Tuesday, May 31, 2005

MELROSE PLACE CHARACTER GUIDE BY SOMEONE WHO HAS ONLY BEEN WATCHING FOR A FEW WEEKS
PART 4: AMANDA

Amanda is the uber-scheming-bitch character played by “Special Guest Star” Heather Locklear. She has been a special guest for weeks now. Way to avoid the alphabetical cast credits, Heather! She totters round in high heels in a variety of micro skirts and boxy, huge-shouldered jackets and her hair looks like it has been deep fried or something. Perhaps they hadn’t yet invented hair conditioner in the early ‘90s. Amanda owns the Melrose Place apartment complex and is also the director of D&D advertising – i.e. she points at flow charts like a lady in a tampon advert and says things like “Where are we with the Escapade account!”

Amanda had a plot where her convict-on-the-run dad mysteriously reappeared and stole loads of money and tried to kill Jake by blowing up his boat with him on it. It made no sense at all. She seems to spend most of her time taking work off Alison and giving it to Billy and otherwise toying with the two idiots for her (and our) amusement. The way things are going, it looks like she will soon be “giving it” to Billy in other ways too. Ewww. Considering that she is so scheming etc, Amanda is pretty rubbish at it. She tried to trick Dr Michael into giving up his stupid Mancini Designs shares and ended up being taped and blackmailed by him. She torpedoed a takeover of D&D but then the Manager Bloke worked out that she had done it as she was the only other one who knew about it. You disappoint me, Amanda! Manager Bloke later committed suicide in Amanda’s office after she stitched him up and got her boyfriend’s “consortium” to buy out D&D instead. Way to overreact manager bloke – couldn’t you just steal loads of stationery before you left, like a normal person? Amanda then got hopped up on Night Nurse and had a series of wack dream/hallucinations where the ghost of Manager Bloke appeared and taught her the True Meaning of Christmas. Vommmm.

Amanda’s boyfriend is “hunky” Dr Peter who looks a bit like a melty faced version of David Bowie. Amanda shagged Dr P to get him and his “consortium” to buy D&D and put her in charge. Now that he has served his purpose he is being really clingy and saying things like “No-one walks away from me!” Presumably Amanda is going to have to do something really scheming to get rid of him and it had better be good!

Big Brother and the Crazy Frogs

For the past couple years I have sworn I would not get sucked into the Big Brother vaccuum.....yet every year I watch the first one and then wave goodbye to rational thought and intellectual debate for the rest of the summer. Brain rot, a feeling similar to rot gut which occurs when you eat far too many sweets, only in your brain, usually sets in around July, when I sit in some kind of strange torpor, filled with self-loathing and unable to tear myself away. I didn't go to a leaving party for a friend who was returning to Australia and I was never going to see again because it clashed with the final of Big Brother 2. Clearly, Big Brother is worse for you than crack cocaine.

Yet my plans for this were scuppered this year by social engagements and the other half's insistence upon watching every minute of news analysis on the crazy Frogs. And no, I'm not talking about everyone's favourite cartoon frog with the pixilated willy (the fact this outsells the works of Coldplay and Oasis brings joy to my heart), but the French Non vote on the EU constitution. I half-watched hours and hours of analysis, learning virtually nothing about the 5 million page document translated into 50 languages and began to wonder if Chirac's head had been contructed from fimo. I also enjoy watching lefty anti-globalisation types break bread with Le Pen. Apparently if it weren't for evil globalistation represented by the Anglo Saxon EU constitution, French electronics and textiles firms would be leaving the workshops of Shenzhen in the dust. Ah bless, good luck to them, but I digress...........

On to Big Brother, for here are my comments from what I have managed to garner from a few stolen moments of viewing and the tabloid newspapers (which were examined in the pub by the otherhalf, eager to get the tabloid take on the French vote on the EU constitution). First off, I am thoroughly bored by most of them and their me! me! me! antics. I'm sure it's worse than usual, and I'm pretty sure I hate them all. My two favourites so far are Makosi, a.k.a Miss Thang, who is half Pam Grier, half Nubian princess. Upon first viewing, I thought she was possibly the best BB housemate evah when she stamped around, shouted, pouted, refused to cooperate, wouldn't do a task to win beer for the others, did that rooster head bob/circle the air with one finger manoeuvre favoured by Ricki Lake guests (if only she's also asked someone to "talk to the hand"). But sadly, Miss Thang's behavoir was only a game to get the most nominations, although we can all hope she really is like that. My other favourite is the gay, black tory Derek, who appeared to be half Dr. Seuss character/half Cosby. As he talked to himself in the kitchen about the messiness, I half expected him to start gurning and put on a silly sweater. Maybe it was my imagination but I think he was actually speaking in rhymes at one point. There was another girl, Shelley, who kept getting her tits out even though no one was paying attention. According to the tabloids, people have come out of the woodwork to claim she was a "real bitch". Then there was the most annoying housemate evah (with considerable competition), who looks like Prince and Macey Gray's lovechild who stomped around in platforms and was camp. There was an xibit lookalike who I am calling Pimp My Ride. There was a frightening looking "witch" called Mary (called Scary Mary by 'bloids, apparently a real bunny burner) who seems to want to hypnotise me with her eyes. MaybeI'm having an acid flashback, but it's like she could see me through the television. If I'm still watching by July, I could be in for more trouble than usual. There was the requisite incredibly thick Geordie, who reckons he's a bit of a looker.

Ummmm, that's all I can remember.....hopefully, I still have enough brain cells left to be able to consider the vagaries of EU politics come July.

Friday, May 27, 2005

BIG BROTHER 6
Yes, it really is that time of year again, and no, I'm not sure what happened to the first half of 2005 either. This year the bedroom is exposed to the rest of the house, there's a plunge pool instead of a jacuzzi, there's a chillout attic, and the showers are outside. There's even a naughty step.

We're going to be dipping in and out of BB over the summer, offering our considered opinions of the housemates, the decor, the antics, laced with plenty of good old-fashioned bitching. I can tell you now that we will secretly like the boring Dad-like one, loathe/love/loathe again the drama queens, be bored by the glamour girls, and detest the lads.

We've each adopted a housemate based on the order in which they entered the house, and we'll be sticking to this housemate like a piece of trodden-on chewing gum until they get evicted. Then we'll leave them to their future of Essex nightclub PAs and cable TV presenting jobs, and adopt someone else.

Mark has chosen number 2...
Sarah has chosen number 5...
FilmFan has chosen number 11 and is regretting it already...
Mr P has chosen number 9...

1. Derek the Tory Boy
Sarah: According to our moles in the Conservative Party, Derek is a bit of a one: city high flyer, speech writer and Master of the Hounds. He would have been a parliamentary candidate save for the drink driving conviction - and the fact that Michael Portillo has the only constituency where a black homosexual would have stood a chance. He also appears to share Chris Eubank's tailor.

He's on the live feed now, moaning about the girls' lack of housecleaning skills: "Dirty dirty girls!"

Mark: Very very queeny. Prances round the house squealing "Isn't it posh! Isn't it swish!" Yes, and the BB house isn't bad either! Rimshot, etc.

2. Lesley - Mark's adoptee...
Mark:According to BB editting, Lesleh is a huge pair of tits with a person periphirally involved. Thanks yes Mr Cameraman, there are other parts of her body you could aim at too! bog standard female contestant (likes fun, speaks her mind, etc) who fulfills expectations by giving hacky looks to all other female contestants when they enter the house. Lesleh has comedy pencilled-in eyebrows and will totally rule the house with her northern-style bitchery. Go Lesleh!


Sarah: Ooooh...Mark, don't fancy yours much. I would say "Readers' Wives", but "Readers' Psycho Ex on Trisha". Think everybody that Caroline Aherne has ever played, in a PVC nurse's outfit and no knickers. TV Gold!

FilmFan: I don't fancy yours much either. I don't think she'll last long. I did enjoy her adamant belief that Saskia's tits were fake though. Also, it has to be said, she looks a lot better without her hair done up like that.

3. Sam the student
Sarah: : Sam says she is a total hornbag (©Kath & Kim). But she wears orange nylon hotpants with tights so she probably has the most terrible thrush. Has a marketing degree from Oxford...does Oxford do joke subjects now?

FilmFan: I haven't seen enough of Sam so far. The tabs have her down as a man-stealing be-atch, so she could be fun. (Love the Kath and Kim reference - glad I'm not the only fan). Sam's probably the most fanciable of the female housemates. I think she fancies Anthony too, which could be interesting as Max has already indicated he fancies Sam.

Mark: Oxford Poly actually! Sam can apparently reduce vibrators to molten slag with the sheer force of her sexuality. Says in her interview tape that she is highly intelligent and then goes on to disprove it over the next 5 minutes.

4. Maxwell the geezer
Sarah: : Well, he's a geezer and a Gooner, and he doesn't like bullshitters or something like that. He also knocked politely at the door before opening it. And he's got surprisingly gentle eyes. Think this one is probably a nicely-brought-up boy who likes young ladies and loves his mum. Oh OK, I like him, despite the Gooner thing.

FilmFan: Bit of a cock so far, but it's early days. I hated Bubble at first but he really grew on me. Maxwell is a bit of a Bubble Mark II, I reckon. Also, I think we should continue to call him Maxwell, just because it'll piss him off. Probably.

Mark: Mate, what is going on with your hair? Sort it out! Reminds me of the type of bloke I always end up standing next to in pubs in holloway when I watch Arsenal matches. Next!

5. Vanessa - Sarah's adoptee...
Sarah: Can you believe it? I missed Vanessa's entry. But apparently she's nothing like last year's Vanessa, and she's from Croydon. Us Croydon girls have to stick together so Go Girlie Go!
FilmFan: Very irritating video but she actually seems alright so far. Bit thick, maybe.

Mark: Her catchphrases are "Whatever!" and "am I bothered!" Comes out with standard spiel in her interview tape (enjoys fun, speaks her mind etc etc) but seems quite nice.

6. Anthony - Disco Stu
Sarah: He's teeeeeny! And very good-looking in that vacuous male modelly mini Steve Jones way. A stranger to housework, and a bit of a tosser who still lives with his mum. He spent so long milking the crowd, they turned nasty and started booing him.

FilmFan: I went right off him during the intro but I liked his slightly crestfallen face in his video when he was talking about how his standards dropped dramatically when he was drunk.

Mark: Looks like an orange chipmunk, with facial hair and eyebrows drawn on with black marker pen. Still the best looking male candidate and who can truly hate someone who keeps doing "the snake" at any opportunity?

7. Roberto
Sarah: Oooh, my mum would like him. Ex-para, ex-9th Handsomest Man in Italy. Now teaching in Liverpool. Davina says he drives a white van. Mr P says he only has eyes for himself.
FilmFan: Roberto is my pre-selected housemate (or PSH) elsewhere and he's growing on me by the minute. He's wisely hanging back at the moment.

Mark: Falls somewhere between "Handsome" and "Horse faced" and has comedy scouse/italian accent. Will probably be Dean-from-BB2 type inoffensive bloke that no-one likes or dislikes.

8. Makosi
Sarah: Roberta Flack hair, very pretty Zimbabwean princess. She aspires to be Whitney Houston - what, a skeletal crack addict married to a wife beater? Not very bright. I give her two weeks.

FilmFan: Loving her Cleopatra Jones look. Stunning but incredibly irritating. At the moment we have no way of knowing whether she's genuinely that irritating or just doing a really good job of her Secret Mission. I like the way BB keep undermining her attempts to be hated by making everyone feel sorry for her.

Mark: Wins top marks for glamour and outfits so far. Was either really pissed on the first night or else is too thick to know the difference between "votes" and "nominations". Either way, I hope she isn't my nurse if ever I end up on her cardiac ward.

9. Craig...Mr P's adoptee
Mr P: Foul-mouthed male Vicki Pollard. Suspecting a virgin hoping to break his duck. Has never read a book.

Sarah: Mullet.

FilmFan: From what we've seen so far I don't think he's as bad as his intro video made out. Reserving judgment though.

Mark: whey-faced mulletted dwarf who instantly wins "most irritating housemate" award. Says he can destroy people with a single phrase and that he wants to put his salon's views out to the world. Is this a literary salon? A philosophers salon? Oh. It's a hairdressing salon. Also starts ranting on about how he hates boring people with their boring jobs. Mate, your working day consists of asking people where they are going on holiday and wrapping bits of silver paper round their hair, so why don't you shut up, bitch?

10. Mystic Mary
Sarah: Oh dear, she looks a bit like Demi Moore and she reads auras. Also claims to be a multiple alien abductee. Weird entrance with the witch's cloak and broomstick. Spent aaages outside the door, waiting for it to open with a swoosh, no doubt. Maybe she had a flashback to the spaceship or whatever. Crowd hated her instantly. I wasn't far behind.

FilmFan: She does look like Demi Moore! I hated her video and her entrance but have warmed to her since. She seems much more normal in the house. I also think it was quite telling that she struck a series of sexy poses for the press once the cloak came off.

Mark: Has mad staring eyes and a number of incorrect beliefs re Atlantis and UFO abduction etc etc. Her "Maid Marion" style suede outfit made me laugh a lot. Rhiannon flies like a bird on the wind, who will be her lover? oooo Rhiannon, etc.

11. Science...FilmFan's adoptee
FilmFan: Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Loved his entrance video but have rapidly gone off him ever since...well, ever since he opened his mouth in the house. He's come off worse in all the fights he's had so far and his snit over the loss of his beloved salad cream will have done him no favours. He has had the best BB line so far though: ""I am from the hood, YES. I live with my mum, YES."

Sarah: A "ghetto spokesman" as long as his people don't do drugs. That's half Peckham off his list then.

Mark: Wannabe rapper who is probably a nice young man really.

12. Saskia
Sarah: Works as one of those girls in short t-shirts handing out leaflets at IT conferences. Not racist at all 'cos she's a quarter Sri Lankan, but hates asylum seekers because they're...I dunno...not nice or something. Stopped listening and marvelled at her ability to stay upright with norks that big.

FilmFan: It is, as you say, a miracle she doesn't fall over. Shame she's a racist.

Mark: What my dad would call a "dolly bird". She would be considered good-looking in the '70s maybe and could have been chased round in double time by Benny Hill. Apparently "immigrants all want to blow us up". Boooo!

13. Kemal
Sarah: Turkish trannie belly dancer. Wore a wedding sari for his entrance and yelled "Hi Divas!" to all and sundry. Mr P says he's the winner.

FilmFan: He's Marco (who I loathed with a passion) only with a brain and volume control. I think he could win it too.

Mark: He reminds me of a gay Iranian lad I used to know so I have a soft spot for him, though I suspect his habit of dropping "diva" or "girlfriend" into every sentence could become very irritating.

BB's first task was to tell Makosi that she was automatically up for eviction unless she can get the most nominations next week, and then she'll be immune from eviction...twisted...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

MELROSE PLACE CHARACTER GUIDE BY SOMEONE WHO HAS ONLY BEEN WATCHING FOR A FEW WEEKS
PART 3: MATT, JAKE AND JO

These three aren’t really connected, but they only get one entry between them because they are kind of boring.

Matt (aka Tom from Desperate Housewives) is your typical TV super-nice asexual gay bloke. He is hardly ever in it and when he is it is to tearfully hug AIDS victims or be queerbashed or not have any gay sex or something. Slightly more entertainingly, he has some sort of feud with Dr Kimberley and is determined to thwart her evil schemes. In one classic moment he ripped off her wig right in the middle of a hospital corridor to prove that she could have been an attempted murderess. Kimberley later dropped by and mentioned that hospitals can be very dangerous places and it would be awful if something happened to Matt that would cause him to DIE!!! Ruh roh!

Jake is the “hot stud” of the show, and indeed is quite good looking if you can get past his weird hair. He is a (very clean cut) biker and owns the bar where all the characters hang out (making him the Babs Windsor of Melrose, I suppose). He had a boat too until Amanda’s convict dad blew it up for some reason (don’t ask me…). He mostly has boring plots where he is supportive to Sydney or Jo or whatever. Recently went to find his long lost estranged father but I doubt he will keep in touch with him as Dad was the WORST ACTOR IN THE WORLD. Jake is inoffensive as long as he continues to keep his mouth shut and take off his top at regular intervals.

Jo is played by full-lipped brat pack actress Daphne Zuniga and is a bit pointless really. I don’t know much about her character or past but recently she was pregnant by some bloke who died after he knocked her up. Dead Bloke’s parents showed up and demanded custody of the unborn child (on account of how Jo was an amoral heathen slut, or something) and Jo appointed the worst lawyer ever and lost her “tug of love” custody battle in total defiance of any kind of sensible family law. Jo foolishly hatched a madcap scheme with Dr Kimberley where they would swap the baby with a different dead baby in the hospital and forge a death certificate so Jo could flee with her child. Everything was going according to plan until Jo went over to Dr K’s to collect the child, only to discover Kimberley breastfeeding it herself and saying “but Jo, your baby is dead! You signed the death certificate yourself! This is my baby!” Ha ha ha ! Genius!

ISLAND OF MEEJA HOS: LOSING THE ABI HABIT
Now that they know nobody is watching, they've relaxed a bit on the island, and it's all starting to fall apart faster than a Club Med hangover cure.

Nobody likes Abi any more. According to Beppe and Lee Sharpe, she's completely self-centred and a great big walking talking ego machine. Hmmm...celebrities criticising somebody for having a large ego is a bit like dalmatians saying they don't like dogs with spots, isn't it?

Lady Thicko manages not to say to Paul: "Look, you're a weird stalkery whiny manchild, and probably gay anyway, so I'M NOT INTERESTED! OK?" Paul whines some more, but Lady T retains her stiff upper lip throughout, and he goes off to pick a fight with Fran Cosgrave. Not a good idea. Everybody tells Paul to go to bed. Instead he slopes off to whinge at the cameras instead.

Abi generously tells Rebecca Loos (who has been getting a bit friendly with Calum Best) that even though she and Calum "had a thing" before they came to the island, she is very happy to hand him over to Rebecca. In fact her exact words are: "You have my blessing".

YES! shriek the remaining viewers. This is what we are watching for! Even the men notice that this is Not a Nice Thing.

Calum and Rebecca decide to share a bed while Jayne (who appears to have stopped snivelling long enough to start enjoying the spectacle) and Atomic Kitten point and laugh at Abi.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

EUROVISION: A MAAHVELLOUS PARTY

Well, that was a night to forget in a hurry. In case you have already, here is Eurovision 2005 moments, as seen by Sarah, Mr P, Baby Ceej and guests Lord and Lady Lonners.

Drums, drums everywhere! What do they mean? Will the natives never stop with their damn drumming? We poured ourselves another glass of champagne, ordered the pizza, and settled down to discuss the presenter's decision to raid Su Pollard's panto dressing room.

The Hungarian entrant seemed to be dancing with the Borg, so we hastily shielded Ceej's eyes and moved on to the UK. Javine had a sore throat, but the little trouper warbled on, supported very enthusiastically by Ceej, who led the living room in a patriotic arm-waving session - even though Lord Lonners called her song "Sunshine of Your Love with Bhangra".

We will refrain from nasty comments about Michelle McManus suddenly discovering her Maltese side, and merely repeat Mr P's assertion that power ballads do not make good Eurovision winners.

Lady Lonners and Sarah whooped with glee when they saw the Romanian entry. "Ruby Wax meets Pat Benatar!" "No, it's Kat Slater!". More champagne for the umpteenth mention of 'fire' that evening. Next! Oh. My. God. There's a Norwegian band onstage that cover just about every heavy metal cliche this side of 1982. Even down to the mandatory plumber in mascara and really really bad deep plum lippy! Lady Lonners and I agree he should have gone for a brighter red shade. Mr P and Lonners are groaning too loudly for us to hear anything.

Turkey: more bloody drums. This time they seem to be in a bistro with drums for tables. Hmmm...

Moldova. We scoff at Lady Lonners' saying that this lot have got their granny in to do the drumming and remind her that this is the country that Tony Hawks challenged at tennis...they wouldn't do anything as stupid as put their grannies into Chilli Peppers-lite rawk bands. Oh. My. God, what is that in the rocking chair? It looks like a giant bdhoran, with an old lady attached to it! As the singer exhorts us to "get rid of bloody meat", she jumps out of the chair and shuffles to the front - not to clip his ear for swearing at the nice people, but to bash her drum and sway gently. Well, we think this one should have won.

After that, everything rather paled into insignificance. The Albanians recruited Nigel Planer to sing something that went "di di di da da" or something. The Cypriot entry said that we'd be his because he's contagious. I don't think that's something he really wants to boast about. And there was lots of J-Lo style dancing with canes. The Spanish trio warbled about a magical owl. That's nice. There aren't enough owls in pop, we say. Then they spoiled it by having a burly bloke in an inquisitor T-shirt croak something about auto da fe. But by that time, Ceej was starting to flag and had to be put to bed.

Serbia Montenegro: "boy band with drums", according to Lord Lonners. Lady Lonners said that that the Danish singer taught autistic children, but that didn't excuse his woeful impersonation of Ronan Keating. Lord Lonners records in our notes that it "all went Reggae". Whatever that means.

All we have down for Israel is: "The drugs don't work". I think we'd hit the champagne again at that point.

Will Sweden never recover the dizzy heights of Abba - was the subject up for discussion as we breezed through Sweden ("Cliff Richard meets Ricky Martin...brrr!" it says here) and Macedonia ("La la la...more drums! Yuk!") to get to the home entry. Ukraine's band were a kind of Rage Against the Machine, only worse. They had to "tone down the politics" for the evening, which seemed to mean that most of the lyrics were excised, and all we got was "Revolution! Yay! We can do it! Yay!". Well, apparently it kept the freezing crowds of Kiev amused during the political upheaval earlier this year, but I think I probably would have gone home during the second chorus. People of Kiev, we salute you for your fortitude and frozen eardrums!

Germany had "nul point" written all over it, and Croatia used more kettle drums and had Neil Morrissey on vocals (cue chorus of "B-o-o-ob The Builder!").

There are not words enough to describe our deep, sincere, and total hatred of the Latvian entry. It was like a scout leader had pressed his pretty young friend into warbling a duet about a war not being over? "Which war?" we cried. "What are you on about, you blond lunatics? Where's the beer?" Then they started signing. I relived my teenage ten-minute bornagain phase with horrible clarity.

Ooooh...the Russian entry was directed at America, apparently, and seemed to be a tribute ot Michael Moore. We all went "ooooh..." then realised that not a single American would be watching anyway. Bosnia-Hercegovina and Switzerland seem to have merged into one note: "Lady Lonners didn't like this". I can't remember it. Again, our one-word review of the French entry was: "PANTS!", but we did discover that Lady Lonners named her hamster after Sacha Distel.

Funnily enough there are no notes about the Greek entry. I remember something about secret passion, and lover/undercover, and commenting on her make-up with Lady Lonners. Our tip for the top was, of course, completely ignored by the European voting public, who instead decided to make the English PAY (though this time around the French and the Germans got it in the neck too). Apart from the Irish, who did their level best to make us host the damn thing again...and failed! Bwahahahaha!!.

The dance extravaganza during the voting counting bit featured lots more kettle drums - there was a debate between the Lonnerses (both former West End stage hands) on the logistics of having so many drums onstage, and did they recycle the dancers...Mr P and I dozed off.

Then it was all over. The Greek singer sang her song again. We went, "oh THAT one", and switched over to watch German pornstars on Eurotrash. Great evening.

Friday, May 20, 2005

ISLAND OF MEEJA HOS: UPDATE

Manchild Paul is sad because Lady Thicko isn't that thick, and gives him the brush-off.

One of their "tasks" is to arrange themselves in a line, the least famous and one end and the most famous at the other. Bet you spent all night thinking up that one, producers. Fran Cosgrave refuses to take part because he doesn't want to admit that he's only marginally more famous than Precious, and one of them wails something about fame being an impossible thing to measure. Doesn't Paxo use the number of column inches in Heat magazine or some such measure? Anyway, they all shuffle around on the deck and somehow Du'ane Wossname wins a day out with Rebecca Loos. Whoop de doo. No shagging. Rebecca implies that he's not famous enough or uses the "I'm not ready" excuse.

Abi Titmuss gets tipsy with no bra on, and starts waving her threps around Lee Sharpe. Of course, it sparks off another midnight snivel sesh in the toilets with Jayne, who feels "humiliated". Uh, hello? You're on a reality show, love...you signed away your right not to be toyed with like a beagle in the Nicorettes lab in episode 1, so deal, honey.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

MELROSE PLACE CHARACTER GUIDE BY SOMEONE WHO HAS ONLY BEEN WATCHING FOR A FEW WEEKS
PART 1: JANE AND SYDNEY

Jane Mancini is a skinny blonde with a huge wall of teeth and an unflattering bowl cut. She is a fashion designer with a struggling business (Mancini Designs!) but I have never seen any actual Mancini designs – given that Jane has terrible dress sense (lots of tight legging oriented outfits and severe tops) I doubt they are up to much. Jane just wants to design her ugly clothes in peace but is constantly thwarted by her evil sexy ex-husband Dr Michael, who owns 50% of the business and spends most of his spare time hanging round the office, taunting her.

Jane’s sister Sydney is a sultry red head with some kind of racy past (ie = slut), though you wouldn’t necessarily guess it from looking at her matronly hair helmet and tapered distressed jeans. She seems to drive men wild whenever she shows up, so what to do I know? So far, Sydney has been sent to a mental institute for a crime she didn’t commit, pleaded guilty to escape the attentions of a creepy orderly, attempted to seduce Dr Michael to cure him of amnesia and started knocking boots with lunky James Dean facsimile Jake.

Jane has recently taken up with a smarmy Australian bloke and indeed, they are engaged to be married. Jane hasn’t noticed that he is a wrong’un even though he can only get it up after winning cash at Vegas and spends most of his time hugging Jane whilst gazing hornily over his shoulder at Sydney. Sydney keeps trying to tell Jane that Smarmy is stalking her but Jane keeps saying “God Sydney, you’re such a bitch, why do you keep trying to ruin my happiness??” Jake and Sydney have been throwing drinks over Smarmy and pushing him into swimming pools for weeks and she still hasn’t guessed that there is something wrong. Smarmy recently abducted Sydney and went on the lam (in a stretch limo!) with $500k of Mancini Designs cash. Jane thinks that Smarmy and Sydney are in cahoots, because she is too stupid to live.

MELROSE PLACE CHARACTER GUIDE BY SOMEONE WHO HAS ONLY BEEN WATCHING FOR A FEW WEEKS
PART 2: ALISON AND BILLY

Alison is an annoying bint played by her out of Ally MacBeal who wasn’t Ally Macbeal, or Lucy Lui, or that other blonde who is in musicals, etc. Oh, you know who I mean. She seems to have gone to the same acting school as Letitia Dean off EE as she expresses many emotions using the same Special Move –rolling her eyes to the right and grinding her jaw a bit.

Alison is an advertising executive at D&D Advertising (Dungeons & Dragons? Drunk & Disorderly? Desperate & Delusional?) where she works on many top projects such as for “Escapade” Magazine (I would totally read a magazine called “Escapade”) and the “Glamorous Gowns” campaign. I don’t think the writers put too much effort into thinking up a name for that last one. The reason I hate Alison is that whenever she gets any dialogue it always ends up with her moaning incessantly about how everyone has let her down and she needs them blah blah blah. God! Just shut up! Alison’s boss is uber-bitch Amanda (aka Heather Locklear!!!) who hates her for some reason and is determined to make her life a misery. Good.

Alison recently split up with love of her life Billy – an unattractive wooden faced lunk with a nasty mullet, who wears a smart shirt and tie to work with his shirt tucked into his uber-tight jeans. Noooo! Fashion crime in progress! Billy could not express emotion if his life depended on it and basically seems smug and unpleasant. A good match for Alison then. All his plots revolve seem to revolve around him doing things that make Alison cross. They still work together at D&D, he lives in the flat upstairs and has started going out with Alison’s best friend from college (Susan). For some reason Alison is having trouble “moving on” and for weeks, any conversation at work would turn into a rehash of their failed relationship. Not awkward at all.

Now Alison has started hitting the bottle and is busy with a downward spiral of booze shame. The best bit was when they were all at an important work do – treacherous college friend Susan was catering and Alison had a few drinks and started telling Billy that Susan was a nasty slut and that everyone at school used to call her “Round Heeled Susan” because she was so easy – wtf?? Did Alison go to college in a Damon Runyan novel or something? When Susan found out here was a proper catfight and they threw drinks and food all over each other etc. Classic. Now Alison is dating a really creepy looking video director with horrid hair, but has still had time to hospitalise a boy with her drunk driving and get sacked from her job for being a flaky lush. Ha ha. Alison, your tears are so sweet!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

ISLAND OF MEEJA HOS

So anyway, it's twelve slebs - in the loosest sense of the word - on an island. The only way out is by viewer vote. There's a "love shack" where two slebs are placed by the GBP to either get it on or rip each others' eyes out in private. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any opportunity to put, say, Abi Titmuss and another girl in the shack so they can have pillow fights and wax each others legs, etc. Missed an opportunity there, ITV. The others just lounge around making monkey noises and catty remarks or something.

Patrick "was funny when he did jokes about NI politics" Kielty and Kelly Brook, looking alarmingly like a Stepford Wife (there are even some scenes where she walks around and coos admiringly at bathroom fittings), provide the commentary and Ant & Decness. Mr P is happy about Kelly Brook. Mark and Sarah are unhappy as the only remotely fanciable bloke is Michael Beppe Greco, and we wouldn't...not if he were the last man on earth etc. The couple the viewers like the best win £50,000 each. I am sure there is no better motivation to watch this show than to see these desperate fame whores get a large chunk of undeserved cash.

Sarah: Rebecca Loos. Abi Titmuss and Fran Cosgrave are making a career of appearing on "celebrity" reality shows. Maybe they should get together and we could chart the course of their relationship as they hop from Sleb Love Island, to Sleb Detox, to Sleb Wife Swap, to Sleb Relationship Counselling, to Sleb Divorce Court...
Mark: I suppose they have to keep themselves busy until civilisation collapses and someone finally commissions “Celebrity Actual Shagging”

Sarah: Fran Cosgrave (anybody's for a pint of Guinness and a packet of crisps - his words) is steering well clear of the Atomic Kitten. Have they exchanged a word yet?
Mark: I have no idea who Fran Cosgrove is but his hair and tattoos are rotten, perhaps he thinks it is a fancy dress party and he is dressed up as “David Beckham from five years ago”. He comes across as a bit of a tool, to be honest.

Sarah: What is the point of Abi Titmuss?
Mark: Her job description is apparently “Tabloid Babe” but I can think of some other words to describe her (i.e. Hussy!) she spends half the episode complaining that she isn’t a man hungry trollope and then instantly starts whining to Callum that he isn’t sticking up for her, rubbing oil into him, kissing him etc. Shut up, Abi.

Sarah: I'm looking forward to the unravelling of Jayne Middlemiss's Jolly Head Girl act as she collapses, sobbing into the arms of Lee Sharpe (West Ham? Can't remember...). Maybe they'll run away to live together in his 7-bed Victorian semi with all original fireplaces...
Mark : I was prepared to quite like Jayne but she lets herself down by (a) giggling at EVERYTHING Lee Sharpe says, (b) saying that Real Madrid are an Italian football team and (c) having a sobbing fit to camera on the first night saying she can’t sleep and she misses her mum. You’re 34 years old, woman! It’s called jet lag! Get a grip!

Sarah: Calum Best. Why does he sound like Van Morrison, and why doesn't he sue his dad for failing to pass on his looks, wit or talent?
Mark: Also, he is totally going bald!
Sarah: ...and hair.

Sarah: Paul Danan (who he? while I'm at it, who's the tall skinny bird?) and Lady Isabella Hervey, wow! Posh and Thick gets together with Common and Thick. The nation is already imagining their children.
Mark: wow, Isabella literally does have a stiff upper lip! Just watch her when she talks! I have no idea who the hell Paul is either, but that insistent pinging sound is my 71% accurate gaydar going off. He is relentlessly pimped to the audience as a comedy manchild, like Alfie in EE or Joe Pascuale in “I’m a celebrity”. I instantly hate him. The producers have decided for us in advance who is going into the Love Shack and so 90% of the running time is devoted to drumming into our heads that Paul and Lady Vacuous are a great couple and the most amazing love story of our generation. The audience have to make a decision after, like, 5 minutes running time so naturally they put the Chosen Two in the Lust Hovel. Why even bother trying to make it seem interactive?

Mark: In other news, Atomic Kitten and the tall black girl are totally anonymous (there are a few comedy shots of Atomic fixing her hair and looking really rough). Rebecca totally throws herself at chunky athlete bloke (Du’wayne or something) by rubbing oil into his back and wimpering something about amazingly muscley he is. Vom. Beppe is revealed as a “joker” who “organises fun” for everyone – someone else to instantly hate then…

Sarah: Our friend Mr Preach says that Tall Skinny Black Girl was Precious in EE - she must have been wearing a wig. Actually she looks like she's wearing a wig now. Nobody has Supremes hair like that in real life, do they?

FilmFan: Paul Danan was Sol Campbell out of Hollyoaks. I can't remember anything interesting about him. I've seen him do something else, possibly a charity thing and remember that he was actually pretty funny. He was outdoors, that's about all I remember. I feel sorry for Jayne Middlemiss - she really didn't seem like the type for this sort of thing.

Monday, May 16, 2005

PLAYING IT STRAIGHT
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN
It’s all finally over and we can be put out of our misery. The series was entertaining but also quite flawed (too much filler and cheesiness) and has hardly set the world alight, so I doubt it will be recommissioned. It’s a shame as it could have been great with some adjustments to the format and a slightly more lively heroine than Zoë (I’m sure she’s nice enough but any one of my straight lady friends would have been better value than her). Anyway, the tasks this week were pretty perfunctory. Our heroes had to take it in turns to serenade Zoë and then all sat in a sort of Mexican sauna and had a pseudo mystical experience while a lady hit them with branches and chanted. There were lots of shots of Zoe agonising and having huddled conversations with people and lots of shots of Danny Darko looking dead-eyed and soulless. Peter (the cute South African bloke) came back to give her advice (which seemed to basically consist of “I’m not sure.” Good one, Peter) and there were similarly unhelpful video messages from the other rejected boys. We are obtusely reminded that Zoë and Danny Darko probably had the sex and voice over bloke says that there is going to be a stunning SHOCK!!! In the ad break we feverishly try and guess what the shock might be – Danny is straight! Danny is gay and shagged her anyway!! One of them is bi! One of them is a hermaphrodite!!! Zoë is a lesbian!!!!

Zoë calls the boys out one at a time to tell them their fate. Marco is first and she rejects him! Zoë, you fool! Him and Blonde Danny were the most obviously straight guys left and you have dumped them both and left yourself with two dubious ones. Seriously at this point we decided that she did not deserve to win. Marco said that he was straight (and therefore Lee was gay) and sauntered off. Next up she summoned Ben and said how much she liked him and that she chose him as the winner. Ben looked devastated and pointed out that he was actually gay. There was a great disturbance in the Force as people all over the country shouted “no shit!!” Zoë started barking “It’s fine! It’s fine!” and Ben ran away to cry. Zoë then had to summon Danny Darko and said that she didn’t trust him and that he was out too. Danny said that he was gay but then – SHOCK!! – said “only joking, I’m straight actually!” What a dick. Also – totally in denial. Ben and Zoë met up again and cried and said how they wanted to be friends 4eva. In the end they agreed to split the money. How heartwarming.

ULTIMATE GAYDAR ACCURACY: 5/7 (got Danny Darko and Alex the wrong way round. Doh)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

DR WHO VS THE-VERY-FABRIC-OF-SPACE-AND-TIME
Doctor: Billy! why have you disrupted the space time continuum and caused loads of badly animated dragonny things to appear and start eating everyone?
Billy: Because I want to! Because I want to!

Friday, May 13, 2005

HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE

After house reality tv, family makeover tv, business tv, we get God TV. Five men retreat from the modern world to spend forty days and forty nights with a closed monastic order. They will live a life of seclusion and contemplation, taking a psychological and philosophical journey that will surely change all involved over the coming weeks.

Unfortunately it clashes with Bad Girls.

We open on Jim Fenner's wicked life flashing before his eyes, as it does every night in HMP Lakeland, where he has been slung on remand. As Di so succinctly puts it: "He's in prison, with a load of cons!". Well, they wouldn't be florists now, would they? Unless they were criminal florists, of course. The other prisoners hate him, and the screws hate him for bringing the good name of prison officers into disrepute - well...one screw. There only seems to be one speaking member of staff at HMP Lakeland and he's a sarky Norn Iron man, probably called Harry Block or something (work it out for yourselves).

Mr Block turns a blind eye when the prison welcoming committee kindly shows Fenner around the showers (Fenner tries to weasel his way out with: "But I'm evil too! We could rule this place together!", but they're too busy unzipping their trousers and grinning). He comes out, shaking, weeping and walking a bit funny, and demanding to be given special protection. Mr Block raises a sardonic eyebrow and says: "Are you sure, nye?", and throws Fenner into the Paedo Wing. Oooh...they had fun casting this lot. There's even one who looks a bit like an ex-boyfriend of mine. A Pillar of the Acting Community is the local sage - he's in for rape, not kiddy fiddling, I think - who takes Fenner under his wing. Leave him to the nonces, mate, we all cry.

Meanwhile, Grayson is taking direct control of the wing now that SuperBitch has moved on. The main result of his kinder, cuddlier regime is that Sylvia Bodybag gets the best muttered asides, and the Julies seem to have the full run of the prison. Is there any point in locking them up at all?

Remember Nice Boy that got Teen pregnant just before her release date? Expecting a happy ever after? Well, no. Nice Boy turns out to be a Serial Sex Offender who likes sneaking into womens' prisons dressed as a handyman and shagging anyone who offers. Since dumping poor little Teen at the gates, he has taken up with Natalie (Julie 1: "She's a slag, but she's a Psycho Slag..."). Grayson acts on a tip-off from the Julies and catches Natalie climbing on top of Not-so-Nice Boy. Natalie cries rape, and before we know it, Nice Boy is sharing a table with Fenner, boasting about how he nearly shagged SuperBitch (only Smackhead got there first).

Poor old Teen isn't adjusting to live on the outside. She finds that she can't even get arrested until she sets fire to a local boutique ("I'm an arsonist now" - like it's a Girl Guide badge). She rolls up to the gates accompanied by a credit card fraud duo - it turns out that one of them (Arun, pretty, bit weedy, probably eeeviler than Natalie) has found God and wouldn't lie to get her friend out of trouble. Friend (called Janine - yay for Easties continuity!) is raging and out to kill. I think she used to be in 'Enders too. Anyway, they're all bunking with Darlene, who is now Psycho Natalie's heavy. Well, would you argue with her?

There's a daft voodoo doll sub-plot that prompts Darling Stephanie Beecham to commission a makeover for Alma from Corrie - who is looking decidedly rough. The Julies set to work and transform her into...Alma from Corrie! Excellent!

I'm not sure what Fenner did next but he managed to keep Di onside - even after she found his Shrine to Betts and confessed to his dreadful crime - then I went to the bathroom, came back, and he was free!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

WHEN SOAPS COLLIDE
According to newspaper reports, Kacey Ainsworth (aka Little Mo, aka Drippy in Eastenders) is set to join the cast of Desperate Housewives for a couple of episodes in the next series as a British nanny – presumably for that sociopathic bitch Lynette. Although Kacey is a pretty good actress who is not remotely as simpery and annoying IRL as she is on Eastenders, it will be hard to shake the spectre of Drippy from our minds as we watch her in Hysteria Lane. I am wondering if they will play on her pre-existing TV persona at all, or if she is so unknown in the US that they won’t bother. Better hide that iron to be on the safe side, Lynette!

Although it will be class to see Drippy in action, she is not the first, second or even third choice of actresses I would like to see join the cast next series. Hopefully the Mary Alice storyline will all be sewn up by then and an all new bunch of desperate housewives with dark secrets will be required to keep the plot wheels turning. 30 something actresses all over the world will be pestering their agents for auditions but I hope the new parts go to…

HEATHER LOCKLEAR
Heather would be fantastic on this show and is currently under-employed as her dull airport show was cancelled and there is no sign of a TJ Hooker revival on the horizon. Heather is excellent at playing the frosty uber-bitch and I could see her as a fine rival for Lynette in some sort of office related plotline. Also it would be great to see her re-united with her ex Melrose castmates Doug (Tom/Gay Matt) Savant and Marcia (Bree/Dr Kimberley Shaw) Cross, especially if Bree finally snaps and unleashes the Kimberley-style murderous psycho that we all know lurks beneath those snazzy cashmere twin-sets.

SHANNEN DOHERTY
Shannen always looks like she would cut you if you looked at her funny, so she would be great as a new housewife who is on the lam for murder or who has psychopathic rages and beats up her husband or something. Also, in every TV series she has ever been in, she ends up making everyone hate her and has been sacked in a “she goes or I go” type stand off. If there’s one thing DH needs, it is more off-stage drama and diva catfighting!

PARKER POSEY
This is more of an offbeat choice, but there are plenty of B List actresses who are happy to slum it in TV drama (see Thandie Newton in ER or Annabella Sciorra in the Sopranos) and I was trying to think of one who would be good for DH. I have always liked Parker since “Dazed and Confused” when she played a super bitchy cheerleader who enjoyed torturing younger girls. She is always funny in Will and Grace and those Christopher Guest films and basically has a mad face that makes me laugh for no particular reason, even in something really crappy like Scream 3 or Blade Trinity (she hasn’t had much luck being in the third film of a series, has she?). Parker was outstanding as an uptight hysterical yuppy in “Best in Show” and would be perfect as a Desperate Housewife.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

PLAYING IT STRAIGHT
STR8ER BOI
This week Zoe and the boys were packed off to Mexico's premier gay beach resort, and very nice it looked too. For the first task they had to demonstrate their throwing/catching/running abilities - cue lots of hilarious footage of the boys prancing round like ninnies and falling over for no reason. Then Zoe spied on them as they spent the evening in a gay bar, had male strippers waving their booties in their faces and danced with trannies, etc. Loved the decor in that bar - plastic flamingos a go go. Next day the boys each had to buy her an outfit and the bloke who chose the nicest one would win a dinner date. This was quite funny as the lads wandered round the shops saying things like "Zoe likes cheap plastic-y things!" and selected horrible white nylon dresses and ugly chunk-style bangles. Alex ("Amy Winehouse's neanderthal brother" according to my mate Sam) won with a non-dreadful black flamenco-y dress. At the dinner they were chatting about holidays and so on, when Alex basically said "oh fuck it, I can't do this any more - I'm gay!" which was quite cool, only I had him down as a straight. Dammit.

The last task was a Milk Tray ad rip off - the boys had to jump out of a helicopter into the sea, swim to a boat and leave a message and box of non-product placed chocolates for Zoe. Danny K won and should have jet skied to join Zoe on the boat but managed to crash the jet ski into the only boat for miles around (comedy gold) and so had to swim to the boat instead. In his tuxedo. What a spaz.

Eviction time again and of course Alex had to go after his SHOCK CONFESSION. Ben was called up but she said he could stay - Ben said that she picked him as the winner he would give her his share of the money and thus sacrifice £50k to win the game. Smart move - if he was gay (ed: no IF about it!) it would mean he would still keep £50K and not feel like such a rat for tricking Zoe. Danny Darko and Marco were retained and Danny K was sent packing. Damn - he was the most obviously straight one left! Zoe is completely insane! It looks like she is just keeping the ones she fancies as all three remaining contestants are quite similar looking (dark, tanned and muscular). Next week is the final episode and June assures us that there is at least one gayer left in the final three. The excitement: I cannot bear it!
GAYDAR ACCURACY TO DATE: 2/3

DR WHO VERSUS SKY TELEVISION
In this one, Dr Who lands on a satellite that broadcasts TV to all of earth but turns out to be run by a slimy alien who is telling lies etc to control the earth through misinformation - subtle satire or what? The satellite has a food court and everything and rather reminded me of Luton Airport. Simon Pegg and the lady from Black Books show up, which is nice.

Meanwhile, Todd from Corrie proves that he is unsuitable assistant material by being naughty and using Billy's magic space phone to read out the instruction manual to Microsoft Office 3004 onto his mum's ansaphone, or something. Dr Who tells him off for messing with the course of human history, even though the Doctor does the exact same thing every frigging week just by showing up in places. Hello pot, meet mr kettle!

HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME: IMPRESSIONS

Well, Popjustice don't seem to want us after all, so we stopped writing regular reviews. However, tonight was Chesney Night. I mean...Chesney... and chap from Cutting Crew...and Cleopatra (comin' atcha!). Mr P, a grumpy jazz musician and husband of Sarah, was also watching.

CHESNEY HAWKES
Sarah: Another one with the portrait in the attic, and an awful lot of screaming fans who should know better. Christ, the song is EVEN WORSE than I remember,and I saw it on the Hits channel only a few weeks ago.

Oh my god, our 15 month old daughter is bopping. What happened? We played her The Pixies in the womb, fer chrissakes...

Mr P:Hate him.

KELLY MARIE
Sarah: Her name is Jacqueline, she has six kids and she was big in France and Australia before making it big with It Feels Like I'm in Love. Says a lot if you ask me. Really didn't like this song.

Mr P: I liked this song in a guilty secret "I had a Wombles record" kind of way. I was also struck that there's always a place for a 12bar blues in the pop world but then apparently this song was destined to be Elvis's until one cocaine burger too many, and he did have a way with 12bar blues.

Sarah:I had a Wombles record. Vernon keeps saying that this is the concert that we all dreamed of but never thought would happen. I don't know if Vernon's dreams involve all nine circles of hell, but on this evidence I can recommend insomnia.

CUTTING CREW CHAPPIE
Sarah: Obviously they had to say "Cutting Crew" for this chap otherwise nobody would have remembered who the hell he was and gone "Aaaagh! It's the portrait in Chesney's attic!" when they saw him. Still hate this song with the venom of a million wasp stings.

Mr P: The man had the same skin-crawling allure of Daniel Bedingfield. I think he was called something like Van Eede but probably even his family call him Cutting Crew Chappie. At least he didn't cover a Robbie song which all men are supposed to, but a Macy Gray number instead. He did that mistake some singers do of trying to make out they're a serious musician by singing and gasp> playing guitar, thankfully giving up half-way through though when he realised he couldn't sing in tune and play at the same time.

Sarah:There were other people, but I started playing with Baby Ceej, trying to erase the aural poison that is Chesney Hawkes from her consciousness by singing "Wind The Bobbin Up" a hundred times.

CLEOPATRA
Sarah: I remember this lot. They were quite good in a sub-Jacksons sort of way. And they had their own series on CITV. Ooh, they're not slightly chunky teenagers any more.
Mr P:I've found I can't say anything at all about Cleopatra without sounding like an old dad perv so let's just say they were lovely.

Chesney won. Probably by dint of being the only person the audience had heard of.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Previously on "Celebrity Wrestling"...

Okay, well, I have a few confessions to make first. First of all, I hardly ever watch these kinds of shows – I love Big Brother (and Big Brother USA, which was FANTASTIC) but that’s about as much as this sort of thing as I can really take. I’ve never watched I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here or Fame Academy or Hell’s Kitchen or Strictly Come Dancing or any of those things. I don’t even read Heat magazine for God’s sake, although that’s largely because I blame it for The Death of Neon. Don’t get me started, etc. I’d never watched Gladiators or WWF either, although I do have dim memories of watching Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks pound the crap out of each other when I was younger. Those were the days, etc.

So, Confession Number One: I only really switched on Celebrity Wrestling because I’m a sucker for a cheap rhyme and I’d laughed out loud when I’d heard about “Lawler The Brawler”. So I’d tuned in hoping to hear someone go “LAWLERRRRRRRR THE BRAWLERRRRRR!” And, frankly, I wasn’t disappointed.

Confession Number Two: I’ve only heard of just over half of the people involved. On the Red Team (the Crusaders), I’d heard of Harry’s Dad Hewitt (aka Gentleman Jim), Jenny Powell (aka Avenger) and Jeff Brazier (aka Pocket Rocket) but only because of his connection to Jade. Jade would be GREAT on Celebrity Wrestling by the way – I bet the producers really wanted her and were gutted when she said no. I’d never heard of Lee Sharpe (aka Sharp Shooter) and couldn’t have told you whether Michelle Heaton (aka Inferno) was from Liberty X or Girls Aloud. I didn’t know Leilani Dowding (aka Vixen) either, but I was pleased to discover that she really looks like a friend of mine.

As for the Blue Team (the Warriors), I’d obviously heard of Lawler The Brawler and Victoria Silvstedt (aka The Ice Maiden), as well as Marc “Gianni DiMarco” Bannerman (aka – ha ha! – Diabolo). And Annabel Croft (aka Solitaire – classy, named after a Bond Girl), although I couldn’t have picked her out of a photo line-up. I’d never heard of Oliver Skeete (aka Rebel Rider) and am somewhat surprised to discover he’s a show jumper. I’d never heard of Iwan Thomas (aka Dragon) either. I had, however, heard of the co-host, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. He’s in a film with one of the all-time greatest titles, “Hell Comes To Frogtown” and is chiefly remembered for the line, “I came here to kick ass and to chew bubblegum…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

Anyway, Confession Number Three: The other reason I turned on was because I was waiting for Doctor Who to start. I was instantly hooked though and taped the rest of “CW”. And I’ll be watching this week too.

First up were Vixen Dowding and Solitaire Croft. Model vs Ex-tennis star. No contest, really, despite Vixen crowing about having “the advantage of youth”. Solitaire trounced her solidly in all three rounds, the best of which were the Sumo Slam (throw your opponent into the pit) and Ram Rod, which is like a tug of war in reverse, again with pit-throwing thrown in. I’ve decided that my favourite rounds involve The Pit in some way. The last round, Chain Reaction, was a bit rubbish by comparison. The best bit was Leilani throwing a strop and shouting “I’m not trying hard enough!” at her team mates.

Confession Number Four: I fast-forwarded through Dragon vs Sharpe Shooter. Sharpe Shooter won, apparently.

The Main Event of the night was definitely Lawler The Brawler vs Michelle “Inferno” Heaton. Inferno, Heat – you see what they’ve done there? Poor Michelle never stood a chance, really – less of an Inferno and more of a damp squib. She looked genuinely terrified in the ring and you can’t really blame her – say what you like about Lawler but you wouldn’t want to cross her in a fight. She’s also brilliant at playing up to the cameras and you could tell she was loving the whole thing, particularly in this picture: http://www.celebritywrestling.tv/news2_1.asp . She made short work of her in Wrecking Ball (sadly no Pit involved) and quickly bested her in Murder Ball (again, no Pit). The final round, “Power Lift” was the icing on the cake though – no wonder they saved it till last, as I imagine anyone watching the show for cheap thrills (i.e. everyone) would have switched off in dazed contentment afterwards anyway. Basically, a cage (The CAGE! – my favourite rounds also have to involve a cage, although sadly I can’t see a way to successfully combine the Cage and the Pit) descended and Lawler The Brawler and Inferno had to wrestle each other until one of them “Power Lifted” the other. They were both pretty evenly matched but this time you thought that Inferno might just do it as she had a slight weight advantage. Never underestimate The Brawler though – it was almost like she gained Hulk-like powers while in the ring and with a quick “Grrr – Brawler SMASH puny Popstar!” it was all over, although not before lots of lingering shots of what the Guardian TV reviewer referred to as “gussets”. Sounds a lot less sexy when you put it like that, doesn’t it?

So. Fabulous. Can’t wait for tonight’s episode. Let’s Get Ready To RUMBLE! But only until Doctor Who starts.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

DR WHO VS THE PATHETIC DALEK
Random thoughts re last week’s episode

1. Apparently the dalek’s plunger is not just used for pushing really big buttons and unblocking toilets! No, this dalek also used its plunger to suck someone’s face off, drain all the electricity in America and download all the information off the interweb. Wow, that’s an awful lot of porn and bad fanfic - no wonder the dalek ended up emotionally disturbed.

2. It seems that all you need to do to defeat a dalek is stroke its shiny dome and then tell it you feel sorry for it. Later on you can make it cry and talk it into blowing itself up. It would have saved an awful lot of trouble over the years if the Doctor had worked this out earlier in his career.

3. OMG! Billy has persuaded Todd from Corrie to come on board the Tardis! Don’t be fooled by his puppyish good looks, Billy. Before you know it he’ll have knocked you up, proposed to you, started licking the Doctor’s face while he’s asleep and then come out of the closet!

THE APPRENTICE: THE FINAL
For those of you coming out of a coma, The Apprentice is the UK version of Donald Trump's riveting business/reality programme. The UK's answer to Donald is former Spurs chairman, 80s computing entrepeneur and all-round curmudgeon, SIR Alan Sugar. Nobody, but nobody calls him Alan. Not even Lady Alan, I'll bet.

So, fourteen thrusting young business folk - an assortment of estate agents, pretty MBAs, salespeople and a LT manager - are put through a number of weekly tasks that require them to either sell a product or make money in some other way. Like the US version, you hate nearly every single one of the contestants. My favourite hate-object varied between Tory Boy Matthew, who seemed to be unable to hold a conversation with anybody without shouting at them and Paul the "property developer" who managed to conform to two stereotypes (Yorkshiremen are bigoted bastards/Italians are mad and gobby with it) at once. Once Tory Boy got the boot, my ire concentrated mainly on Paul, but I managed to despise pretty much everybody else except Lovely Tim the LT manager.

Alan's idiotometer was running on 11 throughout the series. He soon dispatched the real mutants: melty-faced Adele's botoxed visage nearly cracked under the strain when she made her resignation speech seconds before Sir Alan told her she was fired. Last of the people you wouldn't let clean your windows, let alone run one of your companies to go was Raj, the 'internet entrepeneur' who didn't do sales, didn't do marketing, didn't do cooking...didn't do much actually. Apart from suck up to Saira the gobby salesperson and eventual finalist.

Saira was an enigma, wrapped inside a conundrum, wrapped inside the most irritating manner you have ever witnessed outside a Labour conference. She. Spoke. Very. Slowly. And. Very. Deliberately. To. Everybody. Like. They. Were. Morons. That's when she wasn't shouting, or browbeating some poor passer-by with her foghorn sales technique. She has a long and prosperous career ahead of her as a Professional Business Gob. She'll appear on Blue Peter, and probably do a show with Alvin Hall, and her diet book will be featured in Heat magazine. Maybe she'll even have her boobs done like Jade Goody.

Lovely Tim, on the other hand, looked pretty, smiled at everybody, spread the love, and even when he fucked up, fucked up nicely. No wonder he won. He also made the very smart move of walking around shirtless at every opportunity, especially in the final week. His projects made less money, but he was steady, charming and slightly dull. Even the fact that he was a Gooner didn't sway Sir Alan - but then considering the way he ran Spurs, Sir Alan probably wasn't even aware of their deadly rivals. Given that his final opponent was madder than a crate of snakes, it was no wonder that Tim won.

By the end Paul and James had settled into their respective boxes: Paul was the mad maverick who managed to make us feel sorry for Saira; James was the bloody nice posh bloke with a big false laugh. Even in the post-show discussion, everybody's favourite spud-in-a-wig Adrian Chiles couldn't get past the "ooooh...I'm mad and sexist me!"/"Well I'm jolly posh!" personae, and the other rejected contestants were too busy sulking to contribute anything constructive. Apart from Miriam. Lovely Miriam and her Magic Breasts offered love and support for everyone. Tim sobbed that he just wanted to make his mum proud, and Sir Alan sat in the middle of it all like a faintly disgusted old tabby cat. He's still a git.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

PLAYING IT STRAIGHT
GAYWATCH
This week the “tasks” included chopping down cacti with machetes, drinking tequila (including having to lick tequila off scantily clad men and women), putting up shelves and eating hot chilli type meals. I’m not sure that any of these are proof of hetero/homosexuality but never mind.

Buff Marco won one of the contests and got to spend a one-on-one jacuzzi date with Zoë. Where would reality TV be without the wondrous invention of the jacuzzi? Marco squeezed himself into a pair of skin-tight canary yellow trunks for the occasion and explained that the reason he was so comfortable hanging around scantily clad men was that he has worked as a stripper and a naked butler. Thank you for sharing with the group, Marco. Actually, he was a lot less irritating this week and I still think he’s straight.

Zoë seemed to get a clue this week (or else was given one by the producers) and asked the boys who they thought was gay out of the remaining contestants - she seemed to come to the same conclusion that we did weeks ago – that Dark Danny is suspiciously unemotional and that Ben is too straight acting to be true.

During the evictions she told Johnny that she really liked him but thought that he was gay and evicted him. Perhaps the fact that he kept breaking into torrid go-go dance moves during the tequila competition gave him away. He confirmed that he was indeed G.A.Y and disco danced off the set. Good for him.

In the end it came down to the two Danny’s. She called up Blond Danny first and said she was keeping him. Danny Darko looked gutted – she called him over and said that she didn’t trust him, but was keeping him anyway as there was only one eviction that week. Damn you pesky producers and your wicked games. Danny Darko looked like he was going to cry, or else go on a murderous rampage – it’s hard to tell what this cat is thinking. At least I was right about Johnny…

GAYDAR ACCURACY TO DATE: 1/1

Monday, May 02, 2005

TOP OF THE POPS
I WAS JUST A LOVE MACHINE
Last year I had the chance to be a Top of the Pops audience member. Our cover story was that we were taking a teenage relative along as a treat on her first visit to London but I quite fancied going anyway to experience the magic of live television. I had no desire to be actually seen on TV as I suspected that I would be twice as old as everyone in the audience (this turned out to be the case) but I soon realised that I was also twice as tall as everyone in the audience, which made it hard to be inconspicuous. We decided that we would always stand at the back and I would sort of slouch and try to make myself shorter.

After standing round a holding area for a while, we all filed into the studio (which is tiny, unbearably hot, full of cables and equipment and cameramen who tell you to get out of shot all the time). A producer came along, cracked a few lame jokes and explained the rules – it turns out that you aren’t just an audience member but have to perform yourself: clap with your hands in the air! Dance to everything! Look happy! Cheer when a dancer does a special move! No handbags allowed! Production assistants would mingle in the crowd and zap you with cattle prods if you didn’t obey.

The producer announced the line up (Girls Aloud! V! Kasabian! Three of a Kind! DJ Smiley or Spidey or something! Natasha Bedingfield!) and a young audience member practically wet himself when Three of a Kind were announced. Who the hell could get that excited about them? The same lad also tried to get Fearne Cotton to wear his naff trilby hat (she was very polite but looked at him like “No way am I touching that flea ridden shit, mate”) and was generally totally star struck and embarrassing. We decided to look out for him on the next series of Pop Idol, where he would probably be rejected on the first day and cry and say that Simon Cowell was an idiot who didn’t recognise true talent. The producer said that Usher wouldn’t be in the studio but that they would play his video instead. Lots of people seemed sad about this but I hate Usher with the burning intensity of a thousand suns and laughed at their grief. There was to be a rehearsal and then the live shoot – so much fun to have to be enthusiastic and spontaneous the second time round.

Now-dropped boy band V came on to do “Can You Feel It?” with about fifty dancers. The record company really pushed the boat out on that one – money down the drain! V were quite average but it was fun watching the dancers who were a) very good and b) very fit. We were dancing around ironically at the back when suddenly – horror! – V ran through the audience onto a stage behind us. We all had to turn round and suddenly found ourselves right at the front. Oh the shame of being filmed frugging to V on primetime national television.

Girls Aloud performed “Love Machine” and basically acted out the video on stage. They are all very tiny and glossy looking in real life. I confess to liking Girls Aloud, so this was the “highlight” of the evening for me. My abiding memory of the performance is the look of abject embarrassment on the Ginger One’s face when she had to do a sexy shimmy about two inches from one of the writhing dancer boys. Poor Ginger One.

We were on the wrong side of the studio to be in the crowds for Kasabian (generic indie bollocks a go go) or DJ Spidey (some kind of shit summer novelty record - Spidey handing out inflatable bananas to the crowd to create the spurious illusion of fun) but we didn’t really care. We were trapped close to the stage for Three of a kind to perform their one hit wonder "Babycakes" (a couple of the fit dancers from V came back for that) and, again, there was no way to avoid the cameras. Predictably, stalker boy went into fits when they did their performance and was later seen to be pestering them for autographs. We thought the show was over but then Natasha Bedingfield came on to record a performance for next week. It was that “Shelley and Keats to a hip hop beats” song. Great. We were knackered by now after basically prancing around non stop under bright lights for three hours without refreshment. We gave up any pretence of enjoyment and just sat at the back. I decided I would say that I had a bad leg if one of the fun nazis came over but I think that by then, they had lost the will to live too. Natasha seemed very smug and pleased with herself whilst waiting to perform and we all nudged each other and muttered “what a diva!” when she told a flunky to get her some water. Who does she think she is? J-Lo? After an interminable performance they finally let us go and we dashed off to the bar. We forgot to set the video so we have no idea how stupid we looked. Perhaps it is for the best. Coming soon: I attend “Later with Joolz Holland”!

Related Posts with Thumbnails