Posts Tagged ‘Bill Bailey’

Skins. Episode one

February 13, 2008

Before I start, I want to point out how annoying it is when you are intending on writing a review of a programme that you have watched goggle-eyed since episode one of the first series and then some Johnny-come-lately wanders down your driveway and jumps on your FUCKING BANDWAGON especially when they are one of your favourite reviewers in the world and you fancy them a bit, and therefore find yourself in the position of wanting to touch your usurper inappropriately while spitting bile into their eyes.

Despite Brooker encapsulating everything that is great about Skins in 700 neat and well-chosen words, I shall continue, pointlessly but unbowed, like Scott tootling onwards after Amundsen, but with less frostbite. Follow me onwards to the South Pole (Bristol).

Nearly a whole year has passed since series one of Skins finished. A hollow, Skinsless pit of a year. The worst year of my pathetic little life. But now it is back! Hurrah! Hang the bunting! Call the local DJ! etc etc. The last series ended with Tony (teenage arrogance given flesh) being knocked over by a lorry after doing the Machiavellian life-messing thang on all his friends and… one sec. Sorry, I know I’m incapable of writing a review of Skins without shoehorning in a few mentions of their myspace sites, but what the fuck? Tony’s PARENTS have posted a message on his profile. His parents, no less.

We like to thank [sic] everyone for the flowers, cards and well wishes you’ve sent. The thoughtful messages have been a real comfort at this very difficult time.

Jim and Anthea Stonem

Maybe da kidz have a different type of relationship with ma and pa than I did as a teenager, but is it really believable, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, really, that said kidz would tell them the password to their myspace site? I think not. There’s also a video of him in a coma on the profile, that I assume they’ve posted as well. Which is completely understandable of them, and not disturbing at all.

Anyway, onwards and downwards. Last night’s episode started with some urban dancin’, and I mean like really proper DANCIN’ from gay Skin Maxxie and some other equally implausibly beautiful teenagers (I grew up in the West Country, and people look weird down there, not all shiny and even of teeth. Even of tooth perhaps, at a push). One of them took her top off and had a see-through bra on. Saucy. Maxxie went home where his dad (Bill Bailey) practices country and western dancing with his dog. He gave up his dog dancing dream to join the construction trade, did Bill, and he thinks his son should do the same.

Tony is all spazzed up from his accident and upsetting his father with his frustrated anger at the world (Tony’s dad, incidentally is played by Harry Enfield – I wonder which ageing comedian will be invited to star next? Please, please, please let it be Russ Abbott). Max’s mum does Tony’s flies up for him. It looks like she is giving him a blow-job. Ho ho. There is a rave. Michelle gets it on with two blokes but only ‘cos her head is all messed up like, due to Tony. Sid takes acid and misses his girlfriend who is being taught the bagpipes in a mental asylum in Scotland.

There is more dancing as teens dripping in sweat take their tops off and rub against each other. ‘Chrriiiiist’ wheeze a thousand equally perspirant old men around the country.

Maxxie gets it on with one of the Asbo-homophobes who hang round his estate. Everyone goes home. It is college in the morning. Tony finally manages to sign his own name meaning that he can register for the new term (nice Somerset touch: that was an actual requirement when I was at sixth form).
 So yes, mock away, but it was great. I missed you Skins. Welcome back my loves, welcome back.

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

April 30, 2007

Jonathan Ross 

Let’s face it, Friday night telly can be a bit of a strange beast. It tries to appeal to the widest cross-section of the country on the bizarre theory that those who don’t choose to get arseholed in the local pub would like nothing more than juvenile celebrity based entertainment as a way to unwind. Thankfully things right now aren’t as bad as during the Autumn run when we have to contend with the reprehensible ‘Friday Night Project’ – a show so irredeemably awful that every week I have to sell my television on the off-chance I might catch a few seconds of national fucktard Justin Lee Collins, and his partner in setting back in the cause of gay rights by a decade Alan Carr.

Right now Peepshow fills that slot. This is a show I used to like very much, and to a certain degree still do, but since the godawful ‘Mitchell and Webb Look /Experience / Endurance’ I’ve found it very hard to watch. In hindsight, I should have chosen that programme as it’s still one of the best written things on TV, but the popular rule of the house this week chose Jonathan Ross and who am I to go against the tide?

No-one does the chat show quite like the Americans – overlong fillers for the commercial breaks they may be, but they are anchored by genuine talents and personalities like David Letterman. Over here we have sexual tyrant Jonathan Ross, a man severely lacking the fundamentals of what it takes to be on TV – charm, wit and an approachable demeanour. Quite how this fame pervert rose to the enviable position of the BBC’s flagpole presenter is beyond me – his lucrative contract being the equivalent of executives dancing round the public rubbing the licence fee cash over their naked bodies.

Last night’s edition followed the usual formula; Ross comes out in a bad suit, makes homophobic jibes masked as good-natured-ribbing to his in-house band Four Poofs and a Piano and then moves onto introducing his guests. Normally the running order of chat-shows is dictated by the relative fame of the guests – lesser-known hasbeen first, homegrown favourite second, huge star third. The whole point of this order is to keep the audience watching until the end, to make them sit through the boring stuff until they get to the megastar.

Not this time, though. The main guests were phone slapper Toby Maguire and tit-slipper Kirsten Dunst from Spiderman 3 and the booking deal that came with them clearly dictated they go first – there was no way Sony were going to let potential cinema-goers turn off half way through the scatty ramblings of Sarah Brightman before having had maximum exposure to their product. And so these Hollywood stars were churned out first, and forced to endure the constant masturbation jokes, arse-licking behaviour and out-and-out vanity of Ross in the name of movie-promotion.

It is at this point that a new form of celebrity death-match was invented. Instead of brutal plasticine violence, we had a competition to see who could present themselves as more bored, uncaring and indifferent to the task at hand. I felt kind of sorry for Maguire and Dunst, truth be told, as they were clearly slapping on a plastic smile and trotting out the same old shit on what is, to them, another in a long line of publicity appearances. That said, it’s hardly any justification for the frigid behaviour and lack of will to say anything other than thee movie’s press release.

All three were odious people; Maguire as closed off and cold as a corpse, utterly disinterested in anything other than fulfilling his contractual obligation to be there. Dunst looked like a strung out crack whore, all bones and a perm and giggling like a three year old with mental problems. Ross was his usual charmless self, convinced that self-deprecating humour wavered any thoughts of homophobia, misogyny or sexual obsession. The interview was a self-fulfilling prophecy of mistrust, cliche and banality with Ross’ questions so insipidly basic that they could only have come from the contract with Sony, and the stars’ answers a rehearsed informality which far exceeded patronising.

When Ross deviated from the promotional details Maguire and Dunst clammed up, visibly concerned that Ross’ only interests were Maguires masturbation habits and the colour of Dunst’s hair. One 30-second sequence saw the majority of questions burnt out with a succession of one word answers and uncomfortable pauses, and the only telling moment came when Ross asked Dunst how she dealt with promoting films she didn’t care about and doing interviews she hated, “you just fake it” she replied. The audience applauded the honesty, Maguire looked shocked and Ross, missing the point entirely, simply held his hand out toward her and shouted “women, ha, women.”

The trailer shown, the film lauded as wonderful by Ross and their 10 minute obligation fulfilled, Maguire and Dunst scuttled off to supposedly spend the rest of the hour in the company of the confused audio mess that is Jamie T and his Hoxton support band. After a few minutes the camera stopped cutting back to their reactions, presumably because their immense fame meant they didn’t have to suffer through the rest of the show like the usual B-list celeb plebs forced to hawk their shit on Ross’ show.

Bill Bailey was reliably amusing, although confused as to why Ross kept insulting him in such an unnecessary way. Sarah Brightman was slightly insane but also very charming until the point she mentioned the size of Andrew Lloyd Webbers penis and her credibility dropped in direct proportion to the rise of bile in my stomach. The only truly entertaining section was the scales which tell you which celebrity you weigh the same as, Dunst equalling Fozzy Bear and Bill Bailey somewhere between Ricki Lake and Mr T.

Jonathon Ross is one creepy motherfucker. He isn’t nearly as clever, depreciating or ironic as he has convinced himself he is, and he reminds me of the sort of person that has to legally introduce himself to the neighbour when he moves into a new area. He is seedy, stalkerish and the sort of personality that makes you want to avoid him at parties. It’s about time the BBC dropped this outdated format and presenter and actually tried to make Friday night TV something other than a vacuous indulgence in one mans ego.

Next week I’ll watch Peepshow.