Monday, 4 January 2010

More belated criticism

So the tele then.

I watched three shows over the holiday period: the Christmas Day episode of Enders (there may have been more than one, I wasn't paying attention - mine occurred at about 8pm), the two-part Dr Who and the Gav and Stace special.

Eastenders seemed hardly to have changed since I first (and almost last) watched an episode about twenty or so years ago. One innovation was the insertion of a highbrow reference: Gavin's Dad off Gavin and Stacey who's the Dirty Den character in Enders had a sentimental attraction to a snowglobe, which fell from his hand when he was bashed over the head with a bust (not Babs's). I believe this to be an homage to Citizen Kane. Classy. Apart from this it was comforting to know nothing much had changed. If I ever need exposure to shouty Cockneys I know where to go (though they are quite abundant around here).

The good Dr Who had a very good Part I but a Part II that was Caribbeanly Piratical in its impenetrable absurdity. It also reminded you of why Timothy Dalton was such a crap James Bond: underneath his bluster you can tell he's a bit of a poof. It overly milked a multitude of farewells to David Tennant, too: by the end I wanted the puppy lookalike put down without further ado. But then he was, being replaced by an ugly young man. Unsatisfactory.

Gavin and Stacey I thought v enjoyable. I could watch Rob Brydon all day, a fact that might give his character, Uncle Bryn, a peculiar but not unpleasant feeling. The ending was satisfyingly well milked and I'll certainly miss it. So I imagine will Barry Island, whose tourism must have been given an enormous boost. The place certainly looked a lot better than it did when I went there on day-trips as a young boy thirty-five years ago. Porthcawl was the posher place to visit, as I recall, but its good burghers must now be weeping into their cockles and candy-floss to witness the TV fame achieved by their great rival.

Finally, we started the New Year with Wallander. Beautifully shot and acted, as was the last series. But ruined by an implausible plot! Last night the capture of the baddies relied on the police reviewing a piece of CCTV film shot in a bank by a second camera. Why they'd only reviewed the film from the first camera at the beginning of the programme wasn't made clear. The second camera's footage was manifestly available and obviously had potential value. So why not look at it? We must assume either flimsy plotting or hopeless policing. Everything else tells you they're quite good police, particularly the lead character. So disbelief just crashes to the ground. Shame. What a waste.


Sean said...

The only thing I watch at Christmas, every Christmas is "The wizard of Oz" if its a quite one I might even watch "sound of music" but winter is too good to miss this year.

Gaw said...

You'll be telling me you love Barbra Streisand next Sean.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Being an ex-pat, on any return to Blighty I always expect to see top comedy programmes featuring the architypes: men in brown overalls in hardware shops, RAF blokes like Alexander Armstrong and fleshy Lancastrians like Victoria Wood. I was happy to see the last named, but was otherwise reminded (bah!) that Britain is now very largely EastEnders.

Brit said...

Yes, who knew Sean would be a friend of Dorothy? Munchkins give me the creeps.

Sean said...

No Garth, Streisand is rubbish. Not enough class.

Little known fact about the SoM is that in the event of a nuclear war with the soviets, SoM was going to be broadcast 24/7 between news bulletins to reassure the public that despite everything all was well. Now that is class.

Brit, Good guess, Toto was my nickname at school, I wont go into the details, but I have a Polish Middle name. Dwarfism is beneath you btw :0)

Gaw said...

Gadjo: I would have thought all the British formats are fairly universal now - does Bucharest have an East End with its own soap?

Brit: Very adaptable though, your Munchkin. A re-spray and a new wig turned them into Oompah-Loompahs for the first Willie Wonka.

Sean: I interpret the SoM post-apocalypse policy as one of mercy killing. It would certainly be enough to persuade me to stop hanging on.