The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Museum (BBC2): Thoughts anyone?

So, did anyone watch last night's opening episode of The Museum, the BBCs new behind-the-scenes series about the British Museum? I only caught the first few mins as I found I had an unexpected birthday party to go to - my own! (it's a long story) and I couldn't get my video recorder to work, but I was - like one reviewer (sadly the piece appears to have disappeared) - a little...err... surprised by the choice of 'Muscles' by Diana Ross for the backing track during one section!

Other reviews are focusing on how the series went all out, guns blazing in an attempt to 'sex up' (I hate that term) the museum. Inevitably and tediously, focus rests on the attractiveness of various female members of staff. But the overall consensus appears to be positive. By portraying it as unstuffy and 'normal' as possible the BBC may have a small 'hit' on its hands:
You know what, though? It may sound a bit boring. In fact, it is a tiny bit boring. (You could certainly argue that what's behind the scenes at the museum
is less interesting than what's in front; how the hell are they going to fill 10
episodes?) But it's also slightly wonderful - real enthusiasts, unperturbed by
the modern world, doing their thing, immersed in the past, year after year.
Proper people. (From 'Last Night's TV', Sam Wollaston, Guardian Unlimited (11//05/2007)

Would be interested to hear from anyone who did manage to watch the whole programme uninterrupted!

5 comments:

Ceri said...

Sadly I missed it because ... I was at your party Amy! But anyway the review has put me off watching it in the future. How dull does it sound? Especially if they skirt away from any remotely interesting issues re: social inclusion, disabled access, the controversy of the Marbles... maybe if they actually focus on the audience it might perk things up a bit?

Amy said...

Well, the ten mins or so I saw wasn't as dull as the reviewer makes it sound. Though that could just be because I have an invested interest in museums, as it were! I'm particularly looking forward to the third episode, 'The BM Goes East' and the final instalment 'Beyond Bloomsbury', which sounds like it's going to cover social inclusion, outreach, accessibility issues.

Amy said...

And I really do think you should pitch that idea for a fly-on-the-wall documentary about a department of Museum Studies to the BBC, btw. ;)

Mary said...

I, sadly, haven't seen any of it and not being in the UK am unlikely to (although if anyone wants to video it I'd love to watch it at some point in the future). But there was a longer review and a gushing portrait of Neil MacGregor in last week's Sunday Times: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article1738468.ece

Amy said...

Thanks for that Mary. Yeah, I saw that article. I have to say, NM is very persuasive when it comes to the idea of the universalist museum - I'm so easily lead! ;)

I missed last night's episode of The Museum as well (it was about human bodies and repatriation). If they will schedule it to clash with Eastenders...!