Monday, 22 November 2010

Pudsy bear laughs, let downs and comedy

Good morning dear readers and slaves to the rhythm, Wasn't Pudsy's day out yet another cracker.....If you liked bands like McFly . Not withstanding the dreck for the ears, Take that were ok and our Kylie was fabulous, I mean how old is she and she looks like that and sings like that, made Pixie Lot look like a an old hag. Same old tired West End shows trotted out the trannies and the stylised dance numbers, John Barrowman wore a suit only he could carry off without deep embarrassment and most importantly, lorry loads of money was collected for the most deserving and vulnerable in society. The Doctor Who picnic was cute and the preview a bit clinical, a fellow blogger told me the brats were annoying and he didn't like the little kids either. I suppose even for Pudsy it was a bit saccharine.  At least now we know we'll be seeing Doctor Who does A Christmas Carol, because everybody else has done it. Last decent takes were Bill Murray in Scrooged and the Black Adder version. I suspect I will be disappointed as most of the Christmas Who specials were never much to write home about. It will however do me for my Who fix no matter how underwhelming it be.I won't lie, if you should so much as try to disturb at broadcast time I will defriend you in a nano second. It's been so long I would even watch Paradise Towers again. Here's a treat from past CIN shows... The 1985 CIN Who clip

Sir Terry of Wogan was well cool with his wit intact and he seemed to not fall asleep at all or be put off by the horde of screaming girls who thought they could shout out rude things or wolf whistle and get JLS to take notice of them. I of course muted them,  even the cat was shocked by them, and that Burque woman, great outfit, horrible song. Yes I'm not a fan of the music. Give me The Pogues any day , Christy Mccall or Maximo Park or the undertones , I can go on , But I'm not even sure I can tolerate wee Joe Mc Eldery some days.So what he's from South Shields, I'd rather get a root canal than listen to the entire cd. Oh for the days when bands I recognized sang music I liked. Which begs the question, why don't the Kaiser Chiefs or The Killers ever do these shows? Oh yeah 14 year old girls don't want to have sex with them. High point of the amateur variety had to be the annual News Presenters song, not nearly as shambolic as last year... look for it in the highlight reels.

Not sure how much was raised , but our fiver is defo going to a good cause. Was it my imagination or was there a segment for disadvantaged yoofs and handicapped kids joining the circus to get out of trouble?Last year it was about carers of whom I am one, this year it was all bit more tragic.

Did anybody notice the near complete lack of ITV input this year , barring the most excellent East Street and the murdering by the Loose women of a Girls Aloud song.  Which is not to say the BBC input was all that mind blowing. Your telling us that Sherlock couldn't do something or Miranda? or Qi or Mock the week?Ok so there's not a lot of family friendly light stuff on the Beeb at the minute but having called on the Hairy Bikers who did a most excellent air frying pan and Strictly gave us some decent dance , it should have been up to ITV to step up with more. Though I can see how they might have trouble. Nobody watches the Breakfast show starring former One Show rats and were it not for Katie Price and X factor, ITV would have to broadcast test patterns. Still better than watching I'm a has been, make me shove reptiles down my pants. Watch all or parts of Children in Need 2010

I was hoping the football would give me a bit of a lift from the mild disappointment of Friday night, but to no avail. Arsenal urinated away the chance to go top of the table and my own beloved Newcastle United were torn to pieces 5-1, well at least Andy Caroll scored a goal, The rest of the match is something I will work hard to forget in short order.  Still in search of a well deserved smile, I then looked forward to a glittering night of dance in Blackpool.  Despite the shite shower of unpleasantness via Doris Karloff, and the incredibly rude in studio crowd, the evening was a delight to behold with some stellar efforts by the top 5 dancers ( full review here). Despite the controversy surrounding a certain ex MP and delusional OAP, Strictly is still worth watching if you park your higher brain functions at the door. I look at it as an exercise in attrition in which the credibility of the programme slowly drains away while the best dancers shvitz their way to survival to avoid the Grim Reaper of  the great unwashed voting. Some brilliant dancing is yet to come and you should not miss it.

Which brings me to Sunday night. After the bitter but predictable disappointment of seeing Bendy Felicity hoyyed off at 8pm we waited for the most excellent Garrow's Law ( review to come) which of course was exactly what we expected, a perfect combination of costume soap and modern courtroom drama. Really , if you haven't watched it yet, I have to wonder what you're waiting for. Following Garrow's Law, mostly because I couldn't be bothered to turn off the telly, the lovely Mishal Husain kept us company while the tea mashed and I sorted out just which cheese we'd have for a late snack.

So armed with tea and cheese, The Impressions Show  kicked off and wellllll, in 30 minutes I laughed only once, never once tittered or had an ironic smile. Just becuase you do sort of accurate impressions does not mean you are funny. On the old Vogon Poetry scale of bad, this show still stays at the somnabulistic  horridness of  5, where it's not so bad you want to turn it off lest you injure your brain, but you can't imagine ever watching it again.  Pity such talent is wasted on below average writing. The problem with the Impressions show is simple, I don't want to see occasional near perfect copies of people on telly do stuff I can see by watching the real thing. The Heston Blumenthal sketch suffered from over writing, rather than end it just before Heston explains the joke we had just seen , they then carry on and drive the now ruined sketch into the ground. The Fabio Capello bit, at least I think it was Fabio, was painful to watch, and their one attempt at proper satire where Ronnie Corbet and Katie Price get married, felt forced and struggled to find an exit. Jon Culshaw, the real criminal of the piece, insists on doing impressions of people he can't even get the voice pitch of. One wonders how many starving comedians would have careers if the funds wasted on this were diverted to somebody new.  There's a reason it's on so late and the performers know it. I had honestly thought the programme had been pulled ages ago.

In an effort to cleanse the palette, we turned to the magic of the iPlayer and  caught up on things we'd missed on account of being both down with the lurgie. First up was Russell Howard's Good news which was funnier in the first minute than all of the previous 30 minutes and just kept on rolling, even poor Gaza and his fried chicken and lager get mentioned. Then suddenly, the rotten stand up routine that closed off the programme intruded. Maybe it's a Southern thing I don't get, but the alleged comic must have said the word posh about 50 times before I muted him. Had I known he was it till the end, I could have saved myself the trouble of watching a podgy man in a sport shirt not being funny for what felt like an eternity. No worries Qi XL  was next up with the extended version of Horrible. After several weeks of being bumped in favour of popular music programmes I managed to live without, it was a refreshing breathe of fresh air. Truly makes you wonder why they don't just dispense with the shorter 30 minute version. Qi XL is a comedy treasure.

The Thick of It
Keep in mind the meds had not yet kicked in and we could spare another hour or so before the eyelids shut. Pumped up by Qi, I loaded up the See saw archive if Series 2 of The thick of it. Being the political animal that I am, I was able to see the humour to the very core of it's being. The Thick of it takes every situation ever to have happened in a party office or Ministry building, regardless of politics, and laid it out bare for all to see. Honestly , it's really like that, maybe not in such a constant stream of misfortune, but pretty much accurate. I even felt a few old nervous ticks and bad memories creeping back in like they had happened yesterday. For every person who thinks that politics is easy and some sort of perfect road of redemption for the idealistic public servant who needs to maintain some sort of Aristotelian perfection, watch the programme. These people have to practice the art of the possible in a fish bowl where unrealistic expectations and conflicting agendas clash regularly. After this, please have a care for the people running our government. It takes a special kind of crazy to be able to survive longer than 5 years, and yes they work hard with little or no recognition unless they fuck up. Even if they manage to stay under the radar, they still sacrifice, family and reputation for what at the end of the day is not remunerated nearly well enough to compensate for the hell most of them will endure. Looking forward to the new series we're told is now being scripted.

Newcastle United fans, in case you missed it, Goal! a film in which the mighty Toon feature in a big way and win a famous victory at the end in suitably dramatic fashion, is on the iPlayer till Sunday the 28th. You may recognize familiar behaviour if you've not seen this before. You'd be forgiven if you see Joey Barton and others thinly disguised as other players, but with the bad there is the good as well. Must see footie film even if you aren't a Mag, but if you are, make the time.

Well that's it for me till I write the other things set aside Friday night when the flu set in. It's still not too late to donate to Children in need, just click on the Pudsy link to the right of this post and follow the instructions. Every bit helps and even if the show wasn't always the best, the children can use all the help you can give.

As per usual, this blog post written to the tones of The specials, Jilted John and the Undertones on Beat Surrender at BBC Radio Newcastle. Make Nick Roberts part of your Saturday Night, if you can't there's always Listen again. 

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