February: short little month. So it's appropriate that this month's review of what I've been watching is almost as short.
I can't believe how bad TV is right now. All reality rubbish/talent shows/cookery/makeovers/property/antiques blah blah blah.
If a little spaceman came down from Mars and asked, 'show me one programme which sums up everything that's wrong with British TV', I'd hit the ITV button on Saturday night and show them "Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway" This used to be good Saturday night entertainment once upon a time....till it turned into a retirement home for the celebrity-reality-z list mob. Take it away, now preferably.
The other thing wrong with ITV is....Piers Morgan. Now they've given him a chat show, so he can chat to all his little circle of celeb-reality friends. Before this though, they had him hanging out in Dubai, Monte Carlo and Hollywood. In a guilty-pleasure kind of way I watched these three programmes, if only to see how the other half live, and just to see Monte Carlo again.
One more appealing explorer is Billy Connolly. In "Journey To The Edge Of The World" he's travelling from the Atlantic to the Pacific, via the top of Canada. It's a winning mix of informative and humorous television: maybe there is hope for ITV after all if they can make more programmes like this.
The revival-mania which was all over the world of pop is now....all over the world of TV shows. So I give you "90210" (E-4, Mondays) which is an updated version of one of my old faves "Beverly Hills 90210", with added Kelly and Brenda for those who remember it first time round. The new version may not have the magic, but it's refreshingly corny and innocent compared to other teen-shows. I know I'm too old for this, but it's a cheesy way to pass an hour.
Now you know I'll never say anything bad about the magnificent "Harry Hill's TV Burp" but it has to be said that prior to the Christmas break it was going, dare I say, a little stale? Happily though, Harry's come back refreshed and back to winning ways if the last couple of weeks have been anything to go by. "The milk's off!" is my new favourite catchphrase - it's the new 'Ear Cataracts'. And who got a 'Bolero day' card? :)
Corry: Platt-Windass feud. Becky & Steve. Ken & Stephanie Beacham. The factory's got a new owner - him from "Queer As Folk" no less!
Hollyoaks: Amy & Ste. McQueens 'on the rob'. Sasha fancies Warren. Warren looking tortured.
You get the picture.
Any decent films lately?
"Control" was on Sky Premiere and I thought it was exceptional. It was the story of Ian Curtis, lead singer in Joy Division, with an outstanding performance by Sam Riley in the leading role. Such an amazing attention to detail, too: the actors playing the band members actually played their own instruments. An honest and gripping film from start to finish.
"The Singer" was also on Sky Movies over Christmas and I finally got round to watching it. A French film with Gerard Depardieu in it....(are there any French films not starring GD?)
Anyway this versatile star managed to show off yet another side to his talents as Alain Moreau, the cheesy club singer who falls in love with a much younger woman. Like many French films it had its share of long, lingering meaningful looks and excessive smoking (is the French film industry sponsored by big tobacco I wonder??).
Anyway I couldn't really understand why anyone would fancy Mr D, but 'chacun à son goût' I suppose.