Monthly Archives: February 2008

Is Echo Beach In The Right Place?


ITV’s Friday night soap, Echo Beach, is not doing too well, according to The Guardian. This is a shame really as I don’t think it’s the worst programme on television by far and, given some time, could be a ratings winner. It does suffer from two problems: it’s in the wrong slot and the behind-the-scenes ‘Moving Wallpaper’ doesn’t do it any favours.

The Guardian reckons ITV Viewers want something different on Friday nights, “They like cars and explosions, and shows they know. With Echo Beach they got Hollyoaks by the sea. You can’t replace dark, edgy dramas with surfer teens and expect the audience not to flinch.” This maybe true but I think the Moving Wallpaper factor is just as relevant.

Moving Wallpaper (MW) is the comedy-drama of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that airs immediately before the soap. Yet the soap is supposed to be able to stand alone. If, however, you watch an episode of MW then you can’t help but look for the references: the skimpy bikini, the surf board, the picture in the shop – whatever it is – and that devalues the soap itself. It’s a great idea and MW is funny and, as it stands, MW is the better programme because of the way it is viewed. Separate them and they might both work with different audiences; after all, a drama about hot young things by the sea (where the need to remove clothes) is usually a ratings hit!

On this day…

2003: Book of the Year