... Or at least it feels that way. Party Animals, penned by Ben Richards, concluded last night, amidst minimal fanfare, which has been the way with this under-sung TV drama. I hope it gets a second series, although with only 1.2m viewers last night, I'm not hopeful.
This was yet another top quality BBC drama which I fear will bite the dust. We recently had it confirmed that the marvellous Lilies, written by the acclaimed and talented Heidi Thomas, has been prematurely given the chop - reportedly because it didn't attract the "right sort" of viewer and because the BBC wants to make way for 'New Drama' (go figure). Last year we had the highly entertaining Sally Wainwright drama The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, which the BBC canned because of lacklustre ratings.
In both cases, the series closed with loose ends, and a major cliffhanger in the case of The Amazing Mrs Pritchard - and a lot of fans have thus demanded resolution, most especially in the case of Lilies. The BBC Lilies web site has been literally inundated with hundreds of heartfelt demands for a second series - all ignored. Obviously demands from the wrong sort of audience fall on deaf ears at the BBC which is increasingly (and worryingly) preoccupied with ratings it seems, and facing off ITV - which is not why we pay the BBC vast sums of money via our license fees. I honestly believe the BBC never intended to renew Lilies, based on the shoddy promotion and poor scheduling the show received. Perhaps it wasn't seen as cool and 'yoof' enough to share the same BBC branding as the 'hallowed' likes of Doctor Who, Torchwood and the inexecrable Robin Hood. Perhaps if Lilies had been set in a hospital, and starred yet another bleedin' police detective with slightly maverick tendencies and a drink problem, as seems to dominate British TV output these days, it would have stood a better chance.
Party Animals suffered a similar fate to Lilies in the sense that advertising for the show was minimal. Yes, ratings have been poor, but little has been done to boost them. This was a quality drama with some very strong acting performances - this blogger has already raved Andrew Buchan, and deservedly so. Such a fine actor! And like many admirers of the show no doubt, I'm dying to know if Scott and Ashika are ever going to put aside their 'party' differences and kiss and make up.
If anyone learns of Party Animal's fate in the hands of the BBC commissioners, don't hesitate to tell - I'm eager to know, and hope that the news is good. The BBC simply can't keep dropping it's quality dramas, leaving us with the dross and drivel of so much of the populist formulaic crap currently being foisted onto our TV screens.