Television

The inspirational art of Buffy

Author: 

Carrie Evans

On 10 March 1997 something was created that changed my world forever. This is not using hyperbole to illustrate a point. Buffy the Vampire Slayer shaped my world. Unfortunately for me (or fortunately depending on context) I’m not the only person who feels this way. Which is why Buffy has launched a thousand think-pieces.

Buffy’s originality still stands up today because it took every cliché and trope and turned them on their heads.

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Meet the Lords? Abolish the Lords!

Author: 

Simon Nelson

Meet the Lords was the BBC’s three-part series on the inner workings of the House of Lords. At its most critical it showed how few peers bother doing anything, although a large proportion still claim their full allowance. For the most part the programme was a tribute to the work of the £300-a-day “unsalaried” parliamentarians with no democratic mandate.

The House of Lords may have recently amended Brexit legislation for the good, but any serious radical, socialist and pro-working class Labour Government would find itself forever hampered by the existence of the second chamber.

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Twenty years too late

Mick Duncan reviews "Faith", BBC1, 28 February

The Tory Party complained about William Ivory’s Faith, claiming it painted Margaret Thatcher in a bad light.

Ivory is a talented writer, and this feature length drama of love and betrayal, set in an anonymous Yorkshire town during the miners’ strike, certainly had its moments. But painting Thatcher in a bad light?

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The Artist and Communard

Mike Rowley reviews The impressionists (Channel 4)

This programme made a refreshing change from Channel Four's usual. It showed that it is possible to talk about art accessibly for two hours without becoming tedious. The most "political" of the four major figures considered was Gustave Courbet, the great precursor of Impressionism.

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Do the kids rule okay?

By Pat Yarker

Before the General Election Channel 5 screened Classroom Chaos, a video-diary-cum-documentary produced by Roger Graef.

Graef pioneered so-called fly-on-the-wall documentaries for television. He has a track-record as a maker of programmes which go behind the scenes, take important issues seriously, stimulate and inform public debate and sometimes help bring about significant reforms. Over twenty years ago, his series about the police in action led to big improvements in the way they treat rape-survivors.

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Lenin traduced

The Russian Revolution is often presented as an attempt to impose socialism by the coercive means of dictatorship and terror. In order to do this, historical facts are used very selectively, and the actions of the Bolsheviks are described with little or no reference to their historical context. BBC2 TV’s “Lenin’s Secret Files”, broadcast last December in the “Timewatch” series, was a good example of the method. It described the Red Terror with only a cursory mention of the desperate circumstances of civil war and foreign intervention.

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Okay to be big

Laura Schwartz reviews "Victoria’s Big Fat Documentary", 21 July, BBC 1

New Labour, Heat magazine and Weightwatchers are all united in their enthusiastic support for losing weight. As a result, the quest for thinness has acquired an almost moral quality. Conversely, being over-weight is equated with greed, laziness and stupidity — with being a bad person. Victoria Wood’s Big Fat Documentary showed how this obsession with food, eating and dress-size has permeated our national and individual psyches.

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Global torture

Rosalind Robson reviews “The Dirty Business”, 1 March, Channel 4

Andrew Gilligan’s investigation was part of a series of Channel 4 films about the US’s organisation and sponsorship of torture around the world.

Officially both the US (and the UK) condemn the use of torture and human rights abuses. But it is fair weather opposition.

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