TV3 are starting to put out a much better mix of programmes with some nice home produced touches like swaying weatherman Martin King presenting Commercial Breakdown. A collection of odd ads from all over the world, much like the Chris Tarrant compilations, but not as sexy as it goes out before Corrie. Somebody writes little jokey links and King does these with the usual swaying motion. To be fair, he’s not much worse than some of Gerry Ryan’s forays into television-time.
The anticipated UTV programme, Martin Clunes: A Man And His Dogs, turned out to be much more serious than anticipated. It got a bit preachy and educational, like a more friendly Dawkins doing a genealogical look back at dogs as having ninety percent the nature of wolves. Despite spending a lot of money going to Yellowstone Park to study wolves and to meet a nutter who rolled around with these predators as they ripped asunder a dead deer carcase, the ninety percent statistic never got proved. There was a lot of talk about being able to communicate with dogs but it just seemed familiarity mixed with food and reward responses. Yes, Clunes’ spaniel seems too well fed to bother to respond to signals. A trip to Australia to study pure breed dingos gave some nice pictures but little in the way of hard facts.
The C4 show, Super Botox Me, said it all about horror and vanity and by the end of it, it was hard to understand why people would submit to technical quackery, just to look younger for a few years. The presenter, subject Kate Spicer, a journalist, went to investigate the botox, cosmetic world and before you could say Madonna she was having over seventy botox or filler injections into her face. Now, at under 40 years, she had a nice lived in face with bags under her eyes and she met the smooth-masked doctor who does Madonna’s uplifts. Suddenly she was hooked on the effect and signed up for Fraxel laser treatment leaving her eyes looking like raw red meat. It was scary to watch. Yes, in the end she looked younger and less sad. I have to admit the bags on the bags under my eyes bother me as do the new narrow glasses now on offer and a recent visit to Eyeworks made me re-examine my face in a way I didn’t want to. I was unhappy with narrow glasses and the people at Eyeworks were wonderful, considerate and even looked in boxes under the stairs and didn’t make it look like I was a dinosaur.
Yes indeedy, Wogan is back, but this time on C4, with a dull quiz show – Wogan’s Perfect Recall. He does the slow chat about not-a-lot and the screen shows all the one word answers and the questioning begins with a little bit of predictable banter. The only thing going for it is Wogan and it follows Countdown (soon to be Carol-less and Des-less) and Deal Or No Deal with Noel in funtime with the Banker and the boxes. Prize money is nifty though at around STG£100,000 if Terry doesn’t bore them out of it.
Sometimes the hype is more than some t.v. programmes can bear. A typical example of this was the UTV Pierrepoint with Timothy Small as the man who hanged prisoners who were sentenced to death. But it was an unrelenting almost repetitive sequence of different and often un-named criminals being led to the gallows. Agreed, Pierrepoint was an unassuming sort of man who attracted little notice until the publicity and media attention of the execution of Nazi war criminals and he just gradually and quietly went to pieces.
ITV group had the worst weekly-all-hours, results for the start of August with lowest figures since 2001. Its big attraction of The Mummy had less than 4 million viewers. Trinny and Susannah Undress The Nation had about 2.5 Million and Harley Street averaged 3 million. Corrie is holding at just over 8 million with Emmerdale just over 6 million.
Olympics coverage hasn’t gladdened any t.v. executives hearts as UK viewers for the fabulous opening reached less than 5 million viewers. Flog it indeed.
Daily Crimewatch is a new spin-off idea from BBC when in 2009 it will present a daily Crimewatch over a month to look at anti-social and low-level crimes on a regional basis. Using its regional network it will feature a daytime slot with local updates during that day. It is not going to be about the big crime stuff like rapes, murders, robberies but about local vandalism, graffiti and the like. Local viewers will be able to raise grievances, issues and topics that make them unhappy.