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Wednesday, January 02, 2008
2007 REVIEW: Part 1 - Television
The title is not misleading, this is gonna be the first of my self-indulgent looks at the year that just finished the other day, 2007. If you wanna compare with last year's review then go HERE. See how my taste has 'changed'. Like last year, I am splitting the shows into two categories; scripted and 'non-scripted' (last year I used 'proper' and 'non-proper' - see how I've grown!). I am aware of the irony of using the phrase 'non-scripted' in reference to reality/quiz shows so don't bother pointing it out. First up, 'non-scripted':


Two words - LEVI ROOTS. Genius. Was a bit sad to see the little Aussie RICHARD "What You've Done Is Mundane" FARLEIGH disappear this year but the suave JAMES "Wrath Of" CAAN makes up for it even if nobody wants to work with him. Bloody racists!

The first guilty pleasure in this top ten. I don't watch the UK version (although I have seen it) but this had me hooked mainly 'cos the panel are so flippin' odd, you got: RANDY "That Was A Bit Pitchy Dog" JACKSON makes up words; PAULA "Straight Up" ABDUL is sometimes sober but always feelin' up Simon; and SIMON "How Come No Crazy Yank Has Shot Him Yet" COWELL. Not too mention the always cringeworthy RYAN "I Doubt I'll Be Doing The EMMYS Again" SEACREST who comes across like a very needy substitute teacher. The irony? I cannot remember who won (and I don't care).


One word - knockers! And perhaps 'squadge'. This is another guilty pleasure. Sitting there. Lookin' at whatever she's doing (apparently cooking) or making. So far I have made zilch apart from some dubious trouser activity.

7. Q.I.
Sometimes this show has lapsed into a rather solipsistic event, which is why it has gone done from the giddy heights of number three last year. Still, funny and, at times, quite interesting but not unmissable.

Guilty pleasure number three. This stuff was unmissable and everyone, at the time, couldn't stop going on about it. Annoyingly, though, the phrase 'Car Crash TV' got wheeled out again by lazy bastids. Sadly some of these a-holes are still alive. And making money out of their huge, but disgusting, knockers.

PAUL MERTON is a flippin' legend. Simple as that. This is one show that I will always either try to catch on broadcast or tape (yes, I still use videotape). One slight downpoint is the overuse of the same guest presenters. There are lots of people out there BEEB, use them!

Last year's number one takes a tumble. Still brilliant and unmissable but not as good as the year before. Getting stale? Perhaps. A reliance on the soaps is a tad grating. There are a wealth of sh*te tv shows out there that could be plundered.

If they can keep this up then BUZZCOCKS will be number one next year! Although I heart BILL BAILEY, it is SIMON AMSTELL that makes this show what it is. Acerbic, incredibly witty and not a pain-in-the-a*se (yet), this little guy has so much to work with and hopefully the BEEB will keep up this variation in guests. NOEL "Will I Make An Appearance In Cam's 'Scripted' Top 10?" FIELDING stood in (or is that 'sat in'?) for the aforementioned BILLY B and made us all wonder how good the show would be if PHIL "Am I A Comedian? Am I A DJ? Am I A Presenter? There's No Need To Ask" JUPITUS was replaced by him....

Regardless of whether or not the penultimate episode was staged or not, this was 'Event TV' - I heard JASON "The Guv'nor" DONAVAN use that phrase about his new show (but more of that soon). After KATIE "Jumped Not Pushed?" HOPKINS had gone, I gave up. Which, thankfully, was only the last episode. SR'ALAN packed the show with surprises along with a group of people who you wouldn't let manage a sneeze, let alone a multi-national company. Again, like IDOL, I cannot remember who won but, somehow, that doesn't seem important now.

A surprise hit for me, especially as it was shown on CHANNEL 5, PAUL MERTON's style and commentary was hugely engaging and enjoyable. I hope, dearly, that he thinks about another series somewhere else (Belgium?) 'cos this was a topper. Very relaxed and quite different to nomal travel shows, Paul Merton displays that true talent always shines through. Top marks!


So that was the 'non-scripted' chart and I'll be honest, many of those shows were much better than the scripted ten. This year's scripted lot suffered from a dip in quality with only a few raising their game (if you don't mind that horrific phrase) so to speak. Here we go then...

Not as good as previous series but still well worth a watch and still bloody funny. They need to try a little bit harder though.

New entry! Some great actors in this slightly derivative drama which I hope returns for a second series (come on Beeb). Not amazing, just interesting and engaging.

Slightly better than the previous series but doesn't quite capture the 'glory days'. MITCHELL & WEBB though were as good as ever and are never anything other than hilarious. Not that memorable though.

Memorable is one word that can be applied to these crazy bastids! I enjoyed the first series but not so much the follow-up so this third series was quite a joy. Highlights include the well-creepy Crack Fox and the tune "Eels". One thing that I find is that they are very reminiscent (sometimes too much) of early REEVES & MORTIMER - not necessarily a bad thing.

After the disappointing New Year's Day special I was not holding out much for this show but LIS SLADEN'S role was worth watching the show for alone. Thankfully there were also some top stories and great use of two-part stories (hello DR WHO?) along with a very nice cast. Was a bit annoyed that the finale did not include a WHO-crossover but you can't have everything. Can't wait for the next series.

Another show that is suffering from its own brilliance and longevity. LARRY DAVID's antics have been going slowly downhill for the past few years but it is a testament to his comedic genius that CURB is still so good in comparison to all other shows. Notice the irony that this mainly improvised sitcom is in the scripted ten.

Now we get to the shows that are getting better. This year only saw the second half of Season 3 but what a collection of episodes. They hit a high with the last few and really built upon what they created during that season. The finale was astoundingly good with many more questions being asked and not answered. It's also good to kill people off a bit more often. [DESMOND] Allright brother?[/DESMOND]

Although going down in the chart, series 2 kicked it up a huge notch -bam! So much better than the first (even though I loved it too) but also pretty short, only 6 episodes. This year saw the welcome introduction of MATT BERRY to the cast and he filled the CHRIS MORRIS-sized hole neatly. Hopefully we'll get more NOEL FIELDING next year too...


Didn't really get into this 'til series 2 and then it bloody ended! They finished it, like THE PRISONER, at the perfect time. The cast was great and the stories were great. Quite a simple way to to create great TV.

Number one again! Even though it finished a few months ago, thanks to the strike, this has me LOLing continuously and I often have to stop it for fear of missing another gag. It's still on top and, incredibly, getting better. It's got the best comedic cast on television anywhere and is clearly made by people who love what they are doing. Better than the UK? Well, it's certainly funnier.

Feel free to comment on my Top Tens and post your own. I'd love to know what you guys & gals lurve too!

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posted by Cameron McEwan at 2:27 pm -
  • At 7:33 pm, Blogger Richard said…

    You really should get round to watching Dexter. Nicely paced, could cliff hanger episodes and relatively short (in a good way) for a US series (12 episodes I think). Some lovely black comedy moments as well.

    I think its getting shown on FX, but download is likely to be your best bet.

    Still have not caught a lot of the US Office. An American remake that seems to be doing well. I suspect the same will not be true of the Life on Mars remake with Colm Meany

  • At 9:15 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Some lovely black comedy moments as well.
    Too many gags there...

    I will get round to watching DEXTER at some point. I haven't seen even a smidge, or a squadge, of it so I cannot comment. But you keep going on about it so there must be something to it. It is on FX but I'll probably download so I can watch it from the start.

    THE OFFICE is starting on Paramount this Monday so you'll get a chance to enjoy it then. Not sure what season they are starting it from but it doesn't really matter 'cos it's all good.

    Apparently that remake of LIFE ON MARS (even though the actors have been cast) may not be made after all. Let's hope they think twice about that SPACED remake too.

  • At 3:15 pm, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    1. DEXTER

    2. DEXTER

    3. DEXTER

    4. DEXTER

    5. DEXTER

    6. DEXTER

    7. DEXTER

    8. DEXTER

    9. DEXTER

    10. DEXTER

    Best show on TV


  • At 3:42 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    I'm beginning to see a pattern here.

    If your name is Richard then you like DEXTER.

    Apparently, it is about to start on ITV so I'll catch it then from the start.

    Or I could just start downloading it...

    Anybody else want to suggest DEXTER.

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