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Old 2nd April 2013, 08:57 PM
Nemesis Nemesis is offline
Seasoned Cultist
Join Date: Oct 2010

No - for the most part, I actually don't think US tv is better. It's certainly different and the US can do certain genres better than the UK e.g action and Sc-fi due to budget. But I think that the US networks with their 24 episode per season structure and five + season arc always tend to spoil it. The story must serve the schedules when it should be the other way around. What may have been terrific in its first season is usually spent by the end - for instance, 24 was a pale shadow of itself by its last season and I don't know that many who thought Lost delivered on the promise it had when it began. The Wire and The Shield are exceptions but I find it hard to finish them and I still cannot; to be honest the one US show I found to be consistently good was Babylon 5.

I am grateful to HBO for Game of Thrones though - that's something the BBC and ITV could never accomplish with their budgets.

As to our shows, I think that we've got some gems - Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes (admittedly, it ended better than it started), Cracker (last couple of episodes are perhaps not the best), Morse and Lewis etc. Waking the Dead had some bumpy mid-seasons, but I thought it ended strongly. I'm also pro New Tricks - it had a terrific pilot and a very good first season.

I think the big question to ask though is why we're not as good as we used to be. There's tons of gems from the 60s and 70s that puts modern tv, both US and UK, to shame: The Prisoner, Sandbaggers, Thriller, Tales of the Unexpected, The Sweeney, Callan etc. Even the late 70s and 80s had productions that could not be rivalled - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and House of Cards.
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