Midsomer Murdered

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It is a crisis I tell you. I am shocked and appalled. We need to have urgent discussions.

OK, none of that is correct, however it is the response of certain people to comments of a television producer. The producer, Brian True-May shockingly claimed that the shockingly English Midsomer Murders did not need more diversity.

Midsomer Murders is a British TV program about a fictional detective investigating murders in typical English village (typical if you allow the poetic license of a crime rate more appropriate to Detroit). True-May describes the show as “the last bastion of Englishness” and commented “it wouldn’t be an English village with [Black or Asian characters]”. Whether the program would be “enriched” by the addition of “diverse” characters is not the point, although its popularity in the home and international (no doubt including some “diverse” ones) markets points to a currently satisfactory formula; the point is the hysterics surrounding his comments. His suspension, “crisis talks,” the “shocked and appalled” ITV spokesman, all point to the unreasonable and utter hysteria that surrounds diversity questions.

He admitted that he was “trying to make something that appeals to a certain audience, which seems to succeed” and he did not want to change it. Shows don’t just feature characters, the often have a character that forms part of their appeal. Some shows have an zany anarchic feel, some a serious cerebral air, some like to flaunt their hipness, Brian True-May’s Midsomer crime was that his show’s character was un-hip but, oh so White.

Despite the crimes, the show itself has a certain genteel air. It lacks the quick cuts and shaky cam of more modern fair. The main character (DCI Barnaby) is a rather ordinary middle class man who lives in a middle class house with his middle class wife. He and his wife sometimes discuss his work over dinner. He even wears pajamas in to bed for heaven’s sake. I suspect that this reflection of ordinary White British life is what so infuriates the opinion givers. Being terminally unhip, the show had slipped beneath the radar. The producer’s big mistake was to reveal the secret of its success.

Notes:
I have watched the show and do enjoy it. While the pace is more relaxed than frenetic, the story and drama unwinds itself at a pleasant rate. It certainly is not “stuffy” in that it covers trangressive topics such as cross-dressing, incest, and various crimes of passion. Perhaps it is the juxtaposition of quaint village life and simmering animosities that make the show enjoyable. More “realistic” demographics might lose that tension while bringing in others (that could, of course, not be treated honestly). Lest you think I am dull old fogey, I would like to be clear that I am perfectly capable of enjoying glossy, hyperkinetic fair such as The Matrix or Inception.

I have a sneaky suspicion that at least part of the appeal (across all markets) of British shows like Poirot, Sherlock Holmes and Midsomer Murders is their very Whiteness. While Poirot and Holmes did feature ethinic characters, they were usually presented as exotic anomalies (much as they were in the original source material)

Sources:
I am not sure who to hat tip as I saw the report in several places. However the first was Free Republic and also Alt Right

Daily Mail
The Guardian

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6 Responses to “Midsomer Murdered”

  1. Default User Says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2011/03/midsomer_race_row.html

    I had not read the above before posting. While it did point me me to (I had to look it up) the no doubt useful initialism – BME (Black and Minority Ethnic), some of the article itself is disturbing. There is a link to the Carnegie Trust’s “Manifesto for Rural Communities”. The Trust worried that such places “are poorly equipped to respond to ‘newcomers’, whether they are minority ethnic households/individuals, migrants or indeed immigrants from urban areas.” I am sure the residents of such areas will be “educated.”

    … Or just taken over

    “Our parents established beachheads in the cities; it is now up to our generation to move out of those beachheads and claim the rest of Britain as our own” he told the magazine. “If we wait for the climate to change, we will wait for ever.”

    Whatever happens Midsomer we can be certain it will not be let be.

  2. Bhetti Says:

    It’s ridiculous. They even visited the original village to establish whether it was truly non-diverse.

    It’s also retarded to actually point out its non-diversity as a virtue out loud. Totally doesn’t go down well.

  3. Default User Says:

    @Bhetti
    The thing is, I think the non-diverse aspect is part of the reason for the show’s success (including in international markets). All the producer was saying was that its very whiteness/Englishness is part of its charm. I tend to agree; a multi-culti Midsomer would be just another crime show, and a relatively sedate one at that.

    I agree that it was bad politics to state it so clearly. What I find sad is precisely that it was bad politics to state that it so clearly. If people can celebrate diversity, they should be able to celebrate, or at least enjoy, a little bit of non-diversity. It not as if diversity loving British or Anglophile foreigners don’t have shows like MI-5 and Hustle.
    [Whether diverse or not, I imagine a lot of the country village charm is mythical. Of course TV shows are more about myth than reality]

  4. sdaedalus Says:

    I saw this in the Telegraph today, thought you might be interested:-

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8383841/Midsomer-Murders-On-the-trail-of-the-real-Midsomer.html

  5. Default User Says:

    @sdaedalus

    From the linked article:

    “All sorts of things happen down here which would make a much more interesting drama,” says a man outside Little Italy, who does not want to give his name. “I’m talking car keys and pots, that sort of thing.” He breaks off. “Not that I’ve ever been invited.”

    Diversity that even Roissy could live with? A bit more game and perhaps the Little Italian might receive an invite. . .

  6. Default User Says:

    I suppose it hat to happen eventually, the Downfall (Der Untergang) remix. Hitler a mult-culti, who knew?

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