Thinking inside the box

The Oldie Magazine|March 2020

Thinking inside the box
Miriam Gross says oldies shouldn’t be snobbish about Netflix. It is cheap and convenient – and produces greater art than cinema and theatre
Miriam Gross

Whenever I mention to friends that I’ve been spending my evenings watching a South Korean, Turkish or Australian series on Netflix, they laugh in an indulgent, supercilious, ‘Isn’t she a hoot?’ sort of way.

They seem to think that, now I’m an oldie, I’ve given up on culture altogether and succumbed cheerfully to undemanding shlock.

How wrong my friends are. Little do they realise that some of these TV series are great art. Great art of the kind you rarely find these days either in films or in new plays, or in many of the BBC’s predictably woke dramatic productions. The PM is quite right to launch a review into the annual licence fee. (Incidentally, Netflix costs considerably less.)

The best of these dramas are comparable, in terms of creative talent, to the great Russian and English novels of the 19th century. The genre of TV series, with its numerous episodes, provides boundless scope for plot development, subtle characterisation and charting the ups and downs of relationships. Gifted directors and writers all over the world are making excellent use of this format.

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March 2020