Archive for June, 2007

The Apprentice, Series 3, The Final

June 14, 2007

All conts 

It was always going to be an anticlimax. Especially seeing as some mug on the Guardian website ruined it by telling every reader what was going to happen despite claiming he hadn’t any inside info. The bastard. Simon and Kristina were pumped. In the opening interviews, Simon said it was his dream to work for Sir Alan. That’s not on a par with some of my best dreams. He must sleep badly. Later, when faced with the task – this week it was all about creating a new London landmark for the South Bank – Simon said it was ‘his dream to build things’. Quite a lot of dreaming going on there. While Simon daydreamed about his chances, stern-faced Kristina Grimes simply repeated ‘I will win. I will win’, like a malfunctioning Speak & Spell.So they had a spot in a grimy area of London upon which they could build (in concept, not with diggers or cement or anything – that would be disastrous) any old shit they fancied. But first they had to pick teams from the pool of people they’d stepped on to get to where they were. Simon chose Tre immediately and we all know by now why he did that. He fancies him. He is Mummy to Tre’s Daddy. Simon also chose Jadine who had had a nice hairdo for the occasion, Lohit, who barely featured at all again and Rory. Tre and Rory, we were reminded, had history. They hated each other, essentially because Tre picked on the hapless, clown-mouthed Rory endlessly. They’re both very boring men.Kristina plumped for Naomi straight away. No idea why, I can’t remember her doing much the whole series. Perhaps my memory is somewhat childishly obscured by the memory of her enormous zeppelin-breasts dangling over the camera lens every five seconds a couple of weeks back. She also picked Adam (must’ve been by mistake) and that cockney single mother, whose name escapes me.

Katie, meanwhile, was noted for her absence. Perhaps she hadn’t sorted things out with her child-minder…

I suspect the architects the two gangs spoke with gave a huge amount of direction to the contestants, as the ideas they finally came up with were completely incongruous with their original ideas. Simon and Tre wandered off on their own, hand in hand, discussing putting a boat frame structure onto the building. The idea was shot down in flames by the rest of the gang, with Rory coming up with a new idea. He drew the outline of three bananas, so they went with that. The final product looked pretty interesting compared with Rory’s felt tip nightmare, but credit to him for beating the coracle idea in a straw poll. I think Tre’s boat theme was ultimately overturned when the rest of the team were sick on themselves when he used the term ‘as such’ three times in three sentences. ‘The reason for the nautical theme, as such’… How can you misuse that suffix so badly? I really don’t know how it’s possible. ‘If it doesn’t work out, I’ll look like a pillock’ said Simon, laughing Butthead style, exactly like a pillock might.

Kristina’s team, with Trainee Surveyor Paul – he of the uncooked sausage, leading the charge, came up with a rectangular building to make optimum use of the space. Dull.They also had the idea of putting an angel on either end of their building, looming above passers by like, as the architect pointed out, a Nazi eagle. This was eventually adapted to be two peaks, the angel changed to a phoenix after the team fortunately realised that the Angel Centre wasn’t an apt name for a centre that wasn’t actually in the Angel, Islington. Paul reminded us that he didn’t have to like Kristina to do a ”fucking jood gob’ for her. The tit.

After letting the architects do all the work for them, it was time to choose the optimum way to present the concept to hoteliers, building contractors and property industry bigwigs. Kristina slipped up here by allowing Adam to play a major part in choosing the theme and the stage decor. As a result, their presentation was a back to basics approach, as all the tacky crap he chose got chucked out almost as far as Adam was out of his depth.

Rory and Tre were paired up to sort the night’s entertainment out, after a speech from Simon which was meant to be invigorating and rousing. it was let down a little by its faltering delivery. He sounded like Basil Fawlty having a panic attack. Realising he was losing his audience, he stuck on a little ‘oh, and I’ll take you all to Barcelona if we win for a weekend’. Incentives… nice, desperate management. Tre piped up later with ‘I’d rather a rusty screwdriver in my eye than go on holiday with Jadine, Rory and Lohit’. Suggestion to Simon: make it happen.

Simon’s presentation went smoothly and he answered questions with aplomb, clearly having done his research. Kristina didn’t perform so well, sadly. Neither really bombed, which was disappointing in terms of ‘good telly’. Never mind.

In the boardroom, Sir A asked both ‘why do you want this job’. This is the biggest non question any potential Manager can ask in an interview. It only ever results in cliche upon babbling cliche. It was a brief boardroom, presumably because nobody fucked up, meaning the situation couldn’t be milked for comedy value. Alan reminded us that he has a bit of a kink for Simon, hired him, and we were done. Case closed. End of series.

Most reality series end with this kind of anticlimax. Though clearly not grounded in the truth, the people involved are generally real people (though I have my doubts about the evil creation that was Katie). As a result, we’re always left with an open ending. With Big Brother the question’s always ‘how will so and so use the fame to their advantage’, and past experience tells us they won’t, they’ll trust a management company that will tie them to Heat magazine forever. With the Apprentice, we want to see the winner succeed after all that hard slog. But we don’t, obviously, as they are just working drones on a superficially high wage for one year only in an office in fucking Brentwood. Still – it’s fun, and we wouldn’t have had the gut-wrenchingly cringeworthy scene of Simon screwing a trampoline leg if we didn’t have the Apprentice. Roll on next series.

Britain’s Got Talent

June 13, 2007

Talent? 

The last piece I wrote was about that brainless talent competition, Let Me Entertain You. Bearing in mind that it’s now a year old, it occurred to me whilst watching ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent that the basic concept of the aformentioned show has been ‘alf inched by the latter and completely ponced up, with typical X-factor style feelgood editing between acts and a complete over-emphasis on the making and breaking of idiots’ dreams. Obviously there are bound to be certain similarities beteween them as they are both variety shows but the core element of Let Me Entertain You – the idea that audience members are able to get rid of acts they don’t like by pressing a button has been commandeered by Britain’s Got Talent – only this time the button-pressing responsibility lies with the three judges – Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell. In case the prospect of watching these three bollock-heads might not be off-putting enough, the whole bloody shambolic affair is hosted by everyone’s favourite pair of unctuous arse-munchers; Ant and Dec.

I’m going to overlook Ant and Dec on this occasion though, because they just do their usual thing and are once again just, well, Ant and Dec really. Love ’em or hate ’em.

As for Morgan and Holden, I can’t really work out what they are doing there. I suppose Holden’s role is simply to look pretty and be the ‘nice’ one. Quite what makes her an authority on what qualifies as talent though, I don’t know. In this respect the same can be said for Piers Morgan, but his presence on this show is slightly harder to suss. So far his only outstanding feature seems to be the ability to make small children cry and to be a kind of buttock-headed stepping stone in the middle ground between Amanda Holden’s wet approach and Cowell’s tiresome ‘Mr Nasty’ routine.

The other similarity between this tack-fest and Let Me Entertain You is that some of the same acts featured on the latter have also appeared on the aforementioned. Among these are the two sickening Sound Of Music girls mentioned in my last piece, and a bloke who jumps through hoops festooned with blades. Now call me morbid, but all I want to see when a person jumps through such a hoop of doom is for said hoop-jumper to be either severely injured or just plain minced.

As you’d expect, there is the usual parade of freakery on display here, with performers and their precious performances ranging from fucking disgraceful, to bloody awful, to just plain shit, or painfully bland, with a handful of acts each episode who are geniunely pretty talented. Britain’s Got Talent is for various reasons (which I have figured out but can’t be arsed to go into) a lot more relaxed than the X-factor and is consequently allowing crap acts to slip through the heats for sentimentality’s sake. To be honest though, this whole thing just feels like I’m watching the Cowell enjoy a working holiday.

So far I have seen some dick-wipe getting a standing ovation for his thoughtful and sophisticated performance of making a hand puppet in the form of a monkey gyrate to the child-seducing rhythms of Michael Jackson’s music, a knife throwing act almost ending in bloodshed after the trembling blade man unintentionally almost perforated his reckless lady-assistant with a series of poorly aimed shots, a pig that couldn’t play the piano and a boy whose only talent was to cup his ears with his hands and manipulate the suction between them to create a kind of muffled squelching sound.

So while there are plenty of morons on display here, the ritual humiliation that is a prerequisite for all Cowell productions just doesn’t cross over as effectively in this show. There is nothing, it seems, quite like seeing misguided cretins with no self-awareness publically destroy themselves while butchering a song.

In this respect it is not as amusing as the early rounds of the X-factor, but I have a feeling that the later rounds of BGT will not be quite so infuriating and intolerable either, meaning that instead of turning off when it starts getting serious (as most civilized folk do with the X-factor), the majority of viewers watching now will probably stick it out til the bitter end. (Myself not included, mind).

The winner of this orgy of tools gets ten grand and a slot at The Royal Variety Performance to mince about for Her Majesty’s pleasure, though if she’s been watching this bog-fodder, I imagine the Queen is already trying to think of ways to get out of having to attend. Personally, I’m not prepared to rule out her suicide at this point.

Let Me Entertain You

June 12, 2007

 Conley and the gang

If you need further proof, aside from Big Brother that is, that moronic dimwits are ten to the penny, then just sit down at half past six on a weekday and watch Let Me Entertain You. In fact, don’t. I’ve suffered so you don’t have to. If you’re not familiar with this shocking volcano of horseshit, then allow me to enlighten you – it’s basically a variety show hosted by Brian ‘arse-juice’ Conley, who freakishly doesn’t seem to have aged at all in the last 15 years. Conley kicks off each sorry episode by singing a song, usually one already completely overplayed such as ‘I’ve got you under my skin’ or some other such shit. Each act featured must keep the live studio audience entertained for three minutes. If they manage to do so, they win £1,000 and make it through to the final heats, covered in later episodes.

The catch is that each audience member has a button (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? style) which they press when they’ve had enough. When 50% of the audience are sufficiently bored, the act is cut short and must leave the stage. The trouble is that audience members are suckers for talentless and thoroughly sickening little brats. When I say sickening, is a medley of songs from The Sound Of Music performed by two young sisters – in nun’s clothing, no less – sickening enough for you?

The guiltiest of this particular parade of idiots though are not so much those who appear onstage (at least they’re trying, bless ’em), but the ones who make up the majority of the audience, as whenever a half decent act takes the stage (on one occasion a group of breakdancers, for example) half the twats have pressed their buttons about 30 seconds or so through the performance, meaning that often the act are off the stage after a minute as the audience silently take the piss.

Other than small children, the only others who seem to flourish in such a harsh environment are karaoke-type parrots who mindlessly mimick their way through hideous ‘chart busters’.

Like all variety shows, tackiness is key and although this, the second series, clearly has a more substantial production budget than the first, it still feels inexcusably cheap. What’s worse, however is that this show emphasises the very worst aspects of the two sides of the coin. On the one hand is the quality of entertainment available and more importantly what people qualify as being entertainment in the first place. Jugglers, can-can dancers, dated magic acts and Christina Aguilera wannabes make up the bulk of the show’s content; forms of entertainment which are either well past their prime or just plain horrific. Secondly, the format of the show. Regardless of how good the acts will be, the very concept of the show only serves to highlight the tragic point we appear to have reached in our desperation to be adequately amused for three minutes.

It is now a celebrated fact that the general British public is an extremely fickle lot, whose attention span is so pathetically short that it is in danger of sliding out of existence altogether.

I suppose the success (if that’s what it is) of this show, lies within the concept of giving the public their very own chance to be a Simon Cowell for half an hour by crudely putting an abrupt end to those performances deemed crap. Like Cowell though, the studio audience have no idea what constitutes real talent and in the end, it simply comes down to personal preference. Add this aspect to the fact that the age of the average audience member is between 40 – 60, and it’s no wonder the less offensive and more middle-of-the-road acts are the ones emerging most successful. Let Me Entertain You truly is fodder for Britain’s X-Factor generation. A phenomena which seems to have practically taken over not just most of Britain’s youth culture, but seemingly three quarters of Britain in general – regardless of age. In fact the word culture is a misnomer in this sense, as that is seemingly exactly what is lacking.

Big Brother 8, 11.6.07

June 11, 2007

 Dickhead

Just over a week ago it was my grandfather’s 100th birthday. In between his moving reminiscences of times past, he hit upon the father of his beloved wife Alice, my grandmother, who had died a decade earlier. My granny was from southern Ireland and her father used to beat the shit out of her. He then died of alcoholism. My grandfather, in front of some of our Irish family, declared that in his opinion Irishmen were, and I quote, ‘professionally unstable’. A terrible, sweeping statement, which caused stifled gasps from some of the guests, including yours truly. Well. He’s 100, he been around, more so than this blog would have you believe I thought, his experiences and all that… The racist old shit.

Enter Prick Fucknall. As soon as I saw him, a poisoned blood vessel migrated up my back and popped behind my eye. Now, let me get this straight, one can accuse me of projecting my vitriol in order to sensationalise my posts (I don’t, I hasten to add), but when something of genuine horror greets me, I’ll either fight it or fuck off. Seany is this person, a horror straight off the racecourse, a baffling and revolting mixture of ‘Irish charm’ with the sort of self-adoration reserved for the likes of Bono and Geldof. Put it this way, I know he will have a genuinely offensive collection of porn. Without doubt this is the most awful housemate to have ever entered the BB house, bar none.

What’s beyond worse, and I mean unspeakably worse, is that he likes Tracey. You know – in a rude way. Really, if there is any quark of a chance that those two have any form of contact with each other, this includes a conversation lasting over 30 seconds, my TV is history.

The other new bloke, Bumcrack, the overtly gay, very camp gallery assistant from Greece – he’s not going to win any prizes for subtlety. ‘Sex is my vice’ he shrieked at the other contestants, or was it the viewing public? Either way, I nearly snipped off my own piles. He resembles a homosexual from antiquity. You know – the ones that would dress up as gold painted angels before being roughly had by decadent merchants from the East. He seems to be quite clever though, irritating as he is. I don’t like him.

A quick mention of Ziggy… Now he has ‘competition’ (purely in the form of a pair of extra willies, one without designs on the ladies, the other far too horrific to even regard) he’s going for broke. Chanelle, the recipient of his affections, has been subject to a new, more aggressive campaign of sexual harassment. Chanelle is nasty, nastier than has been previously noted. She’s running the show more than the other housemates realise, Ziggy is being allowed to indulge in clandestine snogs, it’s not the other way round. I think Ziggy knows this which is why he is becoming increasingly desperate for attention. If it fails with Chanelle, I can see him waking up the twins just so they can watch him take a sleepy Carol up the Gary Glitter.

But today’s blog is dedicated to Lesley, the sad, lonely, self-effacing insecure turd that she was. I reckon she was getting a much better time of it at the hands of the BB editors/producers because the hysterical old cunt reminded them of their mothers. From day one I couldn’t stand her, she’s the sort of person to scream the place down because someone dropped a French Fancy the wrong way up on the recently upholstered Chesterfield. She’d start off by assuring the terrified guest that it’s not a problem/we all make mistakes type thing before throwing a prolapse-derived wobbly, resulting in said guest being removed by her fanny hairs and thrown on to the street.

Lesley – she could make a volcano out of pile of cake crumbs. This is born out by the way she treated her time in the house. For Lesley, it was Stalag Luft 3. It was all about dealing with the enemy, about coping with adversity in the face of terrible hardship. The final straw was when Fucknall, being coerced by the hard-glue hooters of Charley, ripped her duvet off. A cuntish thing to do I’ll admit but her reaction was enough to cause me to stand, point and go AH-HAR at the screen. 

You see, throughout her time in the house you could’ve actually been forgiven for forgetting that she VOLUNTEERED to go in, that it was HER DECISION to be involved. She wasn’t captured, coerced into being in the fucking house… Yet we all paid by having to put up with her Easter Island visage with moaning patronising words coming out of it. Lesley thought she was so much better than anyone – better bred, manners, education, intelligence… but in the end she was just another prick who forgets that they asked for everything they get as well as what will come.

Some will do well out of this. Laura is still my favourite to win but Nikky is coming up fast. I like her a lot and she, unlike fucking Lesley, is doing a whole lot more for the modern women than that humourless wanker could in a lifetime.

Big Brother’s Big Mouth (Again)

June 8, 2007

 Emily

George Galloway is helming the satellite show this week, and he’s doing a pretty good job of it. He takes it so bloody seriously, it’s hard not to stifle a chuckle as it’s like he’s roaming the American Senate again. It’s almost possible to forget the cat business.

Last night, he had a proper issue to get his teeth into.

It’s hard to imagine what’s going through the minds of Big Brother bosses at present. Probably some smugly self-congratulatory back-slapping going on over there, given their reaction to the racist language used by ex-housemate, Emily Parr in light of what happened last time. It was very much a run-of-the-mill Big Brother until Emily, brainless bozo that she is, remarked to Charley: ‘Are you pushing it out, you nigger?’ Now – whether she intended to sound ‘street’ as Gorgeous George asserted, or whether this language is so commonplace in her social network’s lexicon is pretty much irrelevant. I agreed with the general consensus in the studio. It was said to a relative stranger, flippantly, and it caused offence, so damn right she should be removed.

Charley’s reaction was fascinating to watch, for all the wrong reasons. Some may have thought she was trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but they’d be wrong. I think she was genuinely having problems with the fact that the word was supposedly said in jest, yet she couldn’t assuage just why it had been said in the first place. She also knew the reaction would be harsh. You can’t fault her for panicking a little and discussing it with Nicky to straighten her thoughts out on the issue. She continued to speak to Emily in the aftermath, pursuing her reasons for speaking that way, but also made it clear she wasn’t judging her.

For the second time in two series, we’ve been privy to someone being offended in one of the most base ways imaginable. Without any thought about the actual meaning of the word, Emily allowed the word to ‘slip out’, she claimed. Without wanting to sound like a teacher, these words shouldn’t slip out and they also shouldn’t be among the mind’s options of words to use in any social situation. Self-censorship shouldn’t really have to come into play, in the same way that, whilst observing a friend’s young child, the words ‘nice arse’ wouldn’t just ‘slip out’ under any circumstances.

BBBM dealt with this fairly well, but it’s essential that Emily is provided with after-care and advice on how to deal with her situation. After all, the language in this context was not malicious. It was foolhardy, misjudged, misguided and fucking idiotic, but most importantly, offensive. All the same, it was simply that, an act of foolishness which may offend, so I think any tabloid lynching should be put on hold.

All in all, the whole situation only makes the Shilpa Shetty incident earlier in the year seem even more rank. Why wasn’t Jade removed from the house? Why is Danielle still tabloid fodder? Their use of language was clearly vindictive but it was allowed to have carried on. At least we’re being reminded that Channel 4 haven’t been sufficiently punished for their lack of action last time around.

Here’s the clip:

The Apprentice, Series 3, Episode 11

June 7, 2007

Back off 

Tonight we learned that the humble CV can act as a window to a lorry-load of bullshit. In the penultimate episode of this series, we joined three of Alan Sugar’s most trusted business advisers. They were so important that I’ve forgotten their names. One was a sleazy slimeball with unkempt hair and a clear inferiority complex about his lack of a degree, one looked just like a permanently unimpressed Mark Heap and the other, a troubleshooter, was bald, firm and fair. The unenviable task of trawling through the resumes of the remaining five contestants fell to this funny-lookin’ crew.

During the recap we were reminded just how badly Tre had performed in the last task. In fact, it served to remind us that it’s a miracle Tre had got this far. How did he manage it? It certainly wasn’t charm, and his sense of humour isn’t the most apparent attribute he carries. The only answer can be ‘good TV’. He swore a lot and was sexist and we found it all terribly amusing. Quite sad when you think about it.
But there he was, in the last five with Katie, Simon, Lohit and Kristina.

Before the interviews took place, in the ‘half an hour’ in which they were getting ready (no idea why they pursue this idea of them hurrying to get ready when they’ve clearly got all morning to do so), we saw them discussing the research they’d done. Simon, an Amstrad owner since he was five, ruminated on the finer points of the games he had on one of Sugar’s systems (Jet Set Willy is, indeed, a classic) whilst Tre wandered around the house, stony-faced because he had done bugger all in the way of investigation. Digging around in Simon’s knowledge and getting nothing from him, Tre demonstrated that he really wasn’t going to get anywhere this time. ‘Wanker’, he called Simon, realising the game was up. ‘No, you’re the wanker’, replied Simon, wittily.

Simon, yet again, became a walking CV. ‘I like to think of myself as a freethinker’ he claimed. ‘If I’m meant to turn left, I’ll instinctively want to turn right’ he later claimed, making him sound like Princess Diana’s driver. His schoolboy charm was a winner though, and he knew it, talking nervously from under his brow. I noticed matching shirt and socks. Bizarrely, in any office this does mark a man as someone with coordination, which is odd, as aside from shirt and tie, it’s the only decision on colour a man in pinstripe would have to make. It’s not difficult.

On an unrelated note, I was shocked when I noticed Lohit’s full name for the first time. Lohit Kalburgi, it sounds like a Japanese car crossed with a dutch cheese.

In the interviews, it all came frothing to the top. All the crap that had been spoken was suddenly exposed, dredged and ultimately flushed away. What we learned was this. Tre is a bullshitter, Simon is a crap landlord and little else, Katie is a psychopath, Lohit is a little bit timid and Kristina is really, really bloody good. She really must win.

Tre was dissected, literally torn apart by the unkempt interviewer who wanted, not unfairly, to boil down the facts on Tre’s experience. In his own words, Tre was apparently an international business consultant with five job titles applicable to different roles. Under pressure, it was revealed that Tre worked in his father’s business, which somewhat undermined absolutely everything he’d ever bloody said all series. I’m sure, if my retired Dad were to set up a business selling lemonade from the front of his house he’d be happy to take me on board as a lemonade taster, and would be able to give me some vague and impressive-sounding job title like ‘FMCG Analyst’. Tre stuttered and ummed and aahed and could come back with nothing when asked if the five worldwide businesses he operated from were actually bedrooms. The interview became a post mortem, and Tre’s days were numbered. When asked, as a self-styled ‘computer-expert’ why he hadn’t done any research, even googled Sugar’s business, he blankly stared ahead and muttered weird little nothings.

Lohit, who appeared very little (both in terms of stature and screentime), was effectively told by the same interviewer that he was a nice guy, but not what was needed. Better to be honest, rather than waste someone’s time with a needless grilling I suppose. He didn’t manage to claim any points back with the other interviewers, and it all fell apart. Still, when he was eventually fired, he was given a nice send off. ‘You’re a good, fine fellow’, Sugar said, as he departed.

Katie scared the shit out of me. With the cold, hard stare of a genocidal maniac, she claimed that, out of ten, her CV displayed an eight on the ‘ruthlessness scale’. Considering she’d written (on her fucking CV) that she’d stolen a married man from his wife because she ‘wanted him’, I’d say she warrants a ten. What sort of mental freak would put that in a CV? And why, when it came to the boardroom, did they all say she had something special? Thankfully the Mark Heap lookalike chipped in with some negative comments but she was defended to the hilt by the sleazy sod, who clearly fancied her. Her interview with him was like the split beaver scene in Basic Instinct. He even looked a little bit like Newman out of Seinfeld.

Simon, having taken the mantle of comic contestant from Tre some time ago, teetered on the brink of triumph and disaster constantly, providing the show’s real entertainment. Without entering the room, his CV had already insulted the bald interviewer on age discrimination grounds. ‘I’ve achieved more than people double my age’ it asserted. ‘I’m more than double your age, and I’ve done more than you’, he countered, to silence and a little chuckle from the boy Ambrose. It came to light that Simon’s only real enterprise was as the landlord of a house. It was a piece of genius to bring out the testimonial of one of his tenants, who complained of television ariels being replaced by coat hangers and horrible blocked bogs. Again, Simon chuckled his endearing chuckle and took the flak, to his credit. Better to admit your failing than do a Tre and get bolshy (as such). On the positive side, he knew everything there was to know about Amstrad, thus fulfilling a very important criteria. If you know nothing about the company you’re looking to work for, it’s very unlikely you’ll fit in. Simon could identify areas where he’d excel, so he’s readymade for working there. Smart thinking.

But not as smart as Kristina. We’ve all known, since those sausages started sizzling in the week they went to France, that Kristina would be in the final. And she sailed through the interviews as though she were applying for a job in Tescos. No question rattled her, and the interviewers struggled to find fault.

The boardroom went weird. Tre and Lohit were easily disposed of. But then, against the wishes of every viewer and the basics of common sense, Katie was pronounced to be ‘in’. Despite the fact she was a body language car crash with the face of the Joker, she had wormed her way in, probably using some abrasive hypnosis. Which meant it was between Simon and Kristina. One had to go. Shocking, you would think, but then a twist. Sugar questioned Katie’s suitability for the role in terms of outside commitments. And she backed down. Whether it was Sugar’s lack of faith in her or her own priorities, she backed down and the final two were then decided. Very strange. I’m not sure what I make of the whole palaver, but I thoroughly bloody enjoyed it.

It’s between Kristina and Simon, and unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong for Kristina (ie, she chooses Katie and Tre to work with her), she should run away with it.

Big Brother: Diary Room UNCUT

June 6, 2007

Diary Room 

I’m going to keep this one really short as I don’t want to add too much to the already numerous reviews of this seminal piece of TV, nor do I want to be instrumental in turning this blog into another reality TV bitch-off. Therefore this will hopefully be the first and last time I personally write about this pop-culture gulag we seem to love to hate so much…

That said, I do want to really briefly talk about the late night ‘Diary Room UNCUT’ edition that I watched last night in my hotel room.

‘Uncut’ is a tag that advertisers and programmers like to use to lure us into thinking there will be footage not suitable for the normal broadcast contained within. This is not true. This is Big Brother; when you’ve already screened the footage of a Rotherham slag and her romantic encounter with a wine bottle there is very little left that could fit under the banner ‘not suitable for normal broadcast.’ Bar the occasional racist limmerick, there is nothing that these voyeuristic hawkers won’t show to garner more ratings, therefore the subtitle ‘Uncut’ is a very large misnomer.

Unless, that is, ‘Uncut’ simply refers to the footage they haven’t already used yet. The pauses, the yawns, the dull conversations… and in that case ‘Uncut’ is technically correct, although will never live up to it’s lurid promise.

All the above is irrelevant, though, as the show is very clearly ‘cut.’ See those little shots of the corridor changing colour, or the focus shifts to cameras in the garden? We editors call those cutaways and we use them to hide edits within the same shot. Big Brother Diary Room Uncut is the reality TV equivilent of an Oliver Stone movie; it is remastered fact and trimmed truth and I find the use of the word ‘UNCUT’ in the title baffling. It’s like calling the show ‘Big Brother Diary Room with No Strobes’ and then having half an hour of epileptic-baiting flashing lights.

I can only assume that the creators of said show simply decided that ‘UNCUT’ was a great and provocative title, and didn’t give any thought to the dictionary, relative or generally accepted meaning of the word. In any instance.

Next week they start the new spin-off show: Big Brother in the Nude. Contrary to the title it won’t feature any nudity, or indeed anything about Big Brother. Instead it’s a bit of footage of the outside of a house in Limmerick, and then a music video by Sister Sledge. Fucking great TV.

Watching The Seven Ages Of Rock, Drunk

June 5, 2007

Jonathan Rotten 

I’ve missed the first two episodes of this show because I work for a rock magazine and I’m pretty much rocked out come the weekend. However, because I couldn’t be bothered to change channels, I watched this one … and I watched it drunk. This is what I learned:

In 1976 or 1975 The Ramones or maybe The New York Dolls played some stuff that definitely wasn’t anything like Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and certainly had nothing to do with Yes, Genesis, Asia or Pink Floyd. Because The Ramones (or possibly The New York Dolls) did this some very angry people in England picked up their instruments and did something similar.

Meanwhile the lead singer of The Buzzcocks grew up to bear a striking resemblance to Stuart Maconie, Joe Strummer couldn’t sing live to save his life and Johnny Rotten was a rotter. And a bounder probably. Sid Vicious (the Happy Shopper Glen Matlock) replaced Glen Matlock (the Kwik Save Sid Vicious) and The Sex Pistols fell apart. This was either because a) They were rubbished in America or b) Their songs were rubbish after Glen left or c) They were just rubbish generally. Anyway. Because The Sex Pistols broke up, rock’s gates were left unguarded and waves of Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Lombards and Huns in the shape of Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Visage, ABC, Ultravox and Dexy’s Midnight Runners overran the fortress and pissed all over the campfires. Metaphorically … ahem. This was a bad thing. To show what a bad thing this was the show concluded with Johnny Rotten’s rotten, rubbish, risible (awful) band Public Image – the worst band ever in the history of the world, even worse than Tin Machine or The Plastic Ono Band.

Most of the above either did or did not happen. Because the man who fronts The Buzzcocks looked so strikingly like Stuart Maconie I spent most of the show talking about Stuart Maconie to my other half. The discussion centred around ITV’s disgraceful decision to axe Collins and Maconie’s Movie Club. This show was infinitely preferable to watching YET ANOTHER FUCKING SHOW ABOUT ROCK MUSIC.

GOODNIGHT!