What we watched

Joe Absolom in The Bill


How TV Changed Britain, Channel 4

When TV looks at itself, it inevitably gets a bit pretentious and this sociological study of TV’s impact on British society didn’t avoid that trap. But it did make some interesting broadbrush points about cop dramas, from Dixon of Dock Green to Life On Mars, and documentaries about the police. Brian Paddick cropped up as an expert witness, while actors such as John Henshaw provided soundbites yearning for the clip-em-round-the-ear days.

The Great British Body, ITV1
Further proof of how awful Trinny and Susannah have become since dragging their wardrobe over from the BBC.

The Culture Show, BBC2
…which we’ve reviewed here

The Apprentice, BBC1
…which we’ve reviewed here

The Bill, ITV1
We watched this to check out Joe Absolom, guesting as a goodie goodie/baddie baddie, and were disappointed that he now speaks exactly like Ross Kemp and has lost lots of his cheeky appeal. Most of the old Sun Hill guard seems to have gone (although Gina Gold is still gruffing around) and it is disappointingly full of S Club Junior cops.

A Revolution in Childhood, BBC4
Excellent accompaniment to the BBC1 series Child of Our Time with Martha Kearney (who always gets the tone right) chairing a discussion about how childhood has changed, interspersed with clips of the kids filmed over 48 hours. Dr Tanya Byron, it emerged, was a scab-eating kid; one expert recalled pretending to be a Bisto kid; and “one of the UK’s leading thinkers on childhood” admitted blowing up cowpats with bangers. Today’s kids, it was claimed, hardly indulge in imaginative play, watch too much TV and are rarely listened to by parents who think they’re doing a good job.

Big Brother Launch Show, Channel 4

…which we’ve reviewed here

The Big Brother Launch Night Project, Channel 4
We got to see some of those ex-housemates who have to whore themselves around, clinging on to any hint of fame, shaming themselves all over again just for a few quid. Our hearts do not bleed over their plight. But we did feel very sorry for Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins who had to suffer the insufferables and let them trample all over this “special” edition. There were some highlights, though: the opening titles (a parody of The Muppet Show), the wind-up featuring the funeral of Glynn (that Welsh boy); seeing Nicky Graham reduced to a trussed-up arrow on the wheel of fortune; and Alan’s best gag “I loved that dog on Britain’s Got Talent. What’s it called……? Amanda Holden.”

Big Brother’s Little Brother, E4
Come back, Dermot. George Lamb and Zezi Ifore are tongue-tied idiots.
Weakest Link Special, BBC1
We only had to see the cheesy introductions from smug creeps such as Katie Hopkins and Paul Whatever to decide that this The Apprentice special was going to be hell. And it was. The idiot Kevin Shaw thought that P was the penultimate letter in Apprentice. Maybe he misheard and thought he was being asked for the first letter of the word that best sums him up (pathetic). And there was lots more stupidity before the final in which loopy Jo beat tough Scot Kristina by a stunning one point to nil.
Have I Got News For You, BBC1
“I’m Jeremy Clarkson” were the last words we heard thanks to our nifty ability with the remote control which ensures we never have to suffer that idiot.
Peep Show, Channel 4
What does this show think it is? A soap opera? How dare they leave us with a who’s-the-daddy cliffhanger. Was it Fantasy Warquest expert Mark or was it the reborn Jezza who impregnated Sophie? We’ll just have to wait to find out. It was another great episode. The best line: “Sperm is like lending someone less than a fiver. You can’t really ask for it back”. The second best line: “I can’t fire anyone. I’m like British Leyland in 1976.” The best satire: Jezza being swallowed up by a Scientology-like cult.
Doctor Who, BBC1
…which we’ll review soon
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3 thoughts on “What we watched

  1. Inability to watch Jeremy Clarkson says a lot about this website’s stance on a lot of things. The reviewer knows who they like before they watch a program and there is no way they can face that opinion being challenged. Fact is, of course Jeremy Clarkson’s opinions on almost everything are WRONG WRONG WRONG… this does not preclude him from being a witty individual with more humour in his little finger than all the staff of “thecustard” put together and multiplied by their own smugness.He is one of HIGNFY’s best regular presenters.Oh and Brian Blessed was good too.

  2. Kristina is tough, but she’s Irish, not Scottish. A little more attention to detail wouldn’t go amiss next time you’re trying to outdo Charlie Brooker.Chris

  3. We’ve seen Clarkson enough times to know we detest him. His wit may appeal to some; not us. We can’t like everyone.I hated the Blessed edition – but probably loved guest hosts you hated.Sorry about messing up Kristina’s Celtic origins. Attention to detail alertness is being stepped up.

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