Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Telly this week

Watching TV isn't a regular pastime anymore, there are only about three or four shows I'm likely to be watching these days (on any regular basis). That's not really to do with taste or quality, it's more that my appetite for TV and (doing) other things has changed for whatever reason. Anyway, what's on the box that's actually worth taking in?

This Time with Alan Partridge is both a hoot and downright awkward. This week's CPR with a sex toy and Alan's Irish Republican doppelganger were comedic gems. Both equally hilarious and excruciating, two words used by everybody to describe most of  Steve Coogan's Frankenstein creation's misadventures. If I say much more I'll likely descend into some form of Partridge speak so that's it.

Shetland: God this is awful but compulsive. So bad in every department that it's nearly good. Filmed occasionally in Shetland but mostly in Ayrshire it's BBC's crime drama output at it's most ridiculous and economical. It's penny pinching art of a kind and it's a hymn to the power of CCTV clue gathering, Volvos and the 1000 yard stare set in the strangely small and incestuous world of a fictional Shetland. Islanders and locals must be embarrassed by this.

Fleabag: Strictly speaking Fleabag is not actual Cooncil TV as it's roots are in BBC3, a barren telly dumping ground where few viewers seem to stray, shame. It's very funny and irritating in a posh way, maybe too smug and too irreverent with the fourth wall collapsing with every one of Fleabag's  winks and side eye glances. Now it's released out onto a  wider network to the chattering classes to make what they will of it. The Gogglebox guys should feature it, lots of potential strong reactions. Funny how the best TV straddles the contradictions of the unbearable duplicity of a public and a private life where laughs are not enough nowadays, you need the added depths of tragedy and pathos to stretch comedy drama into a wider universe.

University Challenge: The older I get the more incomprehensible the questions become, the students become more annoying and stereotypical and Paxman more careless and impatient. I sit there hoping for the music and picture rounds knowing I've a half chance of landing on an answer with a wild, pathetic guess. Everything else, every other topic is just me waiting.

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