Archive for July, 2008

The A-Team

July 21, 2008

I used to think The A-Team was great when I was a kid – really, really great. Sadly, twenty years down the line, it turns out the show’s a big pile of shit. I know this now because I watched five episodes back-to-back on Sunday and they were all awful. I was dismayed to discover that my childhood heroes were twits. That’s right, TWITS.

BA is a whining bully covered in a heap of stupid gold jewellery, Hannibal is a smug twat, Murdoch’s loony ways are annoying instead of amusing and Face is a greasy arsehole. All four together piss you off. They should be called ‘The Shitty Team’, or ‘The Twats Team’ … or something much more amusing than those last two suggestions.

The opening narration goes like this:

“In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. They promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.”

However, the opening monologue should really go like this:

“In 1972, four twats ran away from the Vietnam War and hid in a van in Los Angeles in the 80s. There, still wanted by the government, they survived in plain sight by starring in movies, being committed to state insane asylums, running a string of businesses, and being a car mechanic with the most recognizable look of anyone in the entire Los Angeles area – so, out of sight, out of mind, then. If you’ve borrowed money off a loan shark and now don’t want to pay the money back, and if you can find them (which doesn’t seem all that hard, as it ‘appens), then maybe you can hire that shower of wazzocks – The A-Team.”

That’s what happened in one show. An Italian bloke borrowed money off this loan shark chap, and then went running to the fucking A-Team when he couldn’t meet the (admittedly outrageous) repayments. And what did that old twat Hannibal do?

Well, he didn’t tell the old Italian fella to go fuck himself. No. He put on a bloody awful Oirish accent, borrowed money off the shark, opened an Oirish pub, then bust the shark’s ass with the aid of his team. At no stage did anyone say to the Italian bloke that borrowing $10,000 off a man who tells you he’ll ‘break yer head’ if you don’t repay triple the amount back was a stupid idea. No, they just meted out the justice – A-Team style – on the loan shark. Alright, so the shark deserved it, but surely the Italian guy deserved a smack on the kisser from BA’s big fat fists for being so stupid? Apparently not.

In another episode, an old bastard was in danger of losing the foster home he ran because he’d run up massive gambling debts. The heavies moved in, punched the old guy in the guts, and he signed over his house in lieu of payment. Fair enough, you might think … but no! Off his daughter runs to Hannibal! And what does he do? Does he tell her her dad can go whistle if he thinks his team of 1972 crack commandos is bailing the old bastard out of his self-inflicted gambling debts? Does he arse! He fires up the team and busts the ass of the man who’s owed money! Problem solved! Huzzah! Huzzah for the fucking A-Team!

None of this bothered me when I was ten. I was in it for the guns and the car chases and BA refusing to get on planes ‘n’ shit. I enjoyed the way the team could make an Apache attack helicopter out of three slices of cake and a fish finger. I loved it when Face got the poodle-haired ladies, when BA cracked some heads, when Hannibal dressed up in a stupid wig to deceive the bad guy, and I loved it when Murdoch went bonkers in a wedding dress. Most of all, I loved it when a plan came together.

Well not anymore. The A-Team are dead to me now, DEAD. Now I know they’re a bunch of bastards who’ll help out any old cunt with a sob-story, regardless of whether that cunt’s the author of his own misfortune or not.

“In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit.”

They should have been put in front of a firing squad.

Jean Slater

July 21, 2008


In the absence of a proper article, a brief and shoddily-made tribute to everyone’s favourite fictional schizophrenic.

Normal service will be resumed…

The Friday Question: Trivial TV Star Information

July 18, 2008

One from Napoleon, sent to me last week:

With the welcome news that not only is Reg Varney alive, but he was also 92 last Friday (Happy Birthday, Reg), WWM wants to know what trivial facts YOU know about our most beloved TV stars.

Why do we ask? Because Reg wasn’t only the man behind the wheels of a London bus in the 60s, he was also the first man to use the first cash machine in these here British Isles.

So, what useless information on televisual superstars, past and present, do you have hidden away in that noggin of yours?

Well? COME ON!

Also… if you fancy reading about what TV’s ugliest personalities are like in the sack, you’d not do much better than clicking here

Coors Light

July 17, 2008

This is one of those odd ones that I hate/like.

A bit like shaving your balls, it’s not nice to do but I like the way it feels afterwards. Or wanking off looking at pictures of your mum, which is nice at the time but after it you feel a bit… well… suicidal.

The advert starts with the usual humourless twattery; bubbles, filters, clean, cool…beer-guff – the sort of shite they wheel out for people too scared to drink proper ale (which should be dark brown, flat, a little cooler than warm and drunk by men – not baseball hatted tossers with three quarter-length shorts and Billabong t-shirts).

We’ve seen it all before. Swirling effervescent liquid glittering like silver sunflakes in tan gutmud with some Burton-deep narration – rich and manly – eulogising over it. Wonderful, delicious etc… hyperbole in a glass.

But wait. No. Something’s not right. The camera has pulled up through this pond of gassy gall and two young men are in conversation… Wait – the one on the right appears to be the one actually narrating… The one on the right IS the man evangelising about the wonders of Coors.


Now this is fucking annoying. At this stage of proceedings my exasperation dam has broken and a flood of rasping sighs gas into my living space like a farting cow. The tit on the left castigates the ‘narrator’ on the right for ‘doing that’ but by now my tolerance is repaired, something wonderful is about to occur…

I really don’t understand why this has happened; I can’t comprehend why any part of my being seismically shifts as it does. I mentally down tools and like a five-year-old waiting for the steam train to round the mountain, I freeze in anticipation for the narration to continue off-camera. The two protagonists look at each other in silent astonishment, then look behind.

Approaching them, extolling the virtues of the ‘clean crisp taste’ in exactly the same throaty tones as the narrator is a plain looking girl with a rather large mouth. Sweet Christ, no.

SHE’S the narrator, it’s her!! She’s nothing to look at. She’s mousey and a little rotund but something about her, the way she walks and the manner in which she ‘speaks’. The coquettish way she chinks her bottle at the end of her sentence. Dear reader… I FUCKING LOVE HER!

I’m left sitting there in silence, grinning from ear-to-ear like an utter twit, like I’ve just been touched by the hand of Christ. Why has this happened?

Oh beautiful Coors girl, be mine, be mine, you fat frog.

Sky+ ad

July 16, 2008

Note to Kelly Brook

If you’re on an advert, you’re not meant to make it obvious that you’re trying very hard to remember what it is your advertising. And stop, like, talking to the cameraman as though you’re trying to convince him you can just about remember why you’re in front of his camera in the first place. You twit.

Note to Sky

Never book Kelly Brook ever, ever again

One Minute Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

July 15, 2008

Composer’s actress girlfriend leaves him for rock star, Russell Brand. Composer goes to Hawaii to get over it, despite knowing ex will be there. Ex is there. Russell Brand is a tame version of himself, talking like Davie Jones of the Monkees. He’s a rock star because that means he can do comedy songs to make screen time pass a bit more quickly. The songs are quite funny.

The receptionist at the hotel is attractive and is clearly the second love interest from the moment she appears onscreen – thus all will-she / won’t-she drama is squibbed. Nothing really happens for an hour. Then the end happens.

I know you shouldn’t go looking for enlightenment in a Judd Apatow film, but you’d have thought you might get a few belly-laughs.

That chubby stoner from Knocked Up is here as a stalker-like fan of Brand’s band, Infant Sorrow. He isn’t really given any material you’d call ‘comic’. The one black character – a big, fat barman – is meant to be an amusing character, I think, because all he does is list things. Which isn’t very funny. There’s a thread about a wimpy newlywed on honeymoon who’s scared of sex, but that one failed to raise a smile. The surfing stoner played by the husband in Knocked Up kept forgetting things. I think he was also meant to be funny. It’s quite tricky working out what you’re meant to be laughing at which, for a comedy, poses a problem.

Russell Brand does his usual schtick, but a diluted, American-family-friendly version of it, so all potential for cheekiness and irreverence is snuffed out. Brand with a script isn’t quite the same beast as the sex-freak with the haircut when he’s allowed to improvise. He’s a little bit wasted here, but you’d imagine it’d be a challenge to give him a role in anything, being as he’s developed his own persona. In a way, he’s stuck with himself, much like Frankie Howerd or Kenneth Williams were.

The only remarkable aspect of the whole film is the fact that you see the leading man’s penis on two occasions. The comedy reveal of his winky is another failed laugh-prod, ultimately feeling like a pretty desperate attempt to shove in something for bloggers to talk about – like the ‘crowning’ scene in Knocked Up – another example of a tacked on shocker.

All in all – not as annoying or rubbish as Knocked Up, and without the occasional quality gags.

Apatow’s surely had his time… while the likes of Stiller, Ferrell and Sandler have all long outstayed their welcome. Can Hollywood do us some decent comedy now, please?

Who Dares… Sings

July 14, 2008

I’m watching television with some friends. Not really concentrating, just something to stare at while we smoke.  On comes ‘Who Dares… Sings.’  Already, I’m firing up my hate-cylinders. It almost feels too easy, more like an execution then a superior sneer at some bottom of the barrel programming.
As it starts, it’s all Saturday night studio and Woolworth’s glamour. The airbrushed presenters lead the crowd in two verses of some random pop song for no reason at all. The words even flash up on screen, making the television into some kind of live karaoke machine. On comes Michelle – she’ll be singing against Kathy. Michelle starts a bit shakily but gets into the swing of it. The crowd are doing that weird clap-along-for-the-sake-of-it thing that prime time herds seem to love. Kathy does her tune, both girls gush about how they thought the other should have gone through and how well the other did.  Kathy wins, everybody cheers Michelle, she sits down happy that she got her fifteen minutes.
Something is deeply wrong here. Although it ticks all the right hate checkpoints, I just can’t sneer at it. There’s something deeply refreshing about it. Nobody judges the singers, everybody’s happy to participate… it’s a competition yet it’s not the end of the world if they lose. Somehow, everybody has a bit of a singalong and goes home happy without stabbing anybody in the back. After all, it’s only television, right?
Later on, we’re watching America’s Got Talent. A group of girls have traveled half way across the country to rap at an audience for thirty seconds. Instantly, the crowd start booing. They literally get about twenty seconds before they’re made to stop. As Piers Morgan gets ready to sneer, his brain wiring up the most humiliating, most witty put down he can muster, I glimpse his face and see how he can’t wait to tell these people how rubbish they are and how mundane their performance was. I look into his puckered face and see myself in his sneer. That feeling – ready and waiting to tear them down for daring to not appeal to his cultural sensibilities, for wasting his time – and I’m a little bit more than uncomfortable.
That night, I had a dream. Me and Piers, tied together while Ben Shephard and Denise Van Outen laughed at our pitiful, hate-filled existence. It wasn’t a sneer, it was a genuine belly-laugh, like there was a joke we couldn’t fathom. Michelle looked at us like we were recently-kicked puppies.

It’s probably symbolic of something.

The Friday Question: Youtube it?

July 11, 2008

Bryony Matthewman (what sort of name is that?)  has been commissioned by the BBC for a series based on her Youtube exploits. Adam Buxton missed out on a MeeBox commission with sketches based on his Youtube archive because of the idiotic decision to make BBC3 a home for morons… As a result, WWM was thinking about the Youtube clips that might be ripe for a good old fashioned, six-parts-to-a-series fleshing out…

Maybe Fat Cat could have his own series on CBeebies, detailing his attempts to squeeze through small spaces.

That singing Korean guitar-child could perform the entire Beatles back catalogue in front of stunning backdrops – the Taj Mahal, Tower of London etc… with collaborations from Ringo and Macca.

What about firework-leg man in a series of 30 second shorts in which progressively larger fireworks, crackers, rockets, minor explosives and atom bombs are attached to his limbs till he’s nothing but a shrivelled, burned nub?

What Youtube sensation do you think has the legs to run and run?