The other evening I happened to catch a few minutes of BBC One programme The Sheriffs Are Coming.
I am not familiar with the programme, but it was billed as a new series to no doubt draw in the punters. As a fan of Channel 5 programme Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! I was expecting a similar format, but what the BBC delivered was total dross.
Having watched only ten minutes of the programme I was beginning to see some fundamental flaws in the format of The Sheriffs Are Coming.
In Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! a lot of the footage is captured on the agents' own body cameras, which takes viewers right to the heart of the action. In the past we've seen raised voices, raised fists and some truly obnoxious debtors trying every which way to avoid paying what they owed. It really is compelling viewing most of the time.
Instead of using body cams, The Sheriffs Are Coming clearly has a camera crew following the sheriffs as they go about their business. The outcome, very predictably, is that a lot of debtors tell the camera crew to bugger off the moment they set foot on private property. The camera crew duly obliges and ends up filming the outside of the premises, leaving viewers guessing about what is actually happening inside. The narrator, who has a particularly annoying accent, explains what is happening behind closed doors, but viewers rarely see the debt being settled.
As I said, after only about ten minutes of viewing I was thinking to myself how woeful the BBC programme was compared to its Channel 5 rival. Sensing I'd not be the only viewer left disappointed, I took to Twitter to gauge other people's opinions of the programme. Just as expected, there was a lot of disgruntlement out there - not just at the abysmal quality of the footage, but also the fact that the new series wasn't actually new at all. All the programme makers had done was bastardised a load of previous episodes, cut them together in a slightly different format and hey presto the "new" series of The Sheriffs Are Coming was born.
What complete and utter bollocks. Yet again the BBC displays total contempt towards the viewing public, by trying to pass off sloppy seconds as original programming.
In future I think I'll stick to watching the far superior Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away!
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