As I was watching The Wire on BBC 2 last night something struck me – I have spent a small fortune developing my DVD box-set collection but I don’t own a single drama single series made in the UK. The Wire, one of the best TV shows ever made in my opinion, tops my list that includes The Sopranos, The Shield, Lost, The Corner, Oz and West Wing – but nothing from Blighty.
I won’t bang on about the gritty realism of the Baltimore-based series – you can read plenty here and here. I will leave discussion about the production values, sub-plots and dual meanings developed in The Sopranos to someone else – I am more interested to know we aren’t making like this in the UK? Is the BBC spending too much on sporting events and soaps? Is ITV more interested in its search for talented singers? You can normally expect Channel 4 to come up with something but Shameless, whilst funny and a decent watch, doesn’t really cut the mustard.
HBO (the US channel responsible for most of the above shows) has shown that making decent quality drama series can still be profitable by selling box-sets by the bucket-load around the world. I think I’ve spotted a gap in the market – maybe I will start writing my own, that’ll give me something to do this weekend.