This year’s TV BAFTA list makes for interesting reading. On first glance the list showcases what a truly outstanding year 2012 was for British television, but on closer interrogation there are some glaring omissions and quite frankly some puzzling decisions that have been made.
I enjoyed the harmless family fun of BBC1’s Mr. Stink over Christmas but should that be really be nominated in Comedy Programme? Especially when BBC4’s Getting On or Channel 4’s Fresh Meat haven’t even been given a mention. Quite frankly the best Comedy Programme category doesn’t reflect the best of the comedies of the year. The Alan Partridge mockumentary was brilliant (that goes without saying, despite my need to say it) but surely the aforementioned Getting On was more than worthy of nomination! I could forgive the comedy programme nominations if the series had been nominated instead in the situation comedy category. I’m almost certain the cast of BBC2’s Olympic comedy Twenty Twelve will be adding another award to their collective mantelpieces, and I’m happy that The Thick of It received another well deserved nomination but does BBC2’s Episodes really deserve one? Part of me wonders if the committee is trying to please American network Showtime with this choice. I think the same about the annoying frequent appearances of HBO’s The Girl which appears in even category that it can. The Girl was a single drama about the bizarre relationship between director Alfred Hitchcock and his actress Tippi Hedren. I don’t remember a great deal of fanfare surrounding this when it was shown on BBC2 over Christmas. The Girl was bog standard, nowhere near the quality of other BBC drama we were treated to over the course of a packed 2012. The acting was questionable, and unlike dramas that weren’t nominated like BBC1’s Good Cop and BBC2’s Line of Duty failed to make any impression on me at all.
Speaking of Line of Duty, I almost need it explaining me very slowly and simply why it was decided not to give this fantastic series a mention in the drama categories. The series has been nominated for other awards over the course of the year but has sadly missed out. I was banking on the BAFTAs and I’m shocked they haven’t delivered. Whilst we’re on the subject of continually nominated dramas I am constantly baffled by the inclusion of BBC2’s borefest Parade’s End which should only be nominated for most pretentious drama of the year.
If you’ve made it this far you’re probably of the impression I’m writing this to have a moan but aside from those I’ve mentioned the rest of the nominations reflect the year well. I’m particularly happy that Anne Reid has been recognised for her role in one of my favourites Last Tango in Halifax and in the same category it’s good to see Sheridan Smith nominated for Mrs. Biggs. Of course I’ll be rooting for Anne ahead of her rivals from Parade’s End and yes The Girl!
2012 was an incredible year for drama, particularly BBC drama and the best drama nominations are the hardest for me to call. Ripper Street, Last Tango in Halifax, Silk and Scott & Bailey are probably four of the best dramas not just of last year but of the last few years. Truthfully I’d be happy for any one of them to walk away with the golden BAFTA but if you threatened me with a old tin of Asda’s corned beef I’d have to plump for Last Tango in Halifax in this category. It was the warmest drama of the year and whilst I enjoyed all the grit and crime we were treated to, Last Tango seemed like real breath of fresh air and I’m so happy it has been recognised and received so well.
Members of the public are given the chance to vote for their favourite in the Radio Times Audience Award. Personally I think the mix of nominations here are a bit odd but in a category where the 2012 Opening Ceremony is nominated surely it’s irrelevant what the other nominees are. Though it was the biggest TV event of the year I’m not sure it should qualify as a TV programme but that’s just me being a miserable git. On the plus side the absence of anything from ITV2, particularly the Antichrist that is Keith Lemon is a real step in the right direction.
I may have disagreed with a few of the choices made here but on the whole the shows up for the prestigious award paint an accurate picture of one of the most memorable and exciting years for television I can remember. I’ll be rooting for a lot here and hoping The Girl doesn’t pick anything up. If this list demonstrates anything it’s that TV is as important and relevant as it’s even been and it acts as proof of how diverse and exciting British television is at the moment and I hope it continues to evolve and produce TV of this quality for a long long time to come.
The Ceremony will take place on Sunday 12th May and will be shown on BBC1