Monday, 24 May 2010

They Killed the Quatro!!!! or Here Comes Eurovision

Last week I was in the grip of finale fever, tonight I'm quietly thinking of how to fill the massive gaping hole now created in my viewing schedule. I will dear reader, reveal the secret cave of wonders I'm off to later , and no it's not DAVE.

First things first...

They killed the Quatro! What I had been thinking was confirmed when Gene Hunt saw the report on himself. Of course , it made perfect sense and was all the more touching when Alex et al are tempted one last time by the Devil. DCI Jim Keats is played with such understated rage and frustration, he is the consummate controlled face of evil. Alex aka US, is hoyed from pillar to post, never quite sure what the truth is. But when we find out the truth , it hits us hard like a Rooney Pen. Yes they are all dead, it's purgatory, Gene Hunt is helping the souls of the dead move on. This would be plenty, but the writers were not done pealing the onion away, Gene is the burnt ( offering) officer, an earnest plod Telly Savalas wanabe, who was cut down before he ever got going. I have of course lit a candle for both Gene Hunt AND the Quatro. I wish him well with his new graduating class of dead officers. Will we see Gene Hunt pass over? Who knows? Part of me would love to see that limited run 4 part epic cherry on top of the cake. I doubt however the writers are interested in messing with a perfect ending. My hat is off to those who took the hard decision to end the programme on a high note.

Speaking of ending on high notes, the other much awaited finale, LOST, aired in the last 24 hours. How I wish JJ Abrahms had had the courage of his convictions , and told the network, NO it's a three year arc, I'm not stretching this to suit you. How does it end? See above, They're all dead Jim! What a let down, I knew this by the end of series 2. What's even worse is they went out of their way to deny this, going as far as calling people like me, crazy and delusional. The previous hard core of Trekies, Whovians and Ringers dropped Lost like a hot potato shortly after Charlie was drowned in a vicious waste of the only character I cared if he lived or died. Then the nail on the coffin was the frankly confusing couple of eps where it's clear only a few survived and are haunted by this, only to flash back to the Island. Joseph Conrad is easier to read. I never recovered enough from the extreme disappointment of the stretch to watch again. Good thing too, Ashes to Ashes did it better faster and with some respect for it's viewers.

Sadly the other finale had a paltry 700,000 viewers getting the answer to the great question. Just what is the village? Short answer is it's a higher plain of the mind where mental patients are sent to recover from serious disorders. The fact Number two and his wife number one are doing this entirely against their will is the point of number six's rebellion. No prison, no matter how well intentioned is anything but a prison. Idealists cannot and should not force a single vision of perfection on humanity, because they believe they hold the only official truth. As it turns out, it's not perfect is it? Number six must choose, liberate the people or find a better way and a new truth. Poor 313, the girl is a complete basket case, two is not a bastard after all and 313 is the lynch pin of the finale. How will six choose? I'm not telling you . The science is a bit dodgy,but I'll let it pass, it is science FICTION, not science fact. On the whole a good wrap up to a great limited series. Try and catch it from the beginning before ITV sends it to Belgium.

Luther chugs along like the creepy engine that could. Ruth Wilson who plays Alice Morgan has owned this role. Any other show would have taken such a role and made her tiring by now, but not Luther. I fully expect to see her helping solve crimes more often, ... for a price. Idris Elba's character is clearly addicted to Alice who is drawing him into her wonderland of strangeness. In the most unsettling , will they or won't they pairing, some of us are waiting for the morning they wake up naked , he is very afraid, she smiles.

Outnumbered has come and gone for another series. I assume the entire barking mad clan of suburbanites will be back for another go in a few months. Getting that much gold out two small person cannot be easy and I'd rather wait till they have more rather than squeeze the funniest children on television like a once too often used tea bag.

BGT, my not so secret addiction, continued it's stream of less then stellar acts wanting to entertain the Queen. Please somebody explain to me the fascination with street dance? Even Charlie Brooker agrees with me on this one. It was refreshing to see the cute children in costume , doing something that didn't resemble a mass epileptic fit. The Asian dance troupe was brilliant, sadly ITV chose to show only truncated clips.This despite the clearly good reception they had. The father & son Jackson Impressionists were spectacular and seem destined to join the long list of acts that will make a decent living in Benidorm or some other resort town for the next ten years. The lad signing Danny Boy was good, but I hate Danny Boy, ( had to sing it in choir as a child) Maybe he can do a nice version of Athenry. That boy belongs in an Anglican Church Choir where his voice will be cared for and trained. His parents should have had him in music school ages ago , not going on BGT months before his voice breaks. My new favourite act is now the doorman who channels Sinatra and Tony Bennet. As a registered not wrinkly above the age of JLS, I am relieved to see more than one style of music to get a shot. Amanda Holden, Piers morgan and the substitute twat Louis Walsh managed to get through this week without being too silly, perhaps it was Simon Cowell being away due to the flu.

Doctor Who was a part one of two at the week end. Typical formulaic ending when the doctor predicts a few huts and 30 villagers only to see the entire Silurian civilization in front of him. I will not criticize the ep as being thin on story or even ripping off Inferno. Though I could. I will instead state what I consider the obvious, It's a part one, take the time to develop the personas dramatis that will make you shout at the telly in despair and fear whilst hid behind a pile of pillows. Or so I'm told some of us may have done. Remember, don't Blink...Go for a pee before the show starts and take the phone off the hook. These things usually get going big style in the second half. Matt Smith for NUFC manager, he couldn't do worse than the last two.

I'm pleased to report that Graham Norton is back on track, He had on last Monday the leader of the Dorothy cult Andrew Lloyd Webber, Minnie Driver, and mad Welsh person Ruth Jones. Camp funny and websites....

You want more Camp? Eurovision is here. Three nights over a week of the annual Euro fest of bad taste and block voting. I know Our song is bad beyond redemption, nauseatingly embarrassing and bland all at the same time. I know It'll be mostly nul points to Britain and that the winner will almost assuredly be from the Eastern Block. Will this stop me from watching? Of course not. I'm rooting for France with the not Coup de Boule song and Greece's OPA! They embody all that is great and truly awful about Eurovision. Get your drag face on and load up on niblies, you will not be able to pull yourself away from this year's crop of songs.

Now at the top I promised you something. This in fact is for my mate Paul in South Shields who moaned to my wife..." There's nowt on telly!" . How wrong you are!!!!
The iPlayer is a veritable treasure trove of gold and addictive stuff you will almost assuredly have missed if you were watching telly during prime time. The problem starts when you go to the BBC or any of the other players out there and look for something you missed and needed to watch. I WAS looking for Rock Band and found the 90 minute gem Synth Britannia . No Devo, but the bands that were on were mint. Proof that the 80's were not a complete wasteland. Over at 4OD We watched all 13 eps of Chelmsford 123, did a Time team marathon, and I'm wallowing shamelessly in Shameless. ITV is not without it's own treasure chest Classic ITV. So next time you think the telly is devoid of choice, have a neb around the Players. I'll have a few suggestions from the iPlayer cave of wonders every week for you. In the mean time, dig out those Doctor Who Throughton tapes and DVDs.

This blog written to the sounds of Beat Surrender and Paddy MacDee on BBC radio Newcastle. Coming soon, proper links to Nick Roberts Radio Newcastle introduces ( 9 pm most nights)new local NE bands. Follow the links here to find Nick, Paddy, Alfie and our Keith Telly Topping. For more great blog experiences read The Lord Toppings top tips before they air here

See you next week , or sooner if Eurovision is sufficiently inspiring....Happy viewing, Good luck with those auditions Paul Carney, Check out Rock The Barn
for local live gigs.

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