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23NOV1:J ISSUE 248

TELEVISION

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AMERICAN DRAMA

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Here's our pick of the best American Drama in recent years, and why Britain simply can't compete.

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THE WALKING DEAD FX, FRIDAY 10PM

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Following in the footsteps of True Blood and Buffy, there is a new American drama gracing our screens that packs a vicious bite . The Walking Dead is bringing zombie action to the small screen, focusing on the daunting prospect of everyday life after a zombie apocalypse. Following a small group of survivors in and around the desolate streets of Atlanta, it focuses on tough small town cop Rick Grimes and his search for his wife and son . The Walking Dead is a strong character drama as well a satisfying zombie horror. Written and directed by Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile), this drama is not afraid of asking the questions that most zombie films shy away from. Is it right to leave a racist brute to be eaten by zombies? Is it acceptable to start sleeping with your best friend's wife if you

KateAIIen

LOST

The television audience can be, broadly speaking, divided into three categories; those who never watched Lost, those who lost interest when the series changed channel, and those who stayed with it until the bitter end. Those that stayed were rewarded with six series of gripping, complex drama that demanded the audience's full attention, contributing to one of the most ambitious television projects ever. .......,~_.,.---=---...,

What made Lost so special was its mythology; it is impossible to name another TV show that could sustain a website with thousands of pages, each

When it comes to medical dramas, House has to be regarded as one of the very best that TV has to offer. Set in Princeton-Piainsboro Hospital, the show follows the grumpy genius that is Gregory House and his team of diagnosticians as they battle to save patients from an array of mysterious diseases. Although House's premise might seem a little tried and tested, what sets this hospital drama apart is that many of the episodes feel like a detective drama . For House and the team, it's not just a race against time to save a patient's life : it's also a rush to discover whether a patient is being entirely honest about their symptoms. Besides the slick camera action and perfect balance between the characters' professional and personal lives, the show's

think he's dead? By using the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead is able to strip back all the unnecessary mundane details of life and focus intensely on the humanity of these situations. In a world full of flesh -eating monsters it strives to ask: how capable are we of becoming monsters ourselves? British drama has struggled to be as innovative as this when dealing with the same issues; perhaps this is because of the shortness of British series, which gives characters a little time to develop. Or it may simply be the lack of a believable apocalypse situation happening in Britain; as Shaun of the Dead proved, the British solution to a zombie apocalypse is to head to the pub.

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dedicated to an individual item on screen, in case it played a part in the bigger picture . The appeal of the show was the way in which everyone thought they knew what was going to happen. The ensemble cast required viewers to keep abreast of numerous storylines, with flashbacks employed so that the audience could understand what made the characters what they were now. Ultimately, a show such as Lost could never be produced in the UK; the pilot episode cost over $10 million. A whole BBC series would cost far less. The large number of episodes in each series also contributed to the way in which the story arc was created. lt is unlikely that a series will come along on either side of the Atlantic anytime soon that will be able to live up to the great drama and suspense that Lost brought. PhiiTurtle

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greatest quality is undeniably Hugh Laurie's portrayal of Dr. House . Laurie is one of the few actors who manage to make the ultimate anti-h ero into someone who's ::r both laugh-out-loud funny and brutally _J unsympathetic. LL With his drug addiction to Vicodin and various medical misadventures, the show's biggest casualty is sometimes the medic himself and it's always interesting to see u how the dynamic between House and his team changes when he's the one in the ~ h~p~l~d .

GREY'S ANATOMY

Blood, bones, and bizarre medical cases mixed with humour, drama and sex only scratch the addictive surface of ABC's

Grey's Anatomy. Every season, millions of viewers are doomed to surrender wholeheartedly to creator Shonda Rhime's magical medical world . The question is, why is this season of the American drama worth watching, when we have our British counterparts? Hollywood's Undeniably, they have financial backing, providing greater episode budgets, their own studio complex in Los Angeles with medical equipment that is the envy of many real hospitals . But what maintains the show's prominence is its compelling melodrama . The heart-wrenching sentimentality within their tight-knit environment is what British medical dramas strive towards ."The season that changes everything" is a tagline that has not yet disillusioned viewers.

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But why is the US medical drama House a far superior show to any British hospital dramas? Can you imagine Charlie from Casualty asking his team to collect 0 UJ their boss's underwear as a part of an a: employment dare? Enough said. Eleanor Brown 3

• The Season Six finale left characters reeling after a mass shoot out within the hospital. Season Seven follows the staff after their life-changing experiences, having looked death directly in the face. The shooting motivated the writers to raise the stakes, producing a calibre of highly-charged, addictive medical drama unlike anything previously written . Balancing th is with some laughout loud, comedic moments and oneliners, they maint ain the show's appeal. Expect exceptional break-ups, gratifying marriages, shocking break-downs and hilarious drunken antics, all beside medical miracles; I'll never forget the spider that crawled out of an arm mid-operation . Do not dismiss this new season of Grey's Anatomy as a guilty pleasure; truly, its genre-defining production and writing is back. Kathryn Deighan

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Profile for Concrete - UEA's official student newspaper

Venue - Issue 248 - 23 November 2010  

Venue - Issue 248 - 23 November 2010  

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