Blogs

Derren Brown: Apocalypse, Channel 4 10.30

This isn’t any old apocalypse, the four horsemen racing across the sky; this is a Derren Brown, apocalypse. Notice the word ordering. Derren Brown comes before the apocalypse. Derren Brown is the apocalypse. We know he can do anything, but this is just one more little thing in his armoury. But the reality is rather disappointing and voyeuristic. I don’t like big brother type shows. I don’t like listening in on innocent folks going about their...

Storyville: American Idol-Reagan. BBC 2

An alcoholic salesman for a father, whose family lived in poverty and they were saved from destitution by Roosevelt’s New Deal. Reagan goes onto become a life guard and saves 17 lives. He becomes a radio announcer, the lead actor in Hollywood B movies. He moves into politics and becomes the president of the screen actors’ guild. He doesn’t give names before the Senate investigation into un-American activities. In fact his refusal to give names...

Revolutinoary Road (2008)

BBC 2, director Sam Mendes, adapted from a novel by Richard Yates. I’ll come clean. I haven’t read the novel. Shame on me. I’m putting it in the first 100 must read novels and to the front of the queue of the 6 752 should read novels. The last time Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslett were together Celine Dion was standing backstage warbling her heart must go on and on and on and on. And it did. Racking up millions of sales and making Titanic...

Barcelona 2 - Celtic 1.

Watching Celtic playing Barcelona is the willing suspension of disbelieve. Before the game I confidently predicted we’d get beaten 3-0, or 4-0. But I’m not to be trusted. I secretly hoped we’d win, or at least not get beaten by very much. A draw would have been a bit like Farah Fawcett leaving your room because you’d smelly feet and finding Cheryl Ladd snuggled up next to you as you watched the footie. We might not have had Charlie’s Angels but...

The Book of Eli 2009, Channel 5, 9pm.

Anyone familiar with Channel 5 knows that Moses walking through the desert for 40 years, with adverts about manna, and cool daddy god, he’d have taken considerably longer, probably about 120 years plus VAT. So I braced myself up and girded my loins to watch this. I must admit to being a bit of an apocalypse fan. And let’s face it every Sunday is. I liked Cormac Mc Carthy’s ‘The Road’, the book that is, and the film, less so. I missed the first...

Paul Carrack: The Man with the Golden Voice. BBC 4, 10pm.

I must admit to having no idea who Paul Carrack is. I know from the time slot he’s got something to do with popular music. Friday nights, that’s when BBC 4 gives music a spin. My thoughts were more on the man with the golden boot, Garth Bales. He’s not a Welsh tenor. He’s a football player, but it wasn’t really fair to play him against Scotland. Needless to say Scotland looked like winning. They looked like getting an honourable draw and then...

Cuckoo, BBC 3, 9.30pm

Cuckoo in the nest. Get it? That’s the premise of this comedy. Robert Lindsay was a kind of cuckoo in Citizen Smith and later the father of a couple of cuckoos with Zoe Wanamaker in My Family. Even old Del Boy with his three wheel van, Independent Trotter firm, and would be entrepreneurial ways, was a kind of cuckoo to the straight Trotter family. So this would be Cuckoo (played by Andy Samberg) to a straight middle-class family is played for...

Welcome to India, BBC 2 9pm.

I watched the BAFTA winning Welcome to Logos, with current projections of India (not China) becoming the most populous nation on earth this gives a camera’s eye look at the bottom, the shit heap, of the pile. I mean no disrespect. The camera follows one entrepreneur who sweeps the Kolkati streets in which jewellers wash their bodies and clothes for dust. Gold dust. He shares a room with fifty others, who all do the same thing. Their landlord...

Servants: The True Story of Life below Stairs. BBC 2 9pm.

Dr Pamela Cox talks us through what it was like to be a servant during the industrial revolution. The good servant had to be invisible, omnipotent, omniscient and know his or her place. The master was always right, even when he was wrong. It wasn’t just the aristocracy that had servants. The growth in industry led to an affluent middle class. To avoid the drudgery of housework and to retain any degree of social status they too had to employ...

Loose Cannons (2010)

Directed and written by Ferzan Ozpeteck. BBC 4 I’m the kind of saddo that watches most of his programmes on BBC 4. I started with Wallander and became something of a Wallander junkie. I even watched the British attempts. Then there was the twenty hours of The Killing. Yeh, I was transfixed by every episode. The only thing that could run it close is the recent episodes of The Accused (on BBC 1) which have been the best thing on telly this year...

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