Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Huzah! Spooks and Qi are back for another series,

What a great time to get ill. I have full blown stage 10 Man flu, Lurgie , call it what you want. But it means I  get to sit in front of the telly most of the day and then switch over to the iPlayer when I'm in bed. My doctor recommended lots of rest, and I'm following her advice. Haven't moved a muscle in the kitchen or gone outside except for some medicine. It's new series season and the feast that started last week continues apace this week.

At the week end I watched Qi XL and regular Qi. Loved both, but sad to say BBC scheduling boffins, if I have to choose, I will always want MORE Qi, not less. Hodge Podge was funny from beginning to end and featured the perfect Geordie. Seems Ross Nobel is the one man from the North who can communicate with Stephen Fry. I particularly enjoyed the monkeys who were ultimately clad in red and white striped pants. I cannot believe that was accidental. Perennial loser and straight man Alan Davies had a canny loss, coming 2nd  with quiet dignity never losing his ability to hit the punch lines. The best nugget of information I took from this ep was that Halitosis is a made up illness treated with harsh Victorian washing fluid. I was half expecting Victorian "enthusiast" Ruth Goodman to come on set with some of it to clean Alan Davies. Listerine was until the invention of Halitosis, not a mouth wash, but floor cleaner. Mouth wash , another clever concept like dragon breathe that hadn't previously existed.

Not to be outdone, Britain's Really Disgusting Drinks, further educated us to the clear  dangers and minor perils lurking in our drinks cabinet. Alex Riley first blew the lid off the "medicine man" style waters on offer. Some apparently help us slim, yet others keep us alert and yet others supplement our vitamin deficient bodies with a bit of help from Pharmawater. Having never been taken in by the confidence men and women telling about pro biotic this and vitamin enhanced that, I was a bit surprised by the number of seemingly intelligent people who bough into the concept. Having flushed the lies from water, he next targeted wine. I dreaded the expose, but it turns out the worse thing I found out is that cheap wine special marketed to be sold at half price is fobbed off on innocent, read ill informed folk. Ok so maybe I'm not as easily fooled as some with a bit of French or Italian and a fancy label. But it was amusing to say the least to again see people delude themselves that the cheap plonk they were buying was somehow highly prized quality wine that Tescos had got a good deal on.  Cheap high alco beer got a quick going over, but did we really think the power buzz tramp special was anything other than what it was? It at least meant my tipple of choice, Guinness, wasn't mostly mouse droppings or  toe nail clippings .I can continue blissfully thinking beer is made from cold mountain streams and the heather of the valleys and if I drink it, truly fit women will want to have sex with me.. Or was that the Vodka advert?

Well in the end there had to be a Bogey Man to hang a sack full of blame on, the monks who have brewed the fortified wine Buckfast for over 80 years. Seems the Scottish reprobate of today chooses Buckfast to go off his heed and commit acts in the name of stupidity. Is anybody going to take out the caffeine? Why aren't there roving bands of wankered OAPs? Well simple answer first. The kindly grans of yore only have a wee glass, while the yobs can sometimes drink 2 to 3 bottle a night. Clearly something has to be done. Not one to avoid blame being heaped on the makers of the product, I fully agree something has to be done about the price and the easy availability of this Jekyll Hyde juice, I'm just not so sure that the full blame lies with the brewers. Oh in case you missed it, there wasn't anything particularly disgusting in any of the drinks. Disturbing and alarming perhaps, but not disgusting. I've eaten tripe, drank old fashioned cough medicine and eaten pungent cheese, now some of those can be disgusting, but that's just a question of taste and how prepared you are to open yourself up to the full range of flavours and textures. I have however eaten food in American fast food places and shopped in convenience stores. There lurks the truly appalling and disgusting, as it's not only foul tasting, but some of it will kill you. Nice touch, the animated balloon heads, never tired of them.

Speaking of scary, Go Compare, Go Compare!!!!!! No really, go compare the last few teeth rattling mind jolting outings of our least favourite insurance pitch man. The New Egyptian theme seems tired and forced. Even the victims seem  bored by it all. If you want to make it into a proper 30's or 40's musical, we need to move on and get a smooth crooner in a tux. not the male Ethel Merman. I know a mate of mine who will disagree with me, but I still much prefer the Meercats and even my till now brilliant Omid Djalili spots over these annoying adverts that serve only to insure I will never Go Compare.

I have saved the best for last. Spooks has at long last landed in our happy schedules that were gagging for some decent drama. Spooks yet again shows that dreck like ITV's Identity can never hold a candle to the best spy thriller on telly at the minute. So were we ?  Ros has died, Harry wants to retire, Ruth and Lucas are back in from the field. Another series opener, another funeral. If you are a cast member, don't expect any sentimentality from the writers. Tonight the world is on the brink of another well conceived Al Quada/Somali pirate story. Nothing is as it seems and you will be surprised if you think you can foresee the twists before they happen.  One of the best things about Spooks is that enough of the future story is dribbled out in little teasers of doubt and suspicion that you will need to re watch if only to be sure you were on the right track. Top scene has to be the scene when  Harry Pearce visits the now disgraced former Home secretary. The events that follow are a master class in keeping things in the family. Do I trust the new girl? of course not, where not supposed to, do I trust the new Home secretary? Definitely not, but I can't tell you why. He exudes a sort of reserved caution that could have him end up being Satan or Saviour. We have yet to crack the Hydra headed international conspiracy and the world of Lucas North is in for some more turmoil this term. It can't help but get better and better .

Don't miss starting this Wednesday, Micheal Wood's History of England, tracing the twisted alliances of history from early Roman times to today by digging up the past of a small village. And of course C4's Ramsay's best restaurant and the BBC's Great Bake off continue.

Happy telly all, I will now climb back under the covers and whimper quietly as my sinuses are held hostage by microscopic pirates intent on ruining my week.

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