15 July 2006

Newsnight Review - BBC2

Newsnight Review used to be a good programme when the likes of Tom Paulin, Alison Pearson, Tony Parsons, and Germaine Greer would discuss serious new works from the world of theatre, art, literature, and music. The topics in question were well chosen, and the criticism was lively and well-informed. One thing I particularly liked was the fact that they could disagree completely with perfectly good grace and behaviour. Then there was a downhill transition period marshalled by commentators who you felt knew not much more than yourself - such as Bonnie Greer, Tim Lot, and Ekow Eshun. But now the programme has gone right down the pan, with complete nonentities passing worthless judgements on rubbish such as the latest Superman film, pop trivia, and junk TV. Last night's half-baked rabble were also badly chaired by Martha Kearney. I mean to say - I agree with John Carey (another former quality panelist) that popular culture should be given some consideration - but it has to stand up and fight for itself against the best of the field.


skipper said...

Of the new generation I think Mark Kermode on film is excellent and I quite like that US novelist with a man's name-Lionel...something? But by its nature that programme is going to be a bit variable.

Roy said...

Yes, I agree Skipper that Mark Kermode is very well informed on film. He's one of the occasional exceptions that seems to prove the rule. Another recent person on the show whose views surprised me for their intelligence was the bizarre transvestite potter, Greyson Perry.

Anonymous said...

I agree absolutely with the comments on Newsnight Review. And Bonnie Greer gets right up my nose. Not too keen on Martha as a host either. I too was very impressed with artist Grayson Perry: I have become a great fan of his since I saw an exhibition of his pots and his contribution on the review was penetrating and mature.