Archive for the ‘One Minute Reviews’ Category

One Minute Review: Willie’s Chocolate Revolution

April 8, 2009

Oh goodie.

Channel 4 have commissioned yet another outing for William Harcourt-Dodderington-Smythey Twart, his awful family and his chocolate fascism. This follows his first series – in which we followed the exploits of the thoroughly dislikable apeman, his self-important wife and their squealing offspring as they tried to produce weird little chocolate nugget things – and, latterly, Willie’s Chocolate Christmas – a knuckle-bitingly smug stool of aspirational bullshit.

This time, Willie endeavours to create a popular chocolate bar to rival your Twixes, your Dairy Milks and your Aeros. He gets off on entirely the wrong foot with a snobbish diatribe regarding the chocolate we Brits consume, and follows up with a section in Barcelona where a vendor of high end chocolate products gags on one of our high street efforts.

Cheers.

Willie’s on a ‘quest’, we’re told. This is his ‘campaign’, he roars, before making his daughter some ice cream which they eat in the enormous back garden of his mansion. His wife, ‘the lynchpin’ of the operation moans about having to do ten things at once, despite apparently not having a job.

And we’re meant to relate to these people…

Finally, after an hour of chocolatey tedium, Willie jets off to Venezuela to seal a deal with a chocolate kingpin. They settle on a figure in moody, looming darkness, the scene reminiscent of Scarface. The show is shot in that moody stock they use for The Apprentice and every cut, slice and chop has its own camera angle. It looks like a fortune’s been spent filming it while the incidental music indicates it’s something that should be taken very, very seriously.

The problem is, it’s impossible to take seriously. Willie and family are completely dull, upper middle class non-entities and chocolate is just fucking chocolate.

Watching a successful businessman build his brand – when he’s not having the time of his life in the countryside or in the sun-dappled jungle – isn’t really the sort of eye-fodder I’m after in the midst of a credit crunch-saturated media environment. And if this is supposed to be escapism, why all the hand-wringing about Willie’s created-for-TV business problems?

If I want to escape, it won’t be in the company of this lot. Which begs the question, who is it that actually watches and enjoys this guff?

Do they exist solely in the mind of Channel 4 Executives?

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.

One Minute Review: Horne & Corden

March 11, 2009

For those of you who didn’t catch it, a quick round up of all the gags featured in last night’s opening episode of Horne & Corden’s new sketch show. All thirteen jokes are present, including the successful one.

Joke 1
Introduction, with the actually quite amusing sight of a fat man being overexcited. Ruined by a damp punchline squib.

Joke 2
A fat man suddenly notices he is fat and throws away his burger.

Joke 3
A camp news reporter in Iraq, ripped directly from Steve Coogan’s portrayal of Pauline Calf.

Joke 4
A vaguely accurate David Brent impersonation.

Joke 5
Teachers show a class how to draw cocks. Potentially a good gag, ruined by the fact that no cock I ever saw on any exercise book looked like that, because they looked like this.

Joke 6
The perfume ad you’ve already seen that features a naked fat man.

Joke 7
A relay race in which a fat man can be seen trying to compete.

Joke 8
A man pushes another man over on his arse in a supermarket.

Joke 9
Superman chats to Spiderman. Spiderman is fat and we see his big, fat bottom.

Joke 10
A fat man is having sex and can’t finish up.

Joke 11
Whilst discussing strategy, an army officer asks if anyone has a Nokia charger. Eerily reminiscent of a Fast Show classic.

Joke 12
An alcoholic fat man humiliates his ex-schoolmate in front of his family.

Joke 13
Westcountry magicians do a dance routine, in the hope that it will be made funny by the fact that one of them is fat.

End Credits

It’s good to see BBC3 continuing with its schedule of rushed-out, underwritten and flimsy sketch shows. It’s looking like Horne & Corden is a worthy addition to that tradition. Roll on next week.

One Minute Review: Great Ormond Street

February 25, 2009

It’s a good cause, it uses fitting imagery and the theme is well executed. Just please, please, PLEASE take the song away from the mix because it’s driving me insane.

I watch The Wright Stuff every morning, for my sins, and the Great Ormond Street advert always manages to catch me off guard, despite the fact it’s on during every ad break, twice. And, for reasons only they could explain, the tune they employ is Athlete’s ‘Wires’ – which is one of those songs with one of those melodies that sounds pleasant enough the first time, but then, like any similar slice of poison by Coldplay or Snow Patrol, it burrows its way into your consciousness and installs itself, virus-like within your lobes and before you know it, it’s playing in your mind as you wash the dishes. It’s blaring behind your eyes as you try to take a dump. It’s following you to the chip shop. It’s round your Nan’s house. It’s IN YOUR BED.

And the worst of it is, it’s there for life. Even if you only hear that first minor chord bashed accidentally on a detuned piano, your memory crank will turn and fire a synapse playing the whole, turgid symphony back, strings and all in the back of your brain as you claw at your own face, bleeding from nostrils and tear ducts as you whimper along to the tune, helpless and dribbling.

The last thing I need is a respectable charity triggering this kind of psychological damage, so please, Great Ormond Street, for the love of God, STOP!

One Minute Review: Duffy’s Coke Ad

February 24, 2009

Forgive my ignorance, but apart from the opening bars of Rockferry (or whatever it’s called) I hadn’t really heard Duffy’s singing voice. I ran for cover whenever her stuff came on the radio or TV fearing MOR, cod-Motown miserablism.

Last night, the above came on television and I thought I was being hoaxed. Is that genuinely her voice? Is that the caterwaul that garnered three Brit awards?

It sounds like someone’s pulling on her piles! It sounds like someone’s kicking a kitten and farting in a foghorn! It’s the most disturbing cola advert I’ve ever seen! Apart from the New Generation one.

It’s horrific.

EastEnders

February 18, 2009

Garry Eastenders BBC

Are the scriptwriters that write Phil and Peggy and Pat and Jack and Max on holiday at the moment? I only ask because EastEnders has given itself over to storylines featuring what you could describe as its ‘light-relief B-team’ recently.

We’ve had a strange evening of farcical misunderstandings in the curry house involving Minty, Garry, the utterly pointless yet lovely-looking Dawn, Heather, Ricky and Bianca; we’ve had a peculiar non-suicide storyline involving Garry going on holiday to Spain and not telling anyone; we’ve had Heather and the cadaverous Shirley stalking George Michael (with Heather falling off a wall in a comically fat fashion); and we’ve got a strange Carry On film going on at the moment in the shape of the Masouds and the Beales going into the catering business with each other. There’s even been food fights! Food fights with Christian – EastEnders’ very own Kenneth Williams – sneering and giggling in the background.

Any minute now I’m expecting Peggy’s tits to pop out. Well … tit. Let’s not forget she’s one tit down after catching the cancer a few years back.

What’s going on? Wasn’t there some bad blood between Max and his brother? Have there been no further developments in the five yearly Dot-murdering plot? Wasn’t Tania’s daughter accused of something?

Apparently not. Instead we’ve had two weeks of pratfalls, fuck ups, food fights, mishaps and comedy Humpty Dumpty recreations. You mark my words, if this continues it’ll be custard pies and collapsible motor cars next.

What happened to the spirit-crushing drudgery? Where’s the woe? Why has EastEnders turned into a 1970s West End farce? What’s going on?

I WANT MY MISERY BACK.

One Minute Review: Watchdog

February 17, 2009

Julia Bradbury Watchdog

Watchdog‘s great these days.

For starters, it’s got Julia Bradbury up front. Anyone who saw the sight of  her off her face on Celebrity Come Dine With Me on Sunday will agree that Bradbury is good value. She’s like a drunk Fiona Bruce. As she presents Watchdog with a serious tone in her voice, pointing out faulty power-steering on the new Mini or criticising allergy-testing kits that don’t work, you can see behind her smirk that she’s a little raver. The minute they’ve wrapped she’ll be down her local, playing darts and forcing ale into her face. She’s probably soused as she presents it, but the years of hard-boozing have enabled her to cover it like a proper pro. She should be saluted.

Watchdog’s other selling-point is everyone’s favourite Scotch curmudgeon, Nicky Campbell. Gone are the days of the mullets and kids TV – these days Campbell deals in issues. And by golly, he’s got attitude.

Watch as Campbell cruises smugly around the studio. When he addresses the audience he’s fair and even-handed. He’s on your side. But when berating the PR Officer of a property company or giving grief to the MD of a double glazing factory, by jingo, he’s an animal.

I can’t see how ladies would fail to swoon when he’s on the box. He’s simultaneously sympathetic to his audience’s needs and prepared, at the drop of a badly-moulded gearstick, to savage the so-called bigwigs and fat cats he and we so despise. He and Bradbury are a match made in heaven, and Watchdog is a hotbed of real, outraged, disgusted and miffed sex action.

Phwoar!

One Minute Review – CBB so far…

January 22, 2009

With only a couple of days to go before the final of the show nobody’s talking about – Celebrity Big Brother 2009 – I’ve just about got time to note the performances of contestants so far, but sadly am limited to five words per remaining head.

Here we go.

Verne:
Bad drunk, afro suited him.

Coolio:
Only entertaining character, despite sexism.

Ulrika:
Stop moaning about your children.

Terry:
Lung cancer is clearly imminent.

Ben:
Walking, talking, smirking, personality-vacuum.

Tommy:
Terminally boring, laddish, hirsute socialist.

My apologies. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.