Friday, July 3, 2009

On the box

Watching television for a job would be fun for a little while, but the sheer monotony would eventually get to me. Being a critic for the paper would be a reason to keep watching a little longer, but even then boredom would win out. Despite my problems with this job, A. A. Gill has collected together some of his best writing about television in Paper View: The Best of the Sunday Times Television Columns.
In this book Gill applies his blowtorch wit to such topics as costume dramas, sport, cop shows, soap operas, the news and quiz shows. All the time arguing that what is on television is important and should be treated as such, rather than a vehicle to sell ad breaks. Gill is quick ti identify things he doesn't like, and even quicker to take them down a peg or two. Nothing is safe from his gaze, not even nostalgia which also comes in for a kicking.

Overall this book is a fun read, even if Gill has an unnatural love for the word soporific. I enjoyed dipping in and out of this collection, and had a ball as Gill tore strips of some poor bugger, or sinks the boot into another crap program.

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