Farce

In deference to one of my most loyal readers and commenters, Santa, I am writing this post to explain why I have started calling Doc Martin a farce. The actual designation I had suggested we should use previously was dramedy, and I have written a long post about why this show satisfies that label. For the first five series, maybe five and a half, I was under the impression that this show was written to reveal truths about the human condition through the application of dramatic events couched in comedy. By the end of series 6, much of the comedy was gone, and the show had taken a turn towards drama, especially in terms of the relationship between its two main characters, Martin and Louisa. Now that we’ve completed series 7, I think the show has taken another turn, this times towards farce. It has had elements of farce in previous series too.

Farce is merely a sub-genre of comedy. Classical farce created comedy out of the most basic human impulses–the desire for pleasure and the fear of pain. It is often defined as a light dramatic work in which highly improbable plot settings, exaggerated characters, and often slapstick elements are used for humorous effect. Today’s farcical playwrights create exaggerated characters and place them in ridiculous situations.

What is an exaggerated character? The two standouts in Doc Martin are Mrs. Tishell and P.C. Penhale. Mrs. Tishell is a chemist who takes her profession seriously, but her obsession with Martin overshadows anything to do with her conduct in her place of business. Once he walks through the door or passes anywhere near her window, she quickly expands into slapstick behavior and overstated facial and physical expressions. She gets her face much too close to Martin’s, acts as though they have a special connection, and makes a fool of herself regularly. The whole town has now reached the conclusion that she’s a “nutter.” Penhale, the constable, is also more of a stereotypical Keystone Kop who takes the least prudent route to solve a problem. He often bumps into people and things in his zeal to catch up to Martin or someone else. He is obviously incapable of recognizing the meaning of what others are saying to him, at least at first, and he acts without thinking, often finding himself in awkward positions. There’s an intruder in the house? Run around the back and jump through a window, falling on his face in the process. Everyone’s trying to find an abducted baby — climb up to look in the window just as there is progress being made to rescue the baby. In S7, he runs after a carriage as an heroic effort only to discover there’s no baby in the carriage; or, he climbs in a window Martin is trying to use to escape then finds his taser is useless. As Ruth asks Martin in one episode, “Is he really a police officer?” We get the same sentiment from Louisa in S7E8 when she tells Penhale directly that they need to call the police, the real police.

Obviously Martin Ellingham is also exaggerated. His stick straight posture coupled with his uniform of suit and tie under all circumstances, his tendency to shout at Morwenna or patients in the reception area, and his overall confused demeanor are signals that this is not a typical man. His clumsiness is meant to accentuate his awkwardness, but adds to the slapstick nature of his behavior. He pours wine on himself, gets wet on numerous occasions (in his suit of course), and slips and falls regularly. He has been known to find himself in ridiculous situations, e.g. in the woods without a shoe accompanied by a psychotic park ranger, or rappelling down a cliffside to reach a patient. In this series, the boat rescue has him jumping into the water wearing his suit again, looking for a missing child in the woods where he walks through water again, falling and slipping in mud, and being chased by a dog after trying to put the car into a skid as if he’s some sort of secret agent or something. Another exaggerated reaction is when he places his hand on his heart and looks completely shocked by Louisa appearing in her bathrobe, or by Mrs. Winton pointing her gun at him, or when Mrs. Tishell appears at his front door. The very repetition of that gesture tells us it’s slapstick.

In S7 we also have Angela Sim, whose behavior is extreme in several scenes; Danny, who plays the guitar rather than search for a missing boy under his care, or who regularly invokes the Lord; and Erica Holbrook who staples students’ beloved stuffed animals to a board and tells them they’ll get over their marked sadness, or faints several times. Even Dr. Timoney could be considered extreme in that she’s very impersonal at first, never actually tries to probe Martin and Louisa’s difficulties, and then becomes loopy after hitting her head while careening down the narrow streets of Portwenn. To me these are all cartoonish characters whose primary purpose is to appear ridiculous.

Janice, the new child minder, is another case. Although she seems to do a decent job with James, she is quite a ditz and our first introduction to her makes clear that she is. She enters the kitchen and asks which one of them is James. Even a ditz should find it easy to identify the child! She acts rather childish herself for the most part, although we see some signs of actual thoughtfulness on occasion. Still, the overall impression of her is that she looks ridiculous and acts ridiculous.

By the time we reach the final episode, which, if you read this blog, you know I considered very cartoonish, I was having trouble taking anything very seriously. Was Mrs. Winton ever going to shoot Martin? No. Ruth is the only one who actually shoots the rifle, and when that happens, her reaction is also exaggerated, especially for her.

Identifying a comedy as a farce is not a slur. If you check the list of television shows considered farces on the Wikipedia site, you’ll see many of the best shows ever on it: Seinfeld, Frasier, I Love Lucy, Hogan’s Heroes, Night Court, and many others. However, noticing all these farcical features of Doc Martin has made me arrive at a different place in regard to how seriously they want us to examine this show. Their message seems to be that S6 got too solemn and now we’re just going to have fun, string out Martin and Louisa’s reunification, and be a source of entertainment. We (that is, all of us dedicated fans) just have to adjust our thinking and reach a level of acceptance commensurate with Louisa’s.

Originally posted 2016-02-09 12:04:31.

17 thoughts on “Farce

  1. Waxwings2

    FARCE IS AS FARCE DOES (I will probably regret posting this…but here goes):

    Until Series 7, I never once thought of the DM show as a farce. But Karen is correct, the DM tv show has now become a farce – a splendid mockery of itself, and by logic, of us.

    The farcical nature of Series 7 is exactly what sets it apart from everything that preceded it on the show. It simply was not believable as a follow-on to all that came before. It didn’t even make continuity sense (as the other seasons did, one to the other). And it was gratuitous in the extreme with unnecessary vignettes, sub stories that didn’t advance the plot, and completely irrelevant scenes used as fillers and place keepers or worse, actor role-making parts.

    Series 1 through 6 was a comedy with farcical moments yes, but also equal parts serious, believable human issues—emotional, psychological, social and cultural. Thus the name dramedy. The writers gave us something real to set our minds to work, and our hearts to laughing. If Series 1 through 6 had been farce alone (as Series 7 turned out to be), I doubt I would have watched past Series 2. Maybe even this blog would never have existed…

    The point here is that all of the serious human, worthwhile, believable struggles that are universally understood by so many who have become DM fans, were absolutely part of the DM tv show for all of the last six seasons (13 years!!). But in Series 7, they were mostly cut off at the knees, and made into unbelievable cartoon spoofs of themselves. While previous DM seasons contained serious issues wrapped in humor and even sometimes farce (remember the ranger’s giant squirrel? the principal’s melt down on the beach? Bert’s 2-for-1 lobster fiasco?) the serious human and believable dramatic themes that were central to what made me watch the DM show were gone from Series 7. The major one of course being between Louisa and Martin.

    Therapy in S7 for the couple was ridiculed and not once were the issues that had been so central to their relationship problems — communication, fear of intimacy, blood phobia, childhood trauma, — ever addressed inside or outside the therapy room. And yet, these were the issues the writers and producers had schooled us in for six long seasons. In Series 7 it was as though these never happened and we were to forget about them.

    Instead, for Dr. Timony’s therapy issues, we got: “control” (Louisa you tell Martin what to do for a whole day), “affection” (practice hugging five times a day), “make lists” (write down what you like about Martin). This is stupid and unbelievable and not worthy of what had come before, and what the writers and producers had led us to understand and feel and care deeply about. It is simply not true that therapy is too serious and too hard to portray or pull off. (Just reference the tv show “River” with actor Skellen Skarsgard.) Surely in all of Series 7, the two lead characters could have had just one conversation with each other about their lives, their marriage, their problems? No? Really?

    As Karen writes:

    By the time we reach the final episode (of S7), which, if you read this blog, you know I considered very cartoonish, I was having trouble taking anything very seriously.

    Yes, you couldn’t take anything seriously in Series 7—and that’s the rub. Particularly after Series 6 brought us such darkness. We had followed Series 6 assiduously, and we struggled to examine how the couple could have descended so far down, and then waited impatiently for the next Series (7) to help us and them up again, and to learn how and why. Offering a complete farce as a follow on to S6 felt like a deliberate mockery — of us, the viewers, and of themselves, the writers and producers. It was as though they were saying to us: Here, don’t take anything we do very seriously — not even Serious Series Six. We didn’t mean it, and you shouldn’t believe it. OK, Ok, I got it.

    Please let me pout, I earned it. All those who took six seasons of this show seriously have earned it. Karen, you have earned it by doing a magnificent job reading into the first six seasons of DM an integrity and depth— that up until Series 7 — was fully warranted. You and others on this site have tried to embue Series 7 with that same integrity. Thank you for all of your hard work and tenacity. And a thank you to all the wonderful commenters who have expanded our appreciation of Series 1-6. And thank you to the producers of Series 1-6 for giving us those six seasons. They were worthy of our allegiance and our intelligence and our belief. Alas, I have to “curb my enthusiasm” now….Farce is as farce does.

  2. Santa Traugott

    Thanks, Karen, for helping me think about farce. I think there is a difference between farcical elements, and an entire play/show that is meant to be understood as farce. And if it going to be a farce, it should be a good farce.

    So maybe two things are at play here: first of all, we didn’t expect their marital troubles to be treated as a farce. And second, if they did plan it as a farce, it needed to have been more amusing, and subtle.

    Before S7 aired, and there was all this talk about it being much lighter and more amusing, I kept saying, I don’t think there’s anything very much amusing about a couple of people in distress because their relationship is failing. They’ll have to work pretty hard to make that funny. And really, they didn’t succeed, except maybe for the first hug. But I think they heard criticism of the “dark tone” of S6, and although they say they are not influenced, they tried too hard at a course correction back to a lighter tone.

    My basic objection to S7 is NOT that I wanted to see them delve into each protagonist’s issues in any depth. But as Waxwings so well put into words, I wanted to see their actions and choices as consistent with what had gone before.

    I love to solve puzzles. And indeed, I can put together a kind of Rube Goldberg solution to why Louisa acted as she did, and Martin behaved as he did and what it all meant. And I have done so, in many posts on this blog. But there isn’t the “aha” moment that comes when you see exactly how a puzzle is meant to be solved, what the key is. Instead, it’s more of a “well, looked at in this way, making this assumption, then, this makes a kind of sense. ” And that just shouldn’t be. ALL the input into sense-making should not have to come from the viewer.

    My incredulity at plot developments began actually with the last episode of S6. That Louisa was so ticked off at his outrageous Sports Day behavior (and his bullying of the hospital staff) that she’d decide to take off for Spain, that’s barely believable. Surely, someone in a relatively new marriage, with an infant, would have at least one come-to-Jesus conversation with her husband — get things figured out , or else.

    Then, he’s clearly distraught and penitent that she’s leaving, although he is still his usual passive, tongue-tied self. He chases after her and performs a life-saving operation, in the course of which he tells her clearly, humbly and believably, that he wants to be a better husband. To which she responds, “this doesn’t change anything.” Really? She’s so discouraged after a few weeks of living with a husband in a depressive funk that the only solution is to bail? that it makes no difference what he says to her?

    Alternatively, she never heard the “better husband” speech — so why was it there? to display MC’s acting chops? Inappropriate.

    Still, when S7 opens we are expected to believe that he either reverted to his usual passive self, and never pled his case again, or that he pled his case and she had just had it with him, and could not be dissuaded from leaving him. And she must have told him not to come after her. Because apparently she went away to think about whether she wanted to end the marriage, and still had no answer when she came back. As why would she — how can you know if you want to end a marriage if you’ve shut yourself off from any kind of input from your partner. If it’s all in your head – – an endless loop of the ways in which your partner failed you– then you’re not likely to come to a conclusion that allows you to come back home and try again. But that just is not who we thought Louisa was. We didn’t think that she would blow up her marriage at the first rough patch.

    Surely, the most egregious plot device was that Louisa had no idea how to proceed, or what she wanted, and could not or would not communicate to her partner what she wanted and expected from him, if there was a chance of reconciliation. And that in the circumstance, separating without further ado was the only way she could think of to save their marriage. That was so preposterous that to my mind it had to be a veiled way of saying, I’m ready to end the marriage, but don’t quite want to say it just yet. But I now think that that would be ascribing some reality base to this plot, which is probably unwarranted. .

    Then we turn to Martin — he was so afraid of losing her that he could not even try to make a case for himself? Ask her directly to try marital therapy? Ask her what she needed from him? Ask her how she thought they might proceed to work their way back to a new beginning? Or even ask her to talk about talking about a path forward? Ask her exactly how living separately would help their marriage? No, certainly not. I’ll just move to the spare bedroom, spare you the sight of my mournful countenance, and then let you walk all over me, if that’s what it takes to get you back. Because I’m completely helpless at human relationships, and I deserve whatever I get from you. So I just about cheered when he finally had enough of the misery, and wanted to get on with his life, with or without her. That at least felt like a real choice — nothing’s working, we’re no closer to resolving things, you’re not giving me an inch here, so we’ll call it a day, since that’s what you seem to want.

    I mean, each of their ineptitude at relationships is so flagrant as to cross the border from frustrating to farcical. In the end, I have to agree with Waxwings that if you think about the story arc of S7 very much, any possible sense or connection to human reality just vanishes.

  3. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    I think you’ve put your finger on the major problems inherent in this series. It didn’t pursue any of the paths we had every reason to expect them to pursue and the humor was so blatant and forced that it wasn’t funny. For those of us who have been delighted by the writing and the plots, it was disjointed and utterly bereft of its former cogency.

  4. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    Your exasperation is tangible and I wish I could find a way to contradict it. I am just as astonished that they followed a very weighty and psychologically profound series with one that let us down so much. If they truly felt they had to take Martin to his lowest point in order to energize the show and keep it fresh, then don’t shift gears so suddenly in the next series and be dismissive of the previous series. I definitely wanted the humor to return, but in a manner congruent with the first 5 series. There were many opportunities they had available to them. The Sally and Clive relationship worked well, for example. In the end their choices seemed self-indulgent rather than well planned. Let’s write a part for our good friend Caroline Quentin; let’s bring back Tristan Sturrock; a therapist sounds like a good idea-let’s ask a friend to help. It would be fun to see how Peter Cronk is doing now so let’s come up with some way to include him. And finally, Louisa always responds positively to Martin saving someone’s life. One case is not enough to bring her around this time; we need two (both involving neck surgery).

    I can enjoy the show as light entertainment. My problem stems from being pulled from pillar to post between S6 and S7. I guess I’m not alone.

  5. Santa Traugott

    I think that you’re right — the only way to view S7 is as an entertainment, and not expect too much in the way of logical sense-making, but more in the way of farce.

    I wonder if we really pressed, we’d find S1-6 so different. I’ve already said that I thought the detachment from reality began with Louisa’s decision to hop it to Spain.

    As a hypothesis, I think that what we mostly saw in S1-6 was an exaggerated version of reality — their relationship difficulties painted in overbroad strokes, but still having some connection to plausibility. One can believe in an emotionally stunted, repressed middle-aged man who is struck even more dumb by an unexpected infatuation with a woman, and who proceeds to go about wooing her mostly like a smitten teenager. And one can imagine a single woman in her 30’s being attracted to, puzzled and occasionally infuriated by, such a man. And so on.

  6. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    S7 has to be placed on the spectrum of entertainment, but the fact that we are now questioning how to view the entirety of the show, is troubling to me. Haven’t we heard PB claim that we Americans really “get” what they are trying to do with the show while the English viewers just watch for the entertainment value and want a signed photograph? Is that just a way to massage our egos? Are they actually happier when we watch the show for the fun of it and stop trying to make more of it?

    I think you have every reason to look at Louisa’s behavior at the end of S6 as a departure from what we’ve seen from her in the past and to wonder whether her intransigence even then displayed a new approach to this character. In S7 she actually continues in that vein while everyone else seems to be tripping all over themselves to return to their previous traits.

    What got us off track to a great extent was S6 and its serious approach to Martin’s condition. Apparently they weren’t attempting to do anymore than change the tone of the show, and now that we’ve waited two years to find out how they chose to resolve the many issues they’ve made a point of accentuating in the previous series, they are essentially shrugging their shoulders and telling us “nevermind.”

  7. Waxwings2

    This is in response to both Santa and Karen from their Feb 9th posts to me…

    SANTA: Your reactions reflect—in a much nicer way—what I was saying about Series 7 (quoting you):“I wanted to see their actions and choices, as consistent with what went before.” (Or Karen saying she didn’t like being pulled from pillar to post”) Yes. When we didn’t really get the consistency, we struggled mightily on this blog to see how the S7 story line connected to the resolution of all those serious issues Series 6 raised.. And yes, like you said, our efforts to understand and see links didn’t get much help from the show.

    As Santa wrote:

    “All the input into sense making shouldn’t have to come from the viewer.”

    And yet, there we were—dutifully trying to figure out how the writers were setting up the Series 7 episodes to give us the connect we wanted/expected to Series 6 issues and advance the struggle Martin and Louisa had been waging. I even think some of us turned ourselves into intellectual pretzels trying to make sense of Series7! With few exceptions, they really weren’t there. And when they were at all, they were spoofed and used as farce.

    It was as Karen said, they had changed, and the show was on to something else. Both Santa and Karen have concluded that BP just made a huge leap to writing a farce, not a dramedy, and it didn’t matter what went before. The take away for us is: we shouldn’t so seriously examine the show as before…

    KAREN: Both in your original post and your followup one to me, you are very kind in your acceptance of the change in the DM show. You write:

    “However, noticing all these farcical features of Doc Martin has made me arrive at a different place in regard to how seriously they want us to examine this show. Their message seems to be that S6 got too solemn and now we’re just going to have fun, string out Martin and Louisa’s reunification, and be a source of entertainment. We just have to adjust our thinking and reach a level of acceptance commensurate with Louisa’s.”

    In no way disagreeing or being critical of your observation, I do accept that the fans are now the Louisa of the show — and we must accept gracefully this fact if we want to keep Martin (and the show). Or as Jack Nickleson would insightfully say in “Something’s Gotta Give” — when describing his own role as the jilted one — “Now look who’s the girl”…..

    I guess I naturally expected Series 7 to continue its wonderful way of examining (through humor) the human condition using real and believable human interactions and situations that illuminated and revealed truths we all understand. I thought it was why the show was so vital: we understood and sympathized with the notion of vulnerability, we cried over the pathos of recognizable limitations (O those damaged human beings), and we cheered when we could embrace true struggles that led our characters on a course of painful change,(the scene of Martin at the castle talking to Mrs. Tishell/Louisa), even as we recognized the deep and abiding love that was its prime, motivating force. Must we now look forward to prime motivating farce?

    As I wrote in an earlier post, the passion and the electricity between Louisa and Martin had been neutered by the time of S7, and the spark that had animated and informed their “community” of two was out. In Series 7 they were just at sixes and sevens in which their struggles never really resulted in clarity or progress. The affection and love they had wasn’t shown at all. And the therapy in S7 deliberately did not help to re-ignite it, as it might have done if properly used. They might have gained some important insights into themselves and each other.Instead we got farce, fatuous exercises, and therapeutic mechanical rigidity from Dr. Timony.

    In your original post on Farce, Karen, you wrote that you believed “this show was written to reveal truths about the human condition through the application of dramatic events couched in comedy.” Sadly, this seems no longer the case. As both you and Santa have concluded, we should just try to enjoy the show as entertainment and farce without expecting redeeming truths about the human condition. I can do that, and I did laugh at many scenes in Series 7. Martin and Louisa’s acting abilities were at their usual high quality, and the re-unification of the Tishell’s was a nice touch, as was Bert’s finding his way. But what of our main couple? How will they proceed from there?

    If I could wave a magic wand over BP, I’d have a re-do of Series 7 in Series 8. Get back to the idea of therapy (where, with sensitive questioning from the therapist, inner demons can be gently coached out); trap the couple somewhere in a mine shaft where they’d have to have that much needed come-home-to-reality moment, and talk to one another; and please, I’d say, limit the farcical moments to something the old DM show would be best known for—brackets around and/or springboards to—the dramatic human condition events that were the gems of this brilliant program. Amen.

  8. Poppy

    I am so thankful I found this site. I have not relooked at my series seven dvd since I watched it the first time.I watched One through five over and over and over,enjoying the damage,and the inner turmoil,and the awkwardness. Totally loved those episodes,and cannot sit through a revisit of any of this latest series. To have words put to this disappointment solved my question of where did the magic go. I too wish for the next series to have some real conversation,real attempts to grow and tackle some real,and maybe fun topics that might make us uncomfortable. To see Martins discomfort has always been the best,the pills that Mark Mylow asked about,laugh out loud funny. And why Louisa is anemic,and the girl wanting birth control. All gems in the world of DM.
    Thanks again for your insight and willingness to share what the heck happened to our show.

  9. mmarshall

    I echo your sentiments — all of you — about S7 being disappointing, frustrating, treating weighty emotional matters in a trite fashion and even the comedy seeming tired. S6 left me sad, heavy, and depressed — much like the characters. I applaud the writers for causing me such an emotional journey! I felt like I could relate in some way to what each was feeling, and this is something I have loved about this series. The emotions, characters, and experiences were so relatable to me — even when they were exaggerated. I found myself often saying, “Yes! I do that — I would write my mother whom I’m disconnected with to tell her I’m expecting, even though it’s not a ‘totally rational decision!'” “I know someone like that — my father acts just like Martin when he’s under stress. My mother should say exactly that to him when he’s being absurd!” S7 didn’t feel like that to me at all. I could no longer to relate to the characters. I couldn’t understand their reasons for behaving as they were. The inconsistency was frustrating. As we’ve deliberated over the characters motives, I can’t even try to assign purpose to most in S7. The best I come up with is that they behaved as they did because the writers wanted them to — for their purposes. They wanted a separation, so Louisa left. They wanted to show Martin making small changes, so he waited until she returned to change anything. It seemed forced and artificial, hardly true to the emotions I experiences in earlier seasons.

    The Doc has so many times referred patients to mental health professionals (eg. OCD Mike) with such confidence that I can’t believe they portrayed his experience with therapy so weakly and ineffectually. I really thought they were going to show what a good dose of outside positive influence could do to change one’s perceptions and thought processes. I think they were afraid of big changes — this man who they say will never change. But showing a little growth and understand could have gone a long way. After all, we had a few clues that Martin Ellingham had already changed a lot through the first 5 seasons from the man he used to be. He was willing to pursue a woman he was attracted to, if ever so timidly, to the point of staying in an ill-fitting community for the chance of getting to know her. He was adjusting to being a small town GP rather than a big wig, big city hospital surgeon. He was clearly willing and capable of making some alterations in his life and could be expected to be seen growing and making some in his married life as well.

    The use of ambiguity in this show, as Karen has so aptly described, has had a tantalizing effect, I believe. It kept us guessing and wondering about many of the characters’ true thoughts and motives. I believe it helped us feel like the outsiders we are looking in — and many such “outside looking in” camera angles added to the feel. We are seldom treated someone’s full divulgence of their innermost feelings on a given matter, or a full-blown conversation between characters airing all that’s going on underneath. I think this is a hallmark of this show and it’s done very well. However, after so many seasons, being through so much with these characters, I couldn’t help feeling that I had earned just a peek just a little more of the full picture, just to feel I hadn’t come so far in vain! In S6 we got a more personal look at Louisa and Martin by seeing more scenes quite literally inside their home and inside their lives. I liked the deeper, more emotional approach to that season, not so comical, as they introduced more serious subjects. But S7 really needed to answer some of that emotionalism that S6 caused, even if they wanted to return to a more light-hearted approach. I really watched for an emotionally satisfying reply to S6 through S7, especially through E8. Instead, I only got a flippant treatment, our characters consider divorce after only a few counseling sessions, at the suggestion of a therapist — where on earth did that come from?? — held at gunpoint for the umpteenth time in this series, have their conversations cut short or interrupted again and again (getting old), and then when they finally do talk, say a few trite things and that’s it. I felt ripped off.

  10. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    I’m glad you found us too! I’m also sorry that you found it when we were unhappy with the direction of the show. I hope you find some posts that are more about the good parts of the show and have fun reading them too.

  11. Amy Cohen

    Wow, I’d not seen this post before, and wow, is it angry! Everyone is so angry! And, of course, I agree, as I’ve commented on earlier posts about the writers blowing it and the humor no longer working, etc., etc. I won’t rehash what is said here. All I can say is that I am not a fan of farcical humor (gave up on Seinfeld when it got to be too farcical, liked Lucy as a kid but found her annoying when I watched as an adult, hate slapstick humor, etc.). So if DM is to become a farce (or already is one), I may just skip S8 ans S9.

    Sad.

  12. Amy Cohen

    OK, two questions: does anyone know whether the views expressed here (1) are widely held by viewers in common or did most people like S7, and if it is the former, (2) have those views been conveyed to the creators of DM? That is, is there any indication that they are aware of the discontent just as they supposedly were aware that viewers felt s6 was too dark?

  13. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    I wish I could answer that. From what I can tell there are fans who would like anything that is called Doc Martin and/or has Martin Clunes in it. Then there are some viewers who watch without much concern other than to be entertained. The readers of this blog and I may be a select group of people who enjoy analyzing the show because we like the act of really thinking through what has made it so remarkable. I don’t know how much what we say matters, but I know this blog is read by some of the folks involved with the show. They probably don’t read every entry, but they are aware of it.

  14. Amy Cohen

    Well, let’s hope they hear what we are all saying. I would hope they’d care as much about the integrity and reputation of the show as they do about ratings and money, but it is, after all, television.

  15. Mary F.

    I am late to the party but I concur with all of your sentiments and can only hope that Season 8 will being a return to believable drama. Season 7 was a great disappointment and seemed so far removed from what real people would say or do, that I did not even bother re watching the shows as I had done previously with so much pleasure. Crossing fingers for better writing in Season 8.

  16. kjacobson@mindspring.com Post author

    Mary, I’m so sorry I did not see your comment until today. As you can tell, my enthusiasm for writing much has been rather low lately. I do have a post I’m working on that I hope to publish sometime soon.

    Thank you for your observations. I have no idea what will happen in S8, but I am somewhat expecting the series to be relatively light and of less consequence than many previous years. The writing and ideas could surprise all of us, though, and I am very hopeful it will. It won’t be long before we find out. Fingers crossed here too!!

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