Sunday, May 28, 2006

Dr Who Summary

I'm getting in there first with the Dr Who thing this week.

The Cyberpersons double-ep was pretty good - though I did wonder about this alternate universe where zeppelins roam the skies and the land is ruled by minor characters from sitcoms of the 70s and 80s. Rose showed signs of being a bit of a needy minx - especially when she discovers that Alternate Rose is a Yorkshire terrier. Lovely Mickey met Alternate Mickey. Alternate Mickey dies, and Lovely Mickey takes his place in the fight for freedom, alongside a really irritating children's TV presenter who turns out to be quite a good freedom fighter. Kudos to the casting folk for working in this nice little twist. The writing was a bit clunky in places, and David Tennant's wacky doctor schtick does wear thin over two episodes. He's still better than Christopher Eccleston's well-meaning social worker, but it's almost like he's trying too hard.

This week, Mark Gatiss writes and Maureen Lipman is a baddy! It's 1953 and everybody in Muswell Hill wants a telly to watch the Coronation. Only these tellies suck your face off and stick it inside a Bruce Naumann-style installation while Maureen yells "HUNGRY! HUNGREEEEE!" in her best BBC voice. Billie gets to wear pink patent heels and the Dr looks like a young Clint Eastwood in his quiff. I kind of lost interest when Maureen's minion manages to get past security at Alexandra Palace, but the Dr has to prove he's King of Belgium or something. But anyway, he reverses the polarity and everybody gets their faces back.

I did wonder about other things that might be different in the Cybermen alternate universe. Like, do they have Big Brother?

Mark was spot on about Shahbaz, who walked. We were both spot on about Dawn, who threatened to walk and was chucked out on some trumped-up charge that would have been laughed off if she hadn't a) worked out the premise of BB so early; and b)decided not to go along with it. Richard is a bit of a bully. And I was wrong wrong WRONG about Pete. He's lovely and he punctuates his sentences with "Wanker!"

The rest of them can be divided into The Beautiful People - leaping in and out of bed like Strict Baptist freshers on their first night away from home (believe me, I've heard stories...); and The Others. The Others interact politely with The Beautiful People, but all the camera action is whether or not Sezer will finally get into Imogen's pants; or will boring posho George get rid of self-obsessed Nikki or will Mikey...oh, you know something? I don't give a monkey's fart.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I missed the first half hour because the Little ‘Un wanted to watch Shrek 2, and Mr P insisted that BB never started on a Thursday, was I mad, or what etc…so straight into it with…

SARAH: Or “Bonn-uh”. She’s my Pre-selected Housemate, and I know absolutely nothing about her except that she’s small, Northern and slightly nondescript. The utterly crap 90s-tastic BB website (I mean, how far below the fold can you get?) says absolutely nothing about her or any of the housemates yet. Apparently she got booed, so maybe she said something bitchy in the auditions.

Sarah’s verdict: Bet she says “Whatev-uh” a lot. Two weeks at the most.

MARK: Something of a hard faced slappah with pencilled in eyebrows and comedy accent. She will never live down the whole thing of not being able to pronounce her own name properly ("Bon-hur?" "Bonno?" etc etc). seems a bit dull and quiet once she is in there.

SARAH: Saw him falling down the stairs. Apparently he has Tourette’s, but only in front of a camera. I will probably come to regret this crass and uncharitable comment in about a month’s time.

Sarah’s verdict: I dunno…possibly the Dark Horse. Possibly out by Sunday.

MARK: OMG it is hyperactive Lee Evans if you can imagine such a thing. Think it is a bit dodgy putting someone with a neurological condition in there but he'll probably get loads of sympathy votes and win the bastard.

Posh boy who is probably The Hon Laird McTrooser Of That Ilk, or some such stupid title enjoyed by the Planted Post-Culloden Scottish Aristocracy. Is scared of transvestites and doesn’t like loud and lairy gay men. Has he ever watched this programme?

And if he’s so posh, why is he dressed like a regular of Yates Wine Lodge?

Sarah’s verdict: Possibly the producers thought they were getting a Bertie Wooster type, but initial impressions suggest Gussie Fink-Nottle. Five weeks.

MARK: Dull posho whose only claim to fame is that he once drunkenly groped Princess Beatrice, possibly. We can only hope that he will turn into a cockfarmer like Timmeh from a few years back but seems a bit quiet so far.

Please. Shut. Up. Well, he knits, which is a Good Thing. And he’d probably calm down after a damn good seeing-to. Which he won’t get.

MARK: Hysterical gaylord who runs around shreiking "OH MY GOD!!!" when any goddam thing happens and who keeps feeling people up and getting right up into their personal space. Reminds me totally of Graham Norton's character off
Father Ted. Will not last long, methinks.

SARAH: Apparently a “model and body artist”. That’s porn then. Face like leather; tits like footballs. Popbitch has been going mad on her porn star past, so I expect the tabs to follow soon.

MARK: 35? Shyeah right. One of those people who says "I'm happy the way I am and don't care what anyone thinks" when you just know she has so many issues re her appearance. Seems alright once she is in there though.

SARAH: Nope…forgotten already. Oh, hang on, was she the ex-Miss Wales? Not exactly Catherine Zeta Jones, is she?

MARK: Quite pretty in a natural way but otherwise forgettable. One for the straight boys to look at.

SARAH: Pretty boy and apparently unreconstructed male chauvinist pig of a type that I thought belonged in a Museum of Shiteness (there’s probably one in Oslo) or farming cocks in the South African veld. I blame the parents.

Sarah’s verdict: I hope he dies in a vat of burning bras.

MARK: Vernon Kay looking modelly boy with big nose and generic indie boy hair. Inspires instant hate with his "Feminism is rubbish, where's my tea, mum?" type speech.

SARAH: Apparently the sexiest lifeguard in North Wales. How many lifeguards are there in North Wales and were sheep automatically disqualified? He reminded me of Siadwel from Absolutely. Turned up in his Baywatch kit. Put it away, boy.

Sarah’s verdict: Cannon fodder

MARK: Apparently people used to throw rocks at him at school. Good. Has weird dead eyes and keeps getting his kit off, even though he looks like a plucked chicken. Goes into the house in a Baywatch type outfit - ha ha, I hope he doesn't get his suitcase for weeks.

SARAH: Hates everything and everybody except exercise. Is a professional grumbler, apparently. I have friends a bit like her.

Sarah’s verdict: Has potential. She’s on my “like” list.

MARK: Ooo! An existentialist stroke nihilist! Class! Despite overdoing the grumpiness on her video, she seems nice and chatty in the house, but what the hell is an exercise scientist?? I also like her at first glance.

SARAH: Young Man! There’s no need to feel down…etc. Already being called “Brokeback Mountie” on certain BB threads. He seems like a lot of fun.

Sarah’s verdict: Possible winner.

MARK: Hurrah! A big strapping muscle queen! Seems affable and self confident, but isn't "sexual terrorist" just a pretentious term for "slag"? Also, what is up with the glove? Does he have a robot hand or something? I like him anyway.

Perky, permatanned “Sloane Ranger” with her own flat (bought by parents) in Notting Hill. Wears cowboy boots. Almost interchangeable with Bonnuh or Imogen. I'm trying hard not to hate her.

Sarah’s verdict:. Too anonymous to survive

MARK:Generic blonde sloaney girl. I also try not to hate her re the flat but fail. Next!

SARAH: Loud. Chinese. Mancunian. Looks like a laugh if she turns the volume down.

Sarah’s verdict: Last ten, then she’s off.

MARK:Very loud and funny and seems likeable enough. Needs to stop saying "mint" though.

SARAH:…a geezer, innee? Rough childhood, adolescent city trader approaching burnout and looking for a change of career.

Sarah’s verdict: Either a complete cock, or Mr Nice Guy. Haven’t decided yet.

MARK:Tiny turkish geezer with rubbish hair and fit body. Inspires hatred by saying "Sezer's Palace! Recognise!" before he goes in the house but will probably be good value in an horndog type way. Leaves other "straight alpha male" contenders like George and Mikey in the dust.

SARAH: The Chantelle-a-like. I find it impossible to hate her. Yet.

Sarah’s verdict: Possible winner, especially if she gets it on with Sezer.

MARK:Ugh, she is basically Shannon from Footballers Wives but without the incisive intellect. Inspires hatred by saying she wants to marry a footballer and calls buses "peasant wagons". Came 4th in Miss Hertfordshire once. Ha ha ha.

Anyway, you know that scene in Shrek 2 when the king walks into the dodgy bar to engage Puss's services? That's what the closing scene looked like. All you needed was Captain Hook playing Tom Waits karaoke on a broken piano to make it real.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I actually saw a preview tape of this “quality drama based on the Booker Award winning novel about gay life in the 80s” (tm every newspaper and BBC press release everywhere ever) (and which clashes with the Champions League final – doh), but don’t worry – I won’t spoil the plot for you, mainly because NOTHING ACTUALLY HAPPENS!!

This young bloke with rubbish hair and very blue eyes moves in with some posh tories (one of whom is the Borg Queen! Gasp! Assimilate! Etc!), shags a bloke and then basically stands around in corners smirking, while people say things to make you remember that it’s set in the ‘80s like “Gosh, what about that Falklands War then?” or “Have you heard about Ronald Reagan and his so-called Star Wars initiative? What’s that all about?” Most importantly of all, Play School presenter Floella Benjamin has a cameo role!! There’s no sign of Hamble or Big Ted though.

I did learn various fascinating facts about the 80s however, as follows:
- it took about 30 seconds to have gay sex in those days
- posh, rich tories were a bit racist. Who would have thought it!
- like, class issues.

I am thinking that perhaps the novel is too subtle and nuanced to turn into a three part telly drama (not that I’ve read it or anything) as what made it to the screen basically seems kind of pointless (a bit like a goddam Stephen Poliakoff play). It’s quite well done though and there is plenty of teh gay sex so I suppose I’ll be watching the rest of it.

SARAH WRITES: I've read the novel, and it is a nice, subtly nuanced portrait of the 80s. And Lead Bloke's hair is all wrong.

Dr Who Summary

Dr Who vs werewolves – this one was alright with a pretty good, scary werewolf (who turned out to be an alien who wanted to infect Queen Victoria with werewolf germs so the royal family would turn into alien werewolves themselves or something). The characters spent most of the time running round corridors screaming while the wolf went “Grrr”. In the end it turned out that Prince Albert had handily built a moon powered werewolf slaying laser in the back room. What are the chances etc. Pauline Collins was v good as Queen Victoria and there was a cool bit at the end when she said “get out of my sight, you freaks!” to the Dr and Billy. Fun but nonsensical.

Dr Who vs Giles-from-Buffy – I had high hopes for this one but it was all a bit annoying. Mickey summons the Dr and Billy to a suburban school where Giles-from-Buffy is headmaster and is up to evil shenanigans that are too boring and convoluted to explain. Basically he turns into a bat a lot and is making all the kids into call centre IT zombies or something. Sarah Jane – my fave assistant from kiddy days - is also onth ecase and appears with crappy robot dog K-9. There is lots of emo whining about how the Dr abandoned her, about how the Dr is sad when humans rot and die, about how Billy is jealous of all the Dr’s other birds. Etc etc etc. Just shut up the lot of you and smite some aliens please thanks. Disappointing.

Dr Who vs Clockwork Robots – Oh my god, this one was the most nonsensical so far. A spaceship in the future sends killer robots back through time to kill famous French lady Madame De Pompadour and steal her BRANE, solely because the ship is called the same thing and is so determined to repair itself that it would rather expend vast amounts of time and energy creating multiple time portals rather than just hauling ass to the nearest Kwik Fit. Oh whatever. The robots are quite creepy in the way that all killer dolls/shop dummies are creepy but the story is just nonsensical. - More emo whining as the time windows cover all of Madame De P’s lifespan and the Dr is sad to see her die. I am sensing a theme and I hope it doesn’t end up with Billy in rubbish old lady make up.

Coming soon – Cybermen! Gasp!


I have been watching both the US and UK versions of Project Runway/Catwalk – which is basically like the Apprentice but for highly strung fashion designers. Each week the designers have to do a task – mainly involving making a garment to certain specifications with limited time/budget and the one that is judged to be worse gets the boot. The major difference to Apprentice is that most of the tasks are individual, so there is much less scope for back biting/fear and loathing/amusing arguments etc.

The UK version was presented by Liz Hurley who was absolutely rubbish – the most stilted and awkward presenter I have seen for a long time. She would basically show up in a variety of glamorous outfits and read the description of the task off the autocue. Then she would disappear for the rest of the program, get changed, come back at the end and say that “fashion has no mercy!” and that someone was fired. Watching this show made me realise that Liz Hurley is basically Joan Collins for the New Millennium, only she hasn’t actually been in anything memorably bad like “The Stud” or whatever or anything epoch defining and kitsch like “Dynasty”. Poor Liz Hurley.

The US version is presented by ice madchen super model Heidi Klum, who is actually less stilted and wooden than Liz (who calls herself an actress). Heidi is ace because makes lots of evil faces and sounds like she actively despises the contestants half the time. The only thing that lets her down is that she does not have a quality catch phrase like Liz. Sort it out, Heidi!

The US contestants are also much more entertaining than the UK ones, who were mostly pretty wet and never slagged each other off even when the judges demanded they did. The US version has a couple of hilariously OTT queens, one of whom looks like a fat trucker wearing Bjork’s cast offs and the other who kind of looks like a male version of Grace Kelly and has gigantic hair. There is also this annoying bitchy/whiny woman with stripy hair whom I hate with the intensity of a thousand suns and an annoying bloke who keeps comparing women to sports cars, but I’ll let him off as he is the only vaguely good looking one. Whenever they do work in teams, the contestants don’t waste any time before they start slagging each other off and even when they don’t work together they accuse each other of stealing their scissors or knitting patterns or whatever and still manage to make each other cry. Next time they do it in the UK they def need to get some contestants who have actually watched reality TV and know how to carry on!

Most of the fun in the UK version came from the judges and mentors etc, especially evil orange dwarf Julian Macdonald who actually had the cheek to slag someone off for coming from Liverpool. Dude! You’re Welsh! Shut up! The UK final came down to the scouser girl and a slightly irritating gay boy with nice eyes who needed a haircut. The scouser girl won in the end – up yours Julian MacDonald!! The US version is still in full swing! Go He-Grace Kelly! In the meantime i'm off to make myself a glamorous garment made entirely of office supplies!

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