Mon 21st Dec – TV Preview


Miranda = Genius

Okay, so this weekend was a bit of write-off on the televisual front but I have to say that the programmes on offer were a pretty miserable selection. Sunday evening viewing pitched the bebonnetted ladies of Cranford against The Fattest Man In Britain, which, far from being a channel five documentary that might have been assumed from the title, was in fact a comedy drama starring the legend who is Timothy Spall as the eponymous chubster. To be truthful, I was more tempted by the Oz and Hugh Drink to Christmas special on BBC2. In the end I, like Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions, voted for “none of the above”, instead opting to record James May Toy Stories in his Lego house (he was obviously too busy with this than to go out drinking with his old pal Oz). And I also caught up with the weekend’s Match of the Day on iPlayer.

Monday, rather shockingly, has EastEnders selected as the Radio Times’ Pick Of The Day with Corrie as second choice. Seriously?! Soaps! I’d rather watch the battery indicator on my iPhone run down. However, when I look at the main five terrestrial channels for Monday 21st December I can find absolutely nothing to watch. Zero. Nada. Instead I have to head to the digital channels to find some inspiration. Over on More4 (7pm) there is the begining of the usually brilliant, Royal Institute Christmas Lectures but why oh why aren’t they on the main stations any more? Just a little something to educate and inspire wouldn’t go amiss surely? Instead the big 5 channels go for, in order, The One Show and Nigella; Victorian Farm Christmas; Emmerdale and Corrie; The Channel 4 News; and Studio Five’s Jacko Tribute (that might have worked as a more genuine sounding tribute if they had dignified him by calling him Michael Jackson instead of Jacko although that might just tell us everything we need to know and avoid anyway). On Sky One at 10pm there is the first in a series of eleven “Ten Minute Tales” billed as a contemporary fairy tale with this one starring the aforementioned Timothy Spall. Now this sounds like the sort of creativeness we are crying out for in this fortnight when television becomes something of a focal point for families up and down the land, hats off to Sky for getting them commissioned. Other than that there is the normal slew of repeats and rubbish across the other channels. The challenge of finding some quality TV entertainment is starting to feel like a bit like pearl diving… we are promised oysters but you have to delve through a lot of slimy horribleness before you stumble across a real gem.

Also, before I go, I must mention that I have just finished watching Miranda Hart’s self-titled sitcom. What an absolute delight. A knowingly old-fashioned, laugh-out-loud 1/2 hour complete with prat-falls aplenty, fourth-wall-breaking nods to camera and a closing credit sequence straight from Are You Being Served. It was six epidoes of great TV and I am chuffed that both that and Not Going Out have been renewed.

  1. December 21st, 2009

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