tv dinners

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

Archive for October 2008

Holy crap, only two months to go!

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I’ll admit, I do have some minor worries about how ‘They vanished’ but who cares? Lost is coming back, soon! Yay!

Written by Victoria

October 31, 2008 at 6:01 pm

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Who should guest host?

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So Johnathon Ross is suspended, 3 months without pay, £1.3million.  Perhaps he’ll go on an elongated book signing tour?

In the meantime, will the BBC have the guts to keep his Friday night show on with a guest host? I hope they do. It must be time for new talent to break through, I’d prefer someone who doesn’t have to flirt with each female guest and talk ad nauseum about himself.

Whether it’s right or wrong that the BBC have taken the steps they have – people can’t forget that the BBC is an employer and Ross an employee like anyone else.

His comments were inappropriate given his stature and just because the victim of the prank is a burlesque dancer doesn’t mean she’s asking for it, which a lot of commentary seems to be suggesting. Regardless if Baillie is now milking her five minutes for what it’s worth – the initial indiscretion wasn’t by her design and she and her family are the victims of it.

“There is a danger of this misogynistic, cruel comedy creeping into a lot of male broadcasters work..a trend that’s getting more extreme” – Jan Ravens, Newsnight 29/10/08

After the fall out this week, watching anything from Harry Hill (Hitler was a naughty vegetarian, so was Heather Mills) to Mock the Week (I’m now so old my pussy is haunted) risks complaints galore, it will be interesting to see if any lasting effect is made.

Written by Victoria

October 31, 2008 at 1:55 pm

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Had enough of America yet?

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No? Here’s my guide for what to watch in the last week of the US Elections lead up… in the UK.

Daily Show, More4, 8.30pm weekdays & The Colbert Report, FX, 11pm Tues- Fri

Essential viewing. Even Obama makes an appearance after Mrs O’s funny visit the other week. Politics doesn’t have to be dry – watch either show nightly for the latest (via a day’s delay) comedy on what’s happening in America.

Saturday Night Live
Any recent sketch with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin or Amy Poehler is worth watching repeatedy. They have clips on their site.

The View – the US version of the UKs mega lame Loose Women. Right wing Elizabeth Hasselbeck has taken to wearing John McCain t-shirts and introducing Sarah Palin at rallies. This has led to huge arguments onscreen and Jezebel.com is saying they’re talk confirming a new morning talk show with Hasselbeck and Palin – ugh!

All eyes on America TV specials. It’s strange that Simon Schama, Stephen Fry and Jon Snow haven’t bumped into eachother isn’t it?

Jon Snow’s Journey across America
Snow looks strange to me without his trademark bright ties. He’s managed to so far avoid the same areas that Fry and Schama have covered. Will he meet Joe the false plumber I wonder?

Stephen Fry’s America
In the second show Stephen gets his hair cut in London, Kentucky. A small boy looks gravely on, his hair being cut too, as Stephen pronounces he’s heard how much American’s like to dress up in a chicken costume, the barbers crack up. Feet swinging, the footage of the boy and Stephen is quite beautiful, natural and sweet – some how showing a side of life that seems more honest, going miles underground with ‘proper’ American miners, than other series which are essentially sizing America up.

I wasn’t keen on the premise, ” I was almost born an American”, which involved Father Fry not taking a job opportunity rather than some last minute emergency pit stop in England. but despite that, and the first episodes rushing pace, it’s enough that Fry wants to go and check out America – like Palin he’s got the personality to pull it off.

The American Future: A History by Simon Schama
Good show, bad timeslot.

Sick of the election? Catch The Soup on E!, Saturdays 11pm for reality show clips that could only happen in America. Truly, they tried doing a UK Soup and it jumped the shark before it started.

Written by Victoria

October 31, 2008 at 1:29 pm

How long are those braces on for?

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Surely Betty’s teeth are fixed now?

So it’s another Ugly Betty finale. Wilhemina is Editor in Chief at Mode, cue dissapointed looks from Mummy Mead and Daniel at Alexis. Daniel has magically acquired a French son. Christina is still pregnant with the Slater/Mead offspring – but has her husband had his life saving operation yet? Betty has to choose between Henry (barf) and Gio (from funerals to sandwiches, like sands through the hour glass…) which is a no-brainer. Hilda meanwhile has decided to become mistress to the Coach and the show’s still too scared to give Justin an actual love interest. Lindsay Lohan’s guest appearance wasn’t really an appearance.

orange is in. Photo ABC website for Ugly Betty

orange is in. Photo ABC website for Ugly Betty

On the plus side – Amanda isn’t Gene Simmons’ love child and Amanda and Mark still have chemistry. The family Suarez are still on the right side of sentimental too, so I guess I’ll be back to watch more Betty next year, despite the erratic story lines. In the meantime…webisodes!

Written by Victoria

October 24, 2008 at 11:52 pm

2013 – optimism on Wisteria Lane? Or real desperation?

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It had been rumoured that the five year jump in the Desperate Housewives latest series may be a move back to the good old days when Mary Alice was still alive and didn’t have to phone in breathy hallmark card soliloquies from the after life.

I would have preferred that, as I’m not sure moving five years in a snap is cold turkey enough to get the edge of reality into the storylines. The only housewife that seems changed is Gabby (Eva Longoria), so maybe this is Mark Cherry’s favour to the often un-nominated Longoria, “Here, lose the make up and cut your hair, parade around with a giant four year old and that Emmy is yours!”.

Gabby looks pretty anyway despite the lack of glam, and she and blind Carlos seem the happiest of the housewives, who elsewhere are looking gaunt with their skinny jeans. Katherine (Dana Delaney) has survived the jump, plus Mrs McCluskey and the eternally fake Nicole Sheridan. Gone are all the teenagers, replaced by Lynette and Tom’s twins, apparently now 16 (they sure didn’t look 11 in the last series).

a creepy carwasher and the famous five

a creepy carwasher and the famous five

Basically the five year gap means anyone can join in watching again – so I don’t think any comment on the new series can stand until we’re further into the series. In the meantime, it’s like watching the last ever show over and over again.

Written by Victoria

October 22, 2008 at 10:16 pm

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Jools, later, live, whatever

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Having cottoned on to the good American TV covering their elections months ago (Colbert Report, Daily Show, SNL Feylin etc), I thought I should watch something British tonight.

That’s why I was so thrilled to see Jools – Later, Live: making a huge deal about being live, holding today’s newspaper, repeating tonight’s Champion’s League scores so we know the show is live, it’s live, wow! Cut to half way through the show, Jools’ microphone stops working and he’s mercifully cut down to a whisper and wild gesticulation for a good five minutes. Brilliant.

Bake!

Ok so in the past I have not been a Rachel Allen fan. But I’m coming around – she’s finally found a format that works for her. In her new series she starts each episode with a recipe (same as ever but with less teaspoon sucking), then visits an interesting baker or chef, then teaches her cookery class a recipe. The teaching segment works best and Rachel comes across here and in visiting the artisan foodies as quite likeable and normal – far removed from her recipe mode in past series. She’s a great teacher and I think she should do more series focussing on teaching recipes to many rather than the uncomfortable false intimacy of speaking to no-one.

Written by Victoria

October 21, 2008 at 10:25 pm

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Imagine Austin tapping into a traumatic childhood experience

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I can’t really see Austin Healy, guns or not (he’s still shortish), reflecting on past turmoil to find an honesty in his next American Smooth or Salsa for Strictly Come Dancing.

This week’s Imagine…Dangerous Liasions focussed on Akram Khan teaching Juliette Binoche to dance. Instead of the chummy practice footage we’re used to from ~It takes two, we’ve got an acting tutor, cringe making attempts at forging a relationship, cool dancing and suddenly tension. Which is completely glossed over – shooting forward to final preparations for their live shows, we don’t get a straight answer on what happened and what their final performances even mean to Akram and Juliette.

Are we going to be sick of Strictly by Christmas? Or will it get even better? I’ve been watching the shows, yes even bearing Brucie’s double entendre and satire, and It takes two, as Claudia is worth watching especially with live bloopers from Ian and Jodie on the couch, “I hope she produces her breast”

The girls and boys are finally dancing together this weekend – I predict Andrew Castle or Heather Small are off.

Written by Victoria

October 16, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Too big a finale?

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The second series of the Tudors has really suprised me. The acting has improved hugely from the first series episodes I watched and I think pace of the episodes finishing with Anne’s demise helped give more drama rather than posturing. Peter O’Toole was a great Pope Paul III, Jeremy Northam as Thomas More, Nick Dunning as Thomas Boleyn – all worthy of award nominations.

Peter OToole as the Pope with Natalie Dormer and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Peter O'Toole as the Pope with Natalie Dormer and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

I wonder though, now that Natalie Dormer’s brilliant and sympathetic take on Anne Boleyn is done – how many people will be coming back for Season Three?

Jane Seymour, wife three, is already on the scene (wouldn’t it be good if Jane Seymour aka Dr Quinn Medicine Woman made a cameo?) and Henry has started gorging himself on swan pies. Trouble is, we’re used to a fiery consort for Henry and Lady Jane is boring with her purity. After the brilliant finale episode where records of Anne’s actual beheading was followed closely in the plot and her final speech, Henry comes across as a glorified serial killer! I have no sympathy left for him and not much interest in what he’s going to do next – I just can’t see how they can make him work as an anti-hero either. We need to wait til next year to see.. but apparently Joss Stone is going to be in the third series – so I hold no hope!

In the meantime, this clip of Natalie Dormer touring the Tower of London with a Tudor historian is worth watching, less so is her appearance on the View with JMR – as the ladies of the View are obsessed with the sex scenes in the Tudors and apart from Jonathan’s advice to America to worry less about the sex scenes “Maybe if you went to bed (and had sex), instead of watching TV – the scenes would be less shocking!” they ask them very little and pronounce Boleyn weirdly too.

Written by Victoria

October 5, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Breaking Bad

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The Pilot of Breaking Bad aired on FX last Sunday – if you missed it, you need to catch up quickly. Bryan Cranston won Best Actor at last month’s Emmys for his performance in the series and the pilot was almost as perfect as Six Feet Under.

AMCtv.com

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in the Pilot. Photo: AMCtv.com

Whilst Breaking Bad doesn’t look to be a complete antidote to Lost or 24 when it’s good – as a Sunday night show that you want to see so much you don’t mind it means the end of the weekend – the pilot was genius.

Written by Victoria

October 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Palin needs more than three life lines

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Palin and Kouric is the definition of cringe-making TV.

I can hardly watch the original, it’s better watching the SNL spoofs
http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/couric-palin-open/704042/

Written by Victoria

October 1, 2008 at 7:44 pm

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