Brian Edwards Media

Archive for March, 2009

Killing Boston Legal

Many years ago I had a heated debate with Neil Roberts who was then Head of Television at TVNZ. The debate was about standards, about quality, about good and bad programmes. Neil’s view was that there was no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ programme. The terms were essentially meaningless. There were programmes that people liked and programmes that people didn’t like. It was purely a matter of individual taste. ‘Standards’ were arbitrary and personal with no objective validity. ‘Quality’ existed solely in the eye of the beholder.

There is logic to this argument, just as there is logic to the argument that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are themselves entirely subjective concepts, that nothing is inherently good or bad. But you can’t live like that. You end up with anarchy and social collapse.

And other than ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it’, Roberts’ approach makes judgements about television programmes impossible and conversation about their merits or lack of merits futile.   

The same could be said about every form of criticism, from food to the arts. Nothing good or bad. Everything just popular or unpopular. Read the rest of this entry »


At Last A Current Affairs Show!

The past two weeks have seen the welcome return of Agenda, now renamed Q & A and fronted by Paul Holmes. Holmes is a considerable improvement on previous host Rawdon Christie, who was fine on Dragons’ Den, but completely out of his depth as a political interviewer. But Paul will have to remember that Q & A is not Holmes and not an appropriate vehicle for his personal opinions. His role on our only significant political programme should be as a facilitator – a role in which he is unsurpassed – and not as a contributor to the debate. Read the rest of this entry »


Of Necks and Knees

One of these days someone will design a lounge chair or a couch that doesn’t undermine interviewers and their subjects on television. Sadly, anything comfortable in the way of seating will probably make you look dreadful on camera. Read the rest of this entry »

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