I don’t watch much TV these days, but the widespread availability of streaming services means I’m independent of broadcast schedules. It isn’t surprising that I like well written drama. Given my work as an artist, though, it isn’t surprising that I also enjoy TV shows with a creative focus. Good examples are Sky’s Portrait Artist and Landscape Artist of the Year, or C4’s Great Pottery Throwdown. The Sky programmes show the huge range of talent out there, while Throwdown, focussing on amateur ceramicists, shows their growth and development over a season. It is of course also known for judge Keith Brymer Jones‘ openly emotional response to quality of design and workmanship. The best TV, though, comes via the BBC’s Repair Shop, combining impeccable craftsmanship with wonderful, and often very touching, stories.
What they all have in common is a focus on creativity, skill and craftsmanship and, on people and their stories. They are a long way from the mean spiritedness of programmes like Big Brother or the Apprentice – and all the better for it.