Posts Tagged ‘Kate Spicer’

Super Botox Me

August 24, 2008

Kate Spicer is not happy with her face – and it’s easy to see why. When it’s not fixed into strenuous self-absorption, it’s lolling with a ‘vacant’ sign written all over it. She’s the very definition of ‘hangdog’ – but this is not because there’s anything wrong with her, it’s because she’s a cynic without wit and is permanently pulling a petulantly disappointed expression.

To confirm to herself that she’s pissed off with looking knackered, she sits herself next to a 16 year old model (Kate’s in her late thirties) to drive home the fact that she’s no spring chicken any more. She puts a panel of apparently important people in front of her to tell her why she looks worse than the model (none of whom point out that it may be because she’s not 16 any more). She makes us complicit in her disatisfaction with her own crumbling mug as the basis for this horrible injection of poison which screened on the now risible Channel 4 last night.

What is happening to Channel 4? When it’s not milking the middle class indie kid demographic, screening endless Kooks sessions, it’s pandering to the Grazia-reading prattlers who consider ‘boho’ an actual word. And part of this problem is shit like ‘Super Botox Me’ – the name itself a tiresome rip off of a pseudo-doc style that’s completely saturated.

Here, that format doesn’t even fit. She’s not subjecting herself to endless botox sessions. She’s just asking surgeons about the treatment. There would be nothing wrong with that, and with a different name for the show this could have been interesting investigative journalism. But Spicer makes it clear from the outset that she may have the surgery. Why she thinks we should care about her multiple insecurities is baffling.

But insecurity is one thing she develops by the bucketload as she chats with plastic surgeons (literally: fake doctors) who make a living out of lying to the neurotic and then charging them the earth for making them look weird. And, unforgivably, she has the surgery. Despite a couple of blips when she is subject to the voice of reason quite sensibly telling her to stop, she still ploughs on relentlessly and has injections in her jowels and forehead – and to my eye she looked no better for it. Then she had fat removed from around her eyes with a horrific implement that removed 30% of the fat on the skin it touched. ‘I’ve looked worse after a big night out’, joked Spicer. I’ve had some big nights, but the only time I’ve woken up looking that bad was after a bouncer kicked me repeatedly in the head. In Yorkshire.

So what we have here is an extended and unrequested ad for Botox. Just what the world needs.

Spicer turns up at the end to conclude, wrapping up the messy vanity project she’s just put us through. And, like… yeah – she thinks it’s not worth the hassle, but, like, she looks so much… better. She was told she looks better by an expert who’s also had surgery and looks like a swollen mannequin, so it must be true. And she’ll probably, she teases, be having more injections in the future.

Like Super Skinny Me, this is irresponsible programming in the extreme. I can’t, for the life of me, see how this footage is of any use to anyone apart from Ms Spicer herself (who was clearly after some free Botox from the off) and the shyster surgeons who make mountains of cash out of this loathesome fucking business.

It’s contemptible shite, and Spicer – lacking any journalistic integrity whatsoever – has made money out of promoting an elite form of self-harm, vanity, self-regard and idiocy. I’m moved to make my first complaint about a TV programme. Am I getting old, or is TV getting worse?

Eating With The Enemy

July 23, 2008

It must’ve looked fairly appealing on paper.

Great idea for new reality / cooking / lifestyle module – a Dragons’ Den vs Masterchef fusion. Import the same chefs who mete out the nasty judgements on Masterchef and get them to judge food made by the Great British public. Like Masterchef without the constructive criticism. Like Dragon’s Den without the real business opportunities and vast sums of money. A chance to see restaurant critics really lashing out on poor, unsuspecting, non media-friendly fools. Guaranteed success.

It looks like a ratings-grabber on first sight but after five minutes viewing, the obvious flaws poke out like impetuous tongues.

Sweet Baby James presents Eating With The Enemy, playing the exact same role as Evan Davis in the old double ‘D’. He’s the go-between who liaises with the judges and cosies up to the contestants. He’s the viewers’ representative. It works with affable Evan, who humbles himself in front of contestants, folding his fists in front of himself and smiling from behind those kind, slightly off-kilter eyes. With Sweet Baby James it doesn’t quite work the same way, given his abrasive attitude. He spends the show mocking the efforts of the contestants to their faces and getting in the way. Yesterday he made a scene when he got splashed with a tiny dribble of custard, the big jessie.

The judges are vaguely known restaurant critics. You’d recognise them if you saw them. They are:

Toby Young – Probably the most famous. Likeable buffoon.
Kate Spicer  – Evening Standard food critic. A sour-faced grunt of a woman who starred in possibly the worst television show ever, Super Skinny Me.
Jay Rayner – Son of Clare. Observer food critic. Pompous man-mountain with ludicrous hair and facial trim who appears to climax every time he makes a weak, food-related gag.
Charles Campion – Miserable, fat knacker who looks EXACTLY like Peter from Family Guy.

The show’s structured really badly. Dragons’ Den is so straightforward you’d have to be lobotomised to misunderstand the formula. Masterchef is slightly more confusing – with semi finals here and restaurant rounds there – but usually we know where it’s at.

Eating With The Enemy has so many segments that we seem to meet the contestants three times, say goodbye to them twice and have the main courses described (in some detail) endlessly throughout the shows fifty minutes.

Another flaw, possibly intended, is that the food is bloody awful. Walid, a Lebanese gentleman, made steak with a ‘stilton vein’ running through it and bacon wrapped around the outside. It was completely over-complicated and rammed with essence of cardiac arrest. His sparring partner was Sam who made ‘rag pudding’ which seemed to be a weird arctic roll made out of mince and fat. Not to mock Sam or Wally – I probably couldn’t do much better myself – but surely it just meant we were going to have to watch culinary assassination as the non-professionals lined up their wares in front of people who talk shit about high end food for a living?

In the event, the judges shrank from the task and praised the dishes where they could. The rubbish in front of them was barely worth comment so they opted for the positive. And therefore the ‘fearsome’ judges pretty much turned the show into an irrelevance. They’re referred to throughout as ‘The Enemy’ in the same way Theo, Jonesy and pals are called ‘The Dragons’, but it doesn’t make any sense as they show sympathy, which is weakness, which drains the element of threat from proceedings. The closest they got, really, was asking Walid why he’d attacked an ‘innocent bit of meat’ and saying he’d ‘pushed it off a cliff’.

So what we have here is a redundant piece of programming. A pretty despicable concept in the first place – four twats who get paid to be pissy to waiters criticise some nice normal folk for giving something a bash – is then completely weakened when ‘The Enemy’ go all soft and praise food you’d clearly send back if you were served it even in a greasy spoon. So what, my friends, is the fucking point?

I’ve not even started on some other major weaknesses. Dragons’ Den works because the prize at stake is a large amount of money. Remove the return and you’ve kicked your programme in the groin. Masterchef works because those participating already have some degree of flair. Serve up two shit cooks and you’ve gone and slapped your show’s arse. Use restaurant critics as your judges and you’ve pretty much decapitated your own creation.

Restaurant critics, as any fool knows, are generally sniffy berks who lack any experience or expertise in what they do. They’re professional moaners. Where the Dragons have all worked their way to their personal wealth, this lot are promoted hacks who are now so far removed from the man on the street they think writing cynically about a fucking pudding represents a meaningful existence. I remove Giles Coren from that generalisation, as he barely even mentions the food, preferring instead to waffle on about his life – which is generally far more interesting.

These four ‘enemies’ and their supposedly daunting presence is acceptable when they’re asked to bitch for three minutes in Masterchef, but try and extend that three minutes to fifty and the whole thing collapses like an undercooked cakey pie.

I just hope they don’t make this rubbish prime time.