There came a point the other night when I wondered what on earth I was doing. I had spent half an hour searching for a pitchfork emoji to add to a Twitter post. Half an hour! Like most people, I have a busy life: mine is with a young family, work, home etc. Half an hour is time I would normally grab with both hands and shout “Thank you for half an hour! Now I can squeeze in (insert activity/job etc as appropriate).” Yet in the last week I have started using emojis, taken part in a Twitter storm, sent a jar of jam to ITV, set up a blog and ranted about this so much that people at work are starting to hide from me.
So what is going on?
Well, ITV decided not to renew its brilliant Home Fires drama series that has been airing on Sunday nights at 9pm. (It has also been screened on PBS in the US and they are a series behind us.) Like millions of others, I had watched open-mouthed as a dramatic event happened which would have catastrophic consequences for a number of characters. Phew, I thought, logging off ITV Player (because so many viewers don’t watch it live on the TV) I can’t believe I have to wait a year to find out what happens!
So I went on Twitter to see what other people thought of the ending. And found that ITV had announced minutes earlier that they had no plans to renew. I was totally speechless. What? How could they do that? And then the righteous indignation and anger set in. How DARE ITV treat us in such a cavalier way?
Home Fires means so much to so many and this has become clear over the last week. There are plenty of testimonials as to why on Twitter and on the comments section of the petition at change.org. Others have said it far better than I ever could.
We care about the characters and we care about the show. The thought of leaving them in suspended animation without their stories being told upsets me. The cast and crew are brilliant and there was easily a couple more series left in the programme. It is even one of the nominations in this year’s recently announced TV Choice awards. It doesn’t make sense.
It’s like ITV have invited us to a brilliant party. We’ve had the canapes, we may have had a cheeky cocktail or two. Now we are ready to gear it up a bit and get into the swing. And then some killjoy turns on the lights, brusquely shouts “Time’s up, off you go!” and starts sweeping around your feet whilst you are still looking bewildered with a deflated party blower sticking out of your mouth and a half-eaten sausage roll in your hand. It’s rude.
I wouldn’t dream of treating anyone that I deal with on a personal or professional level in such a way. I’m not usually a campaigner, but I feel too strongly about this. Surely this can’t happen?
Despite numerous tweets, letters, emails, jars of jam and even media exposure, ITV have still not come out with any other excuse than “We need to refresh our portfolio”.
Well, refresh this ITV: recommission the series please, or else I won’t be investing any time or emotion in any of your future offerings. And we won’t be inviting YOU to the virtual party we’ll be having when another network twigs on about the depth of feeling and signs it up.
Right, I’m off to work out how to make gifs and print off a protest sign.