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Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Have ITV Just Made A 'Funny' Sitcom?
The answer, rather surprisingly, is 'Yes'. So far. I'll get to that later but first, as always, some WHO-scuttle. The final viewer ratings came through for VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED and, by Satan's beard, it was only the second most watched show of last year (beaten only by the episode of 'Easties' that followed it)! Go HERE for the facts. Did DAVID "Everyone Loves Me" JASON turn down a role in WHO? THE SUN seem to think so - go HERE for the 411.

Apparently, this outfit is intentional.

Elsewhere on TV, the landscape has been slightly improved this week. HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL did a feature (over three shows) on chickens and how they are treated - specifically those who are not free range. Whilst not telling me anything new - I've been a 'free-ranger' for some time (gets off high horse) - CHICKEN RUN was a powerful piece of television. Well done Hugh. THE CELEBRITY APPRENTICE, more 'powerful' tv, started in the US and, whilst it is quite obviously set-up, it's bloody enjoyable. So far, the boys are all macho idiots and the girls cannot get along. Predictable? Yes. But I'll be watching the next one.

I wish she would go on strike.

NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS continues to be ultra hilarious with KT "A Poor Man's AMY MACDONALD" TUNSTALL and JEREMY "Cooking Hunk" EDWARDS displaying a hidden talent for comedy last week. On the same night, BBC2 delivered a new sitcom. Although, to be honest, it was more 'sit' (with a silent 'h') than 'com'. The show in question is NEVER BETTER and starred STEPHEN "Weird Lookin' Bastid" MANGAN with KATE "Why Did They Choose Me And Not The Vastly Superior Jessica Stevenson To Be In 'SHAUN OF THE DEAD'?" ASHFIELD. I cannot really give a proper review as I could only stand 5 minutes of it. I think that's review enough. Thursday night also saw a bit of a moment in ITV history. Did they just show the first funny sitcom since RISING DAMP?

Lookin' good Winelist!

Well, yes. The show I'm talking about is MOVING WALLPAPER. It's yet another 'metashow' along the well-trod lines of THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW, EXTRAS, STUDIO 60 and the more recent, and most excruciating, ANNUALLY RETENTIVE. I literally guffawed and shrieked a number of times during the first episode and I was surprised at how acerbic it was for a prime-time show on the most bland and idiotic of channels here in the UK (that includes DIVA and E!). They even touched upon 'racial' issues in a manner reminiscent of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. The cast is also surprisingly good for an ITV show as they have actual talent. There's nothing new about MOVING WALLPAPER (although it feels new 'cos it's on that horrible channel) but I do like the concept coming from the same company that delivered LIFE ON MARS. The concept? It's coupled with 'soap' ECHO BEACH which stars JASON "It's The OC Meets EXTRAS" DONOVAN and MARTINE "Do You Wanna See My 'Perfect Moment'?" MCCUTCHEON. Oddly/Interesting/Ironically, the 'Beach' has got as many laughs as the sitcom due to its 'badness' but also the number of elements that crossover from 'Wallpaper'. Bizarrely, I laughed more at the second episode of the 'Beach' than 'Wallpaper'. However, I will be watching again, if only to see how SUSIE AMY and her career continues.

Strewth mate, have you seen my 'accent'?

CHRIS ROCK has been doing the rounds and amusing me greatly. He popped up, incredibly, on THE STEVE WRIGHT SHOW - I was listening 'cos he was on, OK? - and also on FRIDAY NIGHT WITH JONATHAN ROSS. As always, JR's line of questioning was puerile at best although he upped his 'game' slightly with TOM "More From Him Later" HANKS. Although it was Tom who provided all the laughs, displaying his gift for comedy rather deftly. I may not like all his films (or many) but he sure is a personable kind of guy.

Lookin' good Vince!

HARRY HILL'S TV BURP is back and as funny as ever. He seems to have taken my advice (nice one Harry) and held back on the soap clips. Also back was LOUIS THEROUX and this time he was in prison. His last few shows have been below-par (by his standards anyway) but this one was back to his glory days as a real journalist. The subject was fascinating and Louis interacted with the inmates in a very human way. He seemed to be quite affected by what he saw and heard. These guys weren't being treated badly by the system and they didn't really blame anyone but themselves. Great stuff Louis, more please!

Lookin' good Louis!

Movie-wise, I saw the aforementioned TOM HANKS in the new flick CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR. I ain't the biggest Hanks-fan but he's bloody good in this as is PHILLIP "SEYMOUR" HOFFMAN. The story is, frankly, unbelievable and if it had been a work of fiction it wouldn't have worked. The script is sharp and the direction is spot on - top marks to MIKE "I Did 'THE GRADUATE' Don'tcha Know?" NICHOLS whose career becomes ever more intriguing. He's never really referred to, visually, in the same way as SCORSESE or SPIELBERG but this guy know how to make a satisfying movie - usually with a great cast.

Villa's new signing seems to be proving popular.

I've been catching up on last year's films, and here they are: SUNSHINE - retread of EVENT HORIZON with a disappointing end, yawn; EASTERN PROMISES - top work from CRONENBERG with stout performances from and VIGGO "Getting Better" MORTENSEN and NAOMI "I Thought Her Career Was Going Nowhere Which Is Weird 'Cos She Was Soooo Good In 'MULHOLLAND DRIVE'" WATTS, the latter doing a very good English accent; MEET THE ROBINSONS - nothing redeeming except from the montage featuring "Another Believer" by RUFUS WAINWRIGHT; THE NANNY DIARIES - SCARLETT "Remember 'LOST IN TRANSLATION'? Yeah, It Was A While Ago" JOHANSSON is sh*t yet again in this tedious SEX AND THE CITY rip-off; and EVAN ALMIGHTY - difficult to believe that this is the most expensive comedy ever made, mainly 'cos it didn't seem like a comedy (ie. there were no laughs). FIGHT CLUB - the musical? Maybe, go HERE for the news on that. If you feel like you haven't seen a film about a vagina with teeth recently then check out THIS film it's called TEETH and seems to feature what I just said (or typed).

Lookin' good Brit!

If you feel like you need some astromech shampoo ('cos they couldn't afford real 'poo') to go with your soy sauce bottle then check out this little beauty.

And, if that doesn't satiate your need for STAR WARS-related condiments and odd-stuff, here's a pepper-mill in the style of the often forgotten droid R2-Q5.

'Til the next time,

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posted by Cameron McEwan at 11:36 am -
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