As the sun is out and unlikely to go until October I don't have to watch any more rubbish TV. It's getting worse and worse and here are my top ten annoying programmes!
-The One Show-
BBC1 - 7PM
Number one on the list has to be The One Show, or the 'One IQ Show', the epitome of 'dumbed down' TV, a magazine show for morons. The presenters speak to your with their clipped regional accents like you are watching Newsround and then the shows various experts on things like money matters and showbiz follow that up by treating you like two-year-olds. It's like Nationwide for primary school kids. Then they act all buddy and laddish with the crew to pretend there's no autocue and then that obsequious Christine Blakely gurns away like an air stewardess offering you coca cola on Ryan Air. Adrian Childs was apparently constructively dismissed as he too thought the show was getting too childish, the BBC preparing to usurp him by giving Chris Evans the Friday night One Show slot. You got out just in time Adrian. A 'WAG' is actually presenting a primetime BBC show. Unbelievable!
Sky One 7pm
I just don't get it; to me an unfunny version of the Simpson's, purely aimed at idiots who don't get the all-round genius of The Simpson's. I have tried to like it and after reading good reviews on here given it a chance, but have yet to laugh. There's no hidden meaning to the jokes and the fat father figure, effectively Homers idiot neighbour, is just not loveable, this, a feeble hybrid of the far superior King of the Hill, but set in Virginia not Texas. It's that awful cashing in on previous successful TV show mentality here, the lowest common denominator stuff, what I hate and where the money is.
-Never Mind the Buzzcocks-
BBC 2 - 10pm
I have hated this from day one, a music show that mixes humour with pretentious musicians just never going to work for me. Hosted by the irritating Simon Amstell it was a tedious unfunny half-hour of trying to be outrageous and ending up like guffawing six-formers at a student party after one too many ciders. Team captain Phil Jupitus has one of those fat heads that you just want to punch and that collection of silly hats he wears on telly really winds me up. Every time I see him there's something ridiculous perched on his head. At Glastonbury he wore a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker and not a touch of irony in his voice! He did one funny sketch as a stand up comedian back in 1989 where the space shuttle launch control gets a cross- line with a mini cab firm in Walthamstow and has lived off that for twenty years. Annoying show, annoying panel.
I do find shows like Shameless and The Royale Family that attack and not celebrate working-class life all rather unfair, middle-class writers having a snidely pop just to get a likewise middle-class audience in the mood for some poverty tourism TV. They are so patronisingly constructed and written that the jokes are just not that funny, the class persecution all rather obvious. Yes the loveable working-class rogues are still there but they are down trodden not dreamers now, just how Middle England see them. Jim Royale is an idiot in an idiot family whereas Del Boy was always fighting the system and looking to get on ad why the show was so likeable. Something has been extinguished from the sound of classic blue-collar sitcoms and it feels nasty.
-Live with Jools Holland Show-
BBC 2 10 pm
As a likeable guy I'm sure Jools is he comes across as very irritating with his parrot voice and Cuban high heels, someone probably bullied at school. His music show mixes an incredible amount of styles, which to me is the biggest taboo in music as we only really like one or two styles. There's just something very pretentious about music shows when it's taken too seriously, the selected audience clapping away behind his piano particularly off putting, Holland's cheesy smile to camera as he tinkles the ivories and wrecks the songs also grating. It just feels forced and far from laid back, a pretentious box-ticker to get up the ethnic and female quota on the BBC.
BBC 1 - 8pm
This is the type of sitcom that receives heavy stick from one half of the nation and admiration from the other. It gets big viewing numbers, and like Gavin & Stacey, the viewers tend to be decent people with families who just want to sit down and watch a non offensive half-hour show that all the family can enjoy, hence the title. I envisage that it is mostly those traditional middle-class families that enjoy it, little Johnny and Clara allowed to watch it after they have done the homework and practiced the musical instruments. Mum is church or charity worker and dad is a 50-year-old accountant, all sitting around the telly and guffawing away.
The other half of the nation can't stand it as it is too unchallenging and extremely unfunny, very much in that traditional Terry & June sitting room situation comedy setting. What could possibly be funny about a dentist and his family is a mystery to many. I suppose the point is the jokes are not sophisticated and so it's the reason why people that don't want to think much (or cant) when watching telly after work seem to enjoy it. Whatever the reason it keeps getting re-commissioned it's still not funny.
Wipeout is what's wrong with British TV right now. Have you noticed that when you go in your local chippy Saturday night you never see good looking people? And when you look up on the TV in the chippy those people are being celebrated and humiliated in shows like Wipeout. These shows are so cheap, tacky, a lazy commission by feeble TV editors. Take an overpaid but likeable housewives favourite presenter, Richard Hammond, scoop up a random bunch of losers and show-offs off the streets of the United Kingdom and send them off to Argentina to do an assault course that's impossible for them to complete, especially as most of the people are about as fit as your average Sunday league team, and then put your hand on your belly and laugh as they bounce off huge rubber balls and fall face first in mud. It's funny when Laurel & Hardy did it in 1934 but not when Darren the I.T worker from Aylesbury does it! Apparently some 17 countries send their TV production companies and proletariat over there and hire the set and repeat the tedium, the whole thing purely about putting ordinary people on telly and that's it, no prize money or trophy of note for the winners. How long until it becomes the celebrity version and so even more awful. What is entertaining about this?
BBC 1 7-30pm
What is the point of soaps, other than to subliminally oppress working-class people, who just slump in their chairs after a long days work - or unemployment - and do little else but watch soaps about people just like them from 6 to 9 pm, they to doing nothing but drink in pubs and row a lot? It's like when you put two mirrors facing each other and there's an endless tunnel of mirrors. Eastenders has had 38 murders in one square mile (to be fair fairly accurate for the real East End) and Coronation Street some 91 in just one street. I guarantee that any fat people you know will be fat because they love soaps, gorging the adverts like they do snacks between meals. These shows are written by middle-class writers to dictate a life they think the working man should have, whilst all the time their kids are up in their rooms doing their homework to go to university, the parents watching documentary and news programs to get even smarter. Don't watch them guys! Idiot TV seems to have taken over sport as the unhealthy opium for the masses.
-Gavin & Stacey-
Again I just don't get it and have struggled to find a laugh here. I will always give a popular show a chance but just three episodes were enough to know I would hate this. I want to punch Rob Cordons fat head as much as I want to round nose kick Phil Jupitus through a brick wall and onto the motorway, his irritating 'shouty' style really grating. The whole show just feels patronising towards the true working-class, stereotyping at every chance, the character mostly two dimensional clichés. The Welsh accents are dreadful and the main characters hard to believe in, almost like watching a commercial for a hoover in their big sitting rooms. I don't think you can say it's a show for idiots because the jokes are really naff or few and far between but it just feels like politically correct and safe TV, trying not to offend by not having an ethnic minority or gay character in it (ok Uncle Bryn is questionable!) to cause offence. TV seems fearful of going there these days and will avoid it at all costs, meaning further dumbing down of the core of many jokes. Did you know they had to change that advert where the young lads are on the desert island and when the boat turns up the guys cant signal the boat because the guy who has the matches is off looking for coconuts, but because one of the guys is black they had to change it to sticks so not to offend. That's what's happening to traditional British sitcoms.
-BBC Sport on a Sunday Afternoon-
Sunday is an ambiguous day at best. Sunday morning is great as you read your fat newspaper with a nice crispy fried breakfast and a brew to wash it down. Sunday afternoon is not as good as you contemplate Monday at work. When the sport is on its usually dreadfully depressing. It's normally rugby league from Hull or cross-country from Grimsby, rain lashed and poorly produced, the least glamorous and cheap sports package available snapped up for next to nothing by the inclusive BBC who has to show something for everyone to adhere to their mandate as a public broadcaster. Hazel Irvine tries her hardest to keep us tuned in as we either switch off the telly for the afternoon or prefer Eastenders or Simpson's reruns. What a way to finish a weekend and get ready for work...
Pert Abacus's Top 10 TV Comedy Moments
Here's a brief yet satisfying guide to the top 10 funniest TV moments as voted for by me & Monkey Peter. No need to debate them as they are the definitive list.
10 George & Mildred: Mildred finds an adult magazine in the back garden and accuses George of 'looking at mucky pictures'. Hilarity ensues as George protests his innocence and then trips over a garden gnome. Originally Broadcast in 1976.
9 The Black & White Minstrel Show: White men putting on make-up to pretend to be black. Classic.
8 Benny Hill. Benny is on the beach and accidentally pulls a towel away from a woman who is changing into a swimming costume, displaying her underwear. Her husband who is played by a small bald man looks perturbed and Benny pats his bald head. Benny then runs off pursued by dozens of scantily glad ladies and the aforementioned little bald man. The Benny Hill Theme tune plays and the film is sped up to make the cast appear to be running faster than they actually are. Magnificent. Originally broadcast on Sept 17th 1980.
7 Terry & June: In the final episode of the hit series June catches Terry trying on a dress. As she asks him what he's doing the vicar pops round for tea and mistakes Terry for a woman. It's a laugh riot as Terry starts to remove the dress and the vicar jumps out of the window. For in-joke spotters this is made all the funnier as we all know that for the final series June Whitfield was replaced by Barry Tatlock and therefore there were actually 2 men in drag for this classic scene. Originally broadcast in 1982.
6. Cannon & Balls famous Napoleon sketch. Who can forget the joyous frivolity of seeing Bobby Ball lift his eye-patch and shout 'Rock on Tommy' and seeing Tommy Cannon melt into a giggling mess at the unscripted improvisation he saw before him. Cannon & Ball's big Christmas Bonanza (now available on DVD) broadcast Christmas 1979.
5. Russ Abbots Madhouse. Bella Emburg tells Russ Abbot to 'F**k off & shove your fat jokes up your bald a**e' on live TV. Bella would never work again but it's simply comedy gold. Originally broadcast in June 1983.
4. Mind Your Language. In theory every spot on this top ten could have been filled with classic moments from this fantastic show. Very few comedies have managed to top having actors putting on comedy accents whilst dissecting the differences between cultures and language. Educational, full of pathos and hilarious.
3. Rod gets the hiccups. In 1984 popular children's show Rainbow struck comedy gold as Rod, part of singing trio 'Rod, Jane & Freddy' gets hiccups whilst teaching a song to Jane & Freddie. It's a masterpiece of comic acting by Rod as every line of his song is interrupted by a hiccup. Once Rod finishes hiccupping & gasping his way through the song the audience breathes a sigh of relief so that their aching sides can relax but it's not over. Rod then asks Jane & Freddy to sing his song and is not amused that they insert mock hiccups into the song. Simply Brilliant. The only reason why this isn't at number 1 is that I find it hard to watch knowing that 3 weeks after recording this show Rod beat Jane & Freddy to death with a tambourine.
2. Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. In 1981 this show really pushed the boat out as audiences were at once amused and aghast as Frank Spencer took a part time job in a children's nursery. How we gasped as he juggled live babies over pans of hot oil, gaped as he mistook one bundle of joy for a football and cried in anger as he appeared to use itching powder instead of talcum on a baby's bottom. The high point of the episode & indeed the entire series was when Frank smuggled 3 children out of the nursery in his trousers so that Betty could choose one she wanted to steal. Confronted by the police just as one of the babies nappies comes off & excrement pours out of his trouser leg Frank turns to the camera, puts his pinkie finger in his mouth and says 'Ooh Betty, we're in the sh*t now'.
1. The absolute funniest thing on TV is Molly Sugden talking about her pussy on ITV's 'Confessions of a Comedy Icon' broadcast in Dec 1999. As an audience we were all used to hearing this now dearly departed lady of multicoloured hair make jokes about her cat in Are You Being Served but I don't think anyone was prepared to hear her full funny, frank and moving account of her battles to avoid having to make her collars match her cuffs throughout the filming of that iconic show. Ultimate comedy gold. We'll miss you Molly.
This review also appears on Ciao under the same user name
Other TV related top tens - My Top 10 Annoying & Bugging TV characters
For some reason I was motivated to do review on Other TV related top tens. I wanted to do it on the ones that bug me and I wish weren't part of the show. Sometimes I think it's the actors/actresses acting poorly or is that they are just so good at playing truly annoying characters.
I might be being mean and I generally like these shows but they all have at least one awkward characters. But some of these just grate me to the core but thankfully for Sky Plus I can record then zip past the little toads. (Record it and zip it there gone!!)
These are just some of the names swirling around in my head based on what I have been watching lately and I have probably missed loads out. i should do a petition to the writers to kill them off!
Right here we go then!
10- Bones - Zack
Now he was odd but then he did end up in a mental institute so 'ill say no more -job done! He did make a brief reappearance this series (argghhh)
9-Corronation Street's David Platt
Now he is a devious little toad and has to be one of the most annoying characters going. He is one evil child -he tried to kill his mother, tried to kill Jason, gave little Beth an Ecstasy tablet, drove into the Canal, tried to get Tina to lie in court yet he still has a home!!! Gail get rid of him please do us all a favour and whack him one!
8-Friends - Janis
I love Friends watched it since the beginning, bought the VHSs (£12 a pop until VHS became obsolete) then the DVDs , watched the re runs and still love it. But Janis I can not stand, that annoying voice and cackly laugh. I cringe every time she came on screen and poor Chandler what was he thinking!
7- Heroes - Nikki/Tracey
Well Nikki wasn't that bad but what was it with the twin personality thing can't remember what her alter ego was called. Then yippee they killed her, but no they then made up Tracey who was part of triplets. Tracey had the stupidest powers going. Why kill yourself into ice? I don't think we have seen the end of Tracy/Nikki though I bet she comes back.
6- Hollyoaks - the whole McQueen Clan
They have overtaken the show and are so common -I think Mercedes bugs me the most. Mind you at least they bumped Tina off!
5- Eastenders -Ian Beale
Why has he had so many girlfriends and wives? Not surprised Cindy tried to kill him off. He is so boring and old and pathetic. What was it with the tattoo thing he did recently?
4- 24- The New Chloe -Janis
She has the personality of a wet fish! Her mannerisms bug me, they have made her the super geek and super annoying nosey parker. They have dressed her awfully and she just grates on me. Maybe like with Chloe I will learn to like her (I doubt that somewhat though)
3- CSI Miami -Calleigh
I love CSI Miami as the colours are fantastic when you see the indigo blues of the sea. It's a cracking crime drama show and Horatio is a good character. But as for Calleigh where did she get that accent from it is super annoying. She drawls her words that you can't hear her properly. She thinks she is amazing and full of beauty and if she didn't speak she would play a better role!
2-Greys Anatomy - Meredith
I love Greys Anatomy and I know the show is named after Meredith grey but she is one miserable person. She has a gorgeous boyfriend hunk who wants to marry her and earns bucket loads as a DR so why be so sad all the time. Yes her dad left her and yes her mum was mad but that's no reason to moan all the time. And she is so mean to her half sister too. I think Christina is the funniest in this show!
1-Ben in the Apprentice -current season
I know this isn't a show but a reality programme but really he has to be my number 1. Now he does super bug me he is so arrogant and rude and vile. He called one of the girls clinically obese (has he looked in the mirror). He thinks he is fit and good looking what a foolish man! He comes out with the stupidest phrases (James cant s$$t out of a boot apparently) and he will bite your teeth out if you take him in the board room. And is that accent Irish I love an Irish accent but really what is that. Oh and he got a scholarship at Sandhurst did you know. I tell you what I know Sir Alan get your gun out and say - You're fired and be done!
(This was nearly Deborah but she has kept her head down lately)
I'm sure you will have more irritating ones than I have picked out!
TOP TEN KIDS PROGRAMMES
I thought I had read a category for this but can only find top ten tv programmes, not kids, but seeing as I had already started on my review, I will post it anyway it is about top ten tv kids programmes, rather than just general television. It might revive a few memories for some of you!!!!
BLACK AND WHITE TELLY
First of all I should mention that we did not have a tv at home until I was about 8 years old, but my grandparents were amongst the first people in our village to have one so I did grow up with the tv in a way I suppose. It was a 12 Bush and you probably see them in museums nowadays!!!!! But in the fifties it was the equivalent status of todays 40 plasma screens!!!!!
1 WHIRLYGIG anyone remember this? It was on a Saturday and was a bit of a comic programme with Peter Butterworth. I seem to remember Mr Pastry was on this programme, he was an old guy with white hair and always seemed to get into some kind of mishap. He was my hero and always made me laugh with his antics!
There was also a programme with Rolf Harris (hasnt he been around a long time!!!) and it amazed me to watch him draw so quickly. Not sure what the name of the programme was though, or maybe it was part of Whirlygig? Anyone remember!!!??
2 DISNEY CARTOONS these were always on tv at Christmas and there always seemed to be clips from Snow White and the 7 dwarfs. I loved watching these and when we went to Disneyland several years ago it was like being taken back to my childhood Christmas!
3 CRACKERJACK with Eamon Andrews as the host, was on weekdays around teatime. The kids in the audience would yell out whenever anyone said the word crackerjack. There was a game where kids had to answer questions and received a price,which they had to hold in their arms, but if they answered incorrectly they received a cabbage instead. It was fun watching them struggle to hold all the things they had won and if they dropped anything they were out (I think).
WATCH WITH MOTHER this was on every afternoon about 1.30 so it was really aimed at pre school kids, but I remember watching it if I was having a day off school because I was poorly. Let me see if I can remember what the programmes were (hope these will count towards my ten because I am now running out of programmes I can remember!!!)
4 RAG TAG AND BOBTAIL these were three little animals, not sure what they all were though, but remember they all had squeaky voices and at least one of them was a rabbit!
5 ANDY PANDY for some reason I never particularly liked this, I was never sure whether the puppet was supposed to be a boy or a girl and s/he never seemed to do very much except dangle on the end of the puppet strings!!
6 FLOWERPOT MEN now this was different!!!! Bill and Ben, Bill and Ben..... the flowerpot men are you all singing along, you over 50s???? They used to get up to all kinds of mischief in the garden and the flower, Little Weed, would squeak whenever the gardener appeared.
7 THE WOODENTOPS I loved this programme too. It was on Fridays and there was a family with a little girl called Jenny and they had a spotty dog. The puppets reminded me of wooden clothes pegs dolls that my grandma used to make for us.
8 MR ED now this was when I was a little bit older and on around teatime, it was about a talking horse and I used to love this as it amazed me how they got a horse to talk (well, to look as if it talked!)
9 RIN TIN TIN this was more a boys programme but I used to watch it because my brother had to have it on. I cant remember much about it though, sorry!!! There was also Lone Ranger in some cowboy programme but I hated anything like this, the boy/girl divide was very wide in those days, programmes for boys seemed more frequent than for girls.
10 LASSIE now I am sure everyone will remember the stories of Lassie, the dog who used to get up to all kinds of amazing rescue feats. I think this is one kidsprogramme that has been around for years and will probably stay for years to come.
I have been taken back to my childhood writing this review, and must admit that the tv programmes we watched were so innocent and I am sure todays kids would not enjoy them anywhere as near as much as we did. But this was in the days when children were children until they reached their teens, not like today when they are allowed to watch anything and tv presenters, and the content, of kids programmes give them ideas to make them want to grow up far too quickly.
Oh just remembered another MUFFIN THE MULE! I remember when Annette Mills who used to do the presenting of this died and my cousins and I were devastated!
Thanks for reading and I hope this has revived some memories for us older Dooyooers!!!
Being an avid TV watcher since - well, as long as I can remember, this seemed like an excellent category to write a list about. I'll try to keep it in more or less chronological order. Crap like McGyver, Knight Rider and The A Team did'nt make it in, thankfully. And ah pity the fool that still likes any of those three.
1) SPACE 1999 - Far ahead of its time, Space 1999 first hit the screens in 1975. A science fiction show with a good production budget and produced by Gerry Anderson, the series was set upon the moon which thanks to a massive explosion of dumped nuclear waste on the far side is hurled out of Earth's orbit and sent into deep space. The series was unique for me as it had a mostly-English cast. In order to ensure bankability across the pond, the main two characters Commander John Koneig and Dr Helena Russell were played by Americans, a pre-Lugosi Martin Landau and demostrating the principle of "Vasaline lens", his partner at the time, Barbara Bain. Bain never displays much in the way of acting ability, and is utterly overshadowed by the brilliant Barry Morse as professor Victor Bergman. I remember having a toy Eagle, their equivalent of a shuttle and watching the show religiously each week. Although the first series was heavily biased towards thoughful storylines and hard science, it subsequently became a far more action orientated show when Catherine Schell joined the cast as Maya, an alien who had the ability to turn into any form that took her fancy, normally that of an overweight man in a rubber suit. Still, the score still gives me chills.
2) THE PROFESSIONALS - Duh-dah-dah, duh-duh-dan-dah, dah-dah-dah-dah-DAH-dah, Dah-dah-duh-DAH. What a themetune!! 1977 saw the first episode of this action series featuring the fictional CI5 department formed to combat exceptional crimes such as terrorism and its ilk. Run by the perpetually-sour George Cowley (Gordon Jackson), his top-flight pair are the curly-permed prone-to-thinking Ray Doyle (Martin Shaw) and the cynical, prone-to-shooting William Andrew Philip Bodie (Lewis Collins). The general gist of The Professionals was a Starsky and Hutch meets The Sweeney, and every episode could be depended upon for screeching tyres and pistol fire. Great fun.
3) THE INCREDIBLE HULK - Airing the same year was this at-times depressing television adaptation of the Marvel superhero. From the intro with the split-screen ending, you knew just what you were in for. Dr Bruce Banner (Bill Bixby), accused of a murder he did'nt commit and persued by the annoying reporter Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) would each week try to find a way to get rid of his curse, only to have someone "Make him angry" and a green-painted Lou Ferrigno appear. For a eleven year-old, the initial transformation was thrilling and frightening in equal measure with those reflective contact lenses. Every week ended with Banner walking away down a lonely stretch of road to the accompaniment of piano music as he tried to thumb a lift, adding a poignant note.
4) BLAKES SEVEN - Put togeather on a budget of papier mache and snot was this ofttimes unintentionally funny sci-fi action series starting in 1978. As the Blake of the title, rebel and witness to a massacre, Roj Blake (Gareth Thomas) is sentenced to exile on Cygnus Alpha on a selection of trumped up charges by a PVC clad Federation. One thing leads to another, and he ends up teaming up with a motley crew of prisoners aboard a powerful alien spaceship. (Sound familar, Farscape fans?). Much hillarity with perfume bottles doubling as guns ensues and the series ended sharply several years later with an uncharacteristcally bleak suprise ending that no-one saw coming to do with Blake and his best friend, Avon (Paul Darrow) who comes calling. (Could'nt resist...)
5) SAPPHIRE AND STEEL - Moving onto 1979, and a series concerning a pair of interdimensional detectives (No, really...) protecting the world from invasion by evil forces trying to slip into our reality by disrupting the space/timeline. Fronted by David McCallum who many will remember from the Men from U.N.C.L.E. and a yet-to-wrinkle Joanna Lumley as the aforementioned Steel and Sapphire respectively. Run on a small budget with ambitious writing, the resultant episodes were almost like stage plays, but exceedingly frightening ones at that. Ahead - Ook factor five!
6) THE KENNY EVERETT TELEVISION SHOW - Exploding onto TV and giving Mary Whitehouse apoplexy, came the nation's No.1 DJ, the gayer-than-a-treeload-of-moneys-on-nitrous-oxide Kenny Everett, backed up by some of greatest scriptwriters of the day. Characters like Sid Snot, Brother Lee Love, The hollywood blonde Cupid Stunt (how DID they get away with that) and Angry Banker won the hearts of a generation. Scantily clad dance troupe Hot Gossip added to the mix as did the animated Captain Kremmen and the frequent viewing of the impossibly large breasts of Cleo Rocas. Although somewhat crude by todays standards, it was truly groundbreaking at the time and Kenny is sadly missed.
7) MAX HEADROOM - Included more because of the UK made-for-tv-film than the US santitised series that followed, Max Headroom was visionary in many ways of the shape of things to come and the titular head of the show became something of an 80's icon. Anyhow, looking ahead into the not-too distant and semi-apocalyptic future, poverty is widespread and cities wracked with urban decay. In these times, people turn to TV to get their minds off the horrible realilties of their existance and owning the highest TV ratings are more important than life to shadowy executives. Anyhow, "Blipverts", a unique way of ensuring viewers get bombarded with adverts before they can switch channels proves a little detrimental to the fattest of said audience who have an unfortunate tendency to explode. Top-notch reporter Edison Carter gets to close to the truth and is decapitated in a motorcycle "accident". His mind imperfectly digitised by teenage computer expert and spotty virgin Bryce, he becomes the sharp-tongued, stuttering computer generated Max Headroom who manages to boost the ratings of a crappy backalley network through the roof and bring down the corporation responsible.
8) THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY - Another memorable intro brought us Douglas Adam's masterwork. Arthur Dent (Peter Jones) is rudely taken away from his breakfast by his insistant friend, Ford Prefect (David Dixon). Ford is actually an alien who has discovered that the Earth upon which he has been taking an extended holiday is about to be vaporised by the slug-like Vorlons to make way for an intergalactic bypass. The Vorlons are unrepentant as they broadcast their intention to a panicking planet, after all - the plans have been available on viewing on Alpha Centauri for years. Vorlons are'nt big on hitchhikers either and dump Ford and the now only survivor of the human race out the nearest airlock. Luckily they are to be rescued by.....well, watch the series you lazy nark. I'm not saying more....
9) SPITTING IMAGE - Savagely political and taking no prisoners, this late-night comedy show that used rubber charicatures of famous people (and politicians) became legendary in the UK. Examples would be Ronald Reagan in "the President's brain is missing", a satan-like Maggie Thatcher and a dangerously unbalanced and inbred Royal family. No-one was spared and the series was also justly famous for its song numbers such as "I've never met a nice South African" sung by a bunch of boers in a jeep (Hey, it was the apartheid era) that has a growing pile of dead animals on the bonnet to a Sting-recorded cover of "Every breath you take" into "Every Bomb you Make". I've heard the show is to make a return - I don't kow if that's good or bad as the bar has been left very high indeed.
10) MIAMI VICE - The only other US show to make an appearance on my list, Miami Vice was a triumph of style over substance. Originally shot in Miami because New York was too expensive on a concept envisaged as "MTV cops", it sounded like a recipe for failure. Yet, thanks to Michael Mann, it concentrated upon startling visuals, synthesised music (cutting edge at the time) and a very large pastel wardrobe for messrs Crockett (Don Johnson) and Tubbs (Phillip Michael Thomas). Stylish support was given to the pair courtesy of a pre-bloated Eddie Olmos as Lieutenant Castillo. The other main member of the cast was of course a certain Ferrari Testarossa that appeared late in the first series. Add to that expensive houses, drug dealers, tanned women in bikinis and a latino flavour and you had a big hit indeed.
I thought I would use this category to list the ten people I would be very happy to never see darken my TV screen again as they are guaranteed to have me reaching for the TV remote whenever they appear.
Uri Gellar is the first as I cannot stand this baffoon, just because he ws able to bend a couple of spoons using the heat from his hands he turns up on TV trying to harness our energy through he screen, the thing is it does not work as all I concentrate on is his head exploding and it never does.
I'm not entirely sure of this next ones name, I think it is McGoldrick anyway it is the fat bloke off the racing who dresses like Mrs Doubtfire, he is such a pompous opiniated bloke and very sexist to say the least, he wa absolutely disgusting when he was on the Celebrity Big Brother show.
Sharon Osbourne and the rest of her disgusting tribe should also be banned from TV. I cannot stand her voice it sends shivers down my spine and those kids are living proof why adults should eat their young.
Jade Goody is another person who has a voice that could peel paint off the door, she is only on TV because she is so thick people can laugh at her, good luck to her if she has managed to make a million out of it but now she should disappear off into a panto season in Southend and leave the rest of us alone.
Anne Diamond is another celebrity I would be only too happy not to see again especially after her whinging appearence on Celebrity Fat Club where she only lost about 3lbs in three weeks.
Also from the same show is James Whittaker who must have the most smug expression on TV. Not content with hounding the Royals and pretending to be one of the in crowd he now crows about the weight he has lost forgettting the fact that he should not have got so fat in the first place.
Chris Tarrant is another one who just looks so smug all of the time, I used to think he was great when he was on Tiswas but now that he is on that awful quiz show he has realy sold out in my opinion.
Fiona Phillips must be the worse news presenter in history, she just looks so vacant all of the time, the sooner she joins Eamon Holmes on some other channel the better.
Simon Cowell is another person I could well do without seeing as he is so full of himself and pompous it really grates on my nerves.
Finally this is a more general choice, not an individual but a whole group of people and that is politicians. You know they are lying because their lips are moving and they never give a straight answer so I would galdly see them banned from TV or rather give them only one station so people can decide whether they want to hear their lies or not.
Thats me finished with my rant which was a lot of fun, for me at least maybe not for the reader.
Hello pop pickers, last week saw Shayne Ward take another seat at the top of the hot parade. This week those northern scamps The Arctic Monkeys have stolen his thunder. But away from such fierce battles there lies the comfort of Television. British television has gone to the dogs with everything being the same and usually starring Robson Green or her from Eastenders. So in these troubled times we have to look to our brothers across the pond for entertainment.
Here is my top ten of US TV current, past and carrying on into the future.
1. The A-Team
Currently shown on UK TV Gold on a weeknight. As a kid of the eighties it was what Saturday was made for. Around 5pm you could count on the antics of Hannibal, BA, Murdoch and Face to keep you company.
The A-Team to this day remains the pinnacle of TV shows for anyone of a young age in that decade. The show also revolved around some goons using their muscle to boss some people around. Then the A-Team would show up, get locked in a barn with a blowtorch, a tractor and some piping before kicking ass with some awesome piece of engineering.
It was incredibly stupid but genius in a naive way. They dont make shows like this anymore and thats a shame. The first two seasons are available on DVD at the moment and should be on anyones shelf.
CSI is one of the reasons Channel 5 rocks. Its style, characters and storylines are slick and fascinating. Out of the five broadcasted seasons so far I would say there were only two or three episodes that sucked. Season Five was a bit ropey at times but its still one of the best things on TV. Forensic science is interesting and the show presents it in an entertaining way. I will also include the spin offs set in Miami and New York as both are entertaining in their own distinct ways but will never be as good as the original.
3. Curb Your Enthusiasm
This is the comedy with no canned laughter, no soundstage feel and no safety net. Larry David is the king of cringe and every episode is a perfect example of comedy timing, improvisation and story.
The sad thing is that the show remains an undiscovered gem amongst others. Currently you can catch it on More4 on a Sunday night. Its well worth catching.
4. The Sopranos
One of the finest dramas ever to grace the small screen. The show has spawned five seasons of genius so far and everyone of them has kept up the high standard. Ive always seen the show as a black comedy as theres a lot I find to laugh at. Its all pretty dark and twisted. Each season is currently available on DVD and well worth it. For those whove never seen it then get Season 3 and watch Pine Barrens. This episode alone is incredible.
5. Third Rock From The Sun
This show ended too soon although it did last for six seasons. It never really got much attention over here and thats a shame. The show was always consistently funny and actually got better as the seasons passed. The concept of aliens living in American suburbia gave some good comedy. But it was all down to the brilliant performance of John Lithgow and his Basil Fawlty antics that I kept watching. Each season is available on DVD at the moment for a very good price.
6. The X-Files
There was a time when this show probably jumped the shark and went on a bit too long. But those first five seasons were some of the most riveting television at the time. The adventures of Scully and Mulder were always good value with some generally creepy moments. I remember being engrossed as conspiracies played out and the whole show became more than just sci-fi. Ive not actually seen the last few seasons but remember catching the final episode and wondering what the hell was going on.
7. Arrested Development
Right now this show is in a state of turmoil. Its won major awards but the Fox network is canning it. But such is the strength of the show; it has other suitors ready to take up the Bluth family mantle. Sadly the BBC didnt give the show the treatment it deserved as its genius comedy and far better than anything theyve produced themselves since Only Fools departed.
Every episode is layered with excellent jokes, some of which dont become apparent on the first viewing. Ive had some laugh out loud moments as I watched it and generally thats rare with US comedy.
I didnt get into Friends until the fourth season. Before that Id dismissed it as another bland US comedy. To be honest that first season is pretty bland in comparison to later seasons. But its one of the few shows I can watch over and over. It seems a lot of other people share the same view as its been on pretty much every day for the last ten years. The characters are very accessible and grew, the final season jumped the shark a bit but people wanted it.
The Jack Bauer power hour started life on BBC 2 a few years back. But then Sky got in on the act and stole it. Thats when 24 lost some of its appeal to me. With ad breaks its not as good so I tend to wait until it comes out on DVD.
24 is an over the top thriller that always grabs you. That first season was great and I remember watching half of it in one day. The second was just as good whilst the finale of season three summed up Jacks life in one final quiet moment. Im catching up on Season Four at the moment but long may the absurdity of 24 continue.
Once again Channel 5 deliver with House. It stars our own Hugh Laurie as a unorthodox doctor who takes on complicated medical cases. Think of it as a medicinal CSI. The main crux of the stories are pretty straightforward but Laurie is excellent and House the character is a rock and roll doctor. Theres some great humour and if youve not seen it then tune into Channel 5 at 10pm on a Thursday.
-Jump The Shark-
You may be reading this and thinking what the hell is jump the shark?. Well its a term that refers to when a show may have finally ran out of steam. Its origins are based in an episode of Happy Days when The Fonz actually jumped over a shark on skies. It was at that moment when it was clear that Happy Days had really scraped the barrel.
US TV rocks. Aside from these fine shows may I also recommend American Dad, Family Guy, Law & Order, Reno 911, Alias and the promising Prison Break.
Well, they were all on telly! Feel free to debate any glaring omissions! Top Ten English Sporting Moments Since 1977 1. England beat Australia in the Ashes test at Headingly (1981) In a truly extraordinary recovery, with bookmakers offering 500-1 against an England victory, exceptional batting from Botham and tail ender Dilley gave England an outside chance of getting back in to a test match that was all but lost. Bob Willis bowled like a man possessed, taking a career best of 8-34 and the Aussies were beaten. Proof that while talent is needed, morale, motivation and a desire to win are vital ingredients of success in sport! 2. England beat Australia in the Rugby Union World Cup (1995) In a game of genuine fire and passion, two evenly matched teams played out 80 minutes of some of the best Rugby Union ever seen on the planet. As injury time began the ball fell in to the ever reliable Rob Andrew who executed the perfectly timed drop goal to knock the Aussies out of the competition. 3. Liverpool defeat Borussia Moenchengladbach to win the European Cup (1977) The German champions were favourites. But a Liverpool side that was destined to dominate European football took the lead through Terry McDermott before Danish superstar Simonsen equalised in the second half. Mid way through the half the ageing Tommy Smith rose majestically to power home a header that put Liverpool in control and when Bertie Vogts chopped down Keegan (playing his last game for Liverpool) Phil Neal slotted home the penalty. I should also mention sup-sub David Fairclough scoring the winner in the quarter final against St Etienne! My only regret of this occasion is that where others get knighthoods, Bob Paisley, the modest but magnificent Liverpool manager, did not. 4. Steve Redgrave gets a fifth gold medal (2000) There is little more to be said about this man. While on the day there were f
our other men in the boat with him, the diabetic Redgrave showed that while brilliance can be achieved in one great performance, he was 5 times better. With wins stretching back to 1984, there can be few who doubt Steve Redgrave as the best English (and British) Olympian ever. 5. England defeat Germany 5-1 in Munich to qualify for the World Cup Finals (2002). A change of manager half way through the qualifying campaign. Lying second in the group and looking unlikely to succeed in automatic qualification, England travelled to Germany needing a win against a side who had never lost a home game that mattered! When the Germans took a 6th minute lead the predictable seemed likely. But a goal from Owen midway through the second half and a magnificent strike from Gerrard on the stroke of half time turned things round. While the Germans had a lot of the ball in the second half, swift counter attacking play brought Owen a hat-trick and Heskey rounded off a tremendous display! While our eventual fall to Brazil was disappointing, this was a team that had made giant leaps forward under Sven Goran Ericsson. 6. Ellen McArthur 2001 The round the world yachtswoman is exceptional. The French treat her as the superstar she genuinely is. 7. Manchester Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich European Cup Final (1999) In one of the most disappointing displays of a magnificent season for Alex Fergusons team, they trailed the Germans 1-0 for most of this lacklustre encounter. Then, in extra time, it happened. With keeper Schmeichel causing chaos in the Munich area, Beckhams corner fell to Giggs. He scuffed his shot in to the path of Sheringham who side footed home a sensational equaliser. 90 seconds later it was Sheringham again, flicking on another Beckham corner, to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He stuck out a leg and the ball flew in to the roof of the net to send the Manchester sections of the Barcelona crowd wild and give Man Utd
a treble of Premiership, FA Cup and European Cup. 8. Virginia Wade wins Wimbledon (1977) I have no memory of this. My Mum told me to put it in! As we have not had a British win since, it should be there! 9. Coe & Ovett dominate middle distance running (1980) The Americans may have boycotted the Moscow Olympics, but with these two exception English talents swapping World Records week in week out throughout the year across 800m, 1500m and the mile, it was no surprise when they both took Gold in Moscow in terrific finals. 10. Daley Thompson wins the Decathlon in LA (1984) To be the best all round athlete in the world is a major achievement. Daley did it in style, fighting off injury and defeating a German called Jurgen to grab Gold. Apologies to Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest for their omission, and to any fans of other sports in which I lack familiarity.
I thought that i might as well list my top ten worst TV programmes. How many people would agree with my choices? Only a few people agreed with my favourite TV programmes, so will this be any different...I wonder!!!! :) Here are those nasty little showings that come onto my screen that i cant stand!! 1) Star Trek The only thing that comes to my head is, who the hell made this program? It's so boring. The worst part of it is that it's my boyfriends favourite program (noooo). 2) Sports I can't stand football, grandstand, etc. The only sports i like to watch on TV are the swimming and gymnastics in the olympics, but they only come every 4 years :( 3) Auf Wiedershen Pet I cant stand the accents of these people. I think the storylines are silly and boring. Also, they seem to be travelling alot, so howcome they never seem to have a tan? 4) Dawson's Creek This is for trendies. I also think the actors can't act very well and they always talk too fast, so i can't understand what they're saying. I also think it's very boring! 5) Quincy This program comes on after Neighbours in the afternoons and everytime i hear the tune that comes on before it starts, it puts me off and i have to switch it off. It also looks very boring, from what i saw when my brother watched it once. It must be a trendie program - as my brother is a huge trendie :( 6) Scrap heap challenge My boyfriend watches this, but it bores me to death. Watching people having challenges to do things with scrap is not excacly my idea of good fun! 7) Changing rooms All the programs that do the same thing as this one are so sad. Who wants to watch what people are doing to someones house? Its ok if you have nothing better to do or you're waiting for the phone to ring, but it's certainly not something i'd switch the TV on to see 8) Bob the builder This is a very boring pr
ogram. Also as boring as the song from it that got put into the charts by the trendies. What is all the fuss about? 9) Newsround The last time i saw newsround, it was on a topic about school uniforms. These kids were on there saying how much they liked wearing their school uniforms. As if? Who were they trying to impress? Their teachers so they can give them a higher grade??? hehe 10) Teletubbies I hate the theme tune and i hate the programme and that basically sums it up!!! I hope you don't really take any of these seriously. They are my worst TV programs but what i've written about some of them, is for amusement only :). Thanks for reading!
Slightly different slant on this as I pick the top 8 TV people that have fallen down that spiral oblivion of television hell. 1) ROWAN ATKINSON------------BLACK ADDER to MR BEAN. The rubber faced God that born on to us alternate intelligent comedy was last seen in the tedious Mr Bean movie. From the highest of the high in Blackadder he has fallen to the lowest of the low in The thin blue Line. Mr Bean singled the commercial rot and the vicar in Four Weddings was so embarrassing it hurt. 2) BEN ELTON---------------SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE to THE BEN ELTON SHOW 1999. Another Godfather of the alternate scene and writer of the Young Ones and Saturday Night live, Blackadder etc. Now reduced to writing awful books and Broadway shows, let alone having his occasional naff stand up show with guest star?Ronnie Corbett?. Show. Hes become the establishment as he rest in his 30 acres in the countryside with no right to tell student poverty gags anymore. Its along way from those sparkly jackets for the self styled class warrior to the middle class bland tux boy he really was all along today. 3) LENNY HENRY---------------TISWAS to THE LENNY HENRY SHOW 2002. His white mum and black dad up bringing meant he had no chip and appealed to all colors with his gentle comedy and impressions. From the brilliant Tiswas and early character driven shows he?s been reduced to marrying up in Dawn French and occasional very poor series on the BBC like this week. As his comedy got less significant his waistline did and now he?s a househusband to his much more talented wife in Dawn French. 4) KIETH HARRIS-----------ORVILLE to THEROUX. I had forgotten all about this guy until he popped up on the excellent Louis Theroux show. The cruel reality of this show is that desperate entertainers who cant live without fame risk serious ridicule on this one just to get valuable exposure. The ventriloquist was bigger than Elvis here once and the duck even
bigger. In the days of Seaside Special this type of act was all the rage on prime time Saturday night schedules. Twenty years on and the critics writing about his Christmas pantomime experience ?Wheres your career Kieth, Its behind youuuuuuu?. Now here he is clinging to the last drinking implement telling us what hes been doing for two decades which is sadly f**k all. And he?s taken this opportunity to let us know. Nice one Kieth!. 5) ALI-G--------------II OCLOCK SHOW to ALI ?G the movie. Hes gone from the funniest thing on TV to the most obnoxious bore in his inevitable movie release. The 11 o?clock Show four-minute sketch run was probably the sharpest and cutting piece of new comedy since Alan Partridge. Asking the top military guy that is it true dat all officers is batty boys and asking the head of the UDP in N.Ireland, why don?t we just bomb Wales cause their terrorist in it has to go down in comedy history. Its was so clever how a Jewish graduate took the p***s out of black culture by pretending he was ridiculing ?wiggers?. Now he?s reduced to just making money and compromising his talent like an aging rock band turning to stadium rock. I saw Ali-G in the house and is as far removed from his intelligent comedy and creation as this film is aimed at the people who hadn?t heard of this character until his mainstream show. It may get the youth vote but their core audiences are bound to say away. 6) STEVE COUGAN---------------ALAN PARTRIDGE to the PAROLE OFFICER. To me this guy is as close to comedy genius we have had since Python at their best. His Alan Partridge character was truly wonderful as was student basher Paul Calf of the mullet hair and can of lager. Hes always seen himself as an actor before a comic and jumped at the chance to test his abilities in film. It looked really bad and down hill after his mini series on horror for BBC2 as suddenly we were cringing watching the man who bought us that
obnoxious Norwich TV chat king. The Parole Officer like Alis movie is a complete cop out as it tries to coin it in with mainstream crap and dump intelligence and thought for knob gags. Cougan and Sasha Baron Cohen looked like being the future of British comedy but its already gone to the heads. 7) FRENCH AND SAUNDERS------------THE VICAR OF DIBLEY.The two funniest women in Britain ever who blasted into town in the alternate comedy tidal wave are now reduced to Easter specials taking the p**s of movies. Jenny was brill in the Comic strip as was Dawn in the French and Sanders show. But they married in house to more famous husbands and now settle into dire sitcoms and occasional specials. Will we ever see the brilliance of Absolute Fabulous again or is it babies and Comic Relief. 8) ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES-----------Ok its Britains premier sitcom and the best in my view. But why o why did they make that disastrous come back with unknown writers. It was beginning to wain with the introduction of Rodneys middle class sitcom life and the ending was apt and timely to close at the top. The Trotter family didn?t seem to share the screen with the remaining famous casts as if the others didn?t want to be associated with this guff. Everyone looked like they would rather be some where else,rather than make up. It wasn?t funny at all and theres two more to come. The BBC have actually managed to dumb down Delboy!. 9) TBA 10) TBA