Elise Bottle

ABC quality bled dry by vampiric programming (oh, and the budget…)

Image: AAP

With looming cuts to the ABC and SBS care of the Abbott government’s austerity budget, Elise Bottle sees the days of quality programming a distant “Twilight” we may never witness again.

 

To me, the ABC has always been the channel that represents certain integrity, presenting shows of quality and taste.

It is a media centre for art, culture, and education.

So…why the hell are they currently airing the Twilight Saga?

Now, I haven’t read the books or seen the movies of the Twilight Saga, so I’m not going to repeat the criticisms of internalised misogyny, the romanticising of unhealthy relationships or just plain bad writing that many others have addressed. That said, I still believe it has no place being on the ABC.

Sure, this isn’t the first time the ABC has shown a commercial film, but in those cases the films have always been either of a fairly decent age, of Australian origin, or being “art house” or otherwise quirky.

And now they’re showing a bunch of soppy teen love stories.

Worse, this is only the latest degradation in the quality of ABC’s programming line-up. The ABC’s kid’s channel, ABC3, has long been plagued by lesser programs of the likes of Almost Naked Animals and The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange. While these top my list for being the most obnoxious programs on the channel, they are, thankfully, foreign imports. But the Australian content on what is supposed to be Australia’s channel are, to put it frankly, mostly forgettable.

As a kid I remember watching shows shows like Plasmo, The Ferals, Round the Twist and Lift Off, and just being blown away by their cleverness and creativity. I still have my old EC doll, and one of my favourite Christmas gifts is the Plasmo DVD set my brother gave me. (I’ve actually emailed the creator of Plasmo a couple of times – nice guy. So when’s that soundtrack coming out, Mr Lawrence?).

Nowadays, the only original Aussie kids’ show I consider to have any true entertainment value is Good Game SP. Seriously, the guys hosting that show are hilarious, but they’re barely enough to hold up against the suffocating mediocrity. Hell, I noticed things going south as early as 2000 rolled around, with the revival of Round the Twist being way below standard of the episodes produced back in ’89 and ’95.

And now this slap-happy approach to programming is sneaking its way onto the “adult” channels. It’s like they’ve just stop caring. What happened?

I do have some clues thanks to my Facebook feed – everywhere I see rallying cries of how the Abbott government is making cuts to the network’s funding, which is what I presume is what’s forcing the ABC to scrape further into the bottom of the programming barrel. Indeed, there are allegedly plans, care of the Abbott government via Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, to cut a further $200 to $300 million not just from the ABC, but also SBS – wonderful.

Well, whatever the reason, the fact is that when your kids turn on the TV to Australia’s national network, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll be watching mind-numbing drivel, and it might only be a matter of time before you’re watching it, too.

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To celebrate being a year old, we want you, the readers, to help us decide the articles you loved best during our first year and to encourage you  to participate, we are giving away three prizes!

All you have to do is look through our archives of content and email us your favourite article and also if you want, the one you weren’t so up with. From the submissions, we will assess the most-loved content from our first year and republish it at the end of our birthday month.

Both writers and readers are encouraged to enter (No, Paris, you cannot nominate your own articles…#justsaying), so please email us at [email protected] by 30th November to enter! Please include your name, address and mobile number.

And the prizes are…(did we mention there are prizes…?)

First prize: A brilliant acting course based in Sydney and hosted by Darlo Drama worth $550!

Second prize:  A gift pack from our friends at Booktopia

Third prize: Four movie passes

(Plus watch out for a couple of of other competitions during our birthday month !)

Elise Bottle

Elise Bottle is a 26-year-old kidult who dreams of working in children’s television. She has a keen interest in cartoons, games and other pop-culture mainstays, and due to an excess of free time, is gifted at over-analysing.

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