tv dinners

watercooler chat about what’s on TV and what you had for dinner last night

Archive for November 2007

Never mind our lack of imagination

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Well, I’d hoped to like the new series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, I liked the ad campaign, I think Simon Astel is miles better than Mark Lamarr, and I’m all for strong language, but it just hasn’t changed.

blogs.orange.co.uk

Where have they found all these ‘charasmatic’ ie, dim but personable and arrogant, NME cool list pillocks? How can Bill Bailey and Phil Jupitus bear it? I hope the money is good.

The format for most of the show really works, I think the intro round is hard not to like, but the line up game where they cast 5 (granted stupid) people, as paedophiles, Tory supporters and manual labourers just epitomises the lack of talent on the panels, nasty and predictable comedy. You really notice Bill Bailey’s absence as there’s nothing creative happening.

Tonight’s ‘guests’ were Keith Chegwin, Tahita Bulmer, Dappy from N-Dubz and Mighty Boosh star Rich Rulcher. This is actually more like it, as Simon doesn’t seem able to have anyone on the show without going all Dennis Pennis on them, even Jermaine Jackson mock-throttled him last week.

But it’s cringe-worthy ultimately and it’s standards are so low, so soon, all the ‘double point’ gags and gimmicky chairs are just the same as a celebrity guest on a sitcom, desperate! Mind you, Pop Bitch at the Guardian disagrees, read her take on it here.

Written by Victoria

November 30, 2007 at 12:25 am

Posted in TV

Christmas, cheers

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This is my plan, for finger food style, yule-buffets..

  • Guacamole – you need 1 ripe avocado, mashed with lime juice (dissolve some salt in the juice before you stir in), spring onions and black pepper, now mix through some greek yoghurt or sour cream. If you use greek yoghurt, hold back 2tBsp to mix through store bought hoummus. If you like this more spicy, forget the yoghurt, add a dash of Tabasco and chopped, peeled and de-seeded tomatoes.
  • Pita chips – cut white pita bread with scissors into little wedges and toss with salt, pepper and garlic olive oil, plus sesame seeds if you’ve got them. Now bake in a moderate oven for 10 mins until
  • Salsa – see my recipe below
  • Hoummus – add 2 tBsp greek yoghurt and juice of half a lemon to store bought hoummus, plus freshly ground pepper and 1/4 or 1/2 tsp of ground cumin. Stir up then serve with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sweet paprika.
  • Cocktail sausages (free range or at least “butcher’s choice”) – bake with honey, soy sauce and a drop of sesame seed oil for 30-40 minutes until sticky and browned. Other versions could be honey and mustard or maple syrup and orange…
  • My favourite cheese – Cenarth brie, St Agur and an amazing cheddar plus plain water crackers

  • Organic chicken bites or breaded prawns, served with homemade plum sauce
  • Mini baked potatoes (mini potatoes baked til super crisp) with sour cream and chives
  • Ham, pesto and boursin tart

Ham, pesto and Boursin tart

  • 1 x pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 x jar basil pesto
  • 3 x thin slices of ham
  • 1 x boursin cheese

Spread basil pesto over half the pastry, leaving a border to seal later

Layer the ham over the pesto

Crumble Boursin on top of the ham then with an eggwash, paint around the border to seal in the filling.

Fold the pastry onto itself, pressing down on the edges and eggwash the top.

Cook in a moderate over for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve warm, cut into small squares. This recipe was originally in an old Good Food magazine, it’s a great, simple combination and I sometimes use this combination in toasted sandwiches too.

Salsa

  • half red onion finely chopped or blitzed
  • 1 red pepper finely chopped or blitzed
  • 1 red chilli – mild, blitzed
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 punnet of plum tomatoes, a quarter blitzed, seeds and all and the for the rest of the tomatoes, squished out the seeds with your fingers then chop finely.
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tBsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tBsp fresh parsley or coriander chopped finely

Mix the ingredients up at least 30 minutes before the party, or days beforehand! Keep covered in the fridge overnight if you do make ahead.

Plate style buffet food next week… have I missed anything?

Written by Victoria

November 28, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Posted in Recipes

You’re the high priestess of tinsel

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Well FOTC has surpassed itself, last night’s episode was the best to date, consistently funny songs and dialogue. The first song, “Ladies of the World” is on you tube in it’s earlier stand up format and is priceless,

“I don’t care if you’re ugly or you’re skanky or you’re small/I just wanna do something a little special for you all”

www.schadenfreude.net

Murray’s plans to make the band’s image more rock’n’roll range from a piece of hay, dangling suggestively from the mouth to a live webcam (that Brett and Jemaine don’t know about). He forces the guys to drink beer (“Think of something happy”) and books them a gig at a World Music night.

Two new fans show up, much to numero uno fan Mel’s disgust. The rest of the episode is filled with drugs, threesomes and a foray into Dave’s apartment (to borrow clothes for the date, Jemaine wants a “casual Prince” look) and an akward dinner at Mel & Doug’s home.

“I’ll have a big delicious beer!”

Written by Victoria

November 28, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Posted in TV

Think, think about it

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Can’t believe I missed Thursday’s glowing Flight of the Conchords review in the Guardian.

There are only three epsiodes left of this smash hit. Well, it’s a hit by BBC 4 standards, surely and must be billed for BBC2 soon. Apparently lots of people dressed up as FoTC for Halloween… yes, actually.

Peter Bradshaw sites the comedy as English, which it isn’t. The silences and raised eyebrow akwardness is different to, say Extras akwardness. It’s not hostile and cringe-making, it’s just quizzical, bemused and befuddled.

Anyway, here’s 5 reasons why you should be watching Flight of the Conchords:

1. The only showcase of the beauty that is the New Zealand accent

2. Brett and Jemaine aren’t bad looking, even if Jemaine’s deep set features couldn’t be considered classically handsome.

www.eonline.com

3. Murray (Rhys Darby) is the most memorable character, his genuine concern for the band elevates what could be a David Brent rip-off into a warm and original father figure, “I’m so angry I could swear!”

4.The posters in the NZ consul office, “New Zealand … Why not?”, “New Zealand, if you don’t expect too much, you’ll love it!”, “New Zealand, it’s not part of Australia”, New Zealand likes to rock the party.

5.The songs.

“Children on the streets using guns and knives
Taking drugs and each other’s lives
Killing each other using knives and forks
And calling each other names like dork “

Written by Victoria

November 26, 2007 at 8:05 pm

Posted in TV

Oh crap, England are playing multiball

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Motson: “It’s been a weird group”, Lawrenson: “It keeps getting weirder”

In October, when the All Blacks played France in the Rugby World Cup, I had a bad feeling. I just knew we were going to lose, especially after England beat Australia, something had gone horribly wrong. After the historic loss, the NZ Herald said the ABs had joined an elite group of losers, cosying up to, amongst the anti-heroes, the English football team.

Last night, when England were 0-2 I knew they’d come back too, if only Beckham was on the pitch. Every team needs a talisman and I was right, even Scott Carson started making saves in the second half, hurray for my killer instinct I thought – then Croatia scored again.

Now I’m not a football expert, (doesn’t stop me normally), but I realise tensions are high, so I won’t comment on the game just the TV spectacle that was, England vs Croatia. Here are my highlights:

79mins – “It’s desparate for every Englishman” John Motson has been watching too much Flight of the Conchords… They’re so crap. They’re so crap they’re making me sexist.

2nd half – Steve McLaren finally gets onto the sideline and starts yelling. Some may mock his umbrella, but I understand, you really don’t want to lose and be soaked, that makes for an image in the nation’s mind that will affect future management offers.

The pitch – one Croation player slid, with superman arms, into the goal when his team mate kicked the ball wide. That was, hands down, the best slide of the night, better even than Sol Campbell’s full on slide ride off the pitch

85mins – Motson: “Say something. Say something Mark!” Lawrenson: “can’t”

14mins – Motson: “You can’t believe what you’ve just seen”

Half time, McClaren strides down the tunnel. Motson: “He’ll be asking questions”, yeah, like where the hell is Venables? In the second half, the BBC lingers on the management teams receding hairlines “you can see the strain” which is being polite, as Venables is pulling a man-eating dog expression, vampirish even.

Tonight has to be the worst Lawrenson commentary ever. He didn’t speak for the first 7 minutes of the second half, and sulked for the majority of the game.

When Motson asks him what’s going through Carson’s mind, he mutters, “It’s hard to say”. I can understand why they’ve banished him to commentary, but surely this is unfair for Motson, “Mark, take some of the pressure off” – who ended their stint with “unbelievably for me, it’s England 2 and Croatia 3”, which must be evidence of stress.

Written by Victoria

November 22, 2007 at 3:14 am

Posted in TV

Dream of suing David Du-chov-ny…

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We’re only 4 or 5 episodes into the series here in the UK, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are suing the show – claiming it’s usurping their album and single Californication greatness. Why wait so long? The series has already finished stateside and it just seems so petty, as the creators and writers are obviously fans, you only need to check the Wiki page to see how often it’s referenced. Nevermind hey?

Here’s hoping the Charlie storyline, complete with sexually frustrated wife and submissive pierced secretary, will end soon. It’s just not feasible – Charlie’s too soft and we all still think of him as his Sex and the City alter ego. You need the Duchovny swagger to bring home the racier side of the show.

The character development is above your average hollydrama too, well not particularly for the women Hank sleeps with, but especially Karen (Natasha McElhone), who’s starting to show a darker side and Mia (Madeline Zima), who’s brilliant at being frankly disturbing when you remember her as a kid in the Nanny with Fran Drescher!

The Daily.com.au

Written by Victoria

November 21, 2007 at 3:48 pm

Posted in TV

TV for the grim and some salad

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Rachel Allen’s Food for Living

What’s next? Food for dying? Ok, now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me declare, Rachel’s perky south african/irish accent doesn’t bother me. Infact, I have one of her books, no two, and I do quite like her. The trouble is, she’s a non-entity. There’s no Rachel Allen-ish thing she does, apart from taste her cooking with a teaspoon. She tries to be like la Lawson, but doesn’t get there. Her recent pub food episode had her talking about a side dish for chicken kiev.

“I think a nice salad is good to cut through the richness”, walks to fridge, comes back with a bowl of lettuce, “Here is some salad. Some lovely crisp salad. Just take some of the salad” pause as she picks up said damn salad, “and put the salad on the plate.”

It goes on and on – the woman is a food teacher, she can’t freestyle like Nigella and doesn’t want to be Delia, so she’s kind of no-one. However, she does get really excited about the toffee sauce she makes, pouring half a jug of it on one slice of cake during the end credits, which was endearing.

The Street

My god this annoyed me. Timothy Spall and his wife, Margie (Ger Ryan), waltz around in shit for an hour, complete with appaling ‘visions’ of victims of cancer inflicted on us with school sophistication voiceover from Margie. I found this so depressing, I suppose it was well acted, life is grim once you’re middle aged if you’re still a loser seemed to be the message. At least they’ve got eachother though, nothing like 58 minutes of dirge with a happy ending.

Heroes

Bring back LOST. Sorry, I’m not usually pessimistic but when the storyline starts skipping into the future things don’t usually end well. All the hook-ups and exciting terrorist ‘other’ status that the Heroes have aside, Five Years Gone just sparked a tiny voice in my head, jumped the shark?

PS – I do hope things haven’t derailed, let’s hope all the hype is just show, as America takes a break around episode 18 in series for a few weeks for sweeps I think, so episodes 18-20 need lots of hooks to get the party faithful back in line. And yes, I know, LOST had a flash forward on this season’s finale too. Still, roll on February!

***Nov 22 – Is it just the challenge of finally having to provide a (not even) rational explanation for Heroes proving too much? Sylar’s impromptu snow globe session with his overwrought mother was painful and she should really have taught him to carry scissors properly. What was good, was the Patrelli clan, including Claire, who’s become more nasal since arriving in NYC. Hiro and Ando on Sylar’s trail is brilliant too, second guessing which hero skillz will save or betray them. I’m tiring of the Linderman enigma though, the shape changer’s just irritating and Dr Suresh pretty damn dull.

Top Gear

I really resist liking this show, as Clarkson is such a funny little facist. But as a nation you seem to be not only condoning him, but actively promoting him through christmas presents to anyone with a bald spot – so who am I to quibble?

Where do they get these people that stand around in the warehouse? Yes the vibrating chair seat woman was funny, but the honda or whatever it was owner scared me! He didn’t look like Top Gear dad snoozing in the chair. But what am I talking about, this show seems to have cross generational and cross gender appeal. Even Hammond has a real trendy hippy vibe at the moment. It’s practically Top of the Cops for the family, talking garbage about speeding cameras every week. Clarkson’s latest survey of deceit, that only 4% of rural accidents were caused by speeding, is just not true. I tell you dear reader, in NZ there was a famous ad campaign in the 90’s, “Country people die on country roads”, because the yokels speed! Surely the government wouldn’t lie? The one good thing was the Star in the reasonably priced car. Even I enjoy this, and, for a staunch All Blacks supporter, I was even impressed with Lawrence Dallaglio, who can sing. Who said rugby players were thick? Well English ones, anyway. Poor Larry would’ve been the fastest around the track if he didn’t way in so heavily.

If you’re really sick, you can visit http://www.topgear.com to see nice stills of the presenters, for each episode no less.

Written by Victoria

November 21, 2007 at 3:18 am

Posted in TV