Posts Tagged ‘Uncategorized’

Grow Your Own Drugs

March 3, 2009

Do you like cooking?

Are you a keen gardener?

Oh – one other thing… do you like homeopathic remedies?

If you ticked all of the above, you’ll love BBC2’s new cooking, gardening and homeopathic remedy show: Grow Your Own Drugs.

It’s a strange mixture of all of these elements squeezed into a format similar to Nigella Express or Chinese Food Made Easy. The only problem is, where those are both straightforward cookery shows, Grow Your Own Drugs’ presenter, James Wong sets out to squeeze in a factual basis for what he’s doing, growing the plant, cooking or preparing it and then, with the clock ticking away, providing a little bit of testimonial as to whether or not it worked. It’s a lot to slot in. Where Ching-He Huang migh collar a builder, cook for him, then eat with him, Wong has to jump through several hoops before he’s even at the hob.

Not only that, he’s also legally bound to provide disclaimers throughout. He starts the series off saying he’s ‘not some weird hippy’, slightly defensively, and proceeds throughout the show to warn us that he’s ‘not a doctor’, explaining that the tests aren’t ‘clinical trials’ and telling viewers not to smear pulverised fruit on their face if they’re worried that they might have allergies.

It comes across as incredibly restricting, as though Wong can’t get into his stride because he’s fenced in by indie-intros, justifying his own existence and explaining that he’s not a dispenser of pharmaceuticals. With half an hour to try and cure insomnia, constipation and dry skin using just a fruit bowl, the poor sod was always going to be up against it. The Naked Chef first appeared over a decade ago, but still the BBC are using this tired and stilted format for a large percentage of its factual TV, even when the content isn’t suited to it at all.

However, you don’t have to take my opinion as fact as I’m not a qualified writer. Always see a certified critic before watching gardening, cookery and homeopathy based television shows.

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Masterchef – Tonight’s Final

February 26, 2009

masterchef final

BBC2 have served up another sublime series of Masterchef this year and it’s difficult to choose which of the three finalists should win. In fact – I want them all to win, buy an island together and set up the most chaotic restaurant in the world, overcooking pies and not allowing cheesecakes to set until their hearts are thoroughly content.

But there can be only one – and my personal frontrunner at the moment is Andy, who last night managed to serve up what looks like a small, pastry panda sitting on a potato-bamboo raft (pictured above).

They’ve been through the tough times and tonight all they have to do is cook their best three-courser to seal their victory. They can count themselves lucky they’ve got past the stage where they have to cook for the critics. Anyone who has to go face-to-face with Jay Rayner without vomiting has been challenged, and being able to leave a meeting with that gorgon Kate Spicer without being turned into a miserable statue is a win in itself.

Let’s have a look at them in more detail…

* * *

Chris – The Small Boy:

Chris is a hapless little man, 24 years of age, who falls to amusing pieces when asked to lead a group. With the most unconvincing self up-talk of the bunch, you can’t help but feel sorry for him when he’s onscreen gazing at squid-ink pasta with an expression that reads ‘I am terrified of food’.

Reason to back him: He’s the youngest, is fresh-faced and seems like a decent chap.

Andy – The Comeback Kid:

Despite initally seeming like a bit of a braggart, Andy’s won us over despite his awkward swagger. Having failed last series, he’s returned stronger and is constantly rescuing Chris from disaster like a catering child-minder. Andy is pretty selfless and pretty bloody good at the old cooking. He’s earned his place in the final.

Reason to back him: The ‘comeback’ angle gives him the kind of story  Producers loves to put out there.

Mat – The Happy Egg:

Mat’s the oldest and probably the most accomplished of the three, with the best palette on the evidence provided. He’s also endearingly weeble-like, and his goatie somehow makes him even more humpty like. After listening to him speak every day for the past two or three weeks, I still can’t place his accent, mind you.

Reason to back him: He cries all the time. Happy or sad, Mat’s your best bet for a blub-off. The cameras love an eye-dribbler.

* * *

Who will win?

Who deserves to win?

One things for sure – ‘whoever wins, it’ll change their life’.

BIG GUTSY FLAVOURS!

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.

The Friday Question – TV Games

February 20, 2009

Image by BP Perry

Hello, Napoleon here. I’m taking time out from my poverty stricken Northern life of flat caps, whippets, pigeon-racing, smacking my kids about and dying of consumption to ask you this week’s Friday Question.

Now then. We all love telly … indeed, some of us take the love we have for telly too far. Unpopular WWM reader Dave, for example, has a bizarre sex contraption rigged up to his miserable little set that allows him to ‘virtually’ have sex with children’s television character, Doctor Who. They say you can hear the wailing sobs of utter despair for miles around once he’s finished his shameful business thrice-nightly.

Anyway, I digress. We all love telly, but it’s hardly what you’d call an interactive experience, is it? Yes, you can vote out some wally on Big Brother, or have your cash subtly stolen off you by ITV (those rats), but that’s not exactly the futuristic interactive TV experience that Tomorrow’s World lied to us we’d get back in the ’70s, is it?

But what if it could be? What if your favourite telly show was a game? What would it be, who would you play, and what would happen? Would it be a board game? A card game? Or a whistles ‘n’ bells computer game like wot they have in the future?

To get you started, here’s what Swineshead and I came up with when we were out mugging old ladies earlier in the week …

GRAND THEFT OF THE SUMMER WINE

Play as Compo, Last of the Summer Wine’s loveable, welly-boots wearing lothario. Climb moorland! Find Howard and Marina hiding behind a wall! Knock on Nora’s door and then leg it! Volunteer your services for Foggy’s latest experiment in downhill tin bath charioteering! It’s the sandbox open world game that goes on forever and ever and ever and ever …

SIMS OF A FEATHER

Ever wanted to control one of those awful women off of Birds of a Feather? Fancy watching them eat and eat and eat? Feel inclined to listen to endless hours of unfunny dialogue coming out of the mouth of a painted monstrosity with a shrew’s arsehole for a face? Then you need the world’s only Birds of a Feather simulator! Sound a bit rubbish? Well yes … until you realise you’re the one controlling their bowels!

So there you go. What’s YOUR game, WWMers?

Friday The 13th (2009)

February 18, 2009

It’s remake time again! And this time it’s the turn of Friday The 13th to come under the spotlight.

Aaaah, Friday The 13th … tits, ass, Kevin Bacon with an arrow in the gullet, something about a boy drowning in a lake but then not drowning in a lake, a bald Corey Feldman, Jason taking Manhattan by murdering folk on a ship that’s not in Manhattan, Jason ending up in Hell and then in space in the future, more tits …

Let’s face it, the films of the Friday The 13th series have never been any good ever. Cheesy acting, appalling plots, crummy production values, shitty special effects, rubbish, synthesised ‘80s music; unlike other beloved horror franchises, the series has not had one truly good entry over its entire twenty nine year run. Eleven films have come before the remake. Eleven carbuncles on the weeping, maggot-riddled backside of horror – a franchise kept alive because teenagers will watch any old shit as long as there’s tits and killing in it.

So, as you can probably guess, I didn’t approach the new, ‘re-imagined’ Friday The 13th with high hopes. It’s an odd fish. It races through Part I in about five minutes, deals with the potato sack-headed Jason’s rise in Part II in a twenty minute section at the start, and then settles down to the familiar lumbering thug in the iconic hockey mask from Part III for the remainder of the film.

The formula’s exactly the same as it always has been:

  • A group of teens arrive at Crystal Lake.
  • The ones who get their tits out are murdered.
  • The ones who fuck each other are murdered.
  • The one who’s an arsehole is murdered.
  • The token black guy’s murdered.
  • The noble ones face up to Jason.
  • Jason gets his comeuppence.
  • ‘Shock’ ending where he turns out not to be dead after all.

This time around there’s a bit of a twist because one of the teenagers is looking for his sister who, we were led to believe, was murdered by Jason in the film’s Part II-inspired opening segment. It turns out Jason has mistaken the girl for his mother and, as you do when you’re reunited with the mother you thought had been decapitated after you drowned in a lake in 1980, has chained her up under his house.

The girl’s brother hooks up with a vague collection of stereotypes who are holidaying in Crystal Lake, singling out the only girl of their party who doesn’t drop her bra the moment the beers are passed round to be his friend.

So, as they set off to find the missing sister, the other teens are systematically butchered by Jason. There’s a tits-out waterskiing scene that ends in a crossbow through the head killing for the boat pilot, and the girl being lifted out of the lake by a hook in her head just high enough to get a last shot of her excellent tits. There’s an axe in the back scene, a screwdriver pushed up into a fella’s brain scene and a good old neck-snapping for one promiscuous young madam who didn’t realise Jason has never looked favourably on drunk girls who fuck their boyfriends butt-naked in Friday The 13th movies.

So, business as usual.

It’s too dark, nobody can act, the two main teenage males look so similar you keep mixing them up, the killings aren’t as gory as anything we’ve seen in the Saw or Hostel franchises (thanks to the producers aiming for that all-important MPAA rating that allows their target audience of idiot teenagers into the cinema), and the climactic final battle between the brother, the rescued sister and Jason is something we’ve seen a billion times before. Oh, and the final shock horror ending that has become Friday The 13th’s signature moment is exactly what you expected it to be:

“Well I’ll be damned! He’s not dead!”

So is it worth watching? Well, unless you really need to see a naked girl hung upside down in a sleeping bag being burned alive, I’d say no. If you do want to watch stuff like that, however, companies such as Lion’s Gate films have been making ‘em bigger, more brutal and better than Friday The 13th has ever been for years.

The tits are good, mind.

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!