by: Dick Stroud
As part of a three part series about the “Blair Years” the BBC broadcasted three programmes about how life has fared for three groups in society, during the past decade. This is an extract from the first programme about Baby Boomers.
When portraying the boomer generation (something that is not accurately defined) there is a tendency to make a series of mistakes:
1. Spend an inordinate amount of time talking about the wealthy and healthy segment of the older population with only passing references to the majority who are not so wealthy.
2. To portray older people as absolutely obsessed with water and ball games. In the case of this programme we have a male para-surfer, a woman who spends most of her waking hours in a gym and a married couple belting the hell out of a table tennis ball.
3. To include a guy getting his thrills on a motor bike - preferably a HD.
4. Discuss the way that the over-50s are finding love and/or sex using the Internet.
5. Discuss, in worrying terms, why a generation who are busy spending and not transferring their wealth to the kids will result in hand-to-hand combat between the generations.
This programme suffered from all of these afflictions. Having said that it did make a valiant attempt to cover a couple of the less salubrious issues of aging (like euthanasia).
I guess TV programme makers are always in a quandary between making a programme interesting and watchable, which results in them using a broad brush when discussing complex issues. The alternative is a more truthful and intricate programme that will bore the average viewer.
I think the BBC were a little too interested in popularism rather than accuracy and completeness.