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”.