TGIF … or not, in this case
Image by satanicmechanic on tumblr.
Friday. And so arrives the moment of truth: the end of Ashes to Ashes.
Well, no. Actually.
The moment of truth won’t arrive until sometime tomorrow morning, and then I’ll only be able to see it from around noon. Such is the problem with living on the other side of the world to where the action happens.
Here is a question: when will the ABC broadcast series three? Think of the poor souls without high-speed internet, or those who are petrified that the copyright police will arrest them if they download something illegally. They might be waiting for months to see what happens to Gene and Alex, and even then they’ll be exposed to spoilers galore.
It’s hard enough to escape spoilers when viewing a show in “real time”, but once you’ve waited six months for it to arrive on Australian screens, it’s near impossible.
When comedian Mark Watson went overseas recently, he recruited some guest bloggers from his readership, to contribute to the site in his absence. One of them, Megan, based in Canada, made a couple of brilliant points in her article, available here.
The first one, that Britain has some excellent panel shows, isn’t quite relevant to what I’m writing about here, but I thought I’d repeat it all the same, because it’s quite true. The UK panel show is quite unlike anything found elsewhere around the world. We have a few “equivalents” as such here in Australia [Good News Week, Spicks & Specks], but they really do pale in comparison.
Anyway, back on topic: the second point came from a discussion of the BBC licensing fee. What if overseas viewers could pay a similar sum to access online content? The BBC iPlayer, and many other show-specific elements of their site [the content-rich Torchwood page, for example] are completely blocked to international visitors. Even some of their YouTube videos are geographically filtered.
If there were a way for me to legally keep up-to-date with British television, I would certainly be all for it. Otherwise, I’m never going to get to see Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Would I Lie to You, or Mock the Week. And by the time the ABC [who are a wonderful network, I’m really not having a go at them here] broadcast Ashes to Ashes, QI, and Outnumbered, screencaps and quotes have been floating around online for months, sometimes years.
It’s been hard enough waiting for series three of Ashes to Ashes to air in the UK, knowing that it’s the end of it all. I couldn’t possibly imagine having to wait another six to twelve months knowing that half the world have already seen it all. I just don’t have the patience.
Is it nearly tomorrow yet?