Since arriving home from China I’ve barely left the house. First, there was the jet-lag, and then a general malaise. I’ve been to the supermarket and that’s about it. I’ve watched a bit of television, including tonight’s program about the final episode of “The Bill”.
I used to love “The Bill”, and it had been a regular part of my Saturday (and Tuesday) night routine for many years. As I enjoyed it so much, I’d often organise my social life around being home to watch the show. But then about five or six years ago I just stopped watching. Partly because my life change, and partly because the show changed.
A lot of people have commented this was about the time it became more like a soap opera and less like a police drama. I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable with that argument, as I think the show often had a “soapie” element about it (I loved some of the “drama” associated with characters like Kathy and Gabriel). But then I read tonight a very perceptive observation from Andew…
For me, maybe it lost its sense of humour. Reg was like the comedian sidekick. He went. They used to take the piss out of Tony. That stopped. Gina has some very witty and bitchy lines. She left. I can’t think of one instance of any humour in The Bill of late.
He’s so right. It was the lovely humour of the characters like June, Polly, Reg, Smithy and Mickey that made them so absolutely human, and therefore so absolutely believable.
It was lovely watching tonight’s show, and in particular to see June and Tony make a return to the set. I have a soft spot for them both as I met them a couple of years ago. They were in Australia for publicity, and part of my job involved meeting them and looking after them ahead of an event for fans at the ABC. I remember June (Trudy) having a desperate last cigarette before heading into our non-smoking building :) It was also very touching to see Jack Meadows (the actor who played him) tearing up in rehearsals as he delivered a euology about his police station, when it was clear his feelings were also for the workplace he has called home for over 20 years. I got a little teary myself. Fond memories of a show that, for a number of years, formed an important weekly (and twice weekly) ritual for me.