Posts Tagged ‘BBC 3’

Naked: Office Workers

February 25, 2009

It’s as if the people over at BBC Three have created a programme on their Acorn Electron – a Future Commissions Generator, if you like – which gobbles up stats on past successes and then, based on the shows that got people talking, mocking or jeering, reformats them using as little originality as is electronically possible.

So, thanks to the FCG we’ve reached the point where Freaky Eaters has dispensed with the food theme completely, leaving us with just the ‘freaks’ (which is BBC Three-speak for people with hang-ups). Obviously they can’t make a show on that premise alone or they’d just be transmitting artfully lighted shots of a handful of neurotic people babbling in a white studio and bumping into one another, so they’ve nicked the ‘nudity’ from How To Look Good Naked and chucked it in to see if it works. And whether it works or not, they’ll put it out regardless.

The Naked strand is the result. Naked: Nurses, Naked: Office Workers, Naked: Tramps, Naked: Eunuchs – these days all you need to do to empower people is to convince them to take all their clothes off and, bingo! They’re walking, talking superbeings! Balls to logic and dispense with common sense – just strip to your duds and feel at one with the universe!

In Naked: Office Workers, Isha is a working mum with body issues. Victoria has the sense that her bottom is too big. So far, so Gok Wan – but the other participants are all concerned with issues outside of self-image. John feels he’s too short to be taken seriously. Noel is crippled by shyness and Victoria isn’t over her ex. It’s never explained why public humiliation will help these seemingly decent folk confront their issues in any depth or with any insight – it’s just an uncertain dive straight into the tasks with mentors Jonathan Phang and Emma Kelly, and we’re expected to go along with them.

Phang is an Image Consultant who has apparently ‘worked with supermodels’. I don’t know what that means, but he looks like an overweight Ronald Reagan. If his job is to guide people on how to present themselves, he clearly doesn’t listen to his own advice.

Kelly is his right-hand girl and she’s a psychologist, presumably at amateur level, and she’s there to gee people up and work them into a state of hypnotic suggestibility so that they’re prepared to bite the bullet and ‘move forward with their lives’. In layman’s terms, her job is to persuade them to get their kecks off.

A series of pointless tasks follows. A primal scream session, a period of smashing up computers taken straight from Office Space, the keeping of a ‘mirror diary’ and some public speaking in front of people who were presumably on their way home from the pub and had nothing better to do. There was also abseiling – just to fill in the gaps – and finally, before the money shots, some Big Brother style, at-home bickering between contestants. The fight, incidentally, had absolutely no substance but was treated with epic grandeur by the presenters, who acted as though savage war has broken out. They behaved as though, if the fight was allowed to carry on, there’d only have been mutilated corpses to photograph naked the next day.

After a lengthy, year-long hour they all had their photos taken, slipping off ill-fitting bathrobes and grinning stiffly. One contestant, John, dropped out at this point and it was hard to resist giving him a round of applause for not getting steered into the exploitative route the others were dragged down.

Finally the shots are displayed and some uplifting music kicks in. The viewer is presumably meant to be left convinced that the last hour has given everyone a good feeling about themselves. Stronger and more assertive. Viewer, programme-makers and contestants, all bettered by the sight of some nobodies getting their normal clothes off and standing sheepishly naked in a stately home.

Personally, despite the fact I look like an adonis under these stained garments, I could never go on one of these shows. Obviously I believe they work wonders for all involved, but I get on rather well with my neuroses. My hang-ups have been keeping me going for years. If I wasn’t a paranoid, insecure mess, I wouldn’t be where I am today – so hold back on the approach, BBC Three. I’m simply not interested.

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NewsGush: Massive?

August 29, 2008

Presumably to fill the Two Pints-shaped hole in the schedules (currently being filled with thousands of episodes of Family Guy), BBC3 have commissioned Massive.

Massive is a new comedy series on BBC Three starring Ralf Little (Two Pints Of Lager, The Royle Family), Carl Rice (Scallywagga) and Johnny Vegas (Ideal, Benidorm). 

Danny (Ralf Little) and Seamus (Carl Rice) bonded over Oasis in ’94 and have been best mates ever since. Both Manchester born-and-bred, both mid-twenties and both temping in dead-end jobs, they’re united by one all-consuming passion: music.

Inspired by the city’s local heroes – Tony Wilson, Joy Division, The Happy Mondays – the lads wile away the dreary office hours dreaming of their own record label.
But while they put in the footwork when it comes to gigs (three a week) and beer (considerably more than that) time is ticking by and they’re on the road to nowhere.

That is until Danny’s gran pops her clogs. The mad old bat leaves him £10,000 and Danny doesn’t hesitate – he and Shay are going to have their label.
The lads jack in their jobs and find an office by the canal. Now all they’ve got to do is unearth the next Oasis and have a hit record…

Ralf ‘Two Pints’ Little, for my money, has forever blotted his tattered copybook with that pile of shit he kept starring in. Apart from Ideal, Johnny Vegas hasn’t really found a TV vehicle that suits him. So can we hold out much hope for this?

CAN FAT TEENS HUNT?

November 26, 2007

A Fat Teen, Yesterday 

Hold on to your hats, folks, the countdown has begun. That’s right – we’re almost 12 hours away from the next instalment of BBC3’s latest reality TV fest ‘CAN FAT TEENS HUNT?‘! It’s the show you’ve been waiting for since your birth – admit it.

How many times have you been idly wandering around the supermarket, unable to even place a firm grip on the items you want in your trolley because you’re too preoccupied with that one query that niggles right into your frontal lobes on frequent occasions…

I bet you’ve lost count of the amount of times you’ve been walking the dog, let the little fella off his leash and then lost him in a small forest as you’ve been too mentally congested with that overriding concern…

How regularly, during a bout of unsatisfying sex, do you have to stop and disengage from the wetpiece or prong you’re flapping with in order to try and ascertain the solution to that nagging issue…

CAN FAT TEENS HUNT???

Thank Christ Auntie’s seen fit to answer this ageless riddle with this fascinating sociological experiment cum reality TV entertainment vehicle / anthropological investigation / chance to laugh at little waddling chubs getting all lost, tired and emotional in the jungle (though that’s clearly not the intention of the producers, honest guvnor).

Episode one, which I saw half of, involved introductions to the cast of FAT TEENS, all of whom stood in their undies and showed off their stretchmarks, interspersed with shots of them gobbling down crisps and sweets. It was a chubby-chasing paedophile’s dream come true, I should imagine, and made for quite uncomfortable viewing for those of us not too easily acquainted with the grotesque.

When they got to the jungle, all manner of chaos ensued. One of the teens is a muslim who gorges on his Mum’s curry. He was subject to a bout of bullying from the other rotund members of the crew because ‘they couldn’t understand his religion’. This lack of comprehension (centred around why he refused to watch a pig being slaughtered) resulted in all the white trash, crisps-for-dinner, future scumbags haranguing the poor little sod in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, as the camera crew filmed on without judgement.

Sadly, I was made to change channels, so I never got to discover whether or not FAT TEENS CAN HUNT. That’s why I’ve been on tenterhooks all week. My weekend break was sullied as I sat, head in hands, trying to equate teen-fatness with the ability to hunt. So I, for one, can’t wait until 10.30 tonight, when BBC3, that example of shamelessly self-descriptive programming will hopefully finally give me the answers I’ve been searching for throughout my entire, wretched life.

(I bet they can’t).

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Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps

July 5, 2007

Two Pints of Piss 

Too pointless for laughter and a sackful of shit

In the absence of Tycoon, I realised that I would have to turn my attention elsewhere this week, and as I was drifting aimlessly through the channels late last night, I came upon an easy target. Not just an easy target mind, but an insipid, zombified beast wearily waiting to be put to sleep forever. And while, unfortunately, it is not yet within my power to do so, I was nevertheless struck with the irresistable urge to clobber such a pathetically inept and flailing subject on it’s sickbed. No, I am not referring to Make Your Play or indeed Glitterball, though you would be forgiven for thinking so. No, I’m talking about Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Canned laughter aside, there are no indications whatsoever that this is indeed intended for the purposes of humourous relief. In fact, any claims at all that this is funny are just out and out lies and anyone who even so much as smirks at the situation-based japes therein should be punched in the face for days, mercilessly relieved of their scalp, tossed into a volcano and shot at on their way down. Especially since those who enjoy its witless attributes are clearly chavvy types anyway. This is not intended as a purely throwaway remark either. It’s bland, shallow and utterly void of redemption, as well as being as much a reprehensible enemy of intelligence as anything else, anywhere on this knackered planet. As such, it is not just a programme for chavs, it is a fucking chav.

Taking into consideration that I have yet to encounter another human being who speaks well of this awful show, I am somewhat bamboozled as to the reasoning behind BBC 3’s incessant airing of it. As soon as it strikes midnight, it’s there. Multiple episodes, back to back, five nights a week. Lord above, how many series of this cascade of rancid camel shit have been commissioned? Someone, somewhere, needs a rare old twatting.

Ralf Little has long since bypassed his own sell-by date and must no longer be allowed to surf his own faded projection of success. Granted, he was quite funny in The Royle Family, but time has passed and now he’s just an offensive stain. I don’t even know the names of the rest of the cast but quite frankly I pity the joyless wankbags. I find comfort in assuming they’re all two strokes short of a climax.

I realise that this is not the only British sitcom guilty of bringing comical emptiness to the masses, (My family, My Hero, anything with Nicholas Lyndhurst post Only Fools And Horses) but Two Pints of Lager should voluntarily die for the sins of all the others as far as I’m concerned, minus any kind of resurrection.

Already, I have devoted a near-regrettable amount of my own precious life-span to this unworthy subject, and if I dedicate any more then I’m in danger of becoming a fool to myself.

Freaky Eaters. Again.

March 15, 2007

Choc 

Christ – it’s like some sort of vacuum, sucking me into it’s hideousness! Last night, Freaky Eaters managed to somehow reel me in like a fresh and naive trout on a particularly devious angler’s line. BBC3 will surely be the end of me. Along with Dog Borstal and Help! My Dog is as Fat as My Face!, Freaky Eaters is default television. It’s always on and I’m always half asleep and inclined to watch the televisual turd smears they wipe my screen with.
It’s important to point out that I found within my frail body the ounce of fortitude required to turn the TV off before my mind was sneezed out of my clenched face by a rebelling brain. Even I can only take so much.

So. Freaky Eaters, again. Yesterday we travelled to Newcastle, or Middlesborough, or somewhere up there in the land where they say ‘war’ instead of ‘your’ and enthuse that things are ‘reet canny’. Lovely people, but violent – and greedy too, as it turns out. A young lady (whose name I forget) was eating chocolate to assuage her feelings of worthlessness. No surprise there then, not a massively big deal. But when we were shown the sheer amount she was putting away, I was actually shocked. Real shock, not mock concern. She could eat nine full size Crunchies in minutes without feeling sick. And her method of eating was actually terrifying – slowly and blankly biting off huge mouthfuls and then swallowing whole. It was like watching the act of vomiting, but in reverse, and with delicious, chocolatey puke.

The introduction took a good twenty minutes and by this time I was not only completely shattered from a good, honest day’s work but also nauseous to the point of needing to wash bits of sick from my lips after watching this poor unfortunate fill her stomach with crap. When they sent the shrink in, it became apparent that his conclusion was pre-prepared. He didn’t listen to a word she actually said. He decided that fear and anger had made her so gluttonous. Nothing to do with a low self-image then? Nothing to do with the fact that her parents have a shitload of confectionary stashed away in every corner of the house? I think they should take this bastard’s PhD away. I also think that if BBC3 are going to exploit those with eating disorders, they might try and name the show something other than Freaky Eaters, which is possibly the most heavy-handed title for a show about damaged people that I think I’ve ever heard. Me and Freaky Eaters are going to have a bit of time apart from hereon in.

Now, who fancies a Blue Ribband?

Comic Relief Does Fame Academy

March 13, 2007

Vine 

Karaoke Torture on BBC 1 

Comic Relief does Fame Academy. Oh dear.

Comic Relief does Fame Academy up the shit-pipe.

Make that Comic Relief does music up the shit-pipe hard, and agonisingly.

In fact, this isn’t a singing contest, its brutal murder. The spirit of music is being slowly and excruciatingly skull-fucked to death by a hapless bunch of wannabes, tronabees, never-gonna-bes and Christ-will-you-stop-now-please?!

Like most reality television these days, it’s partly a who’s-who of who-the-fuck-are-they-and-why-are-they-alive? It’s got fat Barry off Never-enders, who to be fair, seems like a nice bloke, (although he snacks on deep fried foetuses for all I know) and Tim Vine, a squeaky clean comedian who, if memory serves, holds the current British (maybe world) record for most gags per minute. (It’s something ridiculous like 15 jokes per second, 14 of which are just various parts of his face and head looking odd). Having said this, his act is pretty funny and I quite like him.

Another one is Colin Brainchild or whatever his name is – that Quimhead from T4, whom I do not like because he makes me wretch from almost every orifice. Can I just stress again how much I really don’t like him; he is, to put it bluntly, a cunt who I am physically and mentally incapable of liking.

Also guilty are: unfunny fool, Mel ‘I’m wacky, I am’ Gedroyc (change your fucking name!) and that dim-witted irritant Tara Palmer-Tompkinson (I’m not even gonna bother).

Oh, and football’s Ray Stubbs, who is definitely not human. I’m thinking some kind of sasquatch cum bogey-man hybrid / chimera thing. But, for argument’s sake, I could settle for the abominable snowman. His reactions, expressions and emotions are not of this realm. Either he’s something else or he was raised by sheep-fish on an underwater mountain.

Anyway, I’ve never heard of the other half of the contestants, but they’re all either horrible or rubbish, both in some cases.

The judges just sit there like lumps of shit being clapped and booed. This format is so transparent:

The Garret creature is the ‘nice’ one, and the two cheese graters perched either side of her take it in turns to be the nasty one, although one of them (the one who I suspect feverishly wanks himself into a stupor of an evening with a crumpled, sticky Polaroid of Simon Cowell clasped in his left hand) is a fair bit nastier than his camp-arsed colleague, who tries to achieve an equal amount of cheers and boos per show. The Cowell-wanker seems to thrive off the boos as if his life depended on them and in his role as the villain, tries his damnedest to coax them out of the live audience at every given opportunity. I have observed him actually feeding off boos like a kind of reaction scavenger with an insatiable hunger for negative energy. Don’t get me wrong, he is right to tell them they’re shit, but the way it’s done is so contrived. He’s like the anti-Tim Vine, gleefully powering toward a world record of 800 boos per minute.

However, I suppose I shouldn’t really be so hard on this programme. It is for charity after all.

Fuck that – it’s sick and must be shut down at all costs.

Help! My Dog’s As Fat As Me!

March 6, 2007

Fat fucking dog

I arrived at the bottom of the BBC3 barrel by chance, only to find executives scrabbling around with a shit-scraper, trying to grind out a title that hadn’t been used before from the stinking dregs of their channel’s previous content. Freaky Eaters had been a new low. I was interested to see how low they could go. When I was browsing the schedules and saw the title ‘Help! My Dog’s As Fat As Me!’ I thought for a second that someone who writes the mini-reviews in the back of the TV Guide had suddenly been gripped by an overwhelming realisation about their own lives and that this was not, in fact, a dire new attempt at television-making and more a cry for help.

I was wrong. The show is one of the not-so-recent-any-more phenomonen of does-what-it-says-on-the-tin TV. Through tear-filled eyes I tried to switch the television off before my mind was blighted by the blindingly predictable events that were doubtless about to unfold. Through the opaque wash of saltwater I saw something about a weigh-in where the combined weight of owner and dog are measured against recent scale-based humiliations. I saw dogs being inspected for contours. I saw women crying and refusing to speak to the cameras. I saw a huge mound of furry blubber being fed a Big Mac. I saw a huge mound of furry blubber’s dog eating the same meal.I saw a morbidly obese labrador squeaking out a hideous fart, clearing the room of cast and crew. I began to smell the odour. Screaming in agony, I reached the television set and booted the off button just before the point where my brain was about to burst.

Freaky Eaters

February 22, 2007

 

I wanted to watch Tattoo last night, a German film about a mental man who cuts intricate tattoos from the backs of alternative types – cyber goths, crusties, you know the sort. Dragons’ Den had ended (a strange episode filled with in-fighting amongst the Dragons, which was entertaining) and I rubbed my hands and nads together as I loaded the DVD player and prepared for misery. But then the DVD halted. DVDs are always broken these days. I fancy a return to VHS. Anyway, it wouldn’t bloody work and so regrettably me and the missus ended up watching BBC3’s ‘Freaky Eaters’.The programme details the rehabilitation of individuals who have somehow managed to forge themselves a very limited daily diet from which, psychologically they’re unable to veer from. They pick one foodstuff and they’re set on it, for life. Last week it was a shaven headed geek who could only stomach pizza and this week we were served up an Essex girl with a chip butty fetish. I like pizzas and I like a good chip butty, but if one of those was the only thing I was allowed to eat for every meal, I suspect I’d be bored by lunchtime and possibly suicidal by the time breakfast came around again. Variety is clearly the spice of life. To deal with the problem, the BBC sends in a dietician and a psychologist to solve the problem eating pattern. So over the course of an hour they set to work reversing the complex.An hour is a bloody long time. It’s two episodes of Dad’s Army. For some reason, Dad’s Army is the gauge I use to measure TV time and it’s something I’m unable to shake off. It’s the same with money and pints of lager. I count cash in blocks of £2.50 because that’s how much a pint of premium lager was in the pub when I was a teenager. We have these little habits, created in our formative years and they inform our decisions for better or worse. Freaky Eaters argues that the reason their participants have these bad habits is that they made one such decision early on in life and haven’t the facility to break the habit, despite the fact that their digestive tract is probably beginning to resemble a gnawed hose, even in their late 20s. Seriously, on a diet of chips I’d imagine she doesn’t shit for days on end.I can believe that this happens though. With the shaven headed chap, his pizza fixation was a result of a strange relationship with his father, who died while he was quite young and in a process of rebellion against his parents. So his diet was one way of continuing this resistance to admitting his natural love for his father. He talked this through with a counselor, spent time trying different food with a dietician and fixed his mind up good and proper. The cameraman got his tears from the rest of the family and everyone was happy.

Last night, however, the Essex girl they picked was not, perhaps, the best choice. They narrowed her chip butty kink down to the fact that when she was younger she had some form of bronchitis, meaning that if she ate and coughed at the same time, she would gag. The inference being that her problem stemmed from her mistrust of food in general. But then, when going through counseling, she giggled when asked questions about this period of her life, refusing to think that it might be the root of her extremely high carb diet. When offered different foods from the dietician she turned into a complete Daddy’s girl, spoiled and noxious and, let’s be open here, a right royal pain in the arse-end.

My feeling that she was simply the type of girl who had never found herself wanting, who was waited on hand and foot by her parents and doting boyfriend, was compounded when the ‘reveal’ of the programme arrived after 50 long, tedious minutes. To see if her gross obsession with fried spuds had been headed off at the pass she was taken to a posh restaurant with her boyfriend who, he had told the camera, prayed she would choose something other than chips. Guess what gang? She ordered chips, chips and only chips.

So not only was her time wasted, her boyfriend’s time was wasted and her family’s time was wasted. Oh – and the dietician’s time was wasted. And the psychologists. And mine and my missus’s time was wasted. And anyone who bothered watching this pile of crap’s time was officially, undeniably and irretrievably wasted.