Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oi! You're nicked!

"Well, there goes my Saturday night entertainment.
Guess I'm going to have to go out more now..."

Tonight I watched the final episode of The Bill.

And I had a bit of a cry at the end of it.

Okay, I know, I know. It's a TV show. It's just television, just acting, just 45 minutes a week, just a show that's been in my regular viewing schedule for as long as I can remember - in fact, almost as long as I've been alive. Woodentop, the precursor to The Bill, was on days after I'd been born.

When I was a kid, my family and I would watch The Bill every Saturday night and would occasionally watch the repeats ABC used to run on Tuesday nights if it was a particularly good couple of episodes or we'd missed it for some reason. It was always the double half-hour episodes that started out with the crime, it got investigated and solved and was done and dusted within 30 minutes. Unless it was an extra-special one and then both of the episodes would be dedicated to it.

Somehow you sort of became attached to the characters - PC Reg Hollis was one of my favourite characters, probably due to the underdog status. I can still remember one episode where he gets a date with someone and one of the other PCs disbelievingly asked what Reg had that he didn't, to which Reg replied, "Well, a working deodorant for a start."

I also really liked PC Tony Stamp, Sgt June Ackland, Sgt Bob Cryer and Superintendent Jack Meadows. But my favourite character was probably Inspector Dale 'Smithy' Smith. And no, not just because the guy who played him is hot. I liked how the character was sort of like a strong moral compass for the show or something like that. I think some amazing storylines tied in around his character, particularly the Carly Samuels one.

The worst thing for The Bill was when it went all soap-opera-esque in the early 00's. Unfortunately, it seemed like it didn't recover its viewership when they tried to fix that mistake. And it was unfortunate that the soapie-style plots were allowed to run for so long, dragging it away from the policing that had made it such an enjoyable show.

I actually stopped watching it when that happened.

Then when I was living in Victoria, I turned it on one night randomly, thinking it would be interesting to see what had happened with the show I used to love. And amazingly, it was back to policing more or less. And from there on, I'd end up watching The Bill every Saturday night. I know it's said the latest revamp was a flop, but honestly, I thought it wasn't too bad. There were some really interesting story arcs. That said, at least the ABC was consistent with its broadcast schedule and didn't knob around with the show like ITV apparently did.

Of course my love of The Bill is mostly because I grew up with it.

But I think it was a fantastic show at its best. And I wouldn't swap the time I've spent watching it for any other police show out there. Well... Maybe Midsomer Murders. But they don't have quite so many hot British guys in police uniform to drool over.

So thank you to everyone who made The Bill so enjoyable for so many years.


Anonymous said...

So sad "THE BILL" has come to an end.


Della said...

Same. Still, I guess the series can be bought on DVD if the nostalgia for it gets too strong ;)