The Critics: Cries & Whispers
Sunday 17 May 1998
Every journalist who has ever written about television has raged about this unfathomable scheduling (including, if you want to be pernickety about it, me. But I've grown to appreciate Seinfeld's being where it is. While BBC2 has buried many a gem at two in the morning, an 11.15pm slot hardly restricts Seinfeld to insomniacs. No, it's an urbane, man-about- town sort of time for a programme to be on. You can enjoy an evening out all the more, knowing that you'll be home for the start of Seinfeld. The real question is why there isn't more must-see TV on this late. Friday's bilateral mid-evening laugh-fest is all very well, but it does force a sizeable percentage of the population into an obscure branch of orthodox Judaism: thanks to Friends, Frasier, Ellen, Father Ted and Shooting Stars, I haven't left my armchair after sunset on a Friday since 1994.
Be thankful too that Seinfeld and Sanders aren't on Channel 4, where they would be interrupted by commercials, instead of being the high-concentration 45-minute comedy fix they are on BBC2. Worse still, each segment would be bookended by mini- sketches from the show's "sponsors", surely the most extreme torture that television has yet devised. I didn't think anything could be more hideous than the giggly, shampoo-flogging bimbettes who fight over a sofa before and after Friends, but that was before I saw the fifth-rate Woody Allenisms that separate the ad breaks from Frasier. They must have done wonders for the ratings of Have I Got News For You, which is on BBC2 at the same time.
Infinitely preferable is the quaint way that BBC2 welcomes us to The Larry Sanders Show. Not only do the continuity announcers warn us about the rude words, presumably mistaking 20-to-midnight for the nation's teatime, but they do so in a sweetly sheepish, jocular way. Lord Reith must smile down from television heaven whenever he hears "We're warming up for some heated language on The Larry Sanders Show!" Or my personal favourite: "Ouch! A certain ego is being severely dented now on BBC2. It's enough to make anyone swear!" At a different time or on a different channel, these words just wouldn't be right.
Life & Style blogs
Men in crop tops seem to be trending thanks to Kid Cudi, the social media and the catwalk
What is ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Greggs Google fail: bakery chain falls afoul of search engine's algorithms with 'unofficial' logo
Anal sex study reveals climate of 'coercion'
Is this the end of apps? New research says a third of us don't bother to download
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 2 James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – and warns Obama of more to come
- 3 Reading Festival 2014: Tesco branch replaces salad and potatoes for Jagermesiter and vodka
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
£50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...
£65000 - £70000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy En...
£475 - £550 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Technical Accountant-Insuran...