Love all September 9, 2008Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
If TV didn’t exist, Americans would have to invent it.
The US Open has just come to an end. For a tennis fan like myself, it is both the best of times and worst of times. Not it being over. It being on. Because my love is so ardent and my partisanship in any match so fanatic that I normally can’t bear to watch. Which slightly defeats the object of having a love in the first place. I might allow myself to follow the score online, but have to switch that off when the score approaches excitement. Or I might allow myself to watch a snippet of the first few potentially unimportant games of a match, but then panic when the player I’m rabidly supporting misses a first serve. I quickly instruct the remote control to move up or down one channel and alight on soft porn – there is a lot of this on German TV – which is a convenient backdrop as my heart-rate resettles. Perhaps Stephen Pollard is right that tennis is a sport for being who don’t like sport.
I’ve at least learnt that women flick their hair a lot during sex.
And there was even British interest in this year’s men’s final. It would have been exciting if Murray had won but I am thrilled that Federer, whose tennis can be so beautiful that I sometimes have my passions cryogenically put on standby so that I can absorb more than a few minutes’ worth, has, at last, won another Grand Slam.
And tennis is a great waste of time while the Russian isn’t here (and even when he is, to be fair). I can get a good few hours of work avoidance out of checking every result of every tournament happening on the planet twenty times a day. And once the results are known, and the suspense is deadened, I can try to find a replay of highlights.
And one of the presenters on the US Open website TV bit – I don’t know his name. He may be a mega-star in the States – was just so damned good, wandering around talking to random spectators, asking what they thought of this and that result, that I understood TV had to exist. He was made for it. And his excellence and charm make the viewers’ experience more enjoyable. Of course there must be good TV presenters from the UK. From Germany. From Azerbaijan. But it did appear, watching an unknown-to-me man in Flushing Meadow, that Americans had perfected the art. And cue much cringing when foreign broadcasters try to adopt and adapt some recipe that’s worked on American TV. French TV trying to be zany. The Price is Right on British TV.
This could be the success of American TV so dominating the market – when I was young, real life had English accents and the unreal world American – that it’s made me think anything that skews from the path American TV has laid out is less good. But if I want glitz and glamour, or upbeat fantasy unreality TV, I want it with an American accent. For feel-good, I want USA. For grit and comedy, I look more to the island.
Speaking of which, I am having the first strong pangs of home-sickness since about the year 2000. It’s meeting Londoners (or people who live there) what’s done it. I’ve had guests (or met others’) from London and the ease of contact makes me think, if I lived there, I’d probably make best friends on the Tube at least every day. So I’m going to come and nip the home-sickness in the bud by visiting the Big Smoke.
Anyone up for debauchery next week?