So long 2011 television, it's been emotional. Alfred Hitchcock once said that television "has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it". Now, he may well have said this during the previous century, but if you told me he said it having just watched an episode of Desperate Scousewives I'd totally believe you.
Scanning back over the past year in television has made me seriously question the sanity of the UK's television producers and question my own for watching their produce. In 2011 I saw Russell Grant fired from a cannon, Fatima Whitbread snort out an insect and way too much of Kitty Brucknell's groin. I've learnt that it is apparently still socially acceptable to laugh at gypsies and that socialites who live in Chelsea, like ventriloquist dummies, don't really move their mouths much when they speak. We've realised that Jeremy Clarkson, much like a cockroach during nuclear war, cannot be killed. The nation learned where Azerbaijan is and saying 'reem' in everyday conversation became socially acceptable. It's been one giant amalgamation of gargantuan squirrel balls, the adventures of detective inspector Sarah Lund's Scandinavian jumper, Frankie Cocozza's comb-over and Pippa Middleton's posterior. Snogging on the balcony, RIP Pat Butcher, OK dot com.
Who am I kidding? It was freakin' awesome. My square eyes do, however, have just five small requests for the coming year.
My 2012 TV wish list
1. Period dramas. If a little bit less of the programming budgets could be spent on them I'd be ever so appreciative. Yes, they had lovely clothes and manners, but you know the olden days weren't that nice. Beating your wife and dying of syphilis were pretty standard. I know the ending to most of the plotlines because this is the fifteenth time the BBC has adapted them for television. The hardcore Downton Abbey fans out there will probably want to me have me hung for saying this, but they can't because it is 2012 and the justice system has moved on. It is time for my TV to do the same.
2. The continued presence of Hilary Devey's shoulder pads.
3. Educating Essex series two. Much in the same vein as One Born Every Minute this fly on the wall documentary following the schooldays of pupils and teachers at Passmore Academy in Essex was sensitive reality TV at its best and easily one of my favorite programmes of 2011. From Mr. Drew singing along to Teenage Dirtbag to Carrie's inability to understand the concept of Pi or where it comes from you couldn't help but find the dedication of the staff utterly heartwarming. As an added it bonus it also really annoyed journalists at the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.
4. For the Olympics to in no way interfere with the scheduling of my favourite shows.
5. Finally, whilst I'm on the topic of things happening in 2012 in the east of London, EastEnders scriptwriters I hope you are reading carefully. First up I want Stacey Slater back. I want Tiffany Mitchell frozen in time, preserved at her current age and level of adorable and precociousness. 2012 will see the full recovery of Tamwar, oh brave Tam. Janine Butcher and Michael Moon will go forth and multiply and will call their unborn daughter Pat Nana Moon. Nobody will swap the baby this time.
Some of those demands might sound unrealistic right now but if 2011 taught us anything it is that UK TV is unpredictable, wonderful and often clinically insane. So here's hoping. Who knows, maybe 2012 will even be the year I begin to understand why Channel 5 exists.