Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bang goes my IQ

From today's Media Guardian:

'BBC1's new science series 'Bang Goes The Theory' began with just over 3 million viewers but was no match for ITV1's Coronation Street last night, Monday 27 July. The new show, billed as a 21st-century successor to Tomorrow's World, had 3.2 million viewers, a 17% share of the audience between 7.30pm and 8pm, according to unofficial overnight figures. Last night's opening episode featured presenter Jem Stansfield trying to knock down a brick hut using a "supersonically generated vortex ring". ITV1's Coronation Street predictably had the better of it, with 7.8 million viewers, 41% of the audience.'

I might be completely off beam with public opinion here but I watched Bang goes the theory feeling like I was watching a mis-scheduled episode of Blue Peter. Is it just me? The presenters' general attitude and tone seemed aimed at a CBBC audience demographic. It was all very dumbed down and borderline patronising and at one point I found myself reaching for the squeezy liquid bottle and sticky backed plastic to make my very own vortex gun. I particularly shrivelled during the interview with genetics maverick Craig Venter in which presenter Liz Bonnin seemed fixated on the idea that he was out to create 'monsters'. Still, any programme that teaches science has got to be better than none. And the vortex cannon was a laugh. I can't help feeling that I'm watching a slightly less bloke-ish version of Sky's Brainiac though.

It's Blue Peter and Magpie all over again.

If only it could drag some of those Corrie viewers over, eh?


She Means Well... said...

We live in times when apparent "overt displays of intellect" (like using big words) are discouraged and sometimes physically slapped down.

I have been told by some well-meaning folk - including family members, who are supposed to be on my side - for "talking like a graduate" even though I never actually made it to Uni (got distracted).

Everything seems to have been reduced to the lowest common denominator. But rather than being inclusive, it comes across as patronising and rather insulting to those who have NOT opted out of using their grey matter.


Stevyn Colgan said...

SMW - Interestingly, I put the first line of this post up on Twitter and had a number of people agree with us. Whatever happened to 'stretching people'? How do we ever improve unless we push at boundaries? Like you, I never made it to Uni (until later in life anyway) and I have to deal with occasional snipes about 'swallowing a dictionary' or being some kind of professor. Most telling of all is that 'Boffin' appears to now be a term of abuse in schools.


Thanks BBC.

chris hale said...

The Beeb is an organisation of astonishing contrasts. On the one hand, they talk down to us, explaining (for example) scientific concepts in almost childish terms; but on the other, their news programmes assume we are all au fait with the complexities of world finance and politics and don't even attempt to explain them.

Perhaps some kind of middle course would be good...

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'll stick with watching The Big Bang Theory!