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Jesters on the box

Television has been central to the lives of two generations, yet TV criticism barely exists.

By David Herman   January 2004

Last May the Guardian television critic, Gareth McLean, reviewed the Channel 4 production of John Adams’s opera The Death of Klinghoffer. McLean was underwhelmed. “It wasn’t that The Death of Klinghoffer was bad, it just wasn’t really my thing.” He went on to consider ITV’s The Forsyte Saga. “Damian Lewis and Rupert Graves are very, very good as Soames and Jolyon.”

It is impossible to imagine anyone but a television critic writing like this. Who else would think that “wasn’t really my thing” or “very, very good” is criticism? Can you see Michael Billington reviewing a play, or Philip French…

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