Archive for March, 2009

WWM Weekly Bastard: Trevor Jordache

March 25, 2009

Shifty off Bread

Over the years, television’s thrown up its fair share of shitbags, bad eggs and turds. We like to call these people ‘Bastards’, and in the first of a new weekly series, we here at WWM turn our sights on that bastard Trevor Jordache – Brookside’s very own Satan made flesh, who slithered onto the close in 1993 …

Tracking down the family he’d abused to a safe house, Trevor used his lovable Irish charm (or: bare-faced lies) to worm his way back into his wife Mandy’s affections, and then quickly set about destroying not only her life, but also the lives of his two daughters, Rachael and Beth.

He took to the bottle, sexually abused his youngest daughter in her bed as his wife slept next door, drove his eldest daughter (who he’d also abused as a little girl) away from home and beat and humiliated his wife Mandy so badly over the course of a year that there was only ever one way this disgusting Irish ratbag’s storyline was going to end: murder.

And what an entertaining murder it was too! First Mandy and Beth tried feeding Trevor weed killer, but that only gave him a stomach ache. Then the two desperate women tried grinding up aspirins in his milk. Catching them in the act, Trevor roared, ‘Yis bloody pair o’ bitches!’, and set about beating his daughter to death. And so, with Trevor otherwise engaged, poor, put-upon Mandy did the decent thing and stabbed the bastard in the back.

Then it was only a matter of burying him under the patio, getting found out, going on the run, ending up in prison, Beth dying of a heart defect whilst banged up, Mandy being acquitted, Trevor’s mother trying to kill her, blah blah blah …

Trevor was the most appalling example of a wife-beating drunken child abuser soap has ever seen. Even Little Mo’s tormentor Trevor (what is it about that name?) couldn’t come close … primarily because he didn’t diddle kids. It is for that reason that we at WWM are proud to announce Trevor Jordache’s inaugeration into the WWM TV Bastards Hall of Fame. Trevor – we salute you, you complete and utter bastard!

Have YOU got a favourite TV bastard? Tell us who it is, and they could appear as a half-arsed filler article in a future edition of your Super Sunshine Watch With Mothers …

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NewsGush: BAFTA for Brown?

March 24, 2009

June Brown Dot Cotton Eastenders BAFTA

So, Dot Cotton (or June Brown, if you’re one of those fools who thinks Eastenders is real) has been nominated for a BAFTA. Which is exciting.

Isn’t it?

Well – it’s nice Dot’s got some recognition, but generally I think we’ve decided that awards ceremonies are overlong, boring slag sessions in which those with no talent heap more praise on egos already tottering with adulation-overload.

Here are the main categories, and the nominees.

Best actor
Stephen Dillane – The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall (Channel 4)
Jason Isaacs – The Curse of Steptoe (BBC Four)
Ken Stott – Hancock and Joan (BBC Four)
Ben Whishaw – Criminal Justice (BBC One)

Best actress
June Brown – EastEnders (BBC One)
Anna Maxwell Martin – Poppy Shakespeare (Channel 4)
Maxine Peake – Hancock and Joan (BBC Four)
Andrea Riseborough – Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (BBC Four)

Best entertainment performance
Stephen Fry – QI (BBC Two)
Harry Hill – Harry Hill’s TV Burp (ITV1)
Anthony McPartlin & Declan Donnelly – I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! (ITV1)
Jonathan Ross – Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (BBC One)

Best comedy performance
Rob Brydon – Gavin and Stacey (BBC Three)
Sharon Horgan – Pulling (BBC Three)
David Mitchell – Peep Show (Channel 4)
Claire Skinner – Outnumbered (BBC One)

Best single drama
Einstein and Eddington (BBC Two)
Hancock and Joan (BBC Four)
The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall (Channel 4)
White Girl (BBC Two)

Best drama serial
Criminal Justice (BBC One)
Dead Set (Channel 4)
The Devil’s Whore (Channel 4)
House of Saddam (BBC Two)

Best drama series
Doctor Who (BBC One)
Shameless (Channel 4)
Spooks (BBC One)
Wallander (BBC One)

Best continuing drama
The Bill (ITV1)
Casualty (BBC One)
EastEnders (BBC One)
Emmerdale (ITV1)

Best factual series
Amazon with Bruce Parry (BBC Two)
Blood Sweat and T-Shirts (BBC Three)
The Family (Channel 4)
Ross Kemp in Afghanistan (Sky One)

Best entertainment programme
The Friday/Sunday Night Project (Channel 4)
Harry Hill’s TV Burp (ITV1)
QI (BBC One)
The X Factor (ITV1)

Best situation comedy
The Inbetweeners (Channel 4)
The IT Crowd (Channel 4)
Outnumbered (BBC One)
Peep Show (Channel 4)

Best comedy programme
Harry and Paul (BBC One)
The Peter Serafinowicz Show (BBC Two)
Star Stories (Channel 4)
That Mitchell and Webb Look (BBC Two)

Best single documentary
A Boy Called Alex (Channel 4)
Chosen (Channel 4)
The Fallen (BBC Two)
Thriller in Manila (More 4)

Best feature
The Apprentice (BBC One)
Celebrity MasterChef (BBC One)
The Choir: Boys Don’t Sing (BBC Two)
Top Gear (BBC Two)

Best international show
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (More 4)
Dexter (ITV1)
Mad Men (BBC Four)
The Wire (FX)

Best specialist factual
Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery (BBC Four)
Life in Cold Blood (BBC One)
Lost Land of the Jaguar (BBC One)
Stephen Fry and the Gutenberg Press: The Machine That Made Us (BBC Four)

Best current affairs
Saving Africa’s Witch Children – Dispatches (Channel 4)
Mum Loves Drugs, Not Me – Dispatches (Channel 4)
Omagh: What the Police Were Never Told – Panorama (BBC One)
Ross Kemp: A Kenya Special (Sky One)

Best news coverage
Channel 4 News (Channel 4)
News at Ten – Chinese Earthquake (ITV1)
Sky News – Canoe Man (Sky News)
Sky News – Mumbai (Sky News)

Best sport
Cheltenham Gold Cup – Denman v Kauto Star (Channel 4)
ITV1 F1: Brazilian Grand Prix (ITV1)
Olympics 2008 (BBC One)
Wimbledon – The Men’s Final (BBC One)

Best interactivity
Bryony Makes a Zombie Movie (BBC Three)
Embarrassing Bodies Online (Channel 4)
Merlin (BBC One)
Olympics 2008 (BBC One)

Are there any of those who you think, rather than being praised, should be pulled from the airwaves? Are there any on the list who drive you to exhibit psychopathic fury?

Shall we have our own awards ceremony?

One’s already started on Twitter, called The #Twaftas. How about The WWMAFTAs, 2009?

One Minute Review: Snog Marry Avoid?

March 24, 2009

Over to BBC Three land, where dunces are served hand-pumped goblets of drivel. Snog Marry Avoid? is a confused show which lacks a brain, in addition to all those missing commas.

The format is as follows:

  • We’re introduced to a supposedly tragic individual – underdressed, over-accessorised, half-naked, exhibitionist.
  • They’re interviewed by a sarcastic machine called ‘Pod’ who mocks their dress sense.
  • ‘Pod’ shows them footage of men who, having seen a photograph, have decided whether they’d snog, marry or avoid the contestant – generally revealing more about themselves than the person they’re judging (i.e. I would marry someone on the strength of a photograph).
  • The contestants are made to remove all their make-up – and all of them react as though this will kill them.
  • They are ‘made-under’ – and dressed like the clones in Grazia magazine.
  • The ‘snog, marry, avoid’ process is repeated.
  • They like it.
  • The end.

The major issue with the show is that the prey are all teenagers. Teenagers who are meant to look stupid. We appear to have reached a point where teen girls are expected to dress like graceful secretaries from Mad Men, but when I was 17 all the young ladies I knew dressed like military goths or slutty Polly Pockets. The boys in Snog Marry Avoid end up looking like utter arseholes from GAP adverts, but surely the teenage boy should be a greasy, shabby mess of hatred and resentment?

And the other thing that makes this show borderline unprocessable is that it moves along at such a zippy rate and is so inhumanly chirpy that it feels like you’ve danced through time and are watching ceebeebies in the early morning.

Maybe it’s meant for children.

Avoid. Like the plague.

NewsGush: Dancing On Ice Expires

March 23, 2009

So, Dancing On Ice drew to a close over the weekend.

I, for one, am proud to announce that I wasn’t one of the 10.8 million people who tuned in – and what’s more, I successfully managed to avoid seeing the entire series. This has been possible thanks to complex planning and a meticulous approach to avoiding ITV unless absolutely necessary.

Apparently Ray Quinn – the small mutant who didn’t win X Factor one year – won it. So well done to small, mutant boy-child, Ray Quinn.

10.8 million is an enormous amount of people. Were you one of them?

Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night

March 23, 2009

There are times when you really have to wonder what the fucking point of it all is.

Why bother watching yet another terrible piece of television with the intention to write about it when, in reality, it will have little or no effect or purpose? Chris Moyles will always be successful and no amount of barbed critique from an anonymous blog writer will change that. So why not abandon the flowery wordplay, reclaim my wasted hour and do something more pleasant like sit in a park or make love to a beautiful woman instead?

Well, to answer my own question, I do it because I have to – to make it known that while Rome burned and civilisation fell from the sky I stood amongst a small band of brothers who resisted, as long as possible, the enslaught of mediocrity. I may not have marched against the war, I may have not fought to defend freedom but at least I carpe diem-ed when the time seemed right and dared to exclaim to all who read – ‘this programme is SHIT.’

So, here’s a few things you need to know about Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night:

  • Following a very expensive opening sequence which features the title – Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night – in huge letters, Moyles enters and introduces with the explanatory sentence “Welcome to Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night – I’m Chris Moyles, and this is my quiz night” which should go some way in helping you to understand the highly attentive and sharply intuitive sort of audience he’s aiming for.
  • It purports to be a topical quiz ripped straight from the headlines when in truth it’s actually the sort of quiz that takes a recent event and uses it as a springboard for an irrelevant and unrelated question; “the Pope said this week that condoms are part of the problem in combating AIDS, thus further hindering the plight of millions of infected Africans in acquiring life-saving medicine – but how many condoms does Nuts Magazine hottie Sophie Howard say she uses during a three-hour sex session?” for example.
  • It takes the guise of a pub quiz crossed with an ITV talk show, in which guests answer questions posed by an (almost literally) phoned in celebrity appearance while Moyles attempts some form of sycophantic banter that results, more often than not, in awkward silences, shouty bullshit or streams of abuse.
  • It’s less fun that a pub quiz – in fact it’s less fun that sitting alone during a pub quiz and not taking part.
  • His guests are the level of average not seen since Davina McCall’s chat show; either fellow traders of shit TV (Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne), ironically booked institutions who should know better (Barbara Windsor) or permascowled hip musicians who clearly think TV quiz shows are more rewarding than their chosen art form (Mark Ronson).
  • As well as having a format that looks suspiciously like the Big Fat End of the Year Quiz, it also features obligatory cameos from well known television personalities trying to appear hip and switched on by appearing in what their agents have no doubt told them will be a ratings winner. The idea is clearly to create the illusion that Moyles is now a member of an elite team of Channel 4 broadcasters  who all love, cherish and adore each others work; although it’s actually more of a name-dropping fiasco that serves as an extended commercial for more inanely pointless drivel. “Hi, I’m James Corden and I’m obviously in some kind of press junket room for my new, overhyped movie Lesbian Vampire Killers, but how many lesbians does Nuts Magazine hottie Sophie Howard claim she’s slept with in her lifetime?”
  • For all his success and acclaim the fact still remains that Chris Moyles is a deeply uncharismatic personality – he may well work on radio but on TV he comes across as a beligerant drunk wallowing in his own ego with enough cash to silence anyone who says otherwise.
  • It runs for 50 minutes… 50 fucking minutes of cheap and crass mind swabbing… it’s almost as if the producers dared themselves to make it an hour but chickened out at the last minute, fearing some kind of nationwide brain-haemorrhaging from which the country would never recover.
  • “Hi, we’re Richard and Judy and we’re currently trying to get back in with Channel 4 after our disasterous decision to headline the channel Watch, but how many pornos does Nuts Magazine hottie Sophie Howard say she watches a week?” Etc.

I reckon that’s about all you need to know.

NewGush: Mitchell’s Corporate Moan

March 20, 2009

Click here.

A quite amusing video of David Mitchell slagging off Dragons’ Den, The Weakest Link and Come Dine With Me with aplomb.

I wonder how much he’s getting paid for these ‘Soap Box’ clips? Perhaps he could reserve his next rant for comedians who waste material on promoting cleaning products?

I suppose we’ve all got to make our dollar somehow.

The Friday Question – Killer Combos

March 20, 2009

Friday Question - Killer Combos, image by BP Perry

After carefully examining the available evidence, your Honour, WWM has concluded the Armstrong / Miller / Mitchell / Webb cross-contamination incident which occurred on last week’s mainly mirthless Comic Relief was surprisingly good. Indeed, the pairing was such a roaring success (well … it was in the context of the rest of the pig shit on offer that night anyway), it’s got us wondering what other television super groups we’d like to see grace our screens.

Would the epic teaming of Loadsofmoney, Kevin’s Teenager, Stavrakebabros and Wayno and Waynola Scum in the same sketch produce comedy gold? Or would it go down about as well as setting light to your own farts would at a family funeral?

Would Paxman and Humphries bating the same politician at the same time be the greatest political interrogation tag team the earth has ever seen? Or would they end up bickering amongst themselves, leaving their quarry to slink back to Westminster unharmed?

And just how much of a disaster would Jim Davidson & Ben Elton’s Big Break actually be?

So, come on, WWMers! Let’s have your ideal television mash-ups! Who do YOU think should team up to produce television magnificence, and who do you reckon would go together about as well as a shit and pickle sandwich?

Over to you …

Heston’s Tudor Feast

March 19, 2009

The first episode in Heston’s series of Feasts garnered some rave reviews, but I was left scratching my head. Episode two had me running for a sick bucket. This week’s outing made me certain I was watching a literary adaptation of The Emperor’s New Clothes which cunningly attached both the modern culture of semi-celebrity and our great nation’s tedious obsession with food to that marvellous fable and its inherent truth.

The title of the story has become lazy shorthand for trends that have no actual worth, but in this case the similarities in the details are too glaring to ignore. Swindler Heston convinces food critics, celebrities and the rich that his fantastic creations are the finest available, whilst the informed viewer sees just how pointless the whole farrago is. The food critics, celebrities and rich folk, taking on the role of King, eat his wares and claim it’s the most wonderful fare they’ve ever consumed – when the audience can see that it’s not much more than a barely cooked fish covered in its own blood. A disgusting, turkey flavoured milkshake. Or a pie caked in birdshit.

Sadly there’s no small boy present to point out the error of their ways.

It was probably a bad idea on Heston’s part, appearing in this series. Though the ratings are probably good and the press has been positive, we’ve now seen inside his kitchen and had more than our share of seeing his methodology in action. And we’ve also seen that the majority of his output involves pointlessly wacky combinations of incompatible flavours.

The supposed mythical beast last night was a complete rip off – a badly-constructed special effect with a food compartment from which they served chicken roll. The dessert was rice pudding and a sweet puree in the shape of bangers and mash – which is an interesting concept for two minutes, before you remember you’re a grown adult. I remember seeing marzipan fruit as a youngster and being utterly disappointed when I sank my teeth into it. I doubt this was much different.

But that’s half of his game. He makes stuff look like other stuff. He uses sheets and sheets of gelatin to mould stuff into shapes they shouldn’t be in. His approach to food is Willy Wonka – which is fine for the odd novelty sweet, but for a main of meat and veg seems dashed silly. This isn’t really cookery – it’s a grown man playing about with ingredients as if they’re play-doh and serving them to star-struck idiots who’ve been told to behave as though it’s the height of sophistication.

The likes of Jay Rayner, Alex Zane and Cilla Black may coo over the food, declaring it to be amazing, but their plaudits seem a little hollow. It’s as though they’d expected riches and been confronted by the flabby girth of their own pomposity, as swindler Heston chuckled in the background.