Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Eighth Wonder...!

Would you allow this Man into your Country?!!
Travel Shows on the Telly are like Rabbits. They must be mating and bonking like there’s no tomorrow, because whenever I find myself scrolling through my Sky Plus Listings, there seem to more and more every day!!! Time to call in the exterminator, I think...!

But wait! What be this? A new Travel Show produced by Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant?!! Featuring everyone’s favourite walking Neanderthal Karl Pilkington? An Idiot Abroad (Sky One) they call it?!! Why, this may be the Travel show for me!!!

Premise: Karl Pilkington, the dumb and over-opinionated one from the Ricky Gervais Podcasts visits the Seven Wonders of the World. Which he hates, misunderstands, and complains about!! Simples. There’s not much else to it, really. Revealing anymore would force me to ruin key hilarious moments from the Show!!

But it’s funny. Very funny indeed. Pilkington is a loveable but very flawed host, and his bemusement with everything foreign is extremely entertaining!! The Show itself is so unlike any other travelogues on the Telly, in that it doesn’t actually inform at all. I mean, honestly, who wants to learn anything these days. Life would be so much happier if we all just sat in our Armchairs, watching TV and stuffing our faces with Crisps, whilst blocking all relevant and interesting information from our heads!!

So if it’s an entertaining, laugh drenched, non-educational evening in you’re looking for, then An Idiot Abroad is the remedy I would most recommend!! Pilkington’s ignorance and lack of knowledge is mostly on par with the poor, unknowledgeable viewer, making this the most accessible Travel Show on the Box.

Forget that holiday you were saving for...why bother going anywhere when Pilkington can go for you and get all the Mosquito bites and miserable weather instead!!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Is it Love...?

"You didn't need to paint a face on it, love!!!!!!"
Another Week, another BBC Three Sitcom, crawling out of the woodwork like a Zombie from a grave, ready to knaw on the first leg that dares to step too close and spread its vile disease upon humanity like...well, a vile disease!!!

The latest attempt for the title of ‘an actually genuinely funny sitcom’ this week is Him & Her (BBC Three), a Sitcom featuring George from Being Human and that chick from...erm, er, oooh...OK, her from an Episode of the dismal Hyperdrive (OK, I’ll be nice, she has done other, more regular gigs, but nowt worth mentioning or even remembering). The show is a so-called look at young couples in today’s society, focusing namely on Becky & Steve, two 20 something’s who happen to be in a serious relationship with each other.

That’s actually about it, plot-wise. The main gripe with Him & Her is the lack of...anything!! Sure, it’s funny for the most part, but not laugh out loud original!! Hell, it’s not even laugh out loud.

Watching an Episode, it’s fair to say that you could easily just turn off the TV and go spy on your neighbours or your parents or some other poor couple...at least till the Cops get called, that is. Him & Her relies solely on simple, everyday conversation to rake in the laughs. Sadly, everyday conversation is pretty boring for the most part. Hence why, at times, the Show feels a tad boring and slow. You could easily go make a Cup of Tea, read the Newspaper, and kill a hooker in the time it takes for something big and funny to happen. You won't miss a thing.

The Cast are all rather brilliant, especially Russell Tovey as Steve (although one fears typecasting is starting to set in for the poor lad), who can’t help but be likeable on screen the minute he utters a single vowel or consonant!! The writing is also rather good, though sadly, the show does drag at times to the point that I realised I’d started to grow a beard by the time the Episode ended. Perhaps if the direction had been a bit tighter and snappier, then my interest would have been sustained long enough to enjoy the few solid Jokes carefully hidden throughout the Show.

I’m not saying divorce, but perhaps me and this Show should spend a little time apart and maybe see other people?!

Before I finish up, a quick mention of the New Series of Law and Order UK (ITV1), currently airing on 9pm Thursday nights. The first Episode, Broken, proved to be the best 45 Minutes of Television Drama I’ve seen this whole year!!! Heartbreaking, terrifying, and really rather excellent. Don’t just take my word for it, check it out on ITV Player now!!

That’s an order!!!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Lost in the Line of Duty...!

Bowing out with dignity after 27 Years...
2010’s been a big year for television goodbyes, David Tennant regenerated into Matt Smith in Doctor Who, Gavin & Stacey left our screens for a life of married bliss, and Lost got lost (sorry, couldn’t resist that one). But the biggest loss so far this year is most defiantly the demise of the sublime long running Police Drama The Bill (ITV1).

Cancelled as part of ITV’s rebranding of the Channel, which basically entails getting rid of every Show that isn’t getting as many ratings as The X Factor or has Simon Cowell’s grubby little fingers all over it (he’ll be producing Corrie by next week), last week saw the final ever Episode of The Bill, bowing out after 27 Years on our screens and exactly 2400 Episodes. And thankfully, the Show bowed out with head held high. Most Series Finales prefer to go for the explosive, ‘let’s destroy and kill as many regulars as we can’ route. Not this time though. Instead, The Bill goes down a much cleverer route, telling a controversial and small scale storyline that tackles current issues in our society, much like the Show has done for the last two and a bit decades.

The Bill’s been a staple of British Television for so long, that the idea of the Show off of our screens is a discomforting thought. Whilst the major revamp of the Show last Year was dreadful (changing the Theme Tune...that’s a crime punishable by death in my books), the Show has still managed to be a cut above all the other long running Dramas still taking up valuable oxygen!! The gritty style and writing, combined with some fine acting talent and superb direction has always served the Show well, making it strangely watchable, even if the Show is not really that good that particular week.

The final Episode serves as a great piece of Television – emotional to the max, action packed, intricate and well plotted. A great two finger salute to the ITV bigwigs who axed the Show, this final Episode should go down into the great Books of Television History. ITV should avoid trying to replace it with some kind of great pretender Drama...otherwise they’ll be hearing from me...as I drive the Hi-Jacked Police Car through the Doors of the ITV Studio Building, guns-a-blazing, with the words ‘bring back THE BILL’ scrawled on the sides in felt tip pen!!

In the immortal words of Jim Carver – “OK Matt, let’s do it”.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Matt Versus Bad Telly...!

Can you guess what the Show's about from this Picture alone?!
No?!!  Neither could I!!
Every now and then, there comes along a TV Sitcom with a brilliant, intelligent, and/or intriguing premise. Unfortunately, more times than usual these types of Sitcoms fail to find an audience due to TV schedulers that either have the thought process of a Chimpanzee or just happen to be one. Sadly, Pete Versus Life (C4) is not one of these Sitcoms that shouldn’t be missed. Praise be to the great Monkey Schedulers that this mish-mash of a Comedy languishes in a dead-end timeslot!!

It’s by no means terrible. The concept is good, but the Show lacks one important thing – actual comedy. This for a so-called Sitcom is as terrible a disadvantage as a Jockey riding a Pig in the Grand National!!

The Concept: Pete (Rafe Spall) is a budding sports journalist, who just happens to have his life commentated upon by two Sports Commentators. Pete either makes a pig’s ear of a relationship or screws up a Job, and they comment over his actions. Hilarity ensues. End Show. Repeat.

Yes, the idea is good, but not good enough to sustain a full, Five-Part Series. Perhaps if it had instead been a series of sketches for some kind of Comedy Sketch Show, the idea wouldn’t feel as strained and overused after just two Episodes.

The acting and writing isn’t as good as you would expect from a Channel 4 Sitcom – both are weaker than a room full of Nerds playing Dungeons & Dragons!! Rafe Spall especially seems completely gormless throughout...fair enough, but when watching thirty minutes of a Man being gormless and nothing else, it starts to have an effect upon the viewer similar to what happens to the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

As I said before, don’t bother trying to find it on Channel 4 now...it’s in a dead end timeslot and most probably won’t make a second series. Just as well really. I’d rather watch an actual Football Match with Commentary then watch this drivel. Never thought I’d be saying that. Thus ends the Review. Now over to Bob & Gary for the post-blog discussion...

Bob: Thanks Matt. Well, Gary, a rather short but sweet Blog there this week, one which, I think many will agree, perhaps wasn’t his best performance there. Your thoughts?

Gary: Yes, Bob. He hasn’t been at his peak since that Lee nelson Review, and it’s fair to say it shows. In fact, perhaps it’s time he considered retirement, and forgot about this whole blogging business and got a proper Job, like being a Waiter, or a Salesman, or a Rubbish Collector, or a...

Matt: OH, PISS OFF!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Great Pretender...!

It’s great to be talented, isn’t it?  Not that I would know.  But I’m sure it’s lovely.  The fame, the admiration, the money, the babes (or blokes, I’m not that sexist)...and, er, the drugs, and the constant press?!  Okay, fame probably sucks a little bit.  But everyone who can get up in the morning and wipe their own Bums seems to think they’ve got some kind of talent worth showing off to the world.  Hence the recent influx of Talent Shows like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.  With the success of this format growing bigger and bigger each year, naturally a number of challengers and pretenders have begun to crawl out of the woodwork to try and claim a chunk of this current success for themselves.

Hence Must Be The Music (Sky One), a Show so unoriginal that I predict Simon Cowell  suing them for copyright infringement sometime next week.  The Show revolves around the search for the latest next best thing to happen to Music.  Various Acts must audition for a place in the process, which will ultimately lead to the Public deciding who to win (so it’s guaranteed now that the prettiest people will win, not the most talented).  The prize?  A chance to perform live at a concert in the O2 Arena!!

The Format sounds familiar, although, be fair, it does actually try to get out of X Factor’s shadow by trying some stuff differently.  First off, the Show rules allow for not just solo singers, but for musicians and bands as well.  Thus the array of talent on offer is much more varied and makes for a much more interesting watch.

Also, the Judges here are much more likable and human, whilst at the same time being critical where needed.  Consisting of  award winning instrumentalist Jamie Cullum, singer/songwriter Sharleen Spiteri, and everyone’s favourite Rapper Dizzee Rascal, the panel just feels more up to finding talented singers.  No offence to Cowell and the X Factor judges, but they only look at the auditionees from a money making angle.  Dizzee, Jamie, and Sharleen concentrate on finding Talent and talent alone, not a Cash Cow they can Milk until the Cow dries up and resembles Keira Knightly!!

Ultimately, Must Be The Music is the type of Talent Show I want to watch more of...it’s entertaining, the Judges are all incredibly likeable, charismatic people (unlike the plastics and the old fogies on X Factor), plus there’s a decent mix of various genres and styles on display.  Oh, and Fearne Cotton presents.  What?  What?!!!

Sadly, if the Show is to survive and find an audience, it seriously needs to stop trying to be X Factor and find its own identity.  It’s halfway there, but with a bit more of a rethink, it could just be something truly brilliant!!  It’s an enjoyable hour of Telly, a perfect cap to a hefty week of hard work, and by god, I’m on my knees praying it sticks around long enough for us to get to know one another better.  Here’s hoping the Network bigwigs give it a chance and let it grow.

Oh, and keep Fearne.

What?!!  WHAT?!!!!!!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Grow Up...!

When I saw the adverts for it, I almost wet myself laughing at the irony!! Damn it, I think I may have ruptured an internal organ of some kind as a result. What was the Ad for, I hear you ask? Why, BBC Three’s Adult Season of course!! The ironic part of the Ad, I hear you ponder? Well, it simply comes down to the fact that most BBC Three Viewers have the mental age of about 3 Years Old.

OK, I’m being unnecessarily cruel now, but then again, I thrive on being unnecessarily cruel. This Year, BBC Three have bought us The Adult Season, a selection of documentaries, reality shows, and general Grade-Z bulls**t that each explore different aspects of adult life and growing up in general. Don’t expect any Robert Winston types to show up to explain the scientific stuff though – it’s pure, dumbed down, “life is hard when you’re a pubescent kid” rubbish. And yet, despite the dumb nature of it all, some of it is surprisingly watchable. Not enjoyable, but watchable, even if just to get your blood boiling.

First off, there’s Underage & Pregnant, a series of short films following a bunch of teenage girls who got knocked up. I know, fascinating isn’t it?! ‘Yawn’! Yes, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before: it’s an unfocused, plodding affair. It fails to educate and inform, it lacks momentum and heart, and worst of all, chooses to act neutral on the whole controversial matter throughout, refusing to portray the struggle of teenage parenthood either in a negative or positive manner. By all means be neutral in matters concerning politics or race, but teenage pregnancy?!!! C’mon!!! Why not just go a step further and plant hidden subliminal messages in the soundtrack, in order to brainwash every teenager watching this to get themselves or someone else up the duff?!!

Elsewhere, there’s documentaries such as Glamour Models, Mum and Me, following 14 year old schoolgirl Georgia, whose Mother is a surgery obsessed tabloid glamour model!! Oh, and she’s also an arrogant, self centred, pushy parent who wants to force poor, intelligent Georgia into the world of celebrity!! She certainly doesn’t do the stereotype of Models any favours!! It’s a heartbreaking and infuriating watch, as Georgia is repeatedly pushed by her overbearing mother into the limelight that she abhors!! The documentary is serviceable enough, and is an interesting piece, but only serves to make anyone with a sense of decency watching tear their hair out in fury at the antics of Georgia’s bitch of a Mum!! Poor Kid.

However the real infuriating favourite here is Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum, a great little reality show following a group of lazy, spoilt, rude, needy, whiny teens, whose parents pretty much wipe their scrawny little arse’s for them, as they are forced to fend for themselves for the first time ever. Each week, the group must go out into the world of work. If they screw up, their parents collectively decide who has been the most useless that week and kick them out of the competition (yes, the winner gets a free holiday. For being a lazy little t**t. There’s no justice in the world, is there?!). As a programme, it’s shockingly bad, only helped along by Robert Webb’s narration, and the hilarious stupidity of the teenage layabouts featured. Highlight? When working at a Zoo, one of the Girl’s asks if the Elephants will eat her if she gets too close. Honestly, you couldn’t make this up. The show is entertaining in that respect, but at the same time, watching these brainless little retards struggle to even figure out the basics of independent life is cringe worthy, to say the least.

Overall, BBC Three’s Adult Season is nothing special. All it merely does is highlight and focus on youth related problems that we’ve known about for years, and yet offers nothing new to the table. Here’s hoping the drooling morons watching this are grown up enough to stand up without assistance and turn this crap off.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Elementary, my Dear Reader...!

Earlier this Year, myself and Doctor Who head honcho Steven Moffat had a bit of a falling out. I kid you not; we’ve actually not spoken for months. It wasn’t because I disliked his new series of Who, but I did find it a bit of a hard, infuriating watch at times. Moffat’s a great writer, but his style of writing for the Show was perhaps a little bit jarring for me.

Thankfully, we’re on talking terms again this Week, thanks to Moffat’s latest shining success, the Sunday Night Detective Drama Sherlock (BBC1). Created by Moffat and fellow Doctor Who scribe Mark Gatiss, the Show is a modern retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth Sherlock Holmes, whisking Holmes and Watson into the 21st Century for a new set of original adventures and mysteries. Gone are the pipe, the deerstalker hat, and the gothic Victorian setting, instead replaced with a laptop, a modern designer scarf and the bright lights of contemporary London. Watson is now an army doctor who served in Afghanistan, whilst Sherlock is a consulting detective for New Scotland Yard.

What could have been a disaster of epic proportions has thankfully turned out to be a clever piece of TV magic. The modernisation of Sherlock Holmes has been tried and tested many times before in the past, and in the past many times before they’ve all failed miserably. Thankfully, Sherlock is clever enough to avoid falling into a trap full of cheesy clichés, and instead relies solely upon clever writing, intricate plotting, and brilliant humour, as well as well developed characters, and plenty of chills and thrills.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock is a marvel. He gets all the nuances of the character spot on, as well as injecting some of his own in to the mix as well, creating a well rounded & likeable character, whilst at the same time giving us poor viewers a sense of unrest. Martin Freeman is also on fine form as Watson, giving us an interpretation of a beloved character that is both fresh and enjoyable. At first it seems as though he’s playing the same old Freeman-stock character, but he uses that to his advantage, giving us a more real, vulnerable portrayal of Sherlock’s sidekick that adds layers to the character.

The execution is superb. The style daring and imaginative. The casting top notch. The stories bold and exciting. Truly, Sherlock is one of the best, most exciting and brilliant Dramas to come out of the BBC. It would be truly criminal if this Show fails to make it to a second season. Thankfully, it looks more than likely that more adventures for the super sleuth are definitely on the cards. Proof that there is some justice in the TV world.

Steven Moffat? All is forgiven.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Lee Nelson's Well Crap Show...!

There comes a time at least once or twice a Year (though more than likely the time in question comes along every other week) when something turns up on the Television that just irritates me to the point of insanity!!! This leads to anger, then the tearing of Hair, followed by more anger, a little bit of intense weeping, and finally the purchase of a double barrelled shotgun!! People are shot, the Police cart me away, throw me into a Cell for 24 Hours, then release me with a warning and tell me not to do it again (oooh, satire!).

This Weeks murderous rampage was caused by none other than Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show (BBC Three), a Show with a title so ironic, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Producers only chose it so that poncy little t**ts like me could use it to slag off their awful mess of a show.

Actor & Writer Simon Brodkin stars as Lee Nelson, a happy-go-lucky Chav who presents this studio based trash, playing pointless and uninteresting games with the audience members and telling jokes that are about as funny as falling down the stairs and landing on the sharp end of a rake that you left carelessly lying about at the bottom. Meanwhile, the Show is peppered with additional sketches featuring Brodkin in all manner of various roles, which also fail to squeeze even the slightest trickle of laughter from my reinforced gob!! Worse still is his terrible catchphrase – “Quali-ty”, which has all the finesse and cleverness of a one legged Panda about it. Worst Catchphrase ever? Probably.

Is there anything really that funny about chavs?! Sure, they’re about as dumb as...well, Chavs, but other, much more talented comedians like Catherine Tate have been there and done that. If you’re gonna do a Show based around a Chav for the sake of laughs, then at least do something original and funny with it.

The humour here revolves around Nelson just talking about either his Girlfriend getting pregnant or him getting pissed, or ‘insert any other Chav stereotype here’. You could get this kind of ‘comedy’ if you went and sat in your local pub!!! The other sketches are as equally unfunny; revolving around the kind of cheap jokes you could imagine Kids at School coming up with in the playground – resulting in characters such as out of control Footballer Jason Bent, the incompetent Doctor Bob, and Chris Young, a Holiday Rep whose idea of a good time is a hundred percent sex, drugs and booze – so basically, the sketches are written by a genetic crossbreed of both Monkey and retard!! They’re dreary, pointless, and humourless, and all they manage to do is make me even angrier that this crap was ever commissioned!!

Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show fails to live up to its namesake on so many levels – it’s crude, it’s unfunny, and it lacks in everything that makes a good Comedy Show. The Jokes don’t go anyway, the writing sucks (if you can even call it writing, when it’s plainly obvious that the content of the show was merely determined by Monkey’s flinging s**t at a wall covered in random letters of the alphabet), and as for everything else...


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Saturday Night Torture...!

Once upon a time (or if you prefer, the late 20th Century), Saturday Night Game Shows were nice, kind, enjoyable Shows, the kind of thing that evoked warmth amongst those that gathered around the talking telly box to bask in the glory of that week’s edition of The Generation Game, the kind of shows that encouraged teamwork, cooperation and good ol’ fun.

Now, however, here in the 21st Century, things are much more different. And like most things nowadays, things are also a lot crueller. Hence why the Beeb is now obsessed with creating Game Shows that encourage cruelty, torture and backstabbing, as opposed to teamwork, cooperation and good ol’ fun. Game Shows that require contestants to humiliate themselves and each other...for big Cash Prizes!!! It’s just a step below self mutilation.

101 Ways to leave a Game Show (BBC1) is one of the latest Torture Shows to make its way onto terrestrial TV, and by gum, whoever commissioned this definitely has a taste for the wicked (as in evil, not as in the long running West End Musical).

Picture it – Eight Test Subjects...er, I mean Contestants, are forced to answer a multiple choice question, each choosing a different potential answer. With their Answer chosen, the poor, unsuspecting lab monkeys, er, contestants are then strapped into various potential death traps, ranging from being thrown off of a high building in a shopping trolley to being flipped over the back of an Armchair into a Swimming Pool. I’m not making this up!! The one who gets the question wrong gets the boot...off the roof or into the pool.

Now normally I’d be raving about a Show like this. But perhaps this Week my sadistic side has been weakened by too much Ice Cream. Because I honestly found 101 Ways to leave a Game Show perhaps a bit too sadistic for my taste. I’m sure some people out there get a kick out of seeing an overweight middle aged woman who suffers badly from vertigo get thrown off the high building into a freezing cold swimming pool, but those people must also surely enjoy going out at night to kick puppies and murder prostitutes!!

It doesn’t help that you’ve got king of the gloating, big headed arseholes (AKA Steve Jones) presenting the Show, making the contestants weep in fear just before he presses the button that sends to the swimming pool 100 feet below (as well as an early grave). Jones has all the personality of a wart on Hitler’s Bum Cheek, and whenever words come out of his ugly mouth, I just find myself sitting there, wishing the big useless lump would trip and tumble off the top of the 101 Building!!

If you’re a serial killer or Jigsaw from the Saw Movie Franchise, then this will be right up you’re alleyway. If you’re a self respecting, normal member of society, then you may have a bit of a laugh whilst watching, but afterwards you will no doubt feel a pang of extreme guilt tearing at you’re guts!!

And that’s exactly what you deserve...!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Animal Magic...!

Puppets have been a mainstay on British Television for Years – Spitting Image, Thunderbirds, Rainbow and Dale Winton to name but a few. But not since Spitting Image has there been a Comedy Puppet Series that has actually been, well, funny.

Thankfully the good ol’ digital Beeb has come up with the goods, resulting in Mongrels (BBC Three), the latest Sitcom from the Kings of Crap Comedy. Praise the Gods though, that for once, BBC Three has obviously tried something different, resulting in an actual decent Sitcom.

The Plotline? A Dog, a Cat, a Pigeon, and a Fox hang out in a dirty alleyway behind a Pub. Hilarity ensures. But don’t let the simplicity of the whole thing make you turn off the TV and go outside to get some fresh air. Less is more, resulting in a rather hilarious Sitcom, something you don’t see enough of on BBC Three (or any channel for that matter).

The puppetry is superb, as is the voice acting and the production design. Everything has a rather disgusting look to it, appropriate for a Show that’s so disgusting in its humour. But thankfully the humour on display is actually quite laugh out loud funny.

OK, the humour is actually rather basic (to the point that it completely copies Family Guy’s style of comedy, from the random cut scenes to the constant tidal wave of Jew jokes), but I’ll forgive it this once because seeing a Jewish man fighting a Badger Puppet with a Pitchfork is possibly one of the funniest images I’ve seen this Year, if not my entire life.

There’s also the huge controversy regarding the Show’s resemblance to Pets, a 2001 Puppet Sitcom for Channel 4, but then again, I never watched Pets, and I won’t be watching it any time soon.

So, if filthy comedy is up your street, and you still sit at home with your Thunderbird 2 Model and a Sooty glove puppet, then Mongrels will be right up your street. Yes it’s hardly original, and yes Katy Brand is in it, which makes me want to hurl my guts up, but thankfully the great writing and puppet design more than make up for it. If BBC Three carries on churning out felt gold like this, they’ll be onto a winner.

Guess no one’s pulling their strings, eh? Eh? Anyone, eh? Oh, fine, whatever...!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Guilty as Thieves...!

Praise ITV. Praise them to the heavens for being the masters of original, entertaining programming!!! Praise them for their latest, super-duper original Monday Night Drama Identity (ITV1), which is sooooo original that I’m just wetting myself talking about it.

Thus ends the sarcastic bit.

Straight to the point, Identity is flat out unoriginal (ironic really, what with that Title). Focussing on an Identity Theft Investigation Team with no personality (and no acting skills either), the Show follows them as they investigate...well, identity theft. And that’s pretty much all the plot there is. I know, hardly riveting stuff.

Bland is the best word for this piece of sleep inducing despair. It tries so desperately to be like Spooks in a bid to at least be visually engrossing. Sadly, even that fails miserably, a bit like Katie Price’s singing career, thanks largely due to flat and lazy direction.

Normally in a case like this, you at least have a talented Cast trying to keep things afloat. Sadly, someone seems to have stolen all the decent actors in Britain. Hence Aidan Gillen as the lead Character, whose name I can’t be bothered to even learn, an Actor who can’t seem to decide which crappy accent to use. Honestly, I can’t tell whether his character’s Irish, American, Martian or a collection of all three. As for charisma...hell, it looks as though someone filched that as well. Damn thieves!!!

Ashes to Ashes star Keeley Hawes is also on hand as the lead Female Character whose own identity appears to have been stolen (along with her personality). I really don’t understand why she does this!! She pulls out all the stops as an actress in top notch stuff like Spooks, but then goes and gives a lazy performance in rubbish like this!!! Maybe she just read the script and thought that it wasn’t worth the effort!!!

Script wise it’s a mess. The Science and Technology on display is fresh out of the good ol’ book of CSI: Whatever gobbledegook, whilst trying to understand the main plotline is as impossible a task as trying to squeeze orange juice out of a Bull. Something to do with a super intelligent Teenager, I think (a huge jump of logic if ever there was one)!!! Whoever wrote this needs to steal some decent plot ideas, me thinks!!

Basically, Identity lacks everything a High Concept Primetime Drama should have – decent plot, decent acting...hell, decent everything!!! Down to basics, it’s guilty of identity theft, just like pretty much everything else on ITV these days!!

Now, how about ITV go steal themselves a truly original idea?!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Who goes there...?

And so another series of Doctor Who (BBC1) reaches its conclusion. Watching as a general viewer, the Show has been entertaining, engrossing and enjoyable. However the Whovian within me stirs violently. As enjoyable as the Fifth Season has been, there’s a few little niggles (yes, I used the word ‘niggle’ in a serious sentence) that have perhaps left me questioning my enjoyment of this Series. Doctor Who is my all time favourite TV Show to the extent that I once told a Girlfriend to get off the phone to me because Doctor Who was starting (the relationship ended soon after that, in a rather violent manner as well). A new Head Writer, new Production Team, and a new Cast, including a new Doctor meant this new Season was going to have to work harder than ever to not only please the existing Fan-base, but also bring in the newbie’s. Instead of my usual rant, here’s my wish list and to-do list for Season Six:

1. First of all, Death!! Series Five has been pretty much bloodless, with a grand total of fifteen deaths this Series (not including characters that have returned to life)!! FIFTEEN?!!! Compared to previous Seasons, the Body Count this Season has been more than halved!!! C’mon, this is Doctor Who. Not a Children’s Show on Cbeebies. It thrives upon death and gruesome stuff, and taking that out of the equation is like neutering a Dog you’ve just bought to breed with your other Dog!! Is Steven Moffat afraid of writing nasty things now he’s in charge?!! He needs to get over it and kill some people properly on screen, and fast!!!

2. Sex (god, this wish-list is beginning to get X-rated). Season Five is best described as the Series that got raunchy, and whilst I love to laugh at innuendo and sex jokes as much as the next guy, this type of humour just doesn’t fit well within Who. Perhaps for Season Six they can cut down on the innuendo and try come up with some more clever jokes.

3. Matt Smith!! Brilliant Actor. Excellent choice to play the new Doctor. Keep him. Nuff said.

4. Scale!! The Stories this Year seemed to lack scale compared to previous Years, especially the Series Finale The Big Bang, which had promised to be a huge, powerful, dramatic Finale, but ultimately came across as an average Episode that could have easily been placed anywhere in the Season. Enjoyable stuff, but lacking that extra something that makes Doctor Who a cut above other TV Series!! Up the scale and take some risks next Series, and we’ll be guaranteed some fantastic Television Drama.

5. Story Arc. This year the running storyline of the Cracks in the Universe and the Pandorica was solid storytelling, but was too forced. A bit more subtlety next year would be nice, we Viewers aren’t brain dead!!

6. And finally, Monsters!! How about a whole Season WITHOUT the Daleks coming back. They’ve become overused, and what with the new Daleks being introduced this Year, perhaps giving the Skaro nasties a Year off will surely do them more good. Build up their return and make Viewers desperate for their return. Instead, how about a whole Season of entirely new Enemies, or maybe a few returnees in the form of recent Monsters and Enemies, like the Dream Lord, or the Weeping Angels. C’mon, it worked during the Tom Baker Years...

So there we go. It’s out of my system. I’ve complained about this new Season of Doctor Who enough now. So I’m now going straight to BBC IPlayer to watch every Episode of Series Five again!!

What?! I’m a Fan, I’m allowed to complain and contradict myself...!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Back in my Day...!

CONFESSION TIME: I watch Cartoons. And not just ‘Adult’ cartoons, like Family Guy or South Park. No, I mean proper Cartoons. The stuff they show on Cartoon Network, Disney XD and the CBBC Channel. Yes, my inner child is alive within me, and he’s desperately trying to tear himself out of my outer child (i.e. me)!!! I am a BIG Kid!!

Sadly, like any older person, I find myself watching the latest televisual offerings for the likkle kiddywinklets and raising my nose in disgust!! There’s no love and care in Cartoons anymore, save for the odd one in about a million, and they usually get cancelled before their time anyways (see the Brilliant Spectacular Spider-Man series)!! Fart Jokes and bad puns make not a great animated series for Kids, and whenever I even smell the foul whiff of Toilet Humour within a Kid’s TV Show, I end up throwing my TV out of the Window, screaming loud, nasty words that Children should never hear until they’re about 18 Years Old!!

Hence, why, dearest Reader, I’ve been forced to turn to the divine one that is DVD to get my 90’s nostalgia fix!! And the Show that is currently making me feel like a happy eight year old again is...Batman: the Animated Series. A true gem of a Children’s Cartoon that deserves a place in every Animation Fan, Comic Book Geek, fun loving Adult and tiny Child’s DVD Collection. Why, you wonder?! Well, because IT’S JUST SO BLOOMING GOOD!!!!

Created by animation legend Bruce Timm, Batman was, and still is, unlike any Cartoon before it. A brilliantly pulpy action adventure series, the Show wiped away memories of the camp 60’s Batman Series with Adam West, and cemented Batman as the coolest and darkest Superhero knocking about.

Cleverly styled so as to resemble a mish-mash of 1930’s and futuristic technology, the Series has a real timeless quality about its look. Oh, and it’s dark. Really dark. Not just in terms of the storylines and characters, but in terms of animation and backgrounds. Watch it in the dark to get the best possible picture quality!!

As for the storylines – well, a rocky couple of Episodes are to be expected, but Batman: TAS isn’t one for making rubbish Episodes. On Leather Wings. Nothing to Fear. Appointment in Crime Alley. Feat of Clay. Almost Got ‘Im. Harley & Ivy. These are just a few of the fantastic Episodes, that not only present great and bold original storytelling, but also fantastic animation, voiceovers and design. And I can’t even bring myself to not mention the Emmy-Award Winning Fan Favourite Heart of Ice, which is possibly the greatest 20 Minutes of Television ever!!!

The Show’s influence is still felt today, in every single Superhero Animated Series, from Justice League to Ben 10 to The Spectacular Spider-Man. There’s nothing else like it!!! You could so easily show this at 9pm on a Weekday Night, and Adults would take to it like Flies to a Wall. It’s a true piece of brilliance that should be re-run on every channel, bought on DVD and treasured forever!!!

Thank God for my inner child!! Now, where’s that Superglue for me to eat?!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Oh Brother...!

When the great Historians of the future come to write the complete history of the entire 21st Century, let’s pray to God that they wisely choose to leave out the words: ‘Big’ and ‘Brother’. OK, perhaps not at every mention, otherwise sentences such as “The 21st Century was very Big” and “You better believe it, Brother” will be left quite redundant. But a combination of those two words, to describe a rather long running, over-hyped crappy reality Television Series? Let’s hope the Boffins of the future choose to gloss over that particular aspect of 21st Century culture!!

In this Critic’s opinion, it’s about bloody time that the makers of Big Brother (C4) finally saw sense and kicked the Show’s own bucket!! What was once an original, clever, interesting TV Experiment has slowly devolved into a big, damn dirty Ape of a TV Car Crash. And as for the ‘contestants’ (by which I mean ‘Freaks’)...well, all one can say is that evolution decided not to bother with their particular Gene Pool.

With this current Series of BB being the LAST EVER (we can but hope), the Producers have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the Series is one to remember. In some cases, it actually works. The House design is cleverly intricate, all see through Walls and uncomfortable furniture, supposedly designed to psychologically effect the poor housemates, although it’s probably more likely that the designer did so just to make it look pretty. The Carnival theme this series is also creepy and unsettling, enough to make even the most hardboiled of folk cower in fear beneath the Sofa (that’s only if they have an uncontrollable fear of Clowns)!! And the decision to select the Housemates on the actual night was also a rather good idea, although it did mean we had to endure looking at seventy-odd disappointed weirdoes for nearly an Hour and a half, a prospect more sickening then watching John McCririck make love!!

As for the Housemates though – well, let’s hope the U.S Military accidently launch a fully primed Nuke in their direction soon. Much like the elements mentioned above, it feels like the producer’s have gone all out to deliver as many misfits, freaks, weirdoes and arseholes as is humanly possible. Shame there’s no one really interesting in there this Year. Their so bland and boring, there’s actually no one in there for me to full-on hate!!! Seriously, I despise them all, but there seems to be a complete lack of complete arseholes in there this Year. It’s as if they’ve exhausted Britain’s supply of arrogant t**ts!!!

That said, there’s still enough idiots in there to make me spit some venom – top of my ‘must kill’ list is posh git Ben, who drags his arse across the carpet like a fat, arrogant overfed poodle who thinks he’s god’s gift to everything; Dave, who’s basically a useless drunken tubby Christian minister who CAN’T. STOP. F***ING. LAUGHING; loudmouth squatter Shabby, a failed punk filmmaker who had me thinking she was a bloke for the first 15 Minutes; and spoilt medical student Sunshine, who just brings out my sociopathic side just by talking!! Elsewhere, there’s a Jordan lookalike, a Beckham lookalike, and a Beyonce lookalike (basically, three people with no personality so they have to steal someone else’s), a poor War Veteran who has just been put in to be a walking freakshow, and a random contestant who has to dress up as a Mole!!!

As always, the latest instalment of Big Brother turns out to be more of the same: a walking, talking carnival freakshow, a glass cage for us perfect folk to point and laugh at the monkeys within!! As phenomenal and controversial as it has been in the past, there’s no doubt that its imminent demise couldn’t have come any sooner. Who knows, maybe Satan will wake up one morning and decide to do something really evil, and resurrect the goddamned franchise, streaming on every channel, 24 hours a day!! So make the most of it till then. Maybe start writing that ‘Complete History of the 21st Century’?!

Just make sure you don’t mention the word’s Big Brother...!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Recycling...the Possibilities Suck...!

Ricky Gervais. And with the writing of those two words, half the people who browse this Blog have probably skedaddled and legged it for the comfort and safety of Facebook (yeah, good luck there)!! Let’s face it; Gervais is one of those celebrity types who inspires either unconditional devotion or absolute blood spitting hatred in people. Understandable, really. Gervais may have talent, but he doesn’t shut up about it. Extras & The Office are pure brilliant, shining examples of noughties Television at its best!! But those aside, there’s no getting past the fact that Gervais is a bit of a t**t, a Man so up his own arse that you can see his Head back almost in its original position, albeit a bit more dirtier then when it originally was.

Those who spit venom whenever the words ‘Ricky Gervais’ are uttered will no doubt be living in a bubble of pure hate lately, what with HBO’s latest televisual offering – The Ricky Gervais Show (C4), a brand new animated series featuring none other than everyone’s favourite fat boy from Reading. Except that it’s not brand new. If anything, it’s about as new as a Birthday Cake made for Hitler’s 1st Birthday (and it’s just about as tasty too).

The Series premise is simple: it’s basically the original Podcast recordings featuring Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, edited and enhanced with old school 2D Animation. So simply put, it’s a bunch of stuff people will have heard many times before, with a little bit of extra to hook them in. Well done, HBO, you sure do spoil us!!

That said, I personally find the Series slightly more entertaining than others will, merely because I for one have never listened to the Ricky Gervais Podcasts before now. To me, this reeks of 100 percent originality. Though I am fully aware it’s not. It does seem like a pointless Show, basically a series of repeats of material Gervais fanatics (pretty much half your audience) will have heard many times before. Could HBO not have instead gathered Gervais, Merchant & Pilkington together to record some new Podcasts exclusively for the Animated Series instead?!

The Animation is the true selling point here. Lovingly created and sumptuous to look at, it definitely adds to the production enormously, giving the series a scope that enhances the original podcast recordings. The Hanna-Barbera style is an excellent choice as well, evoking memories of Saturday Mornings for many an older person, I’m sure.

The content of the Podcasts themselves are entertaining enough, although never laugh out loud hilarious. Gervais is a prick, Merchant is smart and funny, and Pilkington is dumber then a monkey. Everything revolves around getting Pilkington to make himself look stupid, which is easily achieved. Oh, and Gervais laughs. A bloody lot (well, someone’s got to, the audience sure as hell isn’t).

If you’ve never even heard of Ricky Gervais before now, then The Ricky Gervais Show is not the best introduction to get you hooked onto his material. It’s like a prostitute – occasionally nice to look at, but once it speaks, you want to tear your ears off and ram them down her throat to stop her bloody talking!!! The Show lacks originality and is perhaps a bit too slow paced to get people laughing like Hyenas on crack. You’ll be questioning just why HBO commissioned it, and why the producers made it in the first place, and why Ricky Gervais is considered so godlike in the states that he can get away with dressing up old material as something new and hip and cool. So, basically, it’s worth a watch if you’ve never heard of Gervais, but let’s face it, the chances of that are about as slim as this series’ chances of getting a second season!!!

This Week, TV Wasteland is celebrating the re-commission of Torchwood. A brilliant Show that has come on leaps and bounds over the Years, developing to become one the highlights of the BBC’s current Drama output. If you’ve never watched it before, check it out on DVD.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

He's in the Best Selling Show...!

A couple of weeks ago, a TV Series that has kept Telly Critics and Viewers alike completely baffled for so long reached it’s amazing climax, bringing over Five Years worth of brilliant storytelling to an end!! And the name of that brilliant show?!! What was that? Lost?!!! What are you bloody babbling about?! What crap have you been injecting (apart from Episodes of Lost that is)?!! Piss off; I’m talking about Ashes to Ashes (BBC1)!!!!

It’s taken me over a week to write and publish this latest Review. Why? Because the Series Finale of Ashes has somewhat shocked me to the point that thinking about it too in-depth could possibly cause my Brain to rupture!! It’s not often that a piece of TV Drama can do that to me!! But Ashes is a special case. I’ve followed the adventures of both Sam Tyler and Alex Drake, and the mystery of DCI Gene Hunt since the beginning, in Life on Mars, and now to finally discover what the f**k is actually going on after Five Seasons is just ...sooooo exciting!!!

It’s difficult writing this review though. Trying to explain the whole thing to the uninitiated will be one hell of a long slog. Likewise, just catering to those who already watch the Show and know what I’m talking about seems equally pointless.

So for now, all I say is that the Ashes to Ashes Series Finale was absolutely spot-on, love it, love it, and love it fantastic!!!! It’s extremely clever, tying up all the Series loose ends in spectacular fashion. (Although be warned: you will never be able to watch Life on Mars in quite the same way again!!) Phillip Glenister as Gene Hunt is on fine form, giving us new dimensions to a character that is just so amazingly wonderful!! There’ll never be another character like him, and in fact, there mustn’t!!!

Forget Lost, Ok?! Ashes has it all – wit, charm, action, guns, a solid engrossing mystery, clever plotting and scripts so fantastic that they most probably have to be kept under constant, 24 Hour Guard, lest the hack writers of CSI: Wotever they’re calling it this Week try to steal them!! The constant twists and turns will have you glued to your screen, so much so that afterwards, you may have to peel of your own facial skin in order to get up and go boil the kettle.

I highly recommend that those who don’t watch the show already go splash out on both Seasons of Life on Mars and all three Boxsets of Ashes to Ashes, lock themselves in a cupboard with a pack of Garibaldi’s and hipflask full of scotch, and have a good Boxset binge!! You won’t regret it. Unless you’re a Nancy Boy, that is!! Those who have already embraced the world of DCI Gene Hunt should do likewise, and binge, binge, binge; just like the Guv himself would at the Railway Arms!!

Well, what are you waiting for, you great, soft, cissy, girly, nancy, french bender Man United supporting poof?!

This Week: TV Wasteland is intrigued by the Pilot for BBC3 Hospital Horror Drama - Pulse. Written by Doctor Who scribe Paul Cornell, it looks to be scary, entertaining stuff. Check it out on June 3rd, at 9pm and leave your comments relating to it below.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Playground Antics...!

Wow look at that. There’s a bunch of Teenagers on Television!! And they’re not happy slapping one another, nor are they getting incredibly drunk, or high, or having a quick orgy in some poor old lady’s back garden!! No, instead they’re dressed in fine suits, theyt have their hair slicked back, and are talking big, smart, long words that us poor Neanderthals can’t possibly comprehend!! Oh, and their also acting like arrogant, bulls**ting snobs who think they are god’s gift to the business world!! Yes, it could only be Junior Apprentice (BBC1), the beeb’s latest instalment of Lord Alan Sugar’s popular Apprentice Series, this time featuring a bunch of smarty-pants brats who wrongly believe their balls dropped early!!!

The simplest way to describe the show is ‘like The Apprentice, but with kids’. There’s nothing else to it. There’s no huge format changes, no unnecessary additions and no, Lord Sugar doesn’t dress up as a Clown (sparing us a sight more terrifying then Vanessa Feltz showing us her naughty bits). Some will argue that Sugar goes much easier on the ‘likkle cutesy wutsy kiddy-winklets’ but judging by his attitude throughout the first episode, I highly doubt he plans on being fun old Uncle Alan, dispensing cuddles and bedtime stories to the poor little mites when the pressure ramps up.

In the first instalment, Sugar tasks the Munchkins with selling a huge wodge of posh cheese. This being The Apprentice (sorry, Junior Apprentice), you know s**ts gonna go down, and sure enough, it does, as the Boy’s Team is completely murked by the Girl’s (who have the huge advantage of having A. Boobs and B. More Boobs to help them sell, sell, sell). Having failed what should have been a walk in the park, if their arrogant comments earlier in the show are to be believed, the Boy’s are marched into the Boardroom, where one of them will be fired (and hopefully gassed soon after)!!!

It’s an entertaining start to the Series, but unfortunately, there’s one little thing that annoys. This week, Team Leader Jordan gets the Boot from Lord Sugar. At first I was extremely overjoyed that he got the boot, so much that I think I cracked open a bottle of Champagne to celebrate (only kidding, I’m too poor to afford that, it was actually a Cup of Tea, but still...), but once the Show finished, I realised...there’s no one left to hate!!! Jordan was the most arrogant, smug, up-his-own-arse git there, a posh, camp little spunk weasel that should have been shot at birth, and whilst his removal in Week One was hilarious to the point that I snorted Tea out of my Nose, there is now a hate vacuum on the Show, one that must be filled ASAP, before the entire population of Britain changes channel to watch some other reality show bollocks!!! There are a few contenders for the position of most hated contestant, particularly Rhys, who just complains loads about everything anyone else does (plus he looks and sounds annoying, and this makes me want to punch him in the face with barbed wire boxing gloves) and Zoe, who looks and acts like a upper class hooker!!! There’s some I like amongst the bunch, particularly funny little Arjun, who I want to adopt, and Kirsty, who has more common sense than the rest combined.

Apart from that little niggle, Junior Apprentice is shaping up to be as entertaining as its parent show, and whilst the midgets here are perhaps less entertaining then the adult Candidates usually featured, the concept manages to breathe fresh life into a format that has begun to seem predictable and stale. Here’s hoping that the BBC sees sense and hires, er, I mean, recommissions this Show for full time employment.

Thank You for the Opportunity...!

This Week, TV Wasteland is celebrating the demise of the once great but now defunct Heroes (BBC2), by basically not watching it. After a brilliant first Season, the Show’s been in great decline, and in desperate need of being taken out to the shed at the end of the garden and shot. Now they’ve finally done just that, maybe they could get round to commissioning something that won’t go all crap after just one Season.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Douche of the Dead...!

As an annoying child once said to Bruce Willis...“I see dead people”. OK, so that was from a fictional Film, but it’s a perfectly appropriate opening gambit for this latest TV review. Psychics, ghost hunters, and mediums (not trouser size, but those see and hear-the-dead types) – the stuff of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There’s no such thing, I hear you say. And I am happy to say that I share your exact thought there. But unfortunately, there are those who continue under this masquerade, pretending to talk to the dead, in order to massage their sweaty palms within those lovely leather purses of the people they claim to help. It’s sickening, but thankfully, that wonderful saviour, the Telly Box, comes to the rescue again, and this time, it’s non-other than that ultimate conjurer of delights Derren Brown who’s out to find the fraud hidden within these so called ‘psychics’!! Woo, go Derren!!!

Hence Derren Brown Investigates: The Man Who Contacts the Dead, C4’s latest venture into that beautiful genre of Exposé Documentary. In the first Episode of the series, Brown encounters Liverpudlian Joe Power (a name which makes him sound like a very camp and unoriginal super villain), a so-called psychic who claims to have amazing powers that enable him to speak to the deceased. Throughout the following 50 Minutes, we see Derren Brown repeatedly at loggerheads with Power, questioning his ethics and the existence of his supernatural abilities. This thankfully, whilst troubling for the two men on screen, makes for rather brilliant Telly!!!

What’s brilliant about this particular show is Derren himself. From the get go, he has on his side, as he states that whilst his Magic is all based on illusion and psychology, he is still open to the concept of the supernatural, albeit with a reserved and unsure attitude!! Straight away we know that this isn’t gonna be just some ‘psychics are fakes’ propaganda!!!

However, once Brown meets Power, it becomes a different story altogether. Power is a disgusting little skid-mark of a man, with all the charisma of Bill O’Reilly’s Farts!!! He is instantly so unlikeable, a Man with a god complex so huge that he most probably wipes his arse with Golden Toilet Paper. So when Brown lays into the ugly, moronic, deluded git later on the show, it’s fair to say that we’re rooting for Brown!!!

The Show is an excellent Documentary looking at and examining the tricks ‘psychics’ play in order to give the impression of having supernatural abilities. It’s quite scary and heartbreaking to see so many grieving, vulnerable people scammed and put through the emotional mincer by Power, and once the truth of his powers are revealed to us by Brown and a psychologist, there’s no doubt that Power is a nothing but a disgusting leech!!

As a piece of Telly, the Show is entertaining enough. The arguments between Brown & Power are great, showing Power as an angry little worm compared to the calm and collected Brown, whilst the highlight is definitely Brown using simple psychology to best Power at his own game!! We could have done without the Hollyoaks segment, in which Power reads the minds of the Cast of the Show (what’s he gonna find in there? Spunk and dead flies probably!!), but it’s a minor niggle in what proves to be an entertaining and emotional Documentary!!!

It’s fair to say that Derren Brown is now one of my favourite people in the whole world!! Yes, he may look like an evil super villain from some terrible Xbox Game, but here he comes across extremely well, respectable, dignified and dedicated!! Overall, a well thought out and enjoyable programme!!

There, no need to read my mind now!! Piss off, you sponging, mind reading twats, and get a proper job!!

This Week, TV Wasteland commands you to catch up on, and watch the final Episode of Ashes to Ashes on Friday, BBC1, 9pm. Judging by previous Episodes, it looks set to BLOW. YOUR. MIND. Don’t diss the Gene Genie.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Solitary Confinement...!

Reimagining’s and Remakes are a bloody annoying thing to get right in TV World!! For every brilliant Doctor Who or Battlestar Galactica, there’s an absolute messy failure like Knight Rider or Reggie Perrin. Get the new Show spot-on and you’ll have the Fans literally humping your leg like loveable hounds. Get it horribly wrong, and you’ll have Eggs thrown at your house, your Children beaten up in the Street, and absolutely loads of Hate Mail clogging up your Letter Box (and not all of it Letters)!!

The truth is that Remakes are fragile things. You can either be too true to the original, and basically create a carbon copy that does nothing new whatsoever, and feels like a pointless waste of time and money. Or you can create something horribly original that it has nothing to do with the show from whence it came!! Or worse still, you could just make a really crap remake Show that is neither of the above...

Hence, The Prisoner (ITV1), the latest attempt at destroying people’s childhood memories!! Based on the original 60’s Series of the same name, it follows a mysterious Man who awakens to find himself in an even more mysterious place, known only as the Village!! Designated Number Six, he soon discovers that the Village is not the haven it appears to be, and is more of a Prison than anything else!!
Intrigued?! Then by all means stop reading this Review, click on Play.com and order a Boxset of the entire Original Series on DVD or Blu-Ray!! Because honest to god, you’re better off watching that then this useless excuse for a remake.

Written by Lark Rise to Candleford creator Bill Gallagher, the Mini-Series boasts an excellent, star studded cast. Shame I can’t see any on display. Jim Caviziel as Six has all the steel and presence of a Barbie Doll that’s had its Head removed by a rabid Gopher!! Original Prisoner Star Patrick McGoohan was by far a better lead. At least he didn’t play the part as a generic American action hero, albeit with all the energy of a single Hooker after a full night with an entire Football Team, constantly looking like he’s in desperate need of a nap!! Sir Ian ‘Gandalf’ McKellen is good enough, but it’s nothing we’ve never seen from him before. Again, he just plays the generic charismatic bad guy, which has been done to death in all fictional Media (where have all the non-charismatic villains gone?! I want to see some bad guy stamp on a Kitten and eat a Baby!!!).

The script is dire as well. It’s chocker full of action for the sake of action, as if the writer has set out with the sole goal of giving sleeping viewers (so everyone then) loud explosion induced heart attacks!! The attempt to update the story to fit our post 9-11 society falls flatter then Miley Cyrus’s singing, and any attempt at character development feels forced and unnecessary!! The mystery surrounding the show is none existent, and the new original storyline surrounding Number Two (I know, I found it funny when I typed it) and his Family is boring and predictable!!!

Overall, The Prisoner falls into the camp of failed remakes!! It tries oh so hard to be original, but ultimately feels stale as a result, like watching a ‘Best Of’ Documentary about the Original, in which the most prolific and important interviewee is Johnny Vegas!! It makes no sense!!!!! It could have been the British answer to Lost, but by choosing to be crap, it becomes...well, crap!! Lock it up, throw away the key, and let it rot!!!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Rule Britannia...!

God, where have I been?!! Have I been in a coma for the last couple of weeks, only awakening to eat, empty my intestines and hurl abuse at a bunch of famous people who don’t even know I exist? Why did no one tell me that Britain’s Got Talent (ITV1) was back on?!!!! Honest to god, I’m genuinely devastated by this!! Not because I planned on tuning in, but because I now have hardly any time to get together my Rations Pack!! And my underground, airtight bunker is a bloody mess!! How am I supposed to hide away from civilization in a shithole like that?!! Anyone interested in a cleaning job? Long Hours, perfect for people who love dank, dark places, and all the cold Tinned Soup you could eat. Any takers...? No?

But back to my rant. I was actually genuinely unaware that BGT was back for a new series. Seriously, if it hadn’t been for all the Ad Break Bumpers, Trailers, Web Ads, annoying screaming Teens who have less brains then they do...hell, anything, I genuinely wouldn’t have noticed the return of ITV's Ratings Juggernaut!! God have mercy on my soul if I didn’t tune in for it!! May God smite me down with Thunder and Lightning dare I ignore the phenomenon that is so obviously more important than Food, Sex or breathing!!!

Truth is I hate this time of year!! Britain’s Got Arseholes pretty much puts me in a bad mood to the level that if I see a cute, defenceless Kitten cross my path, I will literally pounce upon it and scream at it and throw it to a huge, rabid Dog that’s been starved for days!! And then once the Kitten has been devoured, I’ll get started on the Dog, and then it’s owner, and then the Owner’s Neighbour, and so on, until everyone is dead!! That’s how pissed off Britain’s got Chavs makes me feel!! Don’t judge me, or you’re next!!! RARGH!!!

Honestly though, Britain’s got some kind of fungal infection seriously narks me off. I fail to see the appeal in watching three talentless Judges with sticks so far up their arse there’s apples growing out their gobs telling poor deluded people that they fail at life and should do the world a favour and end it all, preferably live on stage, right there, right now!!!

C’mon, agree with me here!!! The Judging panel on the show are a bloody joke!! There’s Simon Cowell, who pisses me off just by existing, a smug git at the best of times, a man so aware that he is being likened to God by so many brainless monkeys that he most likely struts around his Mansions in a fake beard and white robes, clutching plastic thunderbolts!! Then there’s Amanda Holden, who makes me want to set fire to her ugly plastic Barbie face every time she smiles, talks or pretends to cry!! As for her judging talent...! Bloody hell, that’s a leap!! Seriously, what right does she have to judge talent when her only talent is to look like one of those blow-up sex dolls!! And as for Piers Morgan!! Hell, why not just get Satan himself to judge the contestants; he’ll be hell of a lot nicer than Morgan...and he’ll also be much easier on the eye!!

It’s car-crash TV at the best of times. I half expect a huge fiery wreckage and at least 5 bloody, burning corpses to appear out of nowhere. The Contestants are deluded at the best of times, to the point of embarrassment!! Embarrassment at being part of the same species as those mindless freaks!! No clear winners as of yet, but undoubtedly it’ll be won by a Singer or a Dancer, so if you’re not one of them, then there’s really no point bothering to audition!!

I will admit, watching a bunch of talentless, big headed schmucs audition does occasionally tempt a laugh out of my grim, bastard exterior!! But I always feel guilty afterwards!! This type of TV Show is pure freak show, and it depresses me that this is potentially the future of all Television!! Imagine it – 24 Hour Reality/Talent Shows, nonstop!! Not one decent Documentary or Drama or Sitcom in the entire schedule (saying that, at least we’ll get Life of Riley off our screens for good)!! It could happen, and it’s all down to us, watching this show week-in like followers at a church!! Hell, Simon Cowell seems to be setting himself and his so called ‘original format’ up as a new Religion altogether!!

Pure Entertainment? Not really. Cheap, Hypnotic Crap?! Indeed. If you can, avoid this Show as much as possible. Don’t get sucked in. Do so and no doubt you will soon be dressing like Simon Cowell and attending secret Cult meetings in which you and several other entranced couch apes gather round a Telly showcasing the latest Episode of Britain’s Got Fleas, whilst stuffing your face with plain crackers and masturbating uncontrollably!! It could happen!!! You have been warned!!

This Week here at TV Wasteland, I'm introducing an additional recommendation for every thing I slag off, or something to avoid if I say nice things!! This Week, TV Wasteland recommends Charlie Brooker's You Have Been Watching (C4). It 's basically a very funny piss take of the latest Telly. If you read this Blog, then this should be your Cup of Tea. Or Coffee. Or Ice Tea. Or...oh, forget it!!!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Every now and then, there comes a moment when History is made. The extinction of the Dinosaurs, World War I, World War II, the Watergate Scandal, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the release of Star Wars. All moments of significant importance, that should quite rightly be remembered forever. And the latest to join the ranks of significant events is none other than The First Election Debate (ITV1). Hardly first class entertainment, but a moment that should quite rightly be documented and archived for all future generations to see. That’s unless the Alien Invasion is imminent, in which case, save the recordings of Tom Baker’s entire run of Doctor Who first (don’t look at me like that. They are most definitely more deserving).

I’m not a highly political person. I can barely remember the name of our Prime Minister, for Christ’s sake (Brown summink or other, I think). Yet despite having about as much political know how as a group of Politicians (SATIRE!!!), even I felt obliged to tune in and watch TV History in the making. And I also felt obliged to tune in just in case it all kicked off, resulting in David Cameron beating Gordon Brown to death with his own Microphone, whilst Brown tries in vain to strangle Cameron with his own ugly, vomit inducing Blue Tie, as Nick Clegg silently watches from the sidelines, rubbing his hands with glee at the sight of seeing his greatest enemies finish each other off in gory fashion!! Sadly, I was robbed of this Television Extravaganza, and instead had to endure a whole 90 Minutes of straight talking. Talking?!!! TALKING?!!!! Bloody hell, next they’ll be shaking hands and start being civil towards one another!! OH GOD, THEY’VE ONLY GONE AND BLOODY DONE THAT AS WELL!!!

Let’s be honest. It was hardly the most exciting TV Event of this Year. Important, yes. But enjoyable?! Hardly. You will no doubt argue that it achieved what it set out to do, and I’m not disagreeing with you. But in terms of entertainment value, it was hardly the Dog’s Bollocks, was it?! Hell, it wasn’t even worthy of being the Ant’s Bollocks, and as far as I know, they don’t even have any!!!

Instead of a full on debate, it was all above board, controlled and sleep inducing!! My God, if Cameron tells one more bloody story about who he met whilst campaigning, I’m gonna bloody march over to Westminster and let his Arse meet my Steel Toe-Capped Boot!!! As for Brown, whilst coming across more friendly and likeable then recent Interviews and News Footage would have you believe, there’s still no getting away from his sheer lack of common sense!! Nick Clegg on the other hand, came across brilliantly, giving the Lib-Dems a much needed and brilliant moment in the limelight (other Political Parties are available), and proved himself a worthy challenger to Laurel and Hardy, who happened to be standing next to him throughout entire the debate (SATIRE!!!).

Planning on voting in the General Election?!! Well, heed my advice and don’t base your judgement upon this!! It’s all Spin, albeit well performed Spin, but Spin none the less. As I said, I’m hardly political, but seriously, I know not to base my choices upon what I see on the Talking Box!! Entertainment wise, avoid this, it will melt your brain to the point that you will become a walking Hot Drinks dispenser, dispensing Hot, Thick Liquid from your Ears when someone squeezes your nose!! If you must watch (you know, to like, decide who to vote for and shit) then take a tip from me (and my Friends, who are all so much more cleverer then me to came up with this), and liven things up with a Drinking Game!! Every time Cameron bullshits, every time Brown stutters, every time Clegg gets angry, every time an argument starts to arise and is instantly quelled, then swig a few shots!! Trust me, by 30 Minutes in, you’ll think you’re an American Patriot living in the 18th Century!! And you will feel all the better because of it!!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Don't be such a Dorothy...!

Saturday Nights are the Holy Day of Television. They always have been and always will. Anyone who knows me will tell you that to see me out and about early on a Saturday Evening is about as plausible as the idea of Gandhi turning out to be a malicious time travelling serial killer who secretly and efficiently murdered prostitutes on the mean streets of London back in the 19th Century. Saturdays are sumptuous, and within the Saturday TV schedules there’s always something that can only be described as ‘miss me not TV’!!! Doctor Who. Merlin. Robin Hood. Total Wipeout. Saturday Night Takeaway. These are just a few of the most recent Saturday Night successes to dominate our screens, and all are brilliant!! But sadly, amongst the few specks of TV Gold Dust are countless spores of deadly Anthrax!!! Television shows so lethal that just watching a mere second of them will leave the viewer a cold, broken, mindless husk, incapable of speech or thought. Hence why I am now sitting comatose in a special Wheelchair, my clothes drenched in my own drool, whilst a super intelligent Chimpanzee writes this and pretends to be me...Banana-Banana-Banana, ooh ahh ahh ahh!!!

The latest clunker to force itself upon the Saturday Schedules like a fat, drunken sex offender upon an unsuspecting young woman in a pub is Over the Rainbow (BBC1), the latest of Musical legend Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for a new West End Musical Star. This time he’s searching for a Dorothy (but not that kind. Bad luck, John Barrowman!!) for his Musical production of The Wizard of Oz. So he’s kidnapped a bunch of talented yet ordinary young women, dressed them up in all manner of sexy Outfits, and forces them to sing live on BBC One for Millions to see, before eventually evicting the weakest singer, sending them to an executioner waiting silently off screen wielding an Axe!!

OK, so maybe that isn’t entirely true. But it’s the only way to make this Show sound interesting. I’m not a hater of Musical Theatre. In fact I adore it, but this Show merely cheapens the entire Theatre Industry by turning the production of a Theatre Production into a weekly bitch fight, as fame hungry lasses battle it out for King Gollum’s approval, not giving a toss about who is voted off that particular week, just as long as it isn’t them. That said, they prove themselves brilliant actresses –when a potential rival is voted out, all the remaining contestants manage to cry crocodile tears on cue...someone give them an Oscar. Or at least a Hanky!!

There is genuine Singing Talent on display here. All the Finalists are talented to the point that they may eventually become ‘too talented’ and MI:5 will have to dispatch highly trained Assassins to ‘quiet them down’. However, the Show is let down by dreadful choices in terms of the Judging Panel!! Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to have Charlotte Church judging people on their singing abilities deserves to die an agonizing death involving Lions and Explosives, whilst Webber is a miserable git, although that may be because any attempt at smiling will pull his ugly, fragile face apart at the seams.

Saturday Night TV is for Entertainment and Enjoyment. This Show sadly hardly delivers either. It’s a mockery of the Theatre Industry (the General Public cannot be trusted to vote for brilliant singers, just look at the Jedward fiasco during last year’s X-Factor) and in terms of Entertainment Value, lacks any hint of originality or appeal. The Talent Show controlled by the Public Format is an idea that’s been done to death now, not just by the BBC but by every single bloody TV Channel desperate for easy Ratings!!

Please BBC, come up with something fun and original, and give me my Saturday’s back. Otherwise I’m gonna have to go out and socialise with people. And neither of us wants that...!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Shut the Damn Door...!

Regular Readers (so that’s all four of you) of this Blog may remember a few weeks ago, in the middle of a huge rant about boring, samey old Gameshows, that I pitched my own idea for a Gameshow, involving contestants facing their fears and horribly mutilating themselves, all for big cash prizes!! Well, they’ve only gone and bloody made it, haven’t they?!! The Door (ITV1) is the result of my twisted genius!! Obviously they’ve toned it down somewhat, but the basic concept is still there. I think I need to get my Lawyer on the Phone. On second thoughts, I think I need to get a Lawyer first.

But yes, back to The Door, which I must admit, despite being sceptical at first, proved to be excellent first class entertainment!! Maybe it’s the sick, twisted pleasure I got from seeing Celebs being brutally tortured (unfortunately by tortured, I really mean forced to face their fears, without any potential threat to their wellbeing whatsoever) but this show has, in my opinion, the best concept ever!! It’s not original in the slightest, but then again it is ITV we’re talking about, which hardly prides itself on its originality. God, they could have just called it Celebrity Saw and left it at that.

Still, it truly is fascinating, not just in seeing your ‘favourite’ blank faced, empty minded Z-list celebrity’s facing their greatest fears (heights, insects, clowns, Amanda Holden, etc...), but also in wondering how this even got commissioned. You feel sorry for the poor celebs on screen, but you do wonder what possessed them to even sign the contract to appear in the first place.

This brings us to the ‘talent’. So which well known and prominent famous faces have agreed to be brutally exploited for the audience’s twisted pleasure? Well, hardly anyone famous, that’s for sure. There’s Fiz from Corrie, who does prove to be an entertaining and determined contestant; good ol’ Dean Gaffney, who obviously didn’t learn much from his stint on I’m a Celeb...; some chick who used to be on Eastenders, and whose name I can’t be bothered to waste Brain Cells on; some dude from Boyzone; one of the Saturdays, who proves about as useful and entertaining as one of their Albums (I’ll give you a clue here – I’m not a fan); and finally ex-CBBC presenter Michael Underwood, one of my Childhood heroes, who still kicks ass like he did way back when!! You can guess who I was rooting for...

Sadly, the Presenters selected are hardly fitting for a show as twisted as this...in fact, their just plain dull. Firstly there’s Chris Tarrant, who looks about as thrilled to be there as much as a convicted Terrorist is to be in Guantanamo Bay!! Come on ITV, give the Man a comfy chair and a fresh glass of Orange Juice, the poor man looks exhausted just standing there, doing nothing. But seriously, if you’re aiming to create a scary, atmospheric show, at least get someone who is truly creepy to present it, not just one of your regular backbenchers!!

If Tarrant is ITV’s attempt at bringing to life Saw’s Jigsaw, then that makes co-host Amanda Holden their attempt at that creepy little Puppet!!! ‘There are some things so twisted, so horrible, so just plain weird, they should be kept locked behind closed doors’ she says at the beginning of the Show. If I didn’t know any better I’d have believed she was referring to herself. Holden is TV Trash in my opinion, the kind of talentless bint who somehow manages to get more work then she deserves. Here she comes across as a cackling witch, straight out of The Wizard of Oz, laughing with disgusting pleasure at the sight of the torture before her!! God, it’s terrifying to watch her on screen, and that’s without looking at her face, which reminds me of a shop window dummy after a kid with crayons has got at it!! Most definitely a Witch!! Quick, someone get the bucket of Water!!!!!!

Crap Presenters aside, The Door is top notch, guilty pleasure entertainment at its best. There’s plenty of action, laughs and celebs getting treated like bathroom scum to keep both adults and children entertained. Yes, it’s cheap and cheesy and unoriginal, and at times pure stupidness wrapped up with a side order of idiocy...yet there will always be something appealing about the idea of celebrities getting tortured on telly for shits and giggles!! Good show I say, bravo!!!

Now, if only we can somehow persuade Amanda Holden to take part in the next series?! Hmmmmmmm...

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Ice to See You...!

Whilst the Weather outside is about as delightful as the thought of getting bear hugged by Jackie Stallone in an airplane toilet whilst crashing towards the polar ice caps, the alternative (sitting indoors watching the Telly) is just about as bleak and nightmarish (especially if Jackie Stallone is on TV that particular night...should I drop this now?!). But none are as bleak as Dancing on Ice(ITV1), which just wrapped up its Fifth Series on Sunday. Praise the Sky Bully that it’s finally over!!

OK, so it isn’t exactly the dramatic downfall of Human intelligence that I’ve made it out to be. But it is boring beyond belief, and the fact that it’s made it to a fifth series must surely have something to do with a pact made between ITV Execs and Satan himself!! The first series was watchable enough, but that was largely down to Holly Willoughby’s low cut tops more than anything else, if the papers are to be believed. And yes, seeing annoying, washed up Celebrities ice skating is rather funny, especially when they fall over and plant their smug, punchable faces upon the cold, hard ground. But if that’s as far as its appeal goes, then it really isn’t worth the effort.

It would help if there were any worthwhile celebs actually appearing on the show...but unfortunately, the richer and more famous celebs appear to be a degree smarter than we actually give them credit for, so instead we have to make do with a bunch of soap stars that no one will remember six months down the line; Simon Cowell’s personal aide (because apparently Simon Cowell is now god, not just a showbiz mongrel who thinks he’s god, so there now has to be some sort of reference to him on every ITV show, lest we forget this); the GMTV Doctor (who probably thought she was just going to be on the sidelines in case poor Bobby Davro cut his face open with his own Skate); and Gordon Ramsay’s Wife (old Gordo must have been too busy making a decent TV Show to take part)!! Oh, and also there’s that screaming, back stabbing Harpy who married Paul McCartney from The Beatles. You know, the one with the wooden leg?! It’s Dancing on Ice, love, not Hopping on Ice.

Anyway, jokes aimed at the physically handicapped out of the way, we move on to the judges...and my god they’ve scraped bottom of the barrel so hard this year that they’re halfway to Australia. Every Year they add a new judge to proceedings, and you’d think they’d add someone with a little bit of knowledge about Ice Dancing to the panel. But no, they only go and add Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton instead. That’s right, Emma Bloody Bunton!!! I feel sorry for the contestants now – if I had to have a bloody Spice Girl tell me how to dance, I’d probably impale myself on my own Skating Blades, right there in front of her. And I’d bloody well make sure that plenty of my Blood would splatter her!! Right in the face. That’ll learn her. Bloody Spice Girls; think they’re God’s gift to the universe, grumble-grumble...

But honestly, I really can’t understand why so many people watch this week in, week out. Yes, it’s different to many of the other Celeb Talent Shows on telly, but still, it’s repetitive and stale. Torvill & Dean are brilliant Ice Dancers, but they are merely cheapening their profession by attaching themselves to this crap!! One series was fine, but sadly, in TV World, you milk an idea for all it’s worth, and now each new series of Dancing on Ice feels exactly the same as the previous...there’s nothing new. The routines remain the same each year, and whilst every year you get a new set of Celebs, it’s always a bunch of ITV Soap actors who you’ve never heard of, or a Celeb whose career died the same time as the Dinosaurs!!

What has this Show got to offer (apart from Holly Willoughby’s cleavage)?!!! You want the answer? Nothing. Jack Squat. Dead Air and nothing else. There’s nothing new each series, just a very samey format that has been stretched about as far as it can go, and yet is more than likely to be stretched even further until it breaks, like a piece of Blue Tac. And even then, they still won’t cancel the bloody show for another three years!!! So if it’s originality and fresh ideas you’re channel hopping for, then leave this junk well alone. It will only end in extreme boredom and possibly suicide!!

However, if they want to try something original, maybe they could do a spin off?!! Dancing on Fire, perhaps?! Sounds like it could work. Let’s see Heather Mills survive that one!!

Burn, Bitch, BUUURRNN!!!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A Spin-Off too far...!

Spin-Offs are a tricky thing to pull off in the TV World – they need to appeal to the legions of fans that worship the parent show like Russell Brand worships his own Dick, whilst at the same time be completely original in both its content and storytelling. It may sound easy, but look at the number of extremely successful spin-off series over the years...see, you can count them on your fingers. Hell, one hand is all you require!!!

For every decent spin-off, there’s about a million other miserable failures burning in the darkest, foulest pits of hell, waiting to be tortured with thumb-screws, nipple clamps or endless reruns of Ghost Whisperer. Finding a spin-off that is both imaginative and entertaining is akin to finding Jesus in a strip club – it’s possible, but a rare concept, and highly unlikely. Hence the multitude of god-awful claptrap that passes for spin offs. And sadly, the floodgates for absolute drivel remain open, with the latest pointless and unnecessary Spin-off hitting the airwaves, and proving that some ideas should be destroyed, along with their creator!!!

The Cleveland Show (E4) is a spin-off to the popular animated US sitcom Family Guy. For those unaware of what Family Guy is (in which case, you must either be a prisoner in a mental institute, or Osama bin Laden), the best thing to do is fart, vomit, and follow that up by making a couple of inappropriate racist/sexist jokes. That s the best way to sum up what Family Guy is all about. And The Cleveland Show is pretty much more of the same...except much worse. And not just in terms of the quality of it’s so called jokes, but also in terms of its entire concept!!!

The story: (so-called) popular recurring Family Guy character Cleveland Brown moves away to his old home town, where he and his overweight 14 year old son meet Cleveland’s old high school flame, who has a teenage tearaway for a daughter and an infant son who is both smart and dangerous!! The two get married, and settle down, kick starting all sorts of hilarious adventures!!! A simple Sitcom idea, with tons of supporting characters, makes this sound rather watchable. Well frankly, it isn’t!!!

Like its parent show, The Cleveland Show prefers to go with juvenile and frankly unfunny humour to get its audience laughing. Saying the F-Word about 19 times in a row hardly constitutes comedy; it’s just pure playground pratting about, and something I stopped laughing at when I was 15. One Episode’s main comic moment is when the lead character vomits about six times before collapsing in a pool of his own filth...I’m sorry, that’s not funny, that’s just disgusting, and about as funny as setting your trousers on fire whilst sitting on a pile of dynamite!!! Racist jokes seep in from all angles, and instead of making you laugh, merely leave you sitting there, staring at the screen, feeling uncomfortable!! A 5 Year Old could have wrote this better, and made it funny as well!!

Both The Cleveland Show and the long running Family Guy are absolutely not funny, the latter having become stale and predictable over the years, whilst the former has decided to follow suit from the get go. The Cleveland Show's main problem is that it simply feels like something we've seen been done before!! And in todays cash strapped TV Industry, it's a travesty that this is favoured above more original and worthy ideas!!! A sitcom that only makes you laugh once or twice an Episode cannot and must not be deemed a success, regardless of how many idiots hail it as the greatest thing since the discovery of sex!!!!

There are a number of things that are greatly wrong with The Cleveland Show. There’s no originality, no ideas, no imagination, and worst of all, no humour whatsoever!! If it had been a straight faced new show, and not a spin-off of an already successful sitcom, then no doubt it would have been canned by now!! Unfortunately, extremely dedicated Family Guy fans are not known for their smarts, and are sadly watching this poor excuse for hilarity like the mindless drones that they are.

The Cleveland Show now joins the ranks of unsuccessful spin-offs, that fail to bring something new to the table, and instead just sit there feeling unwanted and useless. Hopefully cancellation will follow swiftly. At least that way there’s more of a chance to get a decent spin-off commissioned for once...

Anyone else excited by the prospect of a Cash in the Attic spin-off?!!