If bad things did not happen the television programme schedules would be effectively carved in half.

Firstly, there would be no crime shows if crime did not exist ... and that would flow through to real-life shows like Highway Cops and Highway Patrol and Police Ten 7.

And there would be no content for mainstream items like SVU: Special Victims Unit or Murder Uncovered or Swipe Right For Murder and ... the list goes on, and on.

To the point where one show is actually titled Major Crimes.


Bad things, even slightly naughty things, are a strong staple of television.

I mean, who'd tune in to watch The Sopranos if they were a joyful little family who ran a local small grocery business where the worst thing that ever happens is when someone accidentally drops a bag of flour ... rather than dropping someone whose feet are cemented into a bucket into the harbour.

I don't find crime shows particularly easy or pleasant to watch.

I am far more comfortable with a good comedy and am equally comfortable with documentaries, particularly natural history ones and informative and entertaining journeys like Coast Australia where a wandering Brit has taught me more about that great southern land than that wonderful bloke Slim Dusty ever did.

And crikey, even Slim was known to write about bad things sometimes.

Oh The Pub With No Beer ... I daresay that still sends shivers of fear down the spines of the miner boys of Bendigo heading off to the local.

"Streuth digger ... there can't be nothin' badder than that."

The balancing act of television, to ensure there is plenty of good things to counter the bad things, pretty well revolves around happy game shows, happy cooking shows and happy comedies.

It has however just occurred to me that while I am intrigued by some historic documentaries many of them evolve from bad things happening.

Documentaries about pirates, and marvellous fighter aircraft and brilliant, calculating generals ... all ingredients from real events of the past which are basically centred about bad things happening.

And in terms of reality and what's happening out there in some parts of the world today watching the news can be challenging.

I reckon they should carve the news into two parts.

Put the good things happening out there on as the first part and then, after another interminably excessive stream of ads, put the second part on ... the bad things.

I would be curious to discover which part would rate highest, although given the deep-seated human trait of being fascinated by things involving horror and violence I daresay the latter would likely get the nod.

There is a weekly addition to One News on Sunday evenings called Good Sorts ... but it sort of gets tacked on the end after all the bad sorts have been unearthed.

They should buck the trend and put it on first.

So yep, television pretty well needs bad things to happen to put a lot of its programming together.

And without the darkness or evil and dread which descends over many parts of the planet blokes like Ross Kemp would be out of work, as he does not have the goods to front things like The Chase or Tipping Point.

With the shaven crown and beefy in stature, with piercing eyes and a no-nonsense philosophy of cutting to the chase in pursuit of unearthing the bad, the bad and the ugly, he was made for the show which bears his name — Ross Kemp: Extreme World, which airs on Wednesday night at 9.30 on Prime.

This wicked world works for him as he's found work out of it.

I mean, you couldn't send Bradley Walsh off to investigate the drug gangs of Rio.

Well no, I suppose you could, but he'd be the one getting chased.
So Ross Kemp fits the bill.

He could play a role in a fictional crime drama and pull it off superbly ... it's all about looking the part.

Which I guess does help when things get a tad dicey somewhere in Afghanistan or Libya, or the Congo or amidst the desperate hordes of illegal immigrants surging through Europe or the drug bandits of Columbia and Venezuela.

I daresay he travels to these occasionally dodgy locations with minders, but it still gets fraught at times.

In this opening round of the new series he sets off for Mongolia and gets to meet members of the populace who are victims of violence, poverty and war.

Nope, Happy Days it ain't.

Ross Kemp: Extreme World: Prime at 9.30pm Wednesday: I'd rather enjoy having a job with global travel attached ... but not in this sense. It would be highly unlikely to find any of Rossco's itineraries on offer at the local travel merchant.

It's a big bad old world out there which was not created by the poor inhabitants who have to live with the madness and ruthlessness of a usually politically or religiously motivated minority.

What gets me is the resolve and stoicism of these poor people. They are stronger than any thug with a gun and a mad mission.


Border Security, TV1 at 8 tonight: The bad things that bad people attempt to smuggle across borders is clearly a favourite among viewers. Viewers seeking the harsh reality faced by the crews paid to keep bad things out.

And to deal with the bad people who bring in bad things.

This is the eighth most popularly viewed show on television and interestingly enough just edges ahead of Police Ten 7 (good people in pursuit of bad people) in the viewing stakes.

In this episode the border bods are suspicious about a chap who has made a very quick trip to South America ... and all the signs are there he may be carrying something bad ... inside him.

Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, TV2 at 6.05pm Friday: Nick Park is pretty well the master of stop-motion animation through his wonderful Wallace and Gromit adventures.

This is the fourth of his short films starring the rather odd pair, and was made in 2008, and it was the last to feature the voice of the late Peter Sallis.

This is all about a bakery business and a strange romance...and has a murder mystery edge to it.

Well, I guess sometimes the prospect of bad things happening can be entertaining, and believe me, they certainly are here.