It’s not a new phenomenon for a TV show to be garlanded with awards and cancelled.
Recent examples would include HBO’s Deadwood, and Hannibal, the sinister reimagining of the Hannibal Lecter books, both torpedoed after three series.
These, though, were victims of American TV’s ratings-uber-alles culture, where brilliance means nothing if you’re not making the numbers.
Raised By Wolves, for a bit of context, was cancelled by Channel 4. Cancelled by Channel 4! How bad does a show have to be to get canned by the people who gave us Naked Attraction and Sex Box?
If one was being kind, one could argue that the network perhaps wanted to free up as much money as possible to spend on nicking The Great British Bake Off. I personally would argue that the shelving of RBW actually represented a rare moment of good taste from Channel 4, an exceptional act that proved the general rule. The show, this document of the city I call home, was terrible.
“But Pete!” I hear you cry. “It just won the prestigious Rose D’Or award! For best sitcom! What do you have to say about that, you civic-pride-lacking churl?”
Well, in the main, I’d say, “Pffft!” but that’s not much of an argument on its own. What I would say is this: Here are some other winners of the Rose D’Or in its various categories. The Eurovision Song Contest. The Million Pound Drop. My Family. The Vicar Of Dibley. Deal Or No Deal. Wife Swap. Winning the Rose D’Or isn’t exactly an emphatic rubber-stamp of undeniable quality.
It pains me to say it, but Raised By Wolves was simply... LAME is the only word for it. It simultaneously managed to be hopelessly over-written and glumly lowbrow, all jokes about menstruation and people talking like they were doling out insta-quotes for TV reviewers. The posh press reviewers loved the show, but then most of them are probably Caitlin Moran’s mates.
Caitlin Moran’s involvement practically ensured a warm reception from the national press – what it also did was underline that there’s a huge difference between writing a funny newspaper column, and writing a funny sitcom.
Shrill and wearyingly juvenile, Raised By Wolves also had very little sense of place barring a bit of lip-service paid to The Dorchester nightclub. It offered a view of Wolverhampton life written by people who live in London and never come back. And the yamyam accents were shocking.
A while back, the Radio Times did a piece entitled ‘The best moments from Raised By Wolves’.
There were six of them.