Even the left-wing, pro-BBC New Statesman has a problem with BBC drama. It headlines a review by Rachel Cooke of BBC Two's My Name is Leon “a horribly preachy drama” and summarises it in this way:
This BBC film about a child dealing with racism in 1980s Birmingham promises real-world lessons but delivers saccharine platitudes.
Rachel Cooke further chargrills it thusly:
Horribly preachy and overly schematic, this film feels more like one made for children than for adults – and sure enough, every single actor in it turns in the kind of ostentatiously heart-warming performance that suggests they’re present as much as a matter of duty as because they relish their role; that they have, in fact, signed up to teach an important lesson rather than to perform a subtle, complex drama.
You may not be surprised to learn that Sir Lenny Henry is its executive producer.
Meanwhile, it seems that BBC comedy is no laughing matter either.
Romesh Ranganathan’s new BBC One show Avoidance doesn't appear to be exercising too many people's chuckle muscles. The Daily Telegraph's Marianka Swain charitably says it has “almost no redeeming features”. Naturally, I've not seen it, but the top-rated comment at the Telegraph describes it like this.
Let's just get this right...an Asian bloke in a mixed-race marriage runs to his sister who is in a lesbian mixed race marriage. Yup! 5 out of 5 for reflecting normal life on the BBC.
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