Telly! We all love a bit of telly, don’t we! Couldn’t live without it!
What’s more, and despite all those ghastly low-rent efforts on New Tabloid-tastic Channel 4, (The Man Who Shagged A Chicken, 100 Wobbliest Dangliest Bits, How Clean Is Your Arse?) we seem to be experiencing something of a miniature Golden Age at present.
So, in keeping with Lazy Ass Blogger Theme Week, here is a quick list of Great Programmes Off The Telly that screened in January 2005.
(Some – indeed most – of them have already finished. I can only apologise for not having alerted you to their presence in time.)
From Sex In The City to Sex In The Suburbs, this successfully presses all of my Big Gay Buttons. The stars of this show will probably be insufferably annoying in three years’ time, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
(Or is it Dragon’s Den? Or Dragons’ Den? CBATG.) It’s Entrepreneur Idol! What could have been a tediously repetitive and pointlessly demeaning one-trick Theatre Of Cruelty has actually developed over the weeks into something a good deal more subtle and absorbing, as all manner of complex and unpredictable dynamics and power-shifts get played out between the hopefuls and the venture capitalists.
Johnny Vegas plays a lazy-assed dope dealer to uncomfortably accurate perfection in this downbeat BBC3 sitcom. OK, so I’ve only seen it once. But it showed Great Promise. (Vegas also stars in another more-than-servicable sitcom on ITV about a local newspaper, but it’s on at a silly time and I keep forgetting about it. Maybe it’s finished? CBATG.)
The Lost World Of Mitchell & Kenyon.
Unearthed and restored film footage of everyday life in Edwardian England, circa 1901-1910, which had been sitting – long forgotten but almost perfectly preserved – in a sealed container at the back of a shop for the best part of a century. Astonishingly vivid.
Razor-sharp drama series about a bunch of ultra-cynical criminal lawyers (plus one naive-yet-principled ingenue), starring a wonderfully jaundiced Phil Daniels. Again, this is on at a really silly time: 10pm on a Sunday, for 30 minutes. Lands so many punches on the British justice system in such a short space of time that it’s almost too much to take in.
The Rotters’ Club.
Pleasingly accurate adaptation (in characterisation, plot and period detail) of Jonathan Coe’s equally accurate depiction of 1970s adolescence. (A pity about last year’s somewhat half-hearted homework assignment of a follow-up novel, but you can’t have everything.) My only quibble is that the timelines get a little blurred – punk happens too early, round-ended shirt collars happen too late – but there is more than enough to mitigate against such pedantry.
Simply the finest contemporary TV drama series since… well, Clocking Off, probably, and that was conceived by Paul Abbott as well. It amazes me that the series can support such a wide cast of strong, engaging, original and consistent characters, week after week, without the quality ever dipping.
Bruce “fantasy boyfriend” Parry (K and I are ad idem on this, by the way) spends a month at a time living with remote tribes: properly living with them, learning their ways and immersing himself in their customs to an occasionally alarming degree. An object lesson in empathetic skills and mutual respect.
But not, alas…
Look Around You.
I started off enchanted by the accuracy of the pastiche – but quickly ended up bored and fidgety, due to the slowness of the pace and the utter lack of, you know, jokes.
What have I missed? Anything, or are you all out Having Lives every evening? Do tell.