Friday, 24 April 2009

What I Learned from Watching TV this Week - 24th April 2009

TV has more to teach us than the World’s finest scholars, so for this reason (and the fact that I didn’t have time to write a proper feature this week) here are a few things I learned from watching TV this week:

Adam Lambert could walk out on the ‘American Idol’ stage, write “Fuck Palestine” on the floor in his own faeces and then walk off again and Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi would still have a veritable squirt-off over how great his performance was.

It may be a long lesson to have learned but that doesn’t make it any less true. This season of ‘American Idol’ is rapidly becoming a one horse race as the fourth Jonas Brother Adam Lambert continues to Bogart the lion’s share of the judge’s praise. Even old toilet brush hair himself Simon Cowell has given this guy a standing ovation (although 2 weeks ago that would have actually meant a lot more had he not been on his feet for practically every ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ auditonee thus far.)

While Lambert may have the judge’s firmly behind him, and if Abdul got her way: bent over in front of him, he most definitely isn’t my cup of tea. With my initial pick Danny Gokey still going strong but seemingly stuck in a sea of mediocre performances, I’d far rather see duelling piano player Matt Giraud take victory, although that seems unlikely at this stage.

The one good thing about the show’s recent overruns is that the judges were cut down on how often they could comment last week, meaning we had to endure less of Paula’s cliché-like riddles as feedback (they were back with a vegenance this week however). The woman has become a complete waste of space on that panel and is actually starting to make Dannii Minogue look insightful.

And while we’re on ‘Idol’ has anyone else noticed that Alison looks remarkably familiar…?


Lady Gaga is Michael Jackson. Now stay with me on this one; same childlike voice, same bizarre fashion taste, same overblown sense of self-importance, same lack of self-awareness and of course same extremely uncomfortable interview style…

Watching Jonathan Ross interviewing Lady Gaga last Friday was excruciatingly uncomfortable, which of course is what I was expecting and ultimately why I didn’t turn off after Hugh Jackman. I was fully prepared for her to be weird, but even I wasn’t ready for the teacup, the single-fingered wave, her deer-in-the-headlights look and her complete oblivion to Wossy’s questions and jokes.

In fact, Ross probably would have got more out of Michael Jackson, or at least more blood out of a stone.

Miles may actually have a part to play after all. One of my favourite characters on ‘Lost’, the acerbic Miles finally got his own episode this week and it seems like he may be important to the big picture. After most of his freighter buddies faded away or became after thoughts (or in the case of Naomi and Charlotte – died) I thought that Miles who has fast become one of the show’s best characters, may not be long for this world. Thankfully I was wrong.

Making Dharma’s Dr. Chang Miles’ Dad was a nice, if not too surprising twist and will hopefully have a major impact on the show’s narrative. Even if it doesn’t, the twist will be worth it for the awesome look Miles gave his Dad when he said he liked country music.

Another brilliant light-hearted moment this week was Hurley’s screenplay for ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ which featured the immortal line as Miles read the script “Chewbacca: Rarrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”. Who says ‘Lost’ isn’t funny?

Those people who abandoned the show, must be kicking themselves now and trying desperately to catch up, because since they announced the show’s impending climax there seems to be renewed focus and a greater sense of purpose and importance within each episode, and it’s rapidly become the best show of it’s nature on TV. Take note ‘24’.


Larry starting up a pasta empire would be an awesome arc for ‘Curb’ season 7. Sadly this is Giovanni Rana, creator of the pasta brand of the same name, not a slightly overweight Larry David filming the new season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, but the pasta king does bare more than a passing resemblance to everyone’s favourite grumpy Jew don’t you think…?

Speaking of adverts; it’s good to see ‘Prison Break’s General Krantz preparing for life after the show, which will of course be ending soon. He is currently appearing in the new Cisco advert (that’s the communications giant not the late 90’s R ‘n’ B guy - although that would be pretty fucking brilliant if it was the latter.)

And speaking of ‘Prison Break’…

A mid season break hasn’t improved the quality of ‘Prison Break’ at all. The fourth and final season of the once great ‘Prison Break’ returned to our screens this week with more of a premature ejaculation than an all night tantric sex session.

Michael and the boys carried on where they left off on their return: lost in a maze of dumb exposition and even dumber plot devices. The end cannot come soon enough for ‘Prison Break’ before it’s high points of seasons past are completely erased by the unadulterated dogshit that has been season 4.

The one highlight of the show continues to be William Fichtner’s Mahone, who is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast in terms of performance, his teaming with T-Bag and Self was just about the only watchable thing in a suspenseless return.

I’d love to think that the producers and writers have something amazing planned for the show’s finale but my head tells me that ‘Prison Break’ is more likely to fade away than burn out.

Those involved with ‘24’ are going to need some Season 7 t-shirts when they start working on season 8. I’ve read in a few self-congratulatory interviews with producers, cast and writers that everyone wore season 6 t-shirts on and around the set of ‘24’ while they filmed season 7 to remind them how bad season 6 was and avoid a repeat.

Well after this week’s episode, season 6 is starting to look like the bastard lovechild of ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’, so I hope they saved enough money to buy some season 7 t-shirts.

This isn’t just the geeky fanboy Tony mark inside me that’s coming out, although that is the straw that broke the camel’s back; this season, to say they had so long to make sure it was right, has been a complete letdown.

I know ‘24’ requires a certain suspension of disbelief but if you really stop and think about the happenings of this season so far, like I did when I discovered Tony had gone over to the dark side, it makes your head hurt.


I’m trying to reserve judgement on what seems like a character assassination of Tony until we get to see how it plays out, but at the moment I’m feeling nothing but utter disdain for what used to be the highlight of my TV week (More on this next week.)

Dean Winters is paying for surviving in ‘Oz’ so long. As the Machiavellian Ryan O’Reilly on one of the grittiest shows on TV ‘Oz’, Dean Winters was one of only a handful of cast members to survive for the show’s entire run.

Recently though, characters played by this brilliant actor (who would have been my personal choice to play Max Payne) have been somewhat more unlucky than O’Reilly. First Johnny Gavin was gunned down on ‘Rescue Me’ and now his Charley Dixon has been offed on ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ as the show seemingly tries to tie up loose ends before it’s impending cancellation. What’s next for the poor guy…? Is Liz Lemon going to stab him in his role as her oafish ex Dennis on ‘30 Rock’!?

Comparing Susan Boyle’s performance on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ to Barack Obama’s inauguration could in all honesty be the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.
I’d be remiss not to address the media circus that has surrounded Chris Moyles in drag look-alike Susan Boyle in the last week or so.

The hype and fuss are completely unwarranted; yes this woman who may not be much to look at has the voice of an angel but beyond that I’m just not getting it, if you ask me, dance troupe Flawless were better than her anyway and if that’s not enough, the little Welsh lad who closed out last Saturday’s show is now being tipped to give Boyle a run for her money and is even stealing away some of Boyle’s fickle celebrity twitterers.

That’s how ridiculous this whole thing is, the woman who the press were comparing to Barack Obama may not even win the show!

That whole comparison made me want to crawl up inside my own asshole just to get away from the mind-blowing idiocy of the World’s media. Do you know why only 20 million people watched Obama on youtube? Because hundreds of millions watched it live!

Pants Cannot Sell Cereal. On ‘The Apprentice’ this week Geordie estate agent Phil, who I’d tipped for victory back in week one, coined the incredibly lame idea of using pants and a superhero named ‘Pantsman’ (who’s only actual super power seemed to be the ability to help people wear their underwear “the right way”, something he seemed unable to grasp himself) to sell a new breakfast cereal.

Unsurprisingly Phil’s team were well and truly pummelled by the opposition who were led by Kate this week. Sugar really needs to switch the teams up a bit next week because the teams are so unbalanced at the moment it’s almost unfair. Although Kate and co.’s Treasure Flakes cereal was a shameless rip-off of Cap’n Crunch, overall they put together a pretty impressive product and campaign, even if Ben’s voice for the parrot used to front the ad campaign did sound like the voice of Ghostface from the ‘Scream’ films.

In the end team leader of Phil’s team Kim was fired, and I would say deservedly, after a shocking idea was further compounded by an even more shocking product and campaign.

Phil though seems intent on throwing away the momentum he had earlier on in the competition by coming across as, an admittedly self-confessed, big head. I still like the guy so I’m hoping he can learn to take more of a backseat sometimes and take his deserved place in the final.

And finally…

People are stupid. I know it’s not TV related but I couldn’t not comment on the fact that Cheryl fucking Tweedy (I still refuse to call her Cole) was voted sexiest woman in the World by FHM UK readers.

That’s right, in the WORLD, not sexiest woman in Girls Aloud (which she isn’t), not sexiest woman from Newcastle, not sexiest woman in the North East, not even sexiest woman in the UK. Sexiest woman in the whole mother-lickin’ World. My faith in humanity dies a little more…



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