I have just watched the first episode of the TV Book Club on More 4 and was so disappointed with it that I felt I had to put my frustrations on record, in the vain hope that those in control of the show will change things.
The first book to be featured on the show was The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. I enjoyed reading it, but it did have a few flaws, so I was looking forward to seeing what others thought of it.
The show opened in a very cheesy way, with all the presenters looking uncomfortable – a forgivable problem, as I appreciate that this is an important new venture for them all. The programme then introduced their special guest for the night, radio DJ Chris Evans, and spent 10 minutes discussing his book, carefully and thoroughly. This was fine, but I tuned in to hear about Sarah Waters – I have no interest in celebrity autobiographies and their excessive promotion, so I waited patiently for The Little Stranger to appear.
We were then treated to a weird piece about how much success Cecelia Ahern had achieved since her book was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, with amusing clips which did their best to avoid any shots of Richard and Judy’s names!
The programme then took a strange, mildly interesting look at a few words not commonly used in the English language, which was OK, but 20 minutes in I still hadn’t heard anything about The Little Stranger.
Finally, Sarah Waters appeared and gave a fantastic description of her book – easily the best part of the show, it was great to hear her talk.
Then the discussion started, but it was terrible – it felt rushed, unorganised and critical. It seemed to appear that all the panel members disliked the book, but without enough time it was impossible to decide whether they didn’t enjoy any of it, or just certain sections. The rushed discussion failed to address any aspect of the book properly and just as it seemed to be getting going it was all over. It was supposed to be a book club, so why did they only discuss the book for 4 minutes?
Richard and Judy managed to create an intelligent discussion of a book in a ten minute slot, so it is really disappointing that this programme failed to take advantage of it’s 30 minute length. They could have had a fantastic, thorough talk, but instead they wasted their time with pointless fillers.
Did you watch the TV Book Club?
Did you find it as frustrating as I did?
Will you be watching the rest of the series?