Has anyone checked out A Diamond on the Mind on PBS yet? My local PBS channel aired it last night. After a busy day campaigning for local candidates, I planned on sitting on the couch, grading and reading for work. I figured putting A Diamond in the Mind on would provide a great soundtrack, allowing me to be productive and focused. Well, it didn’t work quite as well as I hoped.
I turned the channel at about 9 pm, with grading pen in hand. I soon realized that I had no idea what the format of this airing would be. Would they just show the whole concert? Would there be commercials? I remembered hearing or reading about how new interviews with Simon and Nick would be part of it. I decided not to worry about it and got to work.
The concert started with Planet Earth, A View to a Kill and The Reflex. Right away, I recognized that this was not the regular order of songs during the All You Need Is Now Tour. No, the shows began with Before the Rain. My immediate reaction to this realization was hardcore eye-rolling. Really? Are we just going to air the “hits”? Is that how this was going to go? Why?!? Then, the PBS people popped up to start talking about making a pledge. Who were these PBS people? Women. Are they assuming that women watching would relate to these women talking? Do they think that only women are watching? I’m not sure but it did make me wonder. Then, if that was not bad enough, they commented that the viewers should contribute because PBS is not our parents’ PBS but ours. Duran Duran is our music, the music for our generation. If we want to see music like this on the channel, we need to donate. Now, of course, PBS included some gifts for people’s contribution. One level had a 10 song CD (not sure what songs were included–probably the hits). The next had a DVD copy of A Diamond in the Mind and the CD. Finally, someone could get both of those along with Classic Hits: Rio and Mad World (book by Lori Majewski about 80s hits).
As I saw this sales pitch over and over again, I found myself cringing over and over again. First of all, I have never felt so old in my life. Are we really at the age that our music is acceptable to those who are middle-aged and old? I tend to think of PBS performers to be boring and unchallenging. It isn’t threatening, generally. I don’t really want Duran Duran to be in the camp. I appreciate that PBS is trying to broaden their usual audience and even that they offered some Duran items. Of course, those items did not make me jump since I already have the items they offered. It is the thought that counts, right?
Beyond showing mostly the hits and offering some Duran products, they also featured an interview with Simon and Nick. While I always appreciate interviews, I found myself a bit frustrated that the focus was on the past. There were a lot of questions about Rio or other famous songs from their past, including A View to a Kill and Ordinary World. While I get that they think the majority of the audience would want to focus on the songs that they know, I wish that there were questions about what the band is doing now. Wouldn’t the fans who only know of 80s and 90s Duran want to know that the band is still around? Couldn’t PBS advertise Duran as much as Duran was used to advertise them? I don’t think I heard anything about the concert we were watching even. Sigh.
At the end of the night, I did not get much grading done. I found myself distracted by this PBS viewing. Did anyone else see it? What did you think?