It must be the football but the Sunday night old reliable is back again like a relaunch with a great small train crash but it was apple pie as needed and a great tribute to those UTV programmers of family shows. It was the smiling vicar, his tea-drinking saintly mother, the smiling nurse, the smiling doctor, even the administrator smiled. Yes there was death and buckets of blood, floods of diesel, buckets of tears and a honeymoon couple who survived but only just. Just what you need on a cold midsummer Sunday to restore faith in the tele.
The tough T.V. question of the week wasn’t asking Fergie about Ronaldo or Brian Cowan about rerun referenda but Fiona Bruce on BBC2 The Money Programme when during an exclusive interview with Bill Gates, the boss of Microsoft when she asked if his own top-of-the-range computer ever crashed. Way to go, Fiona. Bill peered out through his fashionable glasses (nerdy morelike). He said it was a super-reliable system. Well he would, wouldn’t he? Did you know that Gates earns about $5 million a day (A good day no doubt and is worth $58 million). He is rich enough to buy a burger for the entire world population and his company has created three billionaires and at least 12,000 millionaires. Don’t you just love facts on T.V.
Did you know that back in the 1930’s, the British Government made studios produce British films along U.S. slick movies otherwise, they couldn’t market the U.S. product. These were B movies or Quota Quickies. BBC4 showed Truly Madly Cheaply about that era made by Matthew Sweet. A fifties producer E.J. Fancey gave Michael Winner his first directing job. He also put the Goons on television. Fair play to Nicky Henson who admitted that a zombie biker exploitation movie he made as a Quota Quickie called Psychomania was a piece of shit and watching it forty years on he was ashamed.
RTE2 kicked off the return of Grey’s Anatomy and the spin-off Private Practice with a three hour special to bridge over the change-over for Dr. Addison Montgomery, ex-wife of Dr. McDreamy and sometimes lover of Dr. McSteamy as she moves into private practice in sunny California with another dream team. Lots of almost recognisable faces, drop-dead-gorgeous faces and sunshine doctors with only one client a day and lots of time for quirky sexy, sad, sassy, classy T.V. moments with a dreamy piano backtrack, meaningful chart topping lyrics and so much feel good. To each his own but give me House any old day.
As the Euro-footie comes to the final whistle, it’s back to the rain and small balls at Wimbledon. Even Venus Williams came dressed for the occasion with a short white trench coat. The pickings are slim even for a silly season. So C4 got a step in the ratings with another Royal expose: Inside A Royal Marriage. The racy times of Princess Margaret and society photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones. The story was told mostly by his friends and they described him as a good-looking philanderer who got bored with people easily and despite being engaged to a Royal sister, he fathered a child with an ex-girlfriend and lived a good life in the glossy fast-lane. He kept his mouth shut and never kissed-and-sold his story but when he got the chance to divorce the Princess he did.
Human Tetris: The BBC are adapting the crazy but popular Japanese cult series in which Spandex-clad contestants in hard hats try to hurl themselves through a series of holes in a wall. The BBC will call it Hold In The Wall not the Japanese title, Human Tetris. Fuji T.V., Tokyo’s largest station has been broadcasting this cult show for eleven years and it has been described as compelling rubbish. You Tube videos of the Japanese show have been viewed more than five million times in the past nine months. A senior cultural studies lecturer in the U.K. said this would be a new low for BBC.
Flattery: Will get you everywhere it seems when it comes to trendy brand leader, Russell Brand. His oddly-titled autobiography, My Booky Wook sold over half a million copies for publisher Hodder And Stoughton yet Brand has defected to transatlantic book giants, Harper Collins. All because Harper Collins included Brand in the recent edition of the Collins English Dictionary. Such is fame or flattery.
Bad Taste: Which is the worst T.V. crime? Fern Britton keeping her gastric band operation a secret or Big Brother casting a blind Glaswegian or who loves wearing women’s knickers in the current series. Answers on a twenty euro note to yours truly.