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Reviewing A View From The Terrace

Date: 2nd October 2019

Copyright – BBC Scotland 

I’ve been tasked to look more into the Scottish football fan’s experience. That experience shouldn’t always start and finish on a game day. Sometimes football clubs forget that. 

The build up to games and looking back at results are also a big part of that experience. 

Thankfully BBC Scotland understand this and they’ve given the boys at the Terrace Podcast their own TV show to look at all things Scottish football. 

I’ve seen quite a few people on social media calling the Terrace team hipsters. I’m not sure I can agree with that assessment. Firstly can anything that solely focuses on Scottish football be classed as cool? Plus these guys aren’t fly by night merchants picking up on the current hot topics, I first heard the podcast ten years ago! 

On Friday night,the show started it’s second series after successfully transitioning onto TV earlier in the year. Will they endure that difficult second season or will they reach new heights? 

I’m going to start this critique with the negatives. Fortunately we don’t have many of  them to discuss. 

As a personally thing I don’t like that the single shots of the panel aren’t steady shots. The solo shots of Shaughan McGuigan seemed particularly unsteady. 

I love the panel, they are knowledgable and know how to communicate their points. They are also funny and click together as a team.

Craig Telfer is a natural host and it’s good that he can also give an opinion and be prickly with the rest of the team. Craig Fowler looked a bit nervy at times in the last season but he was very assured for episode one of the new series and that will hopefully mean that we see the best of him this year. Joel Sked might not thank me for this but he brings a geeky side but that’s an endearing quality. McGuigan brings a strong mix of humour and knowledge of the lower leagues. We then have Robert Borthwick coming on for a segment that looks at the social media that surrounds our game and his interactions with Telfer are both cutting and entertaining! 

So while I’d never touch the panel I just wish that the programme would find more room for some of the regulars on the podcast. I think the likes of Craig Cairns, Thom Watt and Craig Anderson could add more if they had some VTs during the season. I would also prefer it if we could have a female voice on the show. Women give a unique insight into all things football and I honestly think that could improve the show. 

That’s the only two negatives I’ve got. One very personal one about a specific camera shot and one asking for more varied members for VT segments. 

The positives very much outweigh the negatives. 

I adore the fact that the programme almost dismisses the Old Firm. They never really concentrate on the Glasgow giants. You have networks like SKY and BT Sport that will have Rangers and Celtic as their main focus for the majority of the season. So it’s refreshing to see something different on our screens. 

A View From The Terrace aren’t top flight heavy. They like to show us football clubs up and down the country, from all of our leagues. 

Last series their VTs were outstanding, the one about Lana Clelland in Florence and about football on the remote island of Eriskay were superb!

They started well this term too. The Cove Rangers five year plan video was brilliantly shot and very insightful too.

The regular Duncan & Duncan sketches are brilliantly awkward, much like The Office was. I can guarantee you I’d be like a kid in a candy shop if I were to do a cup draw and it was fantastic to see Duncan McKay being that kid during his stint at grabbing the balls.

I feel as I mentioned my disappointment in some of the studio camera work, that I should also point out  that a lot of the outside cinematography is simply majestic. The best shots cover a story without the need of words and you get plenty of those in A View From The Terrace. 

All in all. A View From The Terrace is a wonderful TV programme that captures all that’s great about Scottish football. It has the laughs and debates we have with pals and it goes deep into our game and our culture to tell inspiring stories. 

A View From A Terrace is on the BBC Scotland channel on Friday nights at 10.25pm and you can catch up on the iPlayer too.  

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