Posts Tagged ‘TV’

The Apprentice Lookalike Fun – Week 4

April 17, 2009

the apprentice 2009 paula

This week’s loser, ‘fashion conscious’ Paula Jones – ‘an academic with a love for interior design’ – is the absolute doppelganger of ‘fiery British actress’ Alex Kingston – ’ Elizabeth Corday on NBC medical drama ER.’

And for those of you who don’t agree with me (everyone), I’ve done a mock-up of what Paula Jones might look like playing three of Alex Kingston’s major roles.

paula the apprentice 2009

(From left to right:  sexy Nurse Elizabeth Corday, sexy wench Moll Flanders and sexy warrioress Boudicca.)

I guess you could say we’ve seen both the ‘Fortunes and Misfortunes’ of young Paula over the weeks.

Advertisements

The Friday Question: Speak Up!

April 17, 2009

Image by BP Perry

Public speaking. Everyone’s got their own way of getting through it.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll bark very loudly at your audience until they walk out in disgust, unprepared to listen to any more ill-mannered gibberish delivered by a human foghorn with hideous teeth, a bald head and an appalling attitude to the opposite sex.

If, on the other hand, you’re anything like WWM’s very own virtual reality punchbag Dave, a heavily-photoshopped image of Princess Leia will no doubt pop into your head halfway through your speech, making you pull down your trousers and start jizzing at your horrified guests, thus causing them to run away screaming.

Like I say, we all have our own ways of dealing with these things.

But what about those times when shouting loudly or soaking your audience in Star Wars-induced jism just don’t cut the public-speaking mustard? What about those times when you’ve found y’self stumbling and fumbling and, ultimately, failing to deliver that vital speech?

Did you fuck it up at a bought-and-paid-for after dinner event? Or fall flat on your arse in front of your work colleagues? Or did you stand before the whole school and deliver a speech of such magnificent ineptitude that it earned you the derision of every man, woman and child from that day until you skulked, a broken and bitter creature, out of the school gates for the very last time?

You didn’t end up doing a shit on the stage, did you?

To celebrate BBC2’s new series The Speaker, we at WWM want to hear YOUR public speaking horror stories.

We want to know what you did, where you did it, and what happened as a result of your dribbling inability to talk out loud for a few minutes.

Are you prepared to put yourself to shame and prove you can’t deliver the goods as well as an egg-headed child on a TV speech-delivering show?

We bet you are.

Our first speaker of the day is …

Just A Thought: EastEnders Update

April 15, 2009

So Phil’s fallen out with his mother and Danielle’s deaded up and Stacey’s been talking to a hole – and that’s supposed to be a cemetery in Telford, is it? Funny, because it looks suspiciously like the cemetery they buried wee-faced Jamie (Sonia’s squeeze) in back in the day.

And how are we to know that Danielle’s dad’s house in Telford is in Telford? For all we know it could be a shitty ‘60s semi in a London suburb. We’re not to know it’s actually Telford as there’s no sign saying ‘WELCOME TO TELFORD, THIS IS ACTUALLY TELFORD’.

And Phil’s overslept and missed Shirley the corpse’s cold meat buffet where Josie Laurence has got on fat Heather’s nerves by being with Minty, and isn’t Dawn looking lovely? What’s she doing with Garry?

And I don’t trust that 1940s granddaughter of Dot’s because she’s up to something, the shifty little bitch. I know Ricky’s boy Liam’s a bit thick but, as Pat says, he’s no liar and Dottie’s turning out to be a chip off the old block. A chip off Nick – and where’s he gone, eh?

And Archie’s evil schemes worked out well, didn’t they? What with buggering up Ronnie’s life – and hasn’t she got a lovely bone-structure? I would as long as the wife didn’t find out, like. He did well there, losing his wife and getting bundled into a van and I missed Friday’s and Monday’s episodes so I don’t know if he’s dead or not. Is he dead? Archie, I mean. If he is dead, what the hell was all that about? Talk about hidden agenda.

Meanwhile Janine’s feeling the strain after running over Danielle, don’t know why she’s so cut up, she didn’t bat an eyelid when she murdered Barry. And how come Pat still speaks to her because she knows Janine murdered Barry and you’d have thunk she’d never speak to the woman again, wouldn’t you? I mean, if my son-in-law had been killed up in Scotland by my step-daughter I wouldn’t give her the time of day never mind inviting her on a holiday to Paris that all went tits-up when it turned out she’d been stealing off of Peggy to fit up Jay.

Mind you, the way people treat each other on the square’s weird what with banning somebody from the pub / the shop / the curry house / the beauty parlour one minute and letting ‘em back in the next and … WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING STILL WATCHING THIS SHOW?

The Speaker

April 15, 2009

The Speaker BBC Jo Brand

We’re regularly told that the nation’s number one fear is the act of public speaking. People would rather die than make a speech before an audience – which seems a bit severe. It also beats spiders, confined spaces and heights in the phobia stakes, hands down. This is strange when you consider that speaking in public is something we’re biologically programmed to do. It’s like being frightened of walking down a lane, or becoming terrified when faced with the prospect of going for a poo.

Having said that, if you’d have seen the mess I made in the little boy’s room last night, you’d find yourself utterly terrified of visiting the bog.

Ultimately, there’s no denying it’s a nightmarish experience. All of my adult attempts at public speaking have, without exception, been disastrous. Clammy hands, stuttering delivery and mind-blanks combined and resulted in speeches that seemed, from inside my head at least, to be completely incoherent word-babbles serving no discernible purpose.

As a child it was easier, or seemed to be, thanks to a heady mixture of youthful enthusiasm and childish arrogance. The fact that we were called upon to make speeches semi-regularly at my rural, all-boys grammar school must have helped, and you can’t help but feel that the primary reason most people suffer anxiety when asked to orate is a lack of practice. When called upon to address the public, most people will run a mile. So credit to the teenagers, all state-school kids, who signed up to The Speaker on the BBC – an attempt to find the best public speaker under the age of 16.

So far we’ve experienced the auditions round, in which entrant after entrant clammed up, fluffed lines or hit a mental blank. Those that were deemed good enough by a giant, a kindly aunt and a Quentin Blake illustration made it through to last night’s round, in which Deborah Meaden – that glorious spinster from the Den – wore an extremely-expensive looking hat. In addition to her millinery display, she had the youngsters stand on a soapbox at Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner, riffing on an object they’d pulled from a dustbin tombola she’d set up on the side of the makeshift stage. This resulted in an impassioned speech from Jordan, who aped his own piece from the preceding round and told the gathered crowd that embracing binoculars is the only way forward. Not only for a better tomorrow, but also for a better society (as a whole).

It was incredibly moving.

In case you’re thinking of catching up by watching tonight’s episode, having lost a couple more kids later on, we’re now left with the following youngsters:

Jordan
Appears to only have one speech to refer to in which he’ll make an impassioned plea for sanity so that we can move forward – collectively – not only for a better tomorrow, but also for a better society (as a whole).

Fahmida
Constantly looking slightly out of her depth, Fahmida is unintentionally amusing. Basing her findings on her extensive world-experience, she hates the notion of love, laughs in the face of romance and stomps on the very concept of companionship.

Duncan
Shouty Duncan’s foolproof method of engagement is to shout at the audience. His shouting technique is second-to-none and, were this a public shouting contest, it’d be game over for the other contestants. Duncan’s mother appears to indulge his shouty ways, so expect more shouting from shouty Duncan in the future.

Haroon
Graffiti-loving Haroon comes across as an educated Ali G and displays the kind of confidence when speaking to a crowd that can only come from some unfair evolutionary advantage. Either that or his brain’s been programmed for success by some mysterious, shadowy BBC agent.

Irene
Irene strikes me as the sort of girl who’s either grown up around adults who treated her as equals, or the type who stays in her bedroom all weekend watching sitcoms. Her attitude comes straight out of Smack The Pony or Green Wing, and for that she should be applauded.

Maria
Like Haroon, Maria totally lacks the negative self-awareness that should make public speaking an alarming prospect, making it possible for her to sail through each round with nary a glimmer of fear. Whatever it is that she and Haroon have pumping through their bloodstream that makes this possible should be bottled and sold.

Thomas
Old beyond his years, Thomas comes across as having the maturity and wisdom of a 40 year old man, stuck within the body of a 16 year old. When I was his age I was flailing around and shouting at policeman, pissed on cider, so it’s hard not to look at the lad without feeling a deep sense of shame.

Kay Kay
My pick to win it. When he takes the stage, Kay Kay is mesmerising. Like a black Boris Johnson, the self-professed mummy’s boy wins the crowd over with messy charm. He radiates the Churchillian ability to encapsulate Britishness, and I reckon he’ll win the thing. If he doesn’t, he should’ve.

This is a good watch.

If they offered a bigger prize than just the title – perhaps a meeting with The Queen or something similar to stick on their CV – and meddled with the format a little bit then The Speaker could quite easily become as well-regarded as that BBC behemoth, The Apprentice.

If only they’d lose the Snow Patrol from the soundtrack and stopped trying to play to the X Factor morons, they might mould a hit show from this concept.

Hell’s Kitchen 2009

April 14, 2009

marco pierre white hell's kitchen itv

There are teachers who, on your first day in their class, think it’ll benefit you massively if they act as though you’re already an advanced student. Thus, in your first ever French lesson Monsieur Higgins will regale you with an anecdote on how he refitted the bearings on his bicyclette and expect you to respond in kind. The PE Teacher will throw you into your first ever 11-a-side comptetive match as central defence and berate you when you prove hapless as you try to block the opposition’s christmas tree formation.

These teachers – who think putting you in a completely impossible position, watching you flail, rescuing you and mocking you for your lack of ability is an apt substitute for actual teaching – are bastards.

Marco Pierre White is one such teacher. Last night, he chucked his new staff of celebrities, has-beens and who-the-hells into an overlit kitchen and expected perfection, then gave his charges a subtle earful when they didn’t oblige.

Still, a bollocking from M. White isn’t half what it might be coming from one of his ex-students. Gordon Ramsay appears to have absorbed all that is negative from White – every poisonous mannerism and inflection – and nicked it wholesale for his own act. But where Ramsay is a hopeless joke of a man, an instant parody of himself with a routine that was starting to run thin five years ago, White himself is actually a balanced beast and often comes across as a wholly likable bloke. If only he’d stop wrapping those enormous Palestinian keffiyehs round his insane haircut.

Claudia Winkleman hosts, now ubiquitous to the point of omniscience. She takes over from the over-cynical Angus Deayton and injects a good dose of bland where old Ang’ only offered the viewer mockery for even watching in the first place.

Following last night’s episode, I’d be surprised if Winkleman’s make-up artist hasn’t been sacked as the treatment she appeared to have received at the end of an applicator brush made it seem she’d either been up all night weeping or was suffering from ocular hemorrhoids. It was difficult to look at her, full on, without feeling a twinge of unwarranted sympathy.

The show was uneventful, so let’s take a look at the contestants and their performance on the opening night of a show you won’t care about and probably won’t even catch in passing:

Adrian Edmondson
The most immediately recognisable, Ade is still the affable giddy goat with the posh voice and the nice line in fart gags. Burned his hand to a blister and didn’t moan much. I’ll only continue to watch if it can be guaranteed that he’ll win.

Jody Latham
Apparently an actor from Shameless, a show I’ve historically been told off for when admitting I’ve never watched it.

Ms. Dynamite
Christ – where’s she been? A definitive case of ‘whatever happened to?’, Ms. Dynamite appears having spent the last five years hidden in a shed.

Bruce Grobbelaar
That cheating goalkeeper with the moustache who wobbles about when he’s defending a penalty. Remained anonymous.

Grant Bovey and Anthea Turner
Appearing as a couple but not cooking together, Anthea Turner is Anthea Turner whilst her husband continues his campaign to prove himself Britain’s most tedious arsehole.

Linda Evans
American actress best known for Dynasty, Evans fell into default American-in-British-reality-show setting and remained statue-still whilst looking startled for the duration.

Danielle Bux
Lingerie model and wife of Gary Lineker. Very clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but very presentable. White immediately made her his right hand girl – so Lineker beware.

The latter two lost last night’s invisible challenge. Their punishment, as it turns out, will be that they’re out of the kitchen and waiting tables in the next episode.

Oh, the indignity.

The Friday Question on Thursday: CSI WWM

April 9, 2009

Bubble The Wire BBC Police Baltimore

It’s taken a mere eight years for the BBC to cotton on to the idea of broadcasting The Greatest Television Show Ever Made©. Somebody over at Auntie got round to noticing the loud noises being made by fans and critics alike, and the result is The Wire is finally being shown on BBC2. Still, to make sure it’s not going to get too big for its boots now it’s rubbing shoulders with the big guns of British entertainment, it’s being shown after Newsnight at 11:20 – the TV equivalent of the naughty step. “You may be the Big I Am over on satellite,” the BBC seems to be saying, “but over here, you’ll wait your turn until after Paxman’s had his say.”

Let’s hope this idiotic scheduling decision won’t last past series one. After all, there’s a nice, juicy slot at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays that’s currently occupied by the thoroughly rancid Heroes.

Come on, BBC! PULL YOUR DAMNED FINGERS OUT OF YOUR ARSEHOLES!

Anyway. To celebrate the coming to terrestrial TV of that black fella, that other, drug-dealing black fella, that mixed race oriental lesbian one, that one in charge who looks like a corpse and him off of 300, WWM turns its beady stare on the seedier side of life.

We want to know if you, the thieving, murdering, looting, pillaging, car tax-evading, benefit frauding readers of this ‘ere Watch With Mothers, have ever committed a crime.

Did you bludgeon granny to death for her pension money? Is dad buried under the patio? Are you and your sister indulging in the love that dare not speak its name, Dave?

Or did you simply give a copper some lip and end up hammering drunkenly on the door of a police cell after being arrested on a public order charge? And then have to stump up an £80 fucking fine at Sheffield police station in order to avoid the matter ending up in court? The rat bastards. All I said was the fucker looked like he should be picking shit out of his anus behind a perspex screen in Twycross Zoo. This country’s being run by Nazis, it really is.

Anyway …

‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what’s all this then?

WWMers, it’s over to YOU …

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?

Just A Thought : Balding’s Balls-Up

April 8, 2009

I see the BBC has received over 1,500 complaints about Claire Balding’s mocking of National winner Liam Treadwell’s gnashers last Saturday.

As the owner of a set of teeth one could generously describe as an ‘abomination against God’, I’d like to add my support for Claire at this difficult time. My sort (the orthodontically despicable) shouldn’t be allowed on the television, and it’s high time somebody had the balls to point it out.

Indeed, I reckon we should go further and get rid of all visually repulsive people off our screens once and for all. As well as hell-mawed ape-men such as m’self, may I suggest we give horse-faced, pug-nosed, bullock-built unterfrauleins the boot to boot? Nobody springs to mind at the moment, but I’m sure we could truffle out someone of that description if we sniffed about the BBC sports department for long enough …