The weekend has only a few hours left to live. Monday is trying to make itself heard. You’re trying not to listen. It’s snowing outside. The choices: a pile of ironing, making tomorrow’s lunch, or giving up and buggering off bed.
It wasn’t always like this. Once there was a “smell” to a Sunday night, one that reached its zenith in the 80s when Michael Grade believed he’d bottled said essence and knew the precise ingredients to give it maximum potency.
Sunday night telly used to be…Sunday Night Telly. It used to feel like it could lift this most unlifted and listless of occasions into something that was actually worth looking forward to, something that had a bit of a character and its own personality.
It might be the night for costumed roustabouts. It might be the night for biblical bombast. It might be sweary puppets or chinking ice cubes or upper class twittery or working class shystering or whiskery Whickery or feature length Potter or pensionable heifers or Richard Briers organising a Neighbourhood Watch scheme…but it was always Something. Now it is Nothing. There is fuck all that makes Sunday night a Night Of Television.
And this is a crying shame. Because Sunday night is still Sunday night. It is still always the end of something (the weekend) or the prelude to something (the working week) but never anything in its own right. It still needs something that resonates in your nostrils. And yet Sunday Night Telly is no more. Nobody bothers to treat it like an occasion, even though it is the one occasion above all else in the week that needs just that: to be treated, to be garlanded, to be scrubbed and dressed and made to shine.
Sure, you can watch something on video or DVD to try and mollify proceedings, but you can do that any old night of the week. There needs to be something that is bolted to Sunday nights to give it back its whiff of the giant Grade cigar. To send you off to bed and into Monday with something other than a feeling of shuffling towards the gallows.
There’s a Sunday night-shaped hole in TV Cream’s heart that needs to be filled.