Friday, February 08, 2008

TV ROUNDUP

I too have been watching Project Catfight, though I spend most of the time feeling sad that Kelly and Ben etc, are not as entertaining and watchable as Heidi, Tim and Nina Garcia from the American version. This series, they even lost Evil Orange Welsh Goblin Julian MacDonald, whose hilariously evil put downs were always the highlight of the judging round.

The contestants are quite entertaining this time round: there are a couple of vaguely indistinguishable hoxtony looking boys, a burly straight boy (whose days are numbered after putting one model in egg shaped trousers) and an ubergay Chinese guy whose wardrobe includes both clip-on mickey mouse ears and hotpants. He was so taken by the male model in the mackintosh coat round, he sent him down the catwalk in a cut away coat and y-fronts, so his packet was proudly displayed to all and sundry.

I also like the no nonsense housewife (who is doing very well so far) and the scouser girl. To my delight, Stitch Bitch (we called her “Hate Face” chez mark) has been given the boot, after making cheap and dowdy looking clothes for the second week running. Somehow, her clothes always reminded me of things you find in BHS, where you know what they’re trying to do, but it never quite comes off and looks good. She made me feel bad after her eviction when she started crying and going on about her children. Stop humanising her, you dastardly producers!

Masterchef is now as formulaic as Scooby Doo. The judges and voiceover lady say the exact same things every night (“Geordy single mum Angie struggled in the pro kitchen round. Can she impress the judges with her plates of food?”), and contestants are now repeating the judges’ clich├ęs back to them, going on about their “passion for food” etc. Still, it is always fun to see some arrogant city boy type get a slagging off for making beans on toast in the invention test, or to see some of the nasty looking bullshit the “experimental” contestants put together.

I enjoyed Season 1 of Weeds, but Season 2 was a great disappointment. Apparently it improved towards the end, but Sky 3 decided to show the entire 2nd half in one evening without bothering to tell anyone, so I’ll never know. All the regular adult male characters (apart from Conrad), are still intensely irritating. Please, for the love of god, write out Nancy’s brother-in-law! The plot with Nancy marrying Martin Donovan’s DEA agent is completely implausible and has written the show into a corner. Cynthia’s evil bitchiness has turned her into a dislikeable caricature, though they did seem to realise this and back pedalled furiously in later episodes. The two lead actresses still give it their all, and are very good, but the uneven scripts, plethora of annoying characters, and general air of trying too hard are killing the show.

Damages is a fun new series set in the world of high powered litigation! Exciting! Glenn Close is a ruthless uber-lawyer, determined to bring down a sharky multi-squillionaire (Ted Danson, cast very much against type) who was involved in an Enron type scandal that pillaged his employee’s pension funds and left them all destitute. Glenn takes on a shiny new baby lawyer (Rose Byrne, from 28 Weeks Later and Sunshine), though we soon discover that this is only because she knows someone who might be a potential witness. Shenanigans ensue, and we know it all ends in tears, as there are frequent flash forwards to Rose in prison, accused of murdering her painfully bland boyfriend). It is all very convoluted, with everyone backstabbing and betraying each other, to the extent that whenever a new character appears, you think “OMG, do they secretly work for Ted or Glenn?”

Glenn is fantastic in the role, which is the kind of thing she can do with her eyes closed. Even then, the writing and her timing and line deliveries are excellent, with Glenn being the mistress of the innocuously barbed passing remark. Ted is pretty good too. Rose is adequate. Her boyfriend is terrible, but I like that bald shifty guy who plays Ted’s lawyer, who used to be the sketchy prison governor in Oz. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

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