Label volunteer, Tia Salter, talks us through the highs and lows of British TV… and tells us just how they get it so very wrong sometimes.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
As a Uni student it’s crucial to have something good to watch during that all important down time. But why are so many of the endings of our favourite shows usually a disappointment? How can producers get it so wrong sometimes? I’m going to delve into some of the highs and lows of some of the favourites of British telly.
If I ever want to watch a good drama, BBC is the way to go. Happy Valley released its third and final series at the beginning of the year and it did not disappoint. BBC always seem to get the comedic and thriller balance right and Happy Valley is a perfect example. Our Catherine does not stop. In a dramatic finale the long-awaited confrontation between Catherine and Tommy is brilliant and heart-breaking, and fans have generally been impressed and satisfied with the ending. Moreover, with Catherine finally retiring, viewers can hope she finally gets some well-earned peace and quiet. Along with Happy Valley, The Bodyguard, The Capture, and Line of Duty are some other really popular shows where the BBC show they are seriously good at their mini-series and dramas.
Although, a fan favourite, Killing Eve ended last year and for something that had so much potential it arguably flopped in its final series. The BBC spy thriller had an amazing cast, again mixing comedy and tension perfectly. Its use of fashion was formidable and being written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who is hilarious) it grasped viewers in its initial release. However, its final season received a lot of backlashes as many viewers were dissatisfied. With a powerful feminine lead series of actors and writers, the main disappointment lay in killing the main queer character for arguably, no contextual reason. Some have argued it fell into the ‘kill the queer’ trope with the offing of Villanelle once her character finally found happiness in her relationship with Eve. The ship of the series was finally set sail for viewers and then destroyed just as quickly. Killing Eve perhaps, as with a lot of longer running series, peaked in series 2.
Fleabag is a shorter series, also written and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge on BBC iPlayer, surrounding a chaotic thirtysomething and her tumultuous family, and in general, life. Again, comedy and emotional intensity are so perfectly intertwined making it a hit show with just two series. It’s ending, although heart-breaking to fans that ship fleabag and her hot priest, is justified and understandable with no great stakes or mysteries to solve or overcome within the plot.
Of course, it’s trickier to steer a longer running series with ideas that will continue to entertain and satisfy the viewer and perhaps that’s why so many of our favourite shows seem to have run out of steam the longer they run on, just like that of Killing Eve. And perhaps this is why the shorter, and mini-series pursue their legacies as they are rewatchable and fulfilling to complete. Although they usually don’t have years of potential plot holes or big hopes for their characters. I don’t blame producers for feeling the pressure when the ending to your beloved show is in your hands with the pressure of thousands that love it. You never want to be that show that peaked in series 2. My recommendation, Fresh Meat available on Netflix, about a group of Uni students moving into a house taking them through freshers (series 1) to graduation (series 4). You might find you have a lot to relate to!
Edited By: Rachel Cannings (Head of Culture and Entertainment)
Design By: Sarim Mangi (Head of Design)