Friday, 5 June 2009

What I Learned from Watching TV this Week: 30th May - 5th June 2009

It’s been hot this week and I don’t think well in the heat, so instead of a feature, here are some more useful nuggets I picked up from watching TV this week:

The British public are actually capable of having an original thought. Yes, in spite of all my recent ranting about how ‘Britain’s Got Talent’s outcome had been decided long ago, an actual surprise occurred on a Simon Cowell show Saturday night as Diversity defeated Susan Boyle.

It was a victory for people who don’t buy into the media frenzy that swirls around certain events and people and for anyone who isn’t prepared to just be another sheep.

Some strategic running order rigging may have contributed to the top 3 on this year’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ (Diversity went on 9th of the ten, Boyle was 8th and 3rd place Julian Smith was on last) but never-the-less the brilliant Diversity thoroughly deserved their victory and made me a very happy man by defeating Boyle.

Although Boyle will no doubt continue to be rammed down our throats for the foreseeable future the fact that she didn’t win ‘BGT’, in spite of all the hype and the press, reaffirms my faith in humanity ever so slightly.

After writing this it came out that Susan Boyle was in The Priory after some sort of mental episode, which guarantees that she isn’t going away any time soon - who’s to blame? Who gives a fuck, if anyone’s to blame it’s her, these contestants should know by now what they’re letting themselves in for, now okay, Boyle’s situation is rather abnormal compared to the average ‘BGT’ contestant but no one forced her out on that stage to audition with a gun aimed at her head, now Hollie Steel on the other hand…

The ‘T’ in MTV stands for ‘Twilight’. One of the more enjoyable, and by enjoyable I mean not eye-bleedingly dull, awards shows of the year took place this past weekend: ‘The MTV Movie Awards’, or should that be the ‘MTV Twilight Awards’.

The inexplicably popular tween vampire saga scooped what seemed like every award at the bash which more and more each year is becoming nothing more than a two hour hard sell for whoever has films on the way.

Yet in spite of ‘Twilight’s dominance and the constant sight of Robert Pattinson (that guy’s sexy? There’s hope for me yet…) this years Movie Awards were as enjoyable as ever, mainly thanks to one man – Mr. Andy Samberg.

The ‘SNL’ genius didn’t compromise any of the geeky charm that makes him the star he has become for the MTV crowd which was good to see, and his skits and interludes were some of the funniest we’ve seen in years – especially The Lonely Island tribute which saw Forest Whitaker singing ‘Dick in a Box’.

Kiefer Sutherland also got to show that he has a funny side to which was nice, because anyone who has seen any sort of documentary footage on Jack Bauer’s alter ego will know that he has a killer sense of humour. His involvement in Ben Stiller’s achievement award practically stole the spotlight off of Stiller himself, but I can’t help but feel Stiller had a hand in that anyway.

But of course, the main talking point of the show was the Eminem-Bruno ‘controversy’. Let me just say this to anyone who thinks that wasn’t 100% staged: are you stupid? Out of everyone he could have landed on in the entire audience it was Eminem?

If that hadn’t been planned, Em’s entourage would have been in too much shock to have beaten Sascha Baron Cohen that quickly. The whole thing was staged and if it comes out otherwise I’ll post a picture on this blog of me wearing a replica of Bruno’s assless outfit… You have been warned!

Why does the news have to change so fast!? Since writing this it has come out that Eminem was indeed in on the gag (duh!) so you will all be saved the sight of my ‘kugelsack’… for now…

My final thought of the MTV Movie Awards came courtesy of Megan Fox as I was left wondering: is she really all that?

Don’t get me wrong, she’s a sexy lady no doubt and the odd time I’ve seen her without make-up she looks good, but I just don’t get the hype. With her make-up seemingly applied via Homer Simpson’s make-up shotgun invention though, a look she was sporting at the Movie Awards, she looks like a cheap whore and not in a good way…

…Give me Katy Perry any day.

There really wasn’t any need for ‘Prison Break: The Final Break’… at all.
I wondered out loud a couple of weeks back just what the point of the ‘bonus’ episodes of ‘Prison Break’ was (yes I know this went out last week, but I only got round to watching it this week) and I was proved to be completely justified in my musing because there seemed to be no discernable point to these episodes at all.

They didn’t advance the show’s mythology at all and after seeing four years into the future at the end of the regular series it seemed stupid to then jump back in time to just after they were exonerated. It almost felt like they had some money left and some spare time at the end of shooting and just thought fuck it let’s film something else.

It wasn’t all bad though, so first the good: we actually got an explanation of what happened to Gretchen which was one loose end that really needing tying up and Lori Petty amped her lesbian aura up to eleven to guest star as ‘Daddy’ and despite being incredibly creepy acted Jodi Lyn O’Keefe and Sarah Wayne Callies off the screen, in much the same way William Fichtner has been doing with messrs Miller and Purcell for the last three years.

But other than that, sadly it was all bad, so much so they even stole Karl Fletcher’s coat peg to the back of the head death from Dream Team! The focus was too heavily on Tancredi with very little Michael, Sucre and Linc and so much time was wasted on a suspense-less Mahone subplot hinging on whether he’d betray the gang for his old job back when we’d already seen him all buddy-buddy with Linc and Sucre in the future.

In a way these two episodes almost undid the good faith the show had going for it from it’s surprisingly entertaining finale, they even managed to make the death of the show’s main character seem rushed and devoid of any real emotion, hell Bellick’s death packed more emotional punch than Michael’s did!

These two episodes were a complete waste of time, if I hadn’t bothered to watch them I wouldn’t have missed anything and that’s a really sad indication of just how far ‘Prison Break’ fell because at the height of its success ‘Prison Break’ was unmissable.

The phrase “MILF chubby” isn’t always funny… Shocking I know, but on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ this week Half-sack, played by the brilliant Johnny Lewis, learned this lesson the hard way.

After Clay caught the Iraq war veteran (his name originating from the fact that he lost a ball in the war) commenting that the Sons’ leader’s ‘old lady’ Gemma gave him “MILF chubby” he was less than impressed.

He soon got his own back on the Sons of Anarchy ‘prospect’ by sleeping with biker whore Cherry who Half-Sack had taken a liking to – the main lesson here, like you needed to be told not to fuck with Hellboy, is don’t mess with Ron Pearlman.

‘Sons of Anarchy’ continues to be a very welcome addition to our TV schedules and strikes the perfect balance between poignancy, brutality and laugh out loud comedy. The main sources of comedy come from Lewis as Half-Sack and the inappropriately positioned Sons of Anarchy ‘Intelligence Officer’ Juice who has many of his ‘brothers’ convinced he is retarded; drugging a Rottweiler with meth this week might not have gone far to quashing those thoughts…

‘The Apprentice’ has a fundamental flaw… In that the likeable people don’t win. I know it’s a different kind of reality show but the very nature of the process means that the characters you can actually root for are booted out in favour of the robotic, soulless business whores and it makes the final weeks pretty unappealing viewing.

Tony Mowbray’s slightly younger, slightly less ugly brother James finally got his marching orders this week and with him the last shred of entertainment value the show had took a black cab ride away from the boardroom.

This is the first year I’ve watched ‘The Apprentice’ properly and I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it but it’s a good job they’re bringing the former contestants back otherwise the final would have been a very dull affair.

I called the Kate-Yasmina final weeks ago, and to be honest I could care less who wins, I guess we should all just be glad that post-op transsexual Debra or key party Lorraine didn’t make the final.

You can’t have it both ways… ‘Flight of the Conchords’ Season 2 was supposed to have no limits, but has actually thus far been a little disappointing.

In the show’s brilliant first season, they basically wrote the show around the band’s existing songs but for season 2 they had a blank canvas of new songs and new ideas not to mention a clearly bigger budget.

Sadly though, as the writing has improved for the second season, the song quality has diminished considerably.

Don’t misunderstand me, the show is still brilliantly funny and the decision to give us more Murray has been a welcome one, but now rather than the songs being the highpoint of each episode as they were last season they now feel more like an annoying interruption.

‘Californication’ is the best written show on TV right now… Hank Moody’s return to our screens continues to be a glorious one as ‘Californication’ consistently delivers the sharpest, funniest and touching writing on TV week after week.

In any normal episode Hank’s “I’m declaring jihad on your pussy” line would have easily been the best line of the night but that flash of brilliance was trumped this week by Charlie, who has quickly become my favourite character during this awesome second season.

When struggling porn star Daisy declared she’d been “blackballed” in the porn world, Charlie’s response was: “what is that, some kind of interracial teabag thing?” - Just brilliant.

TV Moment of the Week:

This week comes courtesy of ‘Apprentice’ dimwit James; when given one final opportunity to sell himself to Birmingham City Chair-tart Karen Brady during his interview he compared Sir Alan Sugar to Willy Wonka…

…What a burke. If Sir Alan’s like anyone from Roald Dahl’s famous story it’s the Umpa Lumpas, only Sugar’s not as tall…

And finally…

For those of you who follow my Horse Racing non-tips: this Saturday sees one of the highlights of the flat season taking place: The Investec Derby.

If I were you I’d be putting my money on one of Aidan O’Brien’s all-conquering stable, the Ballydoyle trainer saddles six horses in total, including two of the race’s big fancies: Fame and Glory and the horse I backed in the 2000 Guineas Rip Van Winkle.

The undefeated Fame and Glory has been at the head of the market for quite some time now and stable star jockey Johnny Murtagh had widely been expected to take the ride on Fame and Glory but in somewhat of a surprise move has elected to ride Rip Van Winkle.

In spite of coming fourth in The Guineas Rip Van Winkle ran a great race and showed plenty of potential, which if he can just realise O’Brien could have another superstar on his hands, so I’m going to bank on Murtagh’s decision holding some weight and tip Rip Van Winkle (those of you who read my Cheltenham blog will know what a hollow endorsement that is though!)


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