If anyone was expecting me to comment on the second series of Mad Men, I’m sorry but I can’t. I’d missed the first series, despite often hearing it was good. Right now, the second series has kicked off on the BBC. I did my best to watch the first episode, but failed miserably. Then came episode two. By now I’d remembered the show was broadcast on Wednesday nights just after midnight (11.20pm local time) and repeated on Saturday nights. I’d programmed my dvd recorder for the third episode, so that I wouldn’t miss it… after the show I turn on the tv and what do I see? Mad Men. Apparently the BBC wanted to show a documentary about Margaret Thatcher on the Mad Men slot (no points for making cheap puns now) and so the series was moved to 00.50am local time (which is nearly 2am my time).
Suddenly I remember why I never watched series one in the first place… if a show is broadcast on the most odd moments off the day, how do they expect people to watch it? I have no problem with a show being moved for a good reason, but a documentary on Thatcher could’ve just been shown every hour of the day.
Which brings us to the question “Why is there a need to show quizzes like QI three times a week?”. It all started with Have I Got News for You (which got one regular repeat and one with bonus footage) and Graham Norton Uncut (which contained material they had to bleep out pre-watershed), but now it seems business as usual to repeat every show at least twice, no matter how pointless that may be. (Also, do they change the scores on the longer versions of the show? Otherwise, it’s just banter to fill dead moments.)
The BBC have begun to be cruel to BBC Four programmes (which are repeated on BBC Two for people who don’t have access to the Beeb’s digital channels – still an overwhelming majority of the people). Take Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe, for instance. They began to air the final episode of the series, then moved it to another slot on another day and started showing the episodes in a different order than announced, never showed the longer episode on screenplays and thus ended one week early, so they broadcast the final episode again.
Mad Men is also repeated, as I think I mentioned before. The late night repeat is shown on Saturday nights. I’m sorry, but that’s about as specific as I can get. It tends to start somewhere between midnight and 2am. The best way to make you sure you’ll be able to watch it is to take the entire night of programming and you’ll find it somewhere on your hard disk. This is also how you’ll discover BBC2 still broadcasts subtitled movies. They’re on most Saturday nights, somewhere after 3am.
Don’t get me wrong, I still like BBC2, but I hate the tendency of having to drag a magazine to my television to see where they’ve stuck a series now while they’re repeating other programmes incessantly, just to fill up dead air. By the way, next week’s episode of Mad Men will be shown on the regular slot. No doubt – in an attempt to be original – they’ll show that one in reverse.