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The Fall is the rise of superlative television

Published 12/06/2013

AS a rule, I try not to use superlatives. Accordingly, when I do use them, I have thought through whether or not the subject merits them. One such case is BBC2 series The Fall.

It has realised new heights in terms of viewing figures on the Beeb's second string terrestrial channel; it's a social media sensation with tweets galore, after-show Facebook frenzies and reviews sites crammed with praise and – at worst – constructive criticism. Without question, it will prove to be a further boon to the already flourishing Northern Irish television and film industry – both as a location in itself and for the talent who have decided to build their careers at home.

So I read the review by Joe Nawaz, which had been given page two preference in the Belfast Telegraph. Contrary to my own views on grammar, Joe has a propensity for empty superlatives and nonsensical, unnecessarily ornate vocabulary ("ingenue" (sic) and "existential", darling) – I trust the irony of the last sentence is apparent. In Norn Iron parlance, he gives the programme and its cast a 'good sleggin'. Now, Joe has the right to his view, but we rarely see representatives from critically panned shows given a right of reply. What foresight was shown by Benjamin Disraeli when he recited the following for such an occasion: "How much easier is it to be critical than to be correct."

Surely, Benjamin and three or four million viewers can't be wrong, eh Joe?


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