Whenever I watch Silent Witness, I can feel the life force draining out of my every pore, such is its soul-sucking misery.
When an episode of Silent Witness is over, I feel that a little bit of my heart has withered for want of love. But worst of all, Silent Witness is so pompous and boring that it makes my eyeballs bleed.
I'm forever astonished that Silent Witness wasn't fatally wounded by that superb French and Saunders pastiche, Witless Silence, which so brilliantly nailed the series' overweening and painful self-regard, with Saunders as Sam Ryan, the exhaustingly empathetic forensic pathologist with the enigmatic smile: "Male or female Caucasian, dead, aged anywhere between ten and 50 years old… approximate time of death somewhere between 1845 and 1995."
Yet it went on to survive, not just this spoof, but also the loss of Amanda Burton as Ryan. But now, surely, after 15 years, its time has come. Even the eternally bombastic Waking the Dead is grown up enough to know that time's winged chariot is parked on a double-yellow line, and the next series will be its last.
But Silent Witness just keeps grinding on, lost in its own self-importance, with painfully convoluted stories that are increasingly lunatic and bizarre (surely signs that everyone involved has run out of ideas).
Last week's, where the trio of forensic pathologists was let loose on Budapest (with, inevitably, catastrophic consequences) was a belter. As ever, Nikki, Leo and Harry took it upon themselves to investigate crimes but, just for a change, crimes not in Britain, but abroad. Foreign police forces, eh? Just crying out for a group of British forensic pathologists to solve their murders.
I've met a few forensic pathologists in my time, and believe me, they would no more think of investigating a crime - interviewing witnesses and suspects, just as Nikki, Leo and Harry do in SW - than they would of adapting a deceased's torso for use as a dressing table.
And why does it have to be so bloody miserable? No one ever cracks an off-colour joke, because Silent Witness is so tediously bound up in its own supposed compassion, so hamstrung by reverence it forgets that humane people who confront inhumanity daily need bleak jokes to leaven despair.
But in Silent Witness the pathologists have to feel; every stab wound, every hammer blow inflicted they take personally, so cracking a joke would be like farting in the Sistine Chapel.
I am so bothered by Silent Witness because I always feel it's trying to persuade me it's something more than it actually is, right from its poncey theme music to the whole sepulchral tone of the thing.
Get rid of it, free its two hours a week and its budget for something new, vibrant and interesting. Oh, and there's no need for a postmortem, the cause of death is clear: deadly dullness.