Monday, 13 September 2010
Ann Widdicombe, Merlin and Football. Normal service has resumed
Mock the week since the last new MTW aired. How long has it been? Let me tell you. While the panel may have had time to mock the England team and vuvuzelas, they missed out on a lot of other cracking stuff. Like what you ask? Barry Moat, Gazza and his fried chicken, the Labour leadership contest annnd and ermmmm nowt much else if were honest. Seems even the freaks and chronic attention seekers take the summer off. Which is not to say there wasn't plenty to talk about on the first show back. Wayne Rooney, prostitutes, threesomes and Tony Blair's new book among other things. Best answer of the ep was "Ballistic Missiles Improve Sunderland" . I'd like to say I miss a certain panellist, but so far so good. Ironic comic in a bad Hawaiian shirt, Milton Jones stopped Dara in his tracks with a joke that is worth re-watching for. The rest of the cast, guests and regulars regardless, carried on in usual fine style. Between Mock the Week and Qi soon, there will be no excuse for UK comedians to starve on our watch.
Merlin was next up on the Saturday and to be honest I was looking forward to it about as much as a goose looks forward to Christmas. It's my wife that really wanted to watch, but if I wanted to have some leverage later on for something less to her liking, I was going to watch and that's it. She says it has something that reminds her of Xena about it, just camp and silly enough to forgive most sins. But even she can't get past the Gwen character who will eventually have to reveal some kind of noble blood, explain the less than fair complexion and stop being a washer woman before Arthur can marry her. I understand why it was done, but it doesn't make it right. And on this one point we at least agree. I however found the wholesale ripping off of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter a bit hard to swallow in the first ep back. The CGI monsters made a lot of racket and had me expecting the Knights who say NI a lot, only to turn out to be very un-scary spiders and scorpions that even Ron Weasley would have had no trouble wishing away. Next week we get Ray Harryhausen skeletons that aren't much better than the last time they fought Jason and the Argonauts in the early 60's. It seems even the matting of scenes that purport to be ancient Camelot, ruined abbeys or dark scary crossings into haunted woods are more obvious than usual. All of these faults can be laid at the door of the producers and writers, but the principal crime against acting in the series opener is the actress playing Morgana. Katie McGrath leers and winks her way through the story like nobody sees her acting so suspiciously that a blind man would know she's up to no good. Seriously, did no one notice how she wasn't the least surprised when the King fell ill or that she didn't seem to be concerned? If it weren't for the dragon at the end, I'd have been livid, instead, I was laughing my arse off. Proof if we needed it, that last years money is gone and they had to resort to 70's animated lizard stock. Merlin had better be on it's last series if this sort of mess is the best we can expect.
Strictly Come Dancing returned complete with Brucie. It's nice to see you, nice to see you nice Brucie . It's not Strictly without him. Along with the returning Judges, yes even Alisha Dixon is back from her extended tour of the USA. Seems she wasn't as big as Katie Price or Lady Sov, so she came home, we have a few new dancers. As I don't follow the World Cup of Ballroom, I have no idea who these new people are, but they are supposed to be good. And if the display of styles they put on was any indication, we're in for a decent couple of months of dance. And the the celebrities this year? I didn't believe it either. They've gone out of their way to add a few dancers older than Brucie and one of them is Ann Widdicombe. And guess who got paired off with her???? That's right, last series tosser of the year, Anton DuBeck. Serves him right. During the group dance it looked like he was dancing with his gran, very badly. As well, the great tradition of paring off well fit single people with equally fit professional dancers continues. There are at least two couples if not three in the making and I predict Corrie babe Tina O'Brien will be the least concerned about being linked to her young American partner.
Coast , then Today I'm with you followed by Newcastle on Film capped off by the excellent A Journey Back to Newcastle: Michael Smith's Deep North. An emotional trip any way you sliced it. Do yourself a favour and watch on the iPlayer if you missed any of these. Regardless of if you live in the Toon, are away or just love Newcastle, any one of these programs will leave you wiser and all the more seduced and attached to the City on the Tyne.
Planet North schedule is Corrie: The Road to Coronation Street.Thursday at 9 pm, the BBC ( not ITV) will tell the story of the oldest running soap in the land. In an interesting casting touch, James Roache will play his father William Roache playing Ken Barlow. David Dawson, most recently from Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Thick of it, plays Corrie creator Tony Warren. Full cast list and lots more here . A pity the current Corrie has so soured me I may not be able to watch till I know the great train accident is upon us.
Battle of Britain season should be excellent as well. so look out for that.