‘Tis the season to be whatever . . . And television is part of that season. Goodwill or misery . . . It’s got it all. Prime Time was lamenting a Waterford family being evicted by a lending organisation who had the law and the judge on their side. Oh the cruelty of it. Then it was The Royal Variety Performance with Peter Kay, Lulu and lots of laughter. A season to be happy, merry and bright while you shed many an angry tear for Can Gerry Robinson Fix Dementia Care Homes. The sad and bitter truth in a brave UTV show was he couldn’t save lonely people from the loneliness and rejection and the law shut down the badly run home and moved the patients on. The government rating of such care homes ranges from Poor to Adequate.
Should it be the season to be adequate?
What are we going to do at all, at all? The Apprentice is hired and Bill is gone until little apples grow again. The X-Factor has peaked at 19.1 million viewers, with Joe as the winner.
Would it have gone over 20 million if the Jedward Twins were still there? What excitement and Sir Paul McCarthy as well. Big business indeed. Then as the glitter bombs burst around Joe, the Susan Boyle Story: I Dreamed A Dream held on to 11 million viewers. As they say, ITV reigned supreme with about 5 million watching BBC Sports Personality Of The Year and only 3.4 million watching BBC News. Even the Sunday mini-series, Small Island, nearly sank with about 3 million.
X-Factor winner Joe McElderry (pronounced McEldree) is to be based in California where Ryan Tedder, who writes for Leona Lewis (Bleeding Love) is to work on his first album. Joe has already released the Miley Cyrus song, The Climb, to make the Christmas charts.
Oo la la, did you know that “pichet” is the French for pitcher – a pot. Well, I didn’t, but after a few weeks I began to enjoy the annoying Nick in TV3s, Nick’s Bistro. This set up free publicity for a posh noshery and cafe, near Trinity College or a backstreet near there, sparked interest in a Nick made mistake after mistake and just wouldn’t accept blame. He ordered odd blue chairs from China that were too small. Dooh! Then he confused his shades of blue, under-ordered uniforms and would never accept blame. But it went to make a fun tv half hour. Instant celebrity.
Amid the euphoria of The X-factor and The Apprentice, TV3 showed the pilot of the next big hit – Glee, a musical comedy meets Fame, meets the rejects from three High School Musicals. Fox, in America, released the show just after the finale of American Idol in May and it ran until this month and picked up viewers each week. Fox like it so much they’ve done deals with Madonna, Billy Joel and the top writer Diane Warren (she co-wrote the UK Euro song with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, this year).
At first look this seems to be an average High School teen show but Fox and Columbia Records have ambitious plans for a three-year run with weekly iTunes issues to pump up the volume.
I didn’t think it was particularly funny either. It looked un-original and had lots of stereotyped characters, about 10 of them, in fact.
Ryan Murphy is one of three originators of the show that was originally seen as a movie, not a tv series. Apparently Murphy wanted a teen Chicago but Fox had the money, the time, the moxy, the muscle.
Incidentally the cast will do a nationwide US tour next Spring to pump up the ratings – they even recorded an old Wham song – Last Christmas. Several Broadway stars are playing adults and parents in the show. Kristin Chenoweth, star of Wicked, plays a high school dropout. Most of the young cast have appeared on and off Broadway in shows and Fans of Glee are now being Gleeks – a mix of “glee” and “Geek”.
Don’t know what UTV were thinking of when they decided to put celebrities into key jobs and see the result. Well, Out Of My Depth, with Amanda Holden trying to be a midwife in five weeks. No way baby and at least the title said it all. Out of her depth and embarrassingly so. Midwifery isn’t about looking pretty in a surgical mask for a close up. No doubt, the pregnant mothers got a boost out of it, but otherwise it was a well-intentioned waste of an hour. What could the celeb do. If the birth went well there was nothing to do. If there was a problem, there was nothing they could allow her do. So it was a photo opportunity. An ooh, aah coo and smile job.