by reeling in the actors from the original series for special appearances. From what I’ve seen, it all looks a bit sugar-candy sweet for me but you never know; it’s a new look for a new generation – Could it be the hit of the year? (I doubt it.)