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!!!