Archive for February, 2007

Skins

February 28, 2007

Skins 

*American voiced deep-voice voice-over man voice*

THE 80S BROUGHT YOU PRESSGANG

THE 90S BROUGHT YOU HOLLYOAKS

And God looked round at what he had created and saw it was good.

So for 2007 we have Skins.

Skins is the bawdy tale of a group of Bristol friends who appear to be around upper sixth age (or year 13 or whatever it’s called these days) , takin’ drugs, shaggin’, boozin’, fightin’ and basically doing everything that you probably did between the ages of 16 (or younger if you were a delinquent) and 20 but squishing it down so it appears that this all happens on a twice daily basis.

I (vaguely) remember being at 6th form, but I’m sure I had to do work for my A-levels and have a Saturday job at Primark. That wouldn’t make such cutting-edge yoof-orientated programming though, admittedly.

But so much has changed since those heady days of 1994-1996. Did the good burghers of Hollyoaks have their own myspace pages? No, because the internet had hardly even been invented then, and it took forty minutes to download a single page, and it was more interesting to make mix-tapes anyway. But the Skins people do. Look at their faces here and here and here and . . . well, you get the idea.

It’s quite badly thought through though. Sid, for example, is the geeky-cool one. We have seen (in the last episode), the inside of his bedroom. He has a computer with internet access in it. How is it then, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that he last logged into his myspace account on the 29th of January this year? I am a 29 year old woman with a full-time job, yet I check mine more often than that (on works time, admittedly). IT JUST DOESN’T ADD UP.

Also, in a recent episode, Tony, the smug-faced kid from About A Boy dumps his girlfriend. They are back together now, but he remained in her ‘top friends’ while they were still split up. Hardly likely, is it. I moved someone out of my top friends for not replying to an email once, let alone pulling my heart out of my chest and stamping upon it.

Having reread all this, it might seem odd to spend so much time stalking virtual-teenagers through the internet, but it’s not. Okay? Don’t be so fucking judgmental! I FUCKING HATE YOU, YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME. I DIDN’T ASK TO BE FUCKING BORN.

*slams bedroom door*

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Freaky Eaters

February 22, 2007

 

I wanted to watch Tattoo last night, a German film about a mental man who cuts intricate tattoos from the backs of alternative types – cyber goths, crusties, you know the sort. Dragons’ Den had ended (a strange episode filled with in-fighting amongst the Dragons, which was entertaining) and I rubbed my hands and nads together as I loaded the DVD player and prepared for misery. But then the DVD halted. DVDs are always broken these days. I fancy a return to VHS. Anyway, it wouldn’t bloody work and so regrettably me and the missus ended up watching BBC3’s ‘Freaky Eaters’.The programme details the rehabilitation of individuals who have somehow managed to forge themselves a very limited daily diet from which, psychologically they’re unable to veer from. They pick one foodstuff and they’re set on it, for life. Last week it was a shaven headed geek who could only stomach pizza and this week we were served up an Essex girl with a chip butty fetish. I like pizzas and I like a good chip butty, but if one of those was the only thing I was allowed to eat for every meal, I suspect I’d be bored by lunchtime and possibly suicidal by the time breakfast came around again. Variety is clearly the spice of life. To deal with the problem, the BBC sends in a dietician and a psychologist to solve the problem eating pattern. So over the course of an hour they set to work reversing the complex.An hour is a bloody long time. It’s two episodes of Dad’s Army. For some reason, Dad’s Army is the gauge I use to measure TV time and it’s something I’m unable to shake off. It’s the same with money and pints of lager. I count cash in blocks of £2.50 because that’s how much a pint of premium lager was in the pub when I was a teenager. We have these little habits, created in our formative years and they inform our decisions for better or worse. Freaky Eaters argues that the reason their participants have these bad habits is that they made one such decision early on in life and haven’t the facility to break the habit, despite the fact that their digestive tract is probably beginning to resemble a gnawed hose, even in their late 20s. Seriously, on a diet of chips I’d imagine she doesn’t shit for days on end.I can believe that this happens though. With the shaven headed chap, his pizza fixation was a result of a strange relationship with his father, who died while he was quite young and in a process of rebellion against his parents. So his diet was one way of continuing this resistance to admitting his natural love for his father. He talked this through with a counselor, spent time trying different food with a dietician and fixed his mind up good and proper. The cameraman got his tears from the rest of the family and everyone was happy.

Last night, however, the Essex girl they picked was not, perhaps, the best choice. They narrowed her chip butty kink down to the fact that when she was younger she had some form of bronchitis, meaning that if she ate and coughed at the same time, she would gag. The inference being that her problem stemmed from her mistrust of food in general. But then, when going through counseling, she giggled when asked questions about this period of her life, refusing to think that it might be the root of her extremely high carb diet. When offered different foods from the dietician she turned into a complete Daddy’s girl, spoiled and noxious and, let’s be open here, a right royal pain in the arse-end.

My feeling that she was simply the type of girl who had never found herself wanting, who was waited on hand and foot by her parents and doting boyfriend, was compounded when the ‘reveal’ of the programme arrived after 50 long, tedious minutes. To see if her gross obsession with fried spuds had been headed off at the pass she was taken to a posh restaurant with her boyfriend who, he had told the camera, prayed she would choose something other than chips. Guess what gang? She ordered chips, chips and only chips.

So not only was her time wasted, her boyfriend’s time was wasted and her family’s time was wasted. Oh – and the dietician’s time was wasted. And the psychologists. And mine and my missus’s time was wasted. And anyone who bothered watching this pile of crap’s time was officially, undeniably and irretrievably wasted.

Halifax

February 9, 2007

Halifax 

BASTARDS! BUTCHERS!

Will somebody please tell the scumbag, drug-addicted filth that runs our advertising ‘industry’ that the Halifax advertisments are NOT FUCKING WANTED. Is there anyone, honestly, who’s sat up in their chair when a new one comes on and said ‘Oooh, it’s a new Halifax advert … I like these’ as some tuneless fuck-knuckle who works for a bank butchers yet another hit record to sell a fucking mortgage?

The latest one features a fat, unattractive woman tearing holes out of Aretha Franklin’s Think. I saw it for the first time last night and was left wondering why the fuck the people who write these tunes (and they’re usually quite precious about these things) allow their lyrics to be butchered in this fashion? Surely it can’t be for the fucking money can it? Don’t they get enough royalties coming in when their songs are played every day on every music station in the world? Are they living in ditches, eating out of bins?

And what of their song’s reputation? Does it enhance a song in any way to be torn apart and reassembled for the sake of selling financial products? Is Rhinestone Cowboy (a song I’m inexplicably fond of for some weird reason) helped in any way when I find myself singing ‘Be a High-Rate Saver’ in the bath, as opposed to the more traditional ‘I’m a Rhinestone Cowboy’? I’m amazed any songwriter would allow their songs to be misused in this way.

And they’re just so awful! In the tradition of the B&Q adverts, they celebrate the talents of the talentless. If, for reasons that escape me, I want to hear some boggle-eyed goon mangle his mediocre way through Sex Bomb, I’ll go to a karaoke bar, thank-you very much. If I want to see an overweight woman dancing badly to a soul classic, I’ll go to You-Wouldn’t-Would-You night at my local cattle-market. If we must have these invasively dreadful pieces of crap foisted on us, can we at least have actors do it please? Because that’s their job.

Why hasn’t a senior Halifax executive turned round and said ‘Hang on! These adverts are really annoying … let’s stop making them’? Haven’t any of ’em got televisions for fuck’s sake? Don’t they have wives or children to ask, ‘Dad? Why do you allow these things on the television? Is it because you’re powerless to stop it, only following orders … like the Nazis?’

Please Halifax, no more! I will never, ever consider your bank for anything – not mortgages, not insurance, not savings accounts nor ISAs – because you’ve spent what seems like an eternity flogging a horse that was dead to begin with. Your advertising has failed, swine-dogs that you are – please stop before you commit the ultimate crime and bastardise Bohemian Rhapsody.

hooked

February 8, 2007

NW 

The fat bloke on the Nationwide advert is actually quite funny. I’ve seen him in other comedy offings in the past – he’s quite a card – a good character actor. Bloody fat though.

Quite obviously, he’s getting paid quite a lot for these ads as he’s leading the brand and has been now for a few years. I say ‘quite clearly’ because, unlike Michael Winner who has shrunk, the NW bloke, on account of a huge, enormous salary and the resulting food budget, has ballooned to quite staggering proportions. Maybe he and Winner did some sort of fat exchange? I don’t know, anyway, he’s a really big fat bastard now to the point I’m not finding the adverts that funny anymore as I can see that behind the cheeky comedic quips and mugging a deeply insecure and disturbed porker has evolved into an eating machine as a means to cope with something he’s buried deep within his psyche.

He’s clearly not happy, and you all sit there and laugh at this porcine hippopotamus with a very serious and deep rooted psychological condition, stemming from the need for oral gratification (his mother may have rejected him when he was a child, or he might have been interfered with by his dad) which results in him eating everything that doesn’t smell of plops.

Anyway, my point is this, in the latest NW ad, another advert has become coincidentally entwined. Currently the government is attempting to put off smokers by realising a metaphorical hook. The grim grey commercials depict a selection of average Joes being caught in the cheek by ‘the smoking hook’ only to smugly disgorge said hook with such a sanctimonious air of implementation (‘Hey, it’s that easy!’) that it makes one feel like smoking an entire pack at once outside the cancer ward at Whipps Cross Hospital just to spite the cunts that made it…

The fat bloke in the NW ad does the same ‘hook’ thing, but he’s using his hook to describe how banks ‘hook’ one in with a low rate only to bump up charges later on. Tedious, isn’t it? The biggest problem here is that whilst the anti-smoking adverts are just the tossy results of a lack of UK film funding driving all of our creatives into the moronic world of advertising, the fat bloke is clearly ‘hooked’ on pizza, burgers and kebabs, harming his health as much as smoking does and subsequently dropping me into a confusing universe of self imposed irony and subsequent depression.

The NW ad guy should start seeing Fearne Britten, because she only eats low fat Ryvita products which is how she keeps her svelte Mount Fuji figure.

Next week ‘Laboritoire’ Garnier. TAKE CARE

Dragon’s Den

February 8, 2007

PJ The return of Dragons’ Den last night, so it was time to pad the TV screen (for its own protection) and get the missus to prise me into a strait-jacket to prevent me from smashing the box into a thousand shards of shimmering shit. I enjoy and despise the show in equal measure. The best aspect of it is trying to second guess a product before the ‘Dragons’ do. Unfortunately that is almost overshadowed by the fact that I find myself saying things like
‘Great pitch!’
and
‘20% equity? Is he having a laugh!?’
which are the kinds of things cunts say, specifically the recruitment-cuntsultants that work alongside me. Last night was a pretty standard warm up edition, getting us ready for the Dragons becoming progressively more bolshy and self-confident, cackling among themselves as wannabes bankrupt themselves before their eyes.Peter Jones is undoubtedly the major villain of the piece. Definitely bullied at school, he has the cold, icy stare of an active psychopath. As pitchers pitch, he can be seen plotting their downfall, massaging his temples as though what he’s hearing is as ludicrous as the thought of him ever buying a copy of the Big Issue. The minute contestants set foot on the final step, as soon as he’s had a butchers at what’s confronting him, he’s made his mind up. The betting is, if you’re a well-dressed man, young and in pinstripe, you’ll get a decent hearing. Added to this, if you’re white and dressed like you work in the City, he’ll give you cash instantly, as if you’d just promised him a life-long supply of blow jobs. If you’re from a different ethnicity, the likelihood is slightly less, if you’re female, you’re getting colder and if you’re female and middle aged and, dare I say it, slightly ‘mumsy’, he will DESTROY you. Last night he stole the show whilst leering at two motherly types who were trying to sell some kind of CDR of kids stories. ‘I won’t be investing, because I think your product is worthless‘ he smiled, through a grin and stare so ominous he stank of rape.Is it just me, or is the presenter of DD, that camp bloke off of Newsnight, slightly bog-eyed?

Eastenders

February 7, 2007

Mickey Eastenders 

I remember tuning in to Eastenders in my youth and I remember all the brilliant characters who were under the age of 18. There was Wickesy with his Jimmy Hill good looks, charming all the ladies before he became  PC Heartbeat. Then there was Sharon Watts, a large-lovely, glamorous and bulbous. There was only a whisker of difference between her look and Pat’s, but – good Lord – what a whisker. Then there was Michelle played by the gorgeous Susan Tully. A dwarf in drag, her cheeks looked to me like fossilised apples. She had attitude, she had vim, she had Lofty. What about Ian Beale in his glory days? Happy-go-lucky, carefree, always on the lookout for a place where an honest shilling could be made. Proper East-end youngsters they were. I wanted to move down South from the fens of Lincolnshire to hang out with this crowd of street-smart youngsters, abandoning the potato-picking and the frosty fields for littered streets where kids say ‘ain’t’ instead of ‘isn’t’.

This may be pure nostalgia, but I’m certain the kids back then were a million times more interesting than the sub-Hollyoaks clan of idiots they parade these days.

Mickey, with his gravity defying haircut, continues to speak like a fourteen year old boy with a nine year old girl’s voice. When he utters words, he emits the sound of Luke Goss running his fingernails down a blackboard while stepping on polystyrene blocks in clogs. They could use him as an alarm to wake up the deaf. Add this to the fact that the scriptwriters never give him anything more complicated to handle than tripping over a boiled sweet in the video shop, and I fail to see the point of his existence either in a fictional or material world. Is he eye candy? I wouldn’t have thought so, with his strawberry blonde Manga-mullet and mid-90’s combats. Comic relief? If he makes you smile rather than wince, you’re a stronger man than I. His only function is to pad a scene out, providing one extra body in the pub. He’ll lift a glass when Peggy proposes a toast to Phil’s latest shirt or be a chuckler when Minty pukes up his pint of Churchill into Jim’s wife, Dot, but he’ll never, ever have a central storyline. 

I am bewildered by the existence of Mickey off of Eastenders. Bewildered and bemused.

AA maaaan

February 1, 2007

AA  

I think it’s an AA ad, either way it ends with ‘he’s a very nice maaaan a very very nice maaaaaan’’

The emphasis of ‘maaan’ is meant to be humorous as the two protagonists of the fucking advert are, we are led to believe, on their way to a ‘rock’ concert

We know this because the ad opens with an diminutive ugly rat faced forty-something sliming into some sort of 4 by 4, waving a pair of tickets under the nose of a Ray Mears look alike but with the addition of a booming ginger beard and weakly yelling “Rock and Roll!”

He sits down looking well pleased with his rodent self and attempts to get air through his enormous hooter.

The bland smug gingerbeard tool is DRIVING TO A FUCKING ‘ROCK’ CONCERT…

Boy, are they going to have a good time on the lemonades and peanuts for fuck’s sake.

I digress.

Now judging by the visible part of the tee that Ratty is wearing (fire, top of a pentagram) this would be a ‘heavy-metal’ concert, whilst you can just about picture ratty pinching your girlfriend’s bottom and sniffing his finger at the closing set of a Europe concert, the large gingerbeard is a million fucking light years from even the most unlikely person you’d see at a gig, and that includes little Chinese men in suits.

He’s the sort of man one would find at the end of one’s bed at 4am masturbating onto your feet with an expression so non-specific you’d think he was googling the colour beige.

Put it this way, if they actually were going to a gig, I bet at least two of the band members are convicted paedophiles.

Are adverts trying to kill me slowly with stress? Next week Fearne Britton eating food.