TV Traveller Blog - Matt Graham

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Remembrance Day — is it really true?

15/11/13

Remembrance Day is remembered in many countries as a celebration of national values and tradition, a day that most people approve of, for its maintenance of the kind of tradition that gives their lives meaning.  A generation of young men lay down their lives in World War One for the good of the country — its a great story, but it has little to do with the wider historical picture of a clash between hungry European empires a hundred years ago, desperate for new markets overseas. In other …Read more...

The Secret Life of … You and Me.

24/10/13

We are all alone.  We spend much of our lives completely and absolutely alone.  We’re lonely all the time. We go to work alone in our cars, work alone, and usually spend the evenings alone watching DVD’s. We communicate with others on Facebook and “Tweet” what we’re doing, desperately hoping others will “notice us”. We meet potential lovers via online dating, invariably rejecting them for faults real and imagined and waiting for a ”better” match to come along, even though most of us are realistic enough to know …Read more...

Why fiction can kill…

09/10/13

Fiction is one of the most powerful creations of humanity, as ancient as cave paintings and stone tablets on which were written man’s oldest stories.  The problem is that it unleashes forces which are almost impossible to control.  This man below knew all about those forces, because they made him travel to New York City and shoot someone.   One of the big items in the news this week is the sale of the DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES format to Mo Abudu’s African media empire in Nigeria.  Mo Abudu, mentioned …Read more...

You can always kill Nazis

02/10/13

There’s a well-known anecdote in Hollywood that during the making of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Steven Spielberg was concerned that the script was going to be too violent for the intended teenage audiences because of the gruesome deaths in the film. Writer Larry Kasdan answered him: “Steve, don’t worry, you can always kill Nazis.” The only people who remain poorly represented by the multitude of Second World War films and dramas are those who started it themselves: the Germans. They’re also the people whose perspective has been …Read more...

Escape to Dreamland

23/09/13

One of the biggest new stories this week is that 2000’s teen hit THE OC is to be adapted into a Turkish remake, named “MEDCEZIR”, which translates approximately as “TIDES”.  The original US show was a major hit, running on FOX ten years ago. This is the first time that the format for THE OC has been sold abroad, and the new show is described as replicating the original with a Turkish twist.   The original show in 2003 was an unexpected hit for Wonderland Sound and Vision …Read more...

A place at the end of the world

13/09/13

New Zealand is not a place widely known for its quality drama.  This might all change with the arrival new drama TOP OF THE LAKE on BBC Two in the UK and on Sundance in the US, with show with known US actors and acclaimed director Jane Campion.   The show’s recipe for success is simple – it combines what’s worked about US drama (brilliant writing) with a well established cast. Key to it all is a simple story driven by Mystery.  The show’s been compared to not …Read more...

Does this sound familiar?

12/09/13

When a beautiful young wife marries a rich baron, she becomes an instant celebrity.  Then he suddenly dies.  After investigation, it is found that the woman’s last four rich husbands all died too – and in similarly suspicious circumstances.   This is a familiar type of story for the new telenovela – filled with sex scandals, murder and beautiful women, opulent surroundings and high drama.  We’ve looked before at how the high emotion drama of telenovelas works so effectively with audiences, who love to empathize with the young …Read more...

Why is Breaking Bad not more of a mainstream hit with audiences?

29/08/13

Everyone knows US cable drama is where its at; the cutting edge of global storytelling. This week, Attentional saw Vince Gilligan, showrunner of the hugely successful US cable show BREAKING BAD, speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival.  This brilliantly original show has become perhaps the most exciting program on television — yet it remains a cable show and fails to net massive mainstream audiences despite its critical acclaim.  The answer to why is simple; because it puts a “Good” person in a place where he has to do …Read more...

Where ancient tradition meets modernity, there’s Reality TV…

22/08/13

For a long time, Eastern Europe was a place where people went to sell their TV shows at discounted prices in the relatively undeveloped markets of the region.  Today things are changing – and rather than buying cheap Western shows, people in the region are more likely to buy their programming from Turkey or even Russia. More interestingly, with the first generation of the region’s own Intellectual Property, local production houses like Paprika or Media Factor have offices all over the region, and specialize in developing local formats …Read more...

Getting away with murder…

15/08/13

THE ACT OF KILLING is an acclaimed new Indonesian documentary which is causing huge controversy. The film is an examination of what Holocaust academic Hannah Arendt once called “the banality of evil.”   As the Vietnam War raged, nearby Indonesia was on the front line of the Cold War, and in 1965, a failed Communist coup led to a right wing clampdown which saw the deaths of as much as a million people, which included much settling of scores and the deaths of not only suspected Communists but …Read more...

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