World Cup Overkill
What isn’t reasonable is the amount of peripheral shows jumping on the World Cup bandwagon. Anyone who has even attempted to watch all of these would probably be sick of football before a ball had been kicked.
The events of 1966 have been reviewed from every possible perspective from two shows focusing on Pickles and the lost then found Jules Rimet Trophy to Ricky Tomlinson going in search of the England team’s winning shirts on UKTV Gold of all places. It seems that few channels are far from World Cup Overkill. Even BBC Three got in on the act with increasingly ubiquitous Sean Lock commenting on the best World Cup Ever. If you missed that you probably caught a glimpse of Channel Five doing almost actually the same thing.
Post news on ITV1 it seems that they’ll stick any old recycled rubbish on if they can claim a link to the tournament while Sky One’s low rent footie documentaries have been even more prominent than normal. To be fair I’m doing them a disservice there. The Sport Matters strand often throws up some well-made pieces from serious journalists and deserves better promotion.
All in all though if you over hype something it invariably disappoints and if there’s one thing this World Cup has been it's over hyped.
Grant Mitchell left EastEnders yet again this week and I’m left with the feeling that this may have been a missed opportunity. He’s spent so much of the time mooning around the square worrying about his love life that I was getting déjà vu. Isn’t how they totally wasted the once promising character of Johnny Allen.
At least when the fisticuffs are called for Grant still looks as though he could handle himself, unlike the now seemingly permanently scarlet Phil, who looks as if he’d get out of breath merely picking up a baseball bat, let alone trying to swing it. The Mitchell boys have had their day. If they keep coming back, allow them to grow old with some grace and bring in a new pair of young guns to replace them in the hard living stakes, that’s what I say.
I have to say I’m glad Carla’s stay was a short one. She turned out be just a cartoon baddie with no depth although we did see the best performance by a hairdo since Chrissie left.
McDonald’s such a clown
As nasty as Karen McDonald could be, one was always left with the impression that no matter how misguided her actions, her heart was in the right place. Though she could be one of the bitchiest women ever to walk the cobbles, there was a likeability to her that made us want to keep watching.
Steve’s latest unsuitable bit of stuff Ronnie has always seemed entirely unsympathetic to me and my only interest in her hit and run storyline is that it’s likely to lead to her exit sooner rather than later.
It seems that a few of the characters that haven’t worked out will be leaving soon. Let’s hope that a bit of care is taken over their replacements. The best soap characters are those we can empathise with rather those we boo and hiss at. Anyone empathise with Diggory? Thought not.
There are some cracking young actors in the north, emerging in shows like Shameless and The Street. If Corrie is serious about living up to its once mighty reputation it could do worse than get some of them, as long as it offers them scripts worthy of their talent.
Jim Davidson got a bit of kicking on Bad Boys of Comedy, though there were no real shocks here. I’ve seen Jim doing his live act and while he does get on his hobby horse a bit and has no time for any that counter his right wing views, he does know how to work an audience.
Sadly this show seemed to be more interested in focusing on his bad points than those that made him a key part of the BBC One Saturday night schedule for many years. It was such a hatchet job that it was more like a tabloid newspaper piece than the sort of balanced stuff we’ve become accustomed to on British telly. The interviewees were a mixed bunch with Dai Llewellyn coming across as a total buffoon while Rick Sky’s looked merely spiteful as he hurled barbs at Jim.
Jim may not be everyone’s cup of tea - he’s not mine - but you have to wonder what the point of this was.
I had another dip into Holby City this week, something I only do occasionally, and I was viewing on BBC One Scotland (so I could be out of kilter with screenings in the rest of the nation) but there was a thoroughly enjoyable turn from Ade Edmondson as a locum that lifted things greatly.
The return of Michael French really has given this show a new lease of life and it was great to see Nick Jordan crossing swords with someone with a sense of humour for change. Has Ric Griffin forgotten how to smile? With the likes of Ronald Pickup and Amanda Mealing roaming the wards this is actually pretty good stuff these days. Given the amount of episodes they churn out each year, it really is a feat to be reaching the standards they are. If you haven’t caught it for a while I’d give it look.
The Bill on the other hand is getting increasingly difficult to dip in and out of. How I pine for the days of self-contained episodes.
A few people have asked about the availability of Joking Apart since I mentioned it last week. Apparently it’s not readily availablee down the shops but if you google it you’ll find it for sale on the net.
If it’s possible, I’m enjoying season two of Lost even more than the first one and my pals who’ve seen the whole of the season tell me it continues in that vein. The introduction of cool new characters Mister Eko and the brilliantly brittle Ana-Lucia have definitely upped the interest and given the show a sharper dynamic. I still haven’t got a clue what it’s all supposed to mean and I’d rather not know. When the very final episode eventually airs, I may well skip it because frankly any denouement will probably disappoint.
Five plus two equals what?
Five are launching two whole new channels soon.
I’d get excited but surely we are already at saturation point as far as screenings of CSI go. If shows such as Suburban Shootout are the future of the channel then I expect rocky times ahead. The thing about five extending its identity is that since it moved the focus away from the three Fs they haven’t really had one.
All the BBC and ITV channels now have a distinct feel about them, as do those of Channel Four. I wish the new channels well but for me it’s the core brand that needs strengthening and defining over at five.