ITV used to be able to make insightful, exciting, human and sometimes utterly fantastic dramas. Series such as Cold Feet, Prime Suspect and perhaps the odder At Home with the Braithwaites come to mind. So do last year’s brilliant three-parters A Place of Execution and the heartbreaking rollercoaster of The Children.
How can a capable channel been failing so much of late? Let’s blame the Credit Crunch; its getting the blame for the majority of problems in 2009. Are your flowers dying? That’ll be the Credit Crunch. Is it raining again? That’ll be the Credit Crunch. ITV have been hit by the current economic mess that is the world at the moment but that’s no excuse for producing such simple and tacky TV drama.
Case in point their new comedy/drama Monday, Monday. The term comedy drama is a worrying thing because, apart from Cold Feet or the Braithwaites, the term usually signals that the series isn’t dramatic enough to be a drama but not funny enough to be down as a comedy either.
The premise (to save you the bother of actually sitting through it) sees the headquarters of a supermarket move to Leeds with “hilarious” consequences. Its sad to say but this was yet another halfhearted attempt at TV drama that joins the likes of Harley Street, Honest, Rock Rivals and Sold in the graveyard of recent hyped and quickly axed ITV dramas. Putting the content of the series aside, perhaps the its demise will come with scheduling it up against the far superior The Street on BBC1 which oddly is also an ITV production.
Monday, Monday has a strong cast including Holly Aird, Jenny Agutter and the criminally underused Miranda Hart. This is the perfect example of a good cast that are stuck with a terrible teenage script with nothing new or interesting to play with.
Just like busses you wait for a drama on the world of dippy young personal assistants and then two come along at once. Monday, Monday isn’t quite as bad as BBC3’s horrendous Personal Affairs but it’s close behind.
This is just another attempt at attracting a young audience relaying on will they-won‘t they romances and attractive bodies rubbing against each other to keep the Xbox 360 generation interested. If that weren’t in your face enough, let’s not make Fay Ripley’s main character interesting or involving when its far easier to make her a manic alcoholic who like a “crazy person” doesn’t turn up for her AA meeting, relies heavily on her PA and hilariously likens a new boss coming in to “9/11” oh how brilliant……..!
Maybe Sex and the City fans will enjoy throwing on their dressing gowns, eating ice-cream out of the tub and indulging in this piece of mindless drivel but if you’re that way inclined surely its far easier to stick a good DVD in the machine.
Everything about the first episode felt forced and dated. It’s summer 2009 are we still dancing to Modjo’s Lady or Spiller’s Groovejet?! Office dramas can work if you manage to get interesting characters that the audience can care about but in the case of this painfully long drama, we were introduced to a bunch of characters who we’d rather hit with a flying toaster. ITV have kept a lot of their better drama offerings such as car crash piece Collision and last year’s surprise hit The Fixer to air in the autumn which I suppose is kind of them because it means we have the next seven Mondays to devote to frolicking in the sunshine and enjoying The Street on the other side.