Archive for March, 2007

American Idol

March 30, 2007

After watching a single episode of American Idol on T4 I have discovered a previously unrealised sympathy for Islamic Fundamentalists and those merchants of doom who wish to see the fall of Western society. Seriously, I get it now. If tried to live a life of devotion to God and abide by the laws of a higher power then the gurning, squirming, trivial, capitalistic, moronic fucktards that populate this bastion of distraction culture would be my first target. Forget financial institutions and government buildings as these no longer carry any sway, instead wander into a blindingly lit TV studio that contains the apex of the countries karaoke singers and you could guarantee the further wrath of the illiterate 30million people who vote weekly in this sham of a competition.

Of course this isn’t American Idol like the Americans get to see it – with voting and all the excitement of a live broadcast – no, this is the UK highlight version, chopped of all interactivity and completed by the flickering lo-res quality of an untreated NTSC signal. In place of the legally obliged advert break every two minutes, we get the budget constraints of Cat Deeley doing filler links. Poor Cat Deeley – when we was told she’d be doing the US version of Pop Idol she must have been so excited, only to discover that she was being hidden away in a tiny studio with only a camera and a weight loss issue to keep her company.

“The main studio is just behind me” she gushes enthusiastically “you could not be any closer to the action if you tried.” Well actually Cat, you could. You could be in the main studio and involved in the actual production instead of trying to pretend that they even know you’re here as you try to create the illusion that anything you’re doing is in any way live. You could be co-hosting with US megastar Ryan Seacrest – destined to be the face of Just For Men the moment he hits 40 – instead of being a contractual obligation that Simon Cowell tacked on to ensure his resale rights were protected.

Like Tony Blair before her, Cat Deeley has hit the American shores in search of adulation and employment; primped and preened to within an inch of recognition she has instead found herself to be nothing more than a surgically placed arsehole waiting to be screwed again. That’s why her eyes are so dead while she struggles to enthuse about a culture that has rejected her. It’s sad, really.

The patronisation of the British edition continues with hastily shot UK-centric questions to the Ritalin restricted contestants – “The Beatles / Rolling Stones / Coldplay are the best British band of all time” they chirrup with scary uniformity, reaching out to their fans in the UK. “I looooove Lulu” one identikit teen coos, seemingly unaware that claiming long-term adulation of the mentor you first met last week hardly makes you a big fan.

The contestants are the same shambolic collection of high-school enthusiasts, morally and culturally retarded to the point where an excited “woo hoo” is their only form of communication. They represent each cliche from each section of youth society – look there’s the sweet geek, there’s the handsome surfer, there’s the fat black girl with a voice of gold, there’s the ditzy prom queen, there’s the retarded monkey boy who face-fucks the judges, there’s the juggling nazi sympathiser who just wants to entertain… they are identical in their slavish devotion to the idea of fame, in their willingness to do whatever they are told to do to achieve a fleeting sense of purpose before being casually discarded to the land of the alcholism and the sudden realisation that they are worth nothing in this world.

To give Cowell and his gaggle of opinion-goons their credit, the show is a perfect success. They are vain, money-driven people looking for easy-led, mid-talent lackeys who they can sculpt into carbon copies of a successful format and run into the ground in their endless pursuit of more profits. The format of the show is representative of the shallow contestants, the shallow contestants are pitiful incarnations of the creators and in the end the whole thing will eat itself in one big orgy of pointless self-indulgence.

Unless the terrorists get to it first.

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The Apprentice, Series 3, Ep. 1

March 29, 2007

 

I’d be lying if I stated any kind of ambivalence to the Apprentice. Of course I watch it – I’m addicted to reality television – the lower the quality, the better. In this instance though, we’re talking about a high quality, big budget show, the difference being that the contestants are picked especially for their glaring idiocy. Perhaps Sugar thinks one or two are potential big-money earners, but I’m sure most of the heap are chosen simply because they’ll make amusing TV. Think of Syed last series, who obviously had a CV embellished with phoney claims to genius, to the point where it fell apart in the hands of the reader, weighted down by the amount of sheer bollocks on the page.

This season we opened with millisecond vox pops from the contestants, a kind of getting-to-know-you epileptic fit with a couple of words from each. The standout was big Andy (I think) saying: ‘I’m dynamic’. Who actually says that about themselves? I might say it about a superhero, maybe a pushbike, but about myself at work? Balls to that. It stinks of ‘idiot’ the minute you say it. Imagine using it in everyday language – in a cafe for example. ‘Sorry, the service was so non-dynamic my eggs have gone stone cold, can I have a refund please?’. It’s a stupid word unless you’re talking about a fancy sports car, so stop it.

We had the usual introduction from Sugar, who seemed to have tailored his spiel to diss Syed, the aforementioned berk who made the last series such a success. ‘I hate schmoozers’ he said, as he did last year, but then he went on ‘and more than anything I hate people who claim to have had a rough background and come from nothing and all this and that’. Weird really, considering that’s what Alan Sugar does in every interview he sits for to promote this very show.

The task itself saw two teams of corporate mongs try and sell coffee. We learned that if you’re trying to sell cafe latte, cappuccino or espresso, the place NOT to do it is Chapel Market in Islington. I say ‘we learned’, I live very close to that area, and if I were to take you down there on a weekday you’d see immediately, so immediate it’d be like a knuckle-duster to the hooter, that it’s absolutely fucking dead. Add to this that the people who work on Chapel Market are far more likely to prefer a watery Nescafe with four sugars to take back to the bookies and you’ll see why they only sold 11 cups all morning.

In a bizarre turn of events, Sugar fired the bullshit-stuffed but actually quite likable Andy, simply for being Team Leader. Or Project Manager. Or whatever they call the fuckers these days. Andy had allowed the women to screw things up, was the gist of the argument. I felt this was unfair, as the big blonde lady (whose name my brain has wiped off the memory banks to try and escape the trauma of having seen her snooty, undignified face) was a complete arse and should’ve been saddled with the blame, if only to crush her festering smugness. She thinks she’s Dawn French, she’s more Rose West. She’ll be one to watch, guaranteed.

Then it was over, and the voiceover declared there were ‘only 16 left’. 16?! That’s two small companies-worth. And 14 weeks of sacking. Sugar’s arm is going to drop off at this rate.

Paul McKenna – I Can Change Your Life

March 28, 2007

 

Once upon a time I sat like a festering turnip in front of the box and wound up on ITV3 watching ‘Paul McKenna – I Can Change Your Life’. ‘Change my life?’ I thought. Change your own fucking life, you sleazy lizard.

I was already aware of the psychological nature of his teachings – ‘Listen to the healing sounds of my wonderful voice. Surrender to my will and I will cure you of all your ills. I am Jesus. All hail me for I am the best’, that kind of thing. Anyway, in this show, old McKenna tries to cure a bunch of thickos, obsessive compulsives, and hopeless mentals.

I’m not going to lie, this really was utter shit that even disappointed my less-than-optimistic hopes of being vaguely entertained. Out of the three specimens analysed, only one stimulated my imagination enough to keep watching.

The organism in question was a middle aged woman who was fanatical about cleaning up. To be precise that’s all she did. She would wake up, rigorously clean the house for SIXTEEN HOURS, then go to sleep. What a life.

Needless to say, she had extreme obsessive compulsive disorder. Although it’s a psychological affliction, I couldn’t help thinking that this troubled vessel was just incomprehensibly stupid. I would even go as far as to say criminally insane. She was also an absolute twat in need of a good shake.

Eventually McKenna breezes onto the scene like some kind of hero, spouting some psycho-babble about imagining you’re standing next to waterfall and the like. Although in time his methods will probably succeed, I couldn’t help thinking that it would be quicker, easier and far more entertaining if Geoff Capes thundered in there and gripped her by the neck, yelling “Look, you worthless tit, stop being retarded, or I’ll rip your spine out, make you eat it, and then knock your fuckin’ head off this planet.

Soon, she confesses to McKenna that to her, “Being unclean is the end of the world”.

I absorbed the absurdity of this statement, but was soon swept away by another thought that came stampeding to the forefront of my consciousness: Your house may be outlandishly clean, and well done for that, but you still look like something Walt Disney forgot to draw, you droopy bitch.

What does it matter how clean you try to keep yourself when your head closely resembles a spud? A question she’s obviously never bothered asking herself.

As well as looking as though she’d just escaped from cell block H after having head-butted every warden in the place to death, spud-head also turns out to be a stuck up, narrow minded bint as well. In one scene, she goes into a charity shop and moans that everyone in there looks dodgy and dirty. She then complained that the clothes were dirty because they were second hand. Her main concern seemed to be that someone else may have sweated in them at some point. She stands grimacing, whingeing that she doesn’t even want to touch them. Then she does touch one and immediately leaves the shop and practically scrapes half the skin off her hand with a wet-wipe.

In the end, McKenna’s relentless ear-bending seemed to pay off, and spud-head finally got it through her thick skull that she needed to stop being a cunt now.

I came away from this having learned two things. The first thing being that I would very much like to do the gene pool a service and vaporise the spud-headed lunatic, and also that never again will I fritter away an hour of my precious life watching Paul McKenna.

The Business

March 27, 2007

The Business 

It clearly set itself up to be the UK ‘Goodfellas’, but instead it stands as a lesson in ‘how not to make a film’.

Frankly, it’s actually hard to know where to begin with this one. How about my decision to watch it knowing that it wasn’t going to be very good by default? Okay.

Right… Well I’d made the decision to watch it earlier in the afternoon, I think as part of my ‘hey, maybe Danny Dyer’s actually alright’ therapy. I think this is because I wouldn’t mind, due to okay reviews, seeing Severance and I read something in The Guardian about his relationship with the director being compared to de Niro and Scorcese, or some such. (Shit).

I can’t stand DD (the Dagenham Dildo) I think he’s a crappy actor always playing the same cockney-lad hard-nut, despite looking like a 14-year-old weed with the charisma of a floating turd who’d jump if you gently burped across the road from him. That being said, I decided to give it a shot – despite the Football Factory I hasten to add – which is unreviewable without resorting to filming a ritual-killing.

The plot is ridiculous to the point of farce, not even worth consideration as it’s so badly conceived it makes James Herbert seem like Dostoyevsky. The sewer pipe scene… I can say no more for fear of heart failure.

In terms of casting I can’t complain, all the cons look suitable connish but the little aspect of acting seems to have been ignored. This is born out by the fact that I’ve not seen a single actor in it, before or since. They couldn’t even cast the films ‘totty’ without bothering to look below her neck.

The acting is truly exceptionally dreadful, more wooden than the cross on which Jebus was nailed, though not as interesting. The direction, the cinematography (or lack thereof) and (my personal pet hate in a lot of British film’s output) the lighting is so dire I truly refuse to believe anyone had any experience of their jobs previously. This is particularly depressing when one considers that the money used to make this muck deprived another British movie of funding. Filming me masturbating for an hour and a half until I finally squeeze watery yoghurt onto a tissue would’ve been a fucking boon.

The 80’s soundtrack isn’t actually too bad; it was nice to hear a few long forgotten tunes despite my ‘punk’ self, but to organise them in such a way they actually sucked out whatever life the film had (exposing a tiny frail skeleton with osteoporosis) seemed to me to be counter productive. An example being Echo Beach by Martha and the Muffins. I actually screamed when they faded it out even though the ‘plot’ was at it’s most critical, theoretically of course.

But perhaps the most dreadful aspect was the script, or rather, the combination of the script and the supposed acting, especially with regard to one word: ‘cunt’. The word is spoken with such acute self-awareness, I’m sure it was only at the last minute they did away with a flash bearing a fist blasting on to the screen every time it was uttered. Everyone said it repeatedly, when the women said it we were treated to a close up of a snarling mouth to emphasise the ‘shock’ value. The ‘fucks’ came thick and fast but ‘cunts’ were delivered with such diligence and care it genuinely felt as if the Director had gathered the whole crew together before shooting and said. ‘Oh, you can all be very proud of yourselves as I can confirm, THIS IS THE FIRST FILM IN THE HISTORY OF FILM TO USE THE WORD ‘CUNT’’ The cast and crew look at each other jaws dropped, ‘really?’ says one, not believing his ears, ‘YES’ replies the director and they all embrace one another, yell with delight, even a few tears are wiped from shining eyes…

What a fucking heap of shite.

Fuck Severance.

Really Really Old Heartbeat

March 26, 2007

Berry

PC Nick Roan (Nick Berry) is mortified to discover his wife (Niamh Cusack) has leukaemia. Meanwhile Greengrass (Arthur English) and his dog are foiled by PC Ventriss (him out of Dempsey and Makepeace) in their attempts to steal tractor parts from Farmer Bickerdyke (Burt Reynolds). At the pub Geena (Raquel Welch) gives Sergeant Yesprimeminister (pre-eczema-Paul Eddington) a blow-job and he cums all over her face roaring “TAKE IT! TAKE IT BITCH! ALL HAIL THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION!”

PC Bellamy (meanwhile) captures the crew of the U-Boat and locks them in the church hall. The captain of the ship tells Bellamy his name will go down on a list, now what is it?

“Don’t tell him Pike!” shouts Captain Mainwaring (Mahatma Ghandi), snapping his corset (at this point Fletcher (Ronnie Corbett) slips Mr. Barraclough’s (Foggy) wallet into his trousers and Nick Berry’s (Wicksy) wife dies).

Everything turns out alright in the end.

WAGS Boutique

March 23, 2007

WAGS Boutique 

 For some reason the above picture came up when I googled ‘wags boutique’. It seems strangely apt. Now look. I watched Freaky Eaters again last night but don’t tell anyone. It was actually not as bad as the others, but it was still shockingly terrible television. But not bad enough to be described in any detail beyond this:

Bald gay man learn how cook.

What I did watch was the repulsive ‘WAGS Boutique’ on ITV. The opening credits spell the title in that format, as I’ve just done, even though it’s patently incorrect. I think (and I’m trying my best here) it should be W.A.G.s’ Boutique. But no, they conveniently forget that we’re talking about the possessive of a collective noun, which is in itself an acronym, and they just go and write ‘WAGS Boutique’ with the ‘s’ capitalized even though it’s not even part of the acronym and should be apostrophised, if apostrophised is even a word. It’s ‘wives and girlfriends’ isn’t it? I suppose it might be ‘wives and girlfriends (shits)’ but then they’d have to put the ‘s’ in brackets, and they haven’t.

No wonder this country’s gone to pot.

W.A.G.(S) Boutique is perhaps the most empty of all the empty programmes I’ve ever seen in my thoroughly empty life. It took me a good five minutes to get my head around the concept, just after the credits had rolled. The wives and girlfriends (shits) of several famous (and not so famous, as it turned out) footballers are renowned for their ability to afford expensive designer items and their absolute inability and lack of common sense when coordinating them into an outfit. In the event, they end up looking like scrubbed up fabric-witches. So ITV rent two teams of them a clothes shop each in London’s famous Carnaby Street. Great. The formula doesn’t even look good on paper.

The reality is such a tedious non-event that an hour went by and I honestly couldn’t remember a single thing that had happened in the show once the end credits had rolled. Every single WAG(S) is a blonde (without even the common sense to break that stereotype) and a brainless husk. They’ve willingly submitted their entire existence in the Universe to being ‘the ‘wag’ of someone based on their ability in the much-celebrated ball-kicking arena. That’s fine, I consider myself a football fan, with a fair bit of knowledge in that area, but even I was squinting at some of the big name’s these girls are seeing and saying ‘who?!’. One of the biggest names was Justin Hoyte, a 22 year old at Arsenal who occasionally gets a game in the Carling Cup but has barely been seen in the Premiership, let alone Europe. Hardly a superstar.

So there we go – another hour of my life wasted, and all for you. I hope you’re satisfied.

Deal Or No Deal

March 22, 2007

Edmonds 

And so begins another edition of my favourite display of greed and pomposity.

It starts with the intrusive Edmonds positioned unbearably close to the camera as he waffles his way through his usual introductory repertoire, something about identical boxes and there only being one question – ‘deal or no deal’. It is this final line which he painfully attempts to deliver with different accentuation every time, complete with dramatic pauses. There are however, only so many ways you can say four words before it just sounds plain demented, and more often than not it does – “deal! Or? … No… DEAL?”

And cue the music. The blaring din which sounds like the same kind of Casio keyboard nonsense shat out for the Paul O’ Grady and Richard and Judy shows. I’d happily bet that it’s the work of a zombie, who seemingly does the theme tune for everything Channel 4 coughs up between three and six in the afternoon. I’m sure I could find out who is to blame if I really gave a monkey’s.

During the show, Edmonds slopes about the floor with doodles on his hand as though he is God’s gift to entertainment. The fact is, he wants a fucking good kicking.

He oozes a smugness that Craig David would be proud of, always with a different colourful shirt tucked pristinely into trouser. The shirts smack of Edmonds’ wanton desire to be seen as some kind of playful extrovert, when really he’s profoundly dull. He must have an entire house full of those arsing shirts.

Edmonds (get a haircut) tries to dupe us into thinking that every game is unique. Well I’m sorry Noel, me old cock-germ, but you ain’t fooling me. Each game may differ slightly I’ll grant you that, but not in the way that you’re suggesting, you lying prick. Fingerprints are all different, but they’re all located on the end of a fucking finger.

The desperation of the man to see this show reach cult status is apparent with the insertion of certain mawkish expressions such as ‘The Crazy Chair’ (the player’s seat) and ‘The Power Five’ (the largest sums of money available), but within the uttering of these phrases also lies Edmonds’ reckless attempts to appear cool. It’s only a matter of time before he’s saying ‘far out’ or ‘cosmic’.

It has to be said that people scare me and given that the contestants are supposedly your average Brit, I can officially announce that our country is full of dangerous tossers. Who are these fuckers and which sorry corner of our country are these pointless rectums normally holed up in?

It has become a trend for the chosen contestant to say “its fine, it’s ok” when they lose £35,000 or whatever, the way I would if I dropped 2p on the pavement and decide to leave it there because it’s barely worth bending down to pick up. Then they pace the floor and meaninglessly yell “Come on!” which seems to whip the audience up into a frenzy every time. If these people are representative of the peak of human evolution as we know it, then please; stop the world, I must get off.

But it’s not just the over-excited contestants (and fellow panellists) that concern me here. Who are the audience? Why are they there? Who are these people that care so much about the financial gain or shortcomings of others? Would you really care whether or not a complete stranger pockets a quarter of a million quid? I try hard not to watch this utter shite but I know when I’ve seen it in the past I am more eager to see them go home with 1p.

Incidentally, I have never met anyone who would waste their time sitting in on a show like this, or any show for that matter, with the exception of something genuinely entertaining such as a comedy product. The audience must consist of the same kind of pond-life that make up the audiences for shows like the National Lottery Draw and ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?’ and so on.

I could go on and on about how Deal Or No Deal winds me up, but I think that’s an aneurism I feel brewing. I will say this though; I would rather watch Bill Oddie looking for badgers than sit through another episode of this toilet juice, although conversely, I would rather stab myself repeatedly in the chest, sew up my eye-lids, and pour boiling water in my shell-likes.

Barclays Bank

March 21, 2007

Barclays Previous to this advertisment, Barclays were running a campaign wherein a bright young Executive was seen to be coming up with incredibly simple but effective ideas, much to the annoyance of his far flashier and vacuous contemporaries. Firstly, this makes me think that bright people working at Barclays are few and far between. Secondly I could never remember which bank the ads were for unless the missus reminded me, and she only remembers because she banks with the bastards.

In this new one the budget has obviously been pumped up. A brunette in a yellow bikini is sunbathing on golden sand. Her slightly geeky boyfriend – our simple-but-effective ideas man from the three preceding adverts – is beside her, looking out to see. She asks him to rub protective sun-screen into her back. He begins to do so as she drifts off then seems suddenly to have a Eureka moment. He wanders off towards the sea and starts recommending a financial package to his boss over his mobile. ‘Six point eight percent’ he’s saying. The little shit. He’s on holiday – what’s he doing calling his boss? Anyhow, he returns, smugly smiling to himself, and they continue lapping up the sun.

We cut to the end of the day and they’re packing away their stuff. ‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’ the brunette says as she looks at the sun setting, or something equally as bland, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is this: When she turns around, she is perfectly tanned on her shoulders apart from the fact that she has a massive pink area in the shape of ‘6.8%’! Yes! He was so distracted that he squeezed out the mathematics of his thought process onto her back, leaving her with an unsightly set of mathematical symbols where her skin hadn’t been browned by the sun! Fantastic comedy!

Or is it?

My other half made a salient point here.

‘What if he missed a big mole?’.

It’s true. If the area where he’d scrawled his equation was the only part of her skin that was protected, he’d seriously put his girlfriend at risk here. Perhaps, rather than this being a funny little ad about how dedicated to their work Barclays’ staff are, this is a comment on the human condition. In focusing so hard on his job – even whilst on holiday with his closest human ally don’t forget, this idiot had endangered his lover through his stupid obsession with impressing his boss, which would lead to promotion, which would lead ultimately to more money. The selfish shitbag. What it boils down to is this: staff at Barclays bank are prepared to allow their loved ones to die a slow and painful death, so long as they progress on the career ladder. The central character trait of a psychopath, no less.

There’s no way I’m banking with those selfish bastards now.