Seen Crimewatch recently? Like all other TV, it’s gone mother-loving mental. The graphics as you enter their reconstructed world makes it seem like they’re parodying Brass Eye, which is quite a neat trick. They pip a parody at its own game by re-parodying it without shame. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, the BBC seem to be saying.
There’s no more Nick Ross these days, he retired recently. We haven’t got Jill Dando either, what with her getting shot by Freddie Mercury, so we’re left with a robot and a cockney giant.
Fiona Bruce was born in Singapore according to Wikipedia. Singapore is the home of electronic goods, which only confirms my suspicion that Bruce is a manufactured droid (product ID: FB2000) and not to be trusted. When she ‘does’ sincere she sounds like a terrifyingly stoic doctor confirming the fact that you only have two hours to live, at which point your genitals will eat your own anus. She delivers bad news like a newsreader that’s just risen from a 100-year sleep. She scares me silly.
We also have to deal with the bewildering absence of Jackie Haynes – the real copper who I used to have a crush on when I was a lad in the 80s. They’ve now got this chap called ‘Rav’ in, who I think is also a real life member of her Majesty’s fuzz. You wouldn’t want a ruck with Rav as he’s built like an armour-plated brick shitter. He’s also got this weird, matey, broad cockney way with words alongside a cocky manner which is immediately amiable. But then you remember he’s a peeler and it sort of ruins the chumminess. Not that all coppers are bastards.
Last night’s crimes were all far more disturbing than I remembered them being when I used to watch The ‘Watch. A taxi driver got garroted and then had his legs set fire to. We saw pictures of his flaking, pussy pins and watched him choking on his tears as he related his horror. His mate back at the taxi rank was gutted too. It made me bloody miserable and what’s more, I don’t live in the North so I can’t do a single thing to help. I considered calling up with the names of a few enemies from schooldays to stick them in the frame out of spite but didn’t bother in the end.
There was a sequence where some nasty Manc-lads went mental with a crowbar to ‘alf-inch some money-boxes from a couple of security oafs. In stark contrast to the taxi reconstruction, this was bloody well made stuff. It resonated like a Shane Meadows film, the dialogue echoed Ken Loach, the violence reminiscent of Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth. Shame it was only two minutes long.
The show lasts for an hour and I was forced to bow out early. A young asian man got blinded by a gunshot wound to the face and by that point I’d had about all I could stomach. It wasn’t the actual footage, reconstruction or the appeals that got to me, it was Fiona. Her attempt to put things into layman’s terms made me cringe more than the footage of the crispy legged taxi man. At one point she even said this:
‘Stranger rape is becoming common and, on average lasts, what? Twenty minutes?’
The ‘what’ in there is desperately uncomfortable. When someone says ‘what’ in the middle of a sentence like that they’re usually trawling their brain for the last experience they have of doing the thing they’re describing. ‘Go left at the traffic lights and then carry on for, what, 20 minutes?’.
It doesn’t work in a description of rape. It’s like saying ‘his scorched legs were left with 90% burns, give or take a couple of scabs’. So cut the colloquialisms Bruce – you’re a newsreader, not a brickie.
Still, Crimewatch is great, it’s an overblown, sensationalist load of hogwash and you’re more likely to win the lottery than help them nab a thief, but I still love it. Even better, since the dawn of CCTV the photfits are not only blurry and freaky, they now move. Don’t have nightmares. I am ordering you to not have nightmares.