As a fan of new structures I had to check out the Echo Beach / Moving Wallpaper double bill.
For those outside of the UK (and also for people who have better things to do) the pitch is - one show equals two shows. Echo Beach is a new soap on at 9:30. Moving Wallpaper is a sitcom that features the fictional story of making a new soap called Echo Beach and its on half an hour earlier at 9:00.
I was intrigued by this premise. It reminded me of my own work with projects like Circumference in which the main character talks about his own film.
However, for me, it didn't work as it had a negative bias. The slimy (fictional) producer of Echo Beach is always annoying the writers, trying to sell out the show, making glib choices for short term gain, trying to win soap awards rather than gain credibility and casting based on demographics not what is best for the show. Which is probably how it happens in real life. But the effect of course is that you then feel a mug for watching the soap.
If however the Moving Wallpaper half had showed us TV people trying to do something great with a crappy soap, sneaking in hidden moral messages, casting people who need the work, putting in 'unpopular' characters that advertisers wouldn't like (but the audience would) then I would feel great watching Echo Beach. I'd feel I'd helped get one over on the starchy old TV suits.
Just an idea. I recommend the show to you as a study of unusual structures and ideas. I don't recommend it to you as entertainment. My wife lost interest in about 3 minutes.
Sam Wollaston in The Guardian says, "I'm also slightly worried about this obsession that TV currently appears to have with itself. What will happen if it continues? I think it may turn into one giant impenetrable swirling vortex of onanism."
So at least I learnt a new word...
[After Onan, son of Judah (Genesis 38:9).]