Friday, 15 December 2006

Adam and Ian Tie the Knot

Adam Macy (Andrew Wincott) and Ian Craig (Stephen Kennedy) getting hitched.

As I mentioned before, yesterday was a landmark in broadcasting history with the airing of the Civil Partnership of the characters of Adam and Ian in the BBC Radio4 soap The Archers.

I had a meeting so I could not listen to the episode as it was broadcast but I have just listened to it. On the whole a rather underwhelming affair. Not as moving as when Ian proposed to Adam.

What really got my goat, however, was the last scene of the episode. The piece was about the "wedding", as everyone is calling it and how the fathers of both grooms finally decide to attend the ceremony. What was billed as Adam and Ian's big day by the network, a recognition and celebration of gay lives in its own little way, was, at the eleventh hour, highjacked. The producers and writers of the show decided that it would be good to bring things back to "normal" I suppose by having two other characters (a straight couple) become engaged publicly during the after ceremony party.

While I can see that they would probably want to justify this by saying it emphasises the fact that Civil Partnerships are now part of life and on an equal footing with "real" marriages, I think they could have handled this a little better. They could for example have waited for the next episode and have those two characters talk about the ceremony, say how much it had move them before their reminising spurs them to do the same. But no, the producers needed to reassure middle England and undermine what Adam and Ian were doing...

Or is it my turn to be paranoid?

It looks like I am not the only one to have a go at the Archers, for quite different reasons though:
Stephen Green, National Director of the proudly homophobic group, [Christian Voice,] described the storyline as “nauseating.“

He said: “"Personally, seeing a picture of actors Andrew Wincott and Stephen Kennedy dressed up in wedding suits holding their glasses of fizz made me feel quite queasy. It brought home the enormity of the nauseating pretence and perversion of a real wedding which every 'civil partnership' is.

"My hope is that the remaining faithful listeners of 'The Archers', those who have endured the plaintive politically-correct story-lines of the last few years will at last wake up and find something less grating to listen to.”

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  1. I kind of agree. But, hey, it didn't spoil the episode for me though. I was still wriggling in delight.

    Zefrog - is there anything like The Archers in France??

  2. There is nothing of the scales of the Archers; that much is certain.

    But I don't think there is anything at all on radio to be honest (bearing in mind that I have been away for 6 1/2 years now, although I'd be surprised if something had appeared since then).

    Generally France is not enamoured with soap like the UK is. The earliest I would remember were trashy american soaps (Santa Babara, The Young and the Restless, I think the titles were) in the 80's which were limited to daytime tv and were probably triggered by the success of Dallas and Dynasty (all except Dynasty on the same newly privatised (therefore in need of cheap content) channel: TF1).

    In the few years before I left, there were a flurry of low budget home grown sitcoms on the back of Friends' success and aimed at a younger audience (Helene starting the trend). But that is it. Nothing going on for fifty odd years which huge audiences like The Archers, Eastenders or Coronation Street.

    To be honest, I have no idea why this is the case though. The fact the development of TV and especially Radio is more recent and perhaps not as overpowering than in this country MAY have something to do with it.

  3. Maybe that's true, but I prefer to think France spends more time getting outdoors in the fresh air, interacting with real people and generally just getting things done.

    I'm a bit of a Francophile, so forgive me my well-intentioned delusions.


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