Friday, 11 December 2009

The TV or not TV Awards 2009: Part 1 - The Nominees

With the end of the year rapidly approaching us it’s time to reflect on the year that was 2009.

TV or not TV crawled out of its test tube back in January and has slowly assimilated a rabid following of roughly one. Throughout the year we have brought you all the essential TV news and happenings and it is now time to cast a libellous eye back over the past twelve months with the first (and probably last) annual TV or not TV Awards.

We will be bringing you the nominees for each award this week and then the winner of each category will be revealed in what will be the final blog of the year next week.

There are a number of hotly contested categories here and these awards are more coveted than a kiss and tell from one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses so without further ado let’s dive straight in with the nominees for the first award.

Man of the Year

Charlie Hunnam – it was a tough call on whether the nominee from the stupendous ‘Sons of Anarchy’ would be Charlie Hunnam or Ryan Hurst.

In the end I went with Hunnam as he underwent the biggest transformation in my eyes. I knew Ryan Hurst was going to be awesome as Opie and he brought a quiet menace and intensity to the character that has rightly seen him bumped up to regular cast member for the new season but what Charlie Hunnam did with Jax was something else entirely.

I took me a while to warm to him in the role, but by the season finale the former ‘Byker Grove’ star had made the role his own and was managing to steal the show every week.

It feels unfair singling one member of the cast of this great show out for praise because, all bullshit aside, this is a cast without a weak link; but for winning me over and making Jax Teller one of the most compelling and fascinating characters on TV Charlie Hunnam deserves his nomination for Man of the Year.

David Duchovny – Duchovny delivered us another great season of the brilliant ‘Californication’ this year. As the oft-misunderstood Hank Moody, Duchovny has never been better and season 2 was every bit as fantastic as season 1.

The dialogue on the show is just great and whoever Moody is interacting with it is always a joy to behold. Season 2 saw the addition of the wonderful Callum Keith Rennie to the cast for a guest-arc as rock super producer Lew Ashby and he and Duchovny made one hell of a double act.

Duchovny brings a warmth and sympathy to Hank that may have been lost on a lesser actor and he truly makes this show, his recent personal troubles not withstanding it really feels like this role was made for Duchovny and he continues to sparkle brighter than he ever did as Fox Mulder.

A third season is already entertaining US audiences and I for one can’t wait for it to hit UK screens.

Charlie Brooker – the acerbic culture commentator has had a great deal more exposure this year but has remained as brilliantly caustic as ever.

His ‘Newswipe’ programme gave us the closest thing we may ever get to a British ‘Daily Show’ and shone a revelatory light of the ridiculousness of the British media.

Brooker’s move to Channel 4 for TV panel show of sorts ‘You Have Been Watching’ sounded alarm bells for me as I worried that Channel 4 may try and tone down Brooker’s work, but thankfully he remained seemingly unchecked and ‘You Have Been Watching’ became a highlight of the week as a more accessible ‘Screenwipe’. Frankie Boyle’s numerous appearances on the show also helped its appeal.

The one off ‘Gameswipe’ was a more than capable accompaniment to the aforementioned News and Screen ‘Wipes’ and just showed that Brooker can really cast his eye over any facet of culture and not only entertain but interest as well.

Alexander Skarsgard – The son of Hollywood star Stellan Skarsgard has slowly been turning himself into a star (we’ll ignore the appearance in the Lady Gaga ‘Paparazzi’ video though)

Although the HBO miniseries from the guys behind ‘The Wire’ ‘Generation Kill’ aired a while back in the US we only got it terrestrially over here this year and it is easy to see why he was cast in the pivotal role of Eric Northam in ‘True Blood’.

As Sgt. Brad Colbert Skarsgard gave a star-making performance in ‘Generation Kill’ and is now routinely the best thing in the massively successful ‘True Blood’. Having been limited to what seems like a minor role in season 1, Skarsgard’s vampire sheriff Eric will be featured more prominently down the line and become a very intricate part of the ‘True Blood’ universe and I for one cannot be happier that we’ll be seeing more of this great actor.

Carlos Bernard – I couldn’t forget the Almeida could I!?

‘24’s seventh season seems like a lifetime ago but it was only back at the start of the year that we got to witness the resurrection of possibly the most beloved character on the show.

Brought back from the dead, Carlos Bernard’s Tony Almeida went on one hell of a journey through ‘24’s seventh day, culminating in his master plan to avenge the murder of his wife and unborn child being thwarted and him being carted away in bracelets.

Almeida’s journey was by far and away the best thing about season 7 and encompassed some great moments as well as some truly shocking moments. This was the first chance the producers gave Bernard to really sink his teeth in to Tony and he did not disappoint, which makes his reported absence from season 8 all the more mind-boggling.

Criminally snubbed at the Emmys, Carlos Bernard will not be snubbed by TV or not TV and rounds out the nominees for Man of the Year.

Woman of the Year

Tina Fey – this woman can do no wrong in my eyes. The UK is plagued by unfunny female comedians yet in the States they get the likes of Fey, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler and Sarah Silverman.

Tina Fey’s ‘30 Rock’ is one of the funniest shows on TV right now and her input into the show is some of the best stuff. Given the show’s ridiculous treatment on these shores I’m currently working my way through Season 3 on DVD and it remains one of the most laugh out loud comedies out there.

Katey Sagal – again, it feels wrong to single out just one member of the ‘Sons of Anarchy’ cast for praise but the former Peggy Bundy’s performance in this show is award-worthy.

There was also great work by Maggie Siff and Ally Walker, but Katey Sagal’s Lady Macbeth-esque Gemma is a hell of a lot scarier than some of SAMCRO’s rival gangs and has bigger balls.

Sagal manages to make Gemma sympathetic yet tough and caring but sexy and there will be a hell of a lot more for her to sink her teeth into in season 2. A great performance from a TV veteran who deserves to be recognised for her work.

Claudia Winkleman – I used to not be able to stand this woman but now she’s one of the best light entertainment hosts out there.

Self-deprecating and very funny, Winkleman has a visible love for ‘Strictly’ (compare that to the falseness over on ‘X Factor’ from Dermot O’Diddly and Holly Willo-boobies) and she makes the companion show ‘It Takes Two’, wrongly, watchable.

The fact that she is now guest-hosting ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’ and being impersonated on ‘The Impressions Show’ just goes to show that she is finally starting to crack the mainstream. When she stood in for Bruce Forsyth when he was ill the other week on the main show she was just about the best thing about the show.

It can’t be long before Claudia Winkleman gets to show what she can do on a grander scale than ‘It Takes Two’ and it would be no less than she deserves.

Elizabeth Mitchell – along with Josh Holloway, Elizabeth Mitchell managed to single-handedly save ‘Lost’ from sucking big time this year.

Their time travelling escapades were really interesting and watching their relationship develop was a joy to watch, but then, as always, Jack and Kate had to come along and ruin it all!

Mitchell’s great work on Lost was hotly followed up by landing one of the lead roles in the big budget remake of ‘V’ which looks like it’s going to be pretty essential viewing as well.

Her rather ambiguous end on ‘Lost’ left some fans unsure of whether or not she would return next year but rest assured the lady who has quickly become one of the best things on the show will be back and hopefully we’ll see a happy ending for Juliet and Sawyer.

The Room 101 Award – TV Stars You Wish Would Just Fuck Off

Kerry Katona – Okay, so for the time being she’s mercifully gone from our screens but this monstrosity has been polluting TV screens across the country for too long.

From her awful Iceland ads to her slurring appearance on ‘This Morning’ via her awful reality shows on MTV, this woman is a walking advert for staying off drugs.

Kerry Katona is everything that’s wrong with Britain rolled into one fat, obnoxious package and if I never have to see or hear her gurning on my TV again it will be too soon.

Jordan – Ever since Jade Goody died Jordan or Katie Price as she now likes to be known (which makes sense given that it’s her name) has seamlessly moved into her column inches.

If you look up overexposure in the dictionary there’s a picture of this living, breathing sex doll. You cannot turn on the TV or open a newspaper without seeing her perma-tanned, surgically altered mug grinning at you.

She is tacky, cheap and if the chavs ever mobilized and formed an army she’d probably become their Queen, a truly vile woman who has to be rivalling Katona for the title of worst celebrity Mum.

So long as morons continue to buy into the Katie Price brand though she’s going to continue being rammed down our throats, which, coincidentally, she’s quite good at herself.

Amanda Holden – I can’t stand this woman. She’s not on a level with the aforementioned Katona and Price but I think that’s down to the fact that she only appears a few months of the year while ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ is on.

A terribly untalented actress and an even less likable person, Amanda Holden brings exactly nothing to that judging panel and actually makes the gang over on ‘X Factor’ look like experts.

She tries to project an image of class and sophistication but it’s painfully obvious it’s fake, after all this is the woman who cheated on Les Dennis with Neil Morrissey - talk about getting rid of Crabs only to find out you have Herpes.

Cheryl Cole – this one is the most raw hatred at the moment because she is the most prominent given that we are about to hit the ‘X Factor’ final.

Irritatingly referred to as a “national treasure” by numerous media outlets – well if being a national treasure constitutes racially motivated assault in a night club toilet then the media should come to Burnley on a Saturday night, because they’ll find quite a few national treasures down the old Lava-Ignite.

She comes across very nasty on ‘X Factor’ – if she is losing she’s spiteful and off hand yet conveniently forgets all that when she’s succeeding. Her music is utter gash and has only succeeded due to the idiocy of those who buy whatever is featured on ‘X Factor’.

If Cheryl Cole never opened her mouth again I would be a happy man.

Most Shocking Death

Donna Winston on Sons of Anarchy – Sprague Grayden had been impossibly irritating as first daughter Olivia on ‘24’ and then when she appeared as Opie’s harpie wife on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ it seemed as though Grayden was going to become the 2009 Queen of annoyance.

However by the time of her accidental killing she had redeemed herself, at least on ‘Sons’ anyway (there is no redeeming Olivia Taylor), she was being sweet to Opie and seemed to finally be behind him getting back in deep with the club.

Although her death wasn’t a surprise, the build was no less agonising and the visual of Tig uzi-ing her in the back of the head still shocks. The reverberations of her death will no doubt underpin much of the show’s future making it one of the more significant screen deaths of the year.

Derek Reese on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – the death of Derek Reese on ‘TSCC’ came completely out of nowhere and is memorable for how fast and clinical it was.

The gang seemingly battled a Terminator every week and lived to tell the tale; but as Season 2 drew to a close, Derek moved through a house where they were battling yet another cyborg of the week, encountering the Terminator, he didn’t even have time to draw his gun as he was shot once straight through the forehead.

There was no time for tears and the whole thing was over in the mere blink of an eye – a truly refreshing death of a major character: no blaze of glory, just a simple, cold, quick death.

FBI Agent Al Gough on FlashForward - just as he was rapidly becoming my favourite character on this vastly underwhelming show, FBI Agent Al Gough threw himself off the roof of the FBI offices.

His death worked in the sense that it gave the show an ‘anything can happen’ feeling but at the same time it was a big loss to the show as he had a nice rapport with John Cho’s Demetri and brought a bit of humour to the show.

Yet in one episode, as his ‘FlashForward’ was revealed, the humour went and Al suddenly developed a death wish, culminating in him committing suicide to prove the future can be changed. Uncharacteristically dark for a show that has, surprisingly given the subject matter, been quite light up until now.

FBI Agent Larry Moss on 24 – this has to be the biggest TV “what the fuck?” moment of the year.

As Larry Moss, the by the book anti-Jack Bauer, escorted Tony Almeida back to FBI HQ following the formerly soul-patched ones heroics in thwarting Jon Voight’s scenery chewing criminal mastermind Jonas Hodges, the pair landed their helicopter to pin down one of Hodges’ men who had made off with some of the season’s MacGuffin: the bio-weapon.

As soon as they landed, they came under fire and Larry was hit twice with a shotgun from pretty close range, as Tony checked on the wounded FBI man, the villain, Tracy Morgan on steroids looking Galvez, loomed behind Tony. While Larry spluttered to try and warn Tony of the impending danger, Almeida turned and gave a look to Galvez that broke a thousand hearts – the bad guy lowered his weapon, Tony apologised to Larry, and proceeded to smother the remaining life out of the prone Agent Moss.

The episode ended with Larry dead and Tony seemingly on the dark side (again) – it was the moment that defined the season for me and remains one of the biggest out of left field shocks on a TV show, not just in 09, but ever.

Dr. Lawrence Kutner on House – this one had an air of Brad Bellick’s death on ‘Prison Break’ to it, it just sort of happened one episode with no build or foreshadowing.

However, whereas Bellick got to go out a hero, Kutner took the coward’s route and shot himself.

In reality, Kutner’s departure from ‘House’ was due to Kal Penn’s new role within the Obama Administration and it was obviously kind of anticipated but to not only kill him off, but do it in such a dark way for someone who had been, at times, the light relief was pretty shocking.

Comedy of the Year

Curb Your Enthusiasm – Larry returned this year with what thus far has been one of the best seasons of the wonderful ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ for my money.

The involvement of Jerry Seinfeld has been a joy and their keeping Leon around was a smart move, even if he has only been featured quite briefly.

‘Curb’ continues to deliver some of the darkest comedy on TV but remains one of the most consistently brilliant shows out there – David’s uncanny knack for tying together all the storyline threads at the end of each episode really is an enviable ability to have and long may it continue.

30 Rock – by my count, ‘30 Rock’ is the comedy with the most laughs per minute, something that should not be underestimated given that we are talking about comedies here.

Tina Fey has already been praised above, so I’ll limit my praise here simply to stating that she is the funniest woman on the planet (closely followed by Kristen Wiig – who would’ve actually made the woman of the year nominations herself, had I seen more of her work).

‘30 Rock’ is by no means a one woman show though, Tracy Morgan will never be better cast and hogs most of the best lines and storylines, while Alec Baldwin has been a complete revelation as Jack Donaghy and has probably saved his career through the role.

The lack of affection for this show in the UK is an absolute travesty but if Fey and the gang continue to churn out comedy of this calibre then even the humour-free Brits won’t be able to ignore ‘30 Rock’ much longer.

The Thick of It – Armando Ianucci’s brilliant political satire returned in glorious fashion this year, and, in spite of a few mis-steps lately, for the most part it has been a fantastic season.

The star of the show without any shadow of a doubt is Malcolm Tucker and the spin doctor has been in the form of his life during this run of the show. Without Tucker there is no show as he is at the heart of 99% of the best lines, so I only hope his axing from Number 10 is not the end for him.

‘The Thick of It’ remains not just the best British comedy of the moment, but if you ask me, it is the best British comedy I’ve ever seen. Period.

How I Met Your Mother – has really surprised me this year. Here is a show that could just be dismissed as ‘Friends’-lite but in fact has so much more going for it than its more lauded contemporary.

Neil Patrick Harris looks like he’s having the time of his life as womanizing Barney and Jason Segel is a lot more likable toned down from his performances in the likes of ‘Knocked Up’ and ‘I Love You, Man’.

The non-linear storytelling, the pop culture references and the more edgy comedy make this a cut above ‘Friends’ if you ask me and ‘HIMYM’ is more than worthy of sharing a nomination with the more critically acclaimed comedies also occupying this list.

Modern Family – is the best new comedy we’ve seen for a while without a doubt.

The faux-documentary style has been put to good use by a few of the newer US sitcoms and ‘Modern Family’ is no exception. The show makes great use of playing with stereotypes and the nuclear family dynamic and has some really great characters – my personal favourite is deluded ‘cool Dad’ Phil.

Casting a bunch of relative unknowns has worked well for the show and the one well known face, Ed O’Neil, routinely steals the show as head of the family Jay. The show has already featured one of the most bizarre yet greatest cameos of the year (see later) and will hopefully continue to deliver as the freshest and funniest new show of the year.

Greatest Guest Appearance

Callum Keith Rennie on Californication – as I’ve already mentioned, Callum Keith Rennie’s Lew Ashby and David Duchovny’s Hank Moody made one hell of a double act on the sublime second season of ‘Californication’.

It wasn’t just the dynamic with Duchovny that made Callum Keith Rennie’s guest arc one of the best of the year though – he brought warmth and empathy to a character that did some pretty deplorable things and in spite of all his misgivings was a truly lovable rogue.

Ashby had some great lines and moments on the show and his death was one of the more sombre scenes I’ve seen all year. I’ve long admired Rennie as an actor and he didn’t disappoint as Ashby – even after his death he managed to steal the finale through his massive donged memorial.

Michael J. Fox on Rescue Me – it wasn’t just great seeing the former Marty McFly back on our screens, he was great in the role of Janet’s disabled new boyfriend on ‘Rescue Me’.

A deserved Emmy nod came Fox’s way for this performance and he slotted in well to Denis Leary’s brilliant FDNY drama, scoring some great lines and enjoying some great banter with Leary.

Hopefully we’ll continue to see Fox working until he simply can’t anymore, because no matter how sporadic his TV and film appearances they are always delicious.

Jon Voight on 24 – if there was an award for hammiest, scenery chewing, campy villain of the year then Jon Voight would be in a category all of his own.

His performance as Jonas Hodges on ‘24’ was so over the top and ridiculous it was a stroke of genius. As the season started to flag as it headed towards its final quarter, for about 4 or 5 episodes in a row Voight was the single greatest thing on the show.

He looked like he was having the time of his life and it shone through on screen; he was criminally ignored at the Emmys for this performance but he will not be ignored here. Jonas Hodges was the greatest unintentionally hilarious villain of the year and deserves this award on the strength of this line: “they're six year-olds, Greg, and they need to eat their carrots” – I don’t know what it meant but it was fucking ridiculous, yet so great.

Jerry Seinfeld on Curb Your Enthusiasm – I suppose this is kind of a cheat since he’s essentially been playing himself, but seeing Seinfeld and David on screen together in ‘Curb’ has warmed the cockles this winter.

If seeing them play off each other and verbally joust on the show is anything like what they were like writing ‘Seinfeld’ its little wonder that it became possibly the greatest comedy of all time.

It’s a shame we don’t see more of the reclusive Seinfeld as he shows no signs of having lost the comedy genius that made him his millions.

Edward Norton on Modern Family – this wasn’t as long of a guest appearance as the others in this category, but for the sheer acid trip like nature of it, Ed Norton’s appearance as a fictional member of Spandau Ballet on the sleeper hit of the year ‘Modern Family’ deserves its nomination here.

Complete with New Romantic attire and a heinous British accent, Norton was virtually unrecognisable but managed to achieve a true “what the fuck?” moment with this cameo appearance.

Unforgettable and wrongly, very funny, this guest appearance really has to be seen to be believed.

Biggest Disappointment

FlashForward – at first it seemed that the most-hyped show of the year was going to actually live up to the seemingly unachievable expectations people had for it, but it became quite clear, quite quickly that this was not going to be the case.

Billed as the new ‘Lost’ but coming off like a cheaper, less interesting imitation, ‘FlashForward’ has been steadily haemorrhaging viewers since that awesome pilot back in September.

There are too many problems with the show to list but one of the main ones has to be Joseph Fiennes in the lead role – he is horribly miscast and almost impossible to like, kind of a problem when he’s supposed to be the hero we all root for.

Thus far there has been too little explanation of the mythology of the show and far too much focus on the minor characters that we’ve been given no reason to care about. If this was ABC’s great hope for the future then it needs a serious change of direction if it’s to survive into a second season. David S. Goyer taking over as show runner could be the change needed but only time will tell.

Dollhouse – Joss Whedon’s latest opus was never going to satisfy his rabid fan base but even the casual fans had to be disappointed with this dismal entry into his portfolio of work.

As bad as most of season one was though, the final couple of episodes hinted at a break through and hopes were high for season two, but rather than build on the momentum from the back end of season one when ‘Dollhouse’ returned they inexplicably returned for its sophomore year to the ‘engagement of the week’ format that had been such a hindrance to season one.

Needless to say, there is no room for underperforming on FOX and after shockingly, against all odds, giving Whedon, Dushku et al a second season they pulled the rug out from underneath them and officially shitcanned the show a couple of weeks back.

For failing to make the most of a rather fortunate second chance ‘Dollhouse’ ranks as one of the year’s biggest televisual disappointments.

Prison Break – kind of a given, seen as this show pretty much stunk the joint out permanently after its brilliant first season. The first TV or not TV was a rather brutal critique of just how far ‘Prison Break’ had fallen off since its debut year and its final season did nothing to change my mind.

Lazy writing, poor storytelling and the villainous misuse of the show’s best actors, ‘Prison Break’ got progressively worse as the year wore on. After the disappointments of seasons 2 and 3 expectations for season 4 were at an all time low, so in that sense this wasn’t as much of a disappointment as the others in this category.

For not upping their game for the final season and showing what can only be described as an utter disdain for the fans who’d stuck with the show from the start though ‘Prison Break’ is definitely classed as one of the year’s biggest disappointments.

Heroes – much like ‘Prison Break’, expectations were so low for Heroes this year it can’t really be a disappointment. As Jonathan Swift once said “blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed” so as I went in expecting pretty much nothing I thus shouldn’t be disappointed that the latest season of ‘Heroes’ sucked major portions of ass.

That said, this show had so much potential, seeing how bad things have become still hurts and makes me wonder “what if” – so for that reason ‘Heroes’ rounds out the nominations for the year’s biggest disappointment.

Show of the Year

Sons of Anarchy – what more can I say about this incredible show? Undoubtedly the best new show to hit screens in years, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ has it all: smart, funny, touching and at times tragic with a cast of some of the best and most unsung actors out there. ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is a superb example of daring TV and it works brilliantly.

Coming from the mind of one of the geniuses behind ‘The Shield’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ was always going to be good, but I don’t think anyone imagined it would be this good.

Here in the UK, we are eagerly awaiting season 2, but Stateside season 2 has aired and the show has just been renewed for a third season, so thankfully there’s plenty more mileage in this gritty as hell, brutal, brutal show.

Californication – perhaps the most underrated show out there, few seem to truly appreciate the genius of probably the best written show on TV.

David Duchovny is a revelation as Hank Moody, plumbing depths you would never have imagined and the spark he has with literally every other member of the cast really is impressive.

‘Californication’ is not a one man team though and the rest of the cast trade verbal barbs with Hank like they were scripted by Shane Black, special praise is reserved for Evan Handler as Hank’s best friend and agent Charlie.

A third season is just about finishing up across the pond and the show has already been renewed for a fourth season due a huge ratings spike – now all we need is for people in the UK to start appreciating the sharpest show out there.

Mad Men – I’ve got to admit, I only watched ‘Mad Men’ due to the hype in the beginning and I didn’t think for one minute that I would get into it, but boy does this show suck you in.

Those old enough to remember the sixties are probably in awe of how accurate a recreation of the time this is but me, I’m just amazed at the sets and the beautiful cinematography.

John Hamm is superb as leading man Don Draper and that has been more than well documented, but supporting Hamm is one of the strongest ensemble casts out there. You care about everyone – take note ‘FlashForward’, and everyone on the show is seemingly harbouring dark secrets and desires.

If you like intelligent, brilliantly scripted drama that makes the gash we produce in this country look like, well, gash, then check out this whiskey soaked piece of TV magic.

Breaking Bad – with this and ‘Mad Men’, AMC are quickly amassing a collection of some of the most critically acclaimed shows in production right now.

‘Breaking Bad’ is another smart, well written show that relies on strong characterization rather than chucking in a couple of hundred explosions each week.

Former ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ star Bryan Cranston is absolutely superb, if barely recognisable, as disgruntled teacher Walt who decides to “break bad” and start cooking crystal meth in partnership with his ne’er do well former pupil Jesse.

Part ‘Weeds’, part ‘Falling Down’, like all the other shows in this category ‘Breaking Bad’ can have you laughing one minute and crying the next; it really is that good.

Check in next week to find out the winners…

Other Musings:

- On the ‘X Factor’ last weekend the man who I’d claimed had to win to save what fraction of credibility the show had left finally fell victim to the awful hatchet job the media have done on him.

Danyl was eliminated, and with him went the only opportunity this year’s lacklustre instalment had of finding anyone who could have actually had a sustainable career.

Everything now looks set up for cheese ball Joe to claim the title and I honestly don’t know if I can stomach it.

If he does go on to win on Sunday then I am making a prediction right now – the Christmas number one that he will inevitably have will be the only number one that this young man ever has, because quite simply: he is not a pop star.

Don’t get me wrong he will have a great career, but it will be on the stage not as an international music superstar. Joe is so musical theatre it is unreal and is it just me, but has he actually done a song in any tempo other than boring?

Anyone still aspiring to be like Joe though can follow these three simple steps:

1. Tilt head to side while singing

2. Flash inhumanly sized teeth and gums into camera one

3. Sing some of the worst songs known to man in the most boring way possible.

My only hope is that the Robbie Williams factor may just tip the vote in Olly’s favour and wipe that horrible grin off Cheryl Tweedy’s face. As shit as Williams is, his popularity remains inexplicably enormous and we’ve seen the guest stars influence the vote before – remember Leon and Kylie?

Just one other prediction for the duets – as Joe is singing with George Michael I’m assuming he’s doing ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’ as he has already received a standing ovation for said song (even though its technically an Elton John song).

With that in mind, who would like to take my bet that after Joe sings the first verse, when it gets to that heinously cheesy part in the song where Michael says “Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Elton John” that Joe enthuses “Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. George Michael”? You know it’s coming…

But after Danyl went out I lost the last shred of interest I had in this manipulative sorry excuse for television (even though I can’t stop watching, or talking, about it) which is why I’ve been delighted to discover that there is a campaign to get Rage Against the Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name’ to Christmas Number 1.

It would be the best Christmas present ever if this happens, but I’m under no illusions – Simon Cowell pretty much controls the world, never mind the music industry, so even if Rage do outsell whoever wins ‘X Factor’ it’ll probably never be acknowledged.

I miss the race for Christmas Number 1, so I’m definitely getting involved in this campaign. A similar campaign ran last year with Jeff Buckley but this year’s attempt doesn’t stink of the hypocrisy of last years – rebelling against a shit cover by buying a shit cover, so I urge everyone to buy a copy of ‘Killing in the Name’ from Monday.

The Facebook group currently has more members than the number of copies the X Factor winner’s single sold last year so in theory if everyone in the group buys a copy then this is an actual possibility. No doubt half the members have just joined to look cool though and won’t actually buy the single come crunch time but I certainly will be doing. Hell, I might even buy ten of ‘em!

Fuck you Cowell, I won’t do what you tell me!

TV Moment of the Week:

Isn’t strictly from TV as I saw it on my DVD but I know that Comedy Central are up to about the same point in their airing of the brilliant ‘30 Rock’s 3rd season so I’m including it anyway…

- The comedy genius that is Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan on ‘Larry King Live’ – when asked if he’d ever been to Asia:

“Um, my work has taken me there. I was supposed to be in that movie ‘Rush Hour’, but two weeks into shooting, I was replaced… by Jackie Chan.”

You can’t appreciate just how great that line is without hearing how well Morgan delivers it; suffice to say it made me laugh harder than I have at a TV show in a long time.


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