Category Archives: A Few of my Favourite Things……..

Crap TV – Fistfights, Bitching and Obesity, Oh My!

I have a confession to make. I sometimes watch shit TV, and truthfully? I really enjoy it. Wife Swap, The Jerry Springer Show, Come Dine with Me and Mary Queen of Shops number amongst my favourites. For a long time I was ashamed of my secret pleasures, I would watch them furtively and with a deeps sense of guilt, as if I were indulging in snuff films or Nazi Memorabilia. But no more. I want to make a stand, and proudly exclaim that I don’t think my life would be as good without them. My Saturday mornings would feel empty and dull if they were not there, and those nights that I can’t sleep would be even more torturous. They are brain fluff, and where would we all be if we didn’t have our stress relief? Hundreds would be dead by my hands if I didn’t have my pressure valves of tea, books and crap television.

I think part of the reason I love them is the arguing, the bitching and ridiculous insults. In real life I’m pretty repressed and constrained, which is of course the Great British tradition. I bite my tongue so often I’m actually amazed any of it is still left. I deal with most confrontations inwardly, which probably explains the IBS, eczema and tension headaches that frequently blight my life. I am unable to express my anger, so I live vicariously through the parade of unstable and probable sociopathic beings that inhabit those types of shows. My friend Maddie and I will watch shows simultaneously and exchange an inordinate amount of text messages about the unfolding events, alternately revelling in the drama and condemning that week’s heel. If there are not enough arguments or bitching in any particular episode I feel personally let down, at least one person has to cry to make it a good watch.

Some shows do take the ‘shit level’ too far. I am proud to say that I have never watched anything with Katie “cunt” Price in it, and shows like the X Factor just make me sad. Is that a double standard? Perhaps, but I would never judge anyone for watching them. Well, out loud at least.

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the more intellectual and social pursuits of life. I love a good documentary and spending time with friends and loved ones. It’s just that I like to keep 11pm free to watch enormous Americans throw cake at each other.


The Walking Dead

Sometimes when a new programme is broadcast I don’t watch it. I’m not great at remembering when programmes are on, so I don’t often commit myself to watching a multi-part programme as I know I’ll probably miss at least one of the episodes and be left behind. So when “The Walking Dead’ was shown, to great acclaim, I had little idea of what it was. Last week I gained possession of the first series, and decided to give it a try.

I bloody loved it.

The whole zombie/supernatural genre of programmes is hard to get right, and I’ve seen my fair share of crap attempts ( The UK’s 2011 Bedlam, anyone?). So I didn’t have high hopes, but this programme is fantastic. It starts with the hero, Rick Grimes, coming to in a hospital bed and slowly realising that he’s slept through something major. Yes, I know this is almost exactly what happened at the start of 28 Days Later, but it is a good way to introduce the viewers to what is going on ( and I have it on good authority that the Walking Dead comic pre-dates 28 Days Later by some time). We get to experience the bewilderment and panic first hand, and discover the cause all at once rather than having it drip fed to us, what is what would happen if the zombification (that’s now officially a word, all right) occurred in ‘real time’.

Any hoo, Rick gets taken in by a man and his son, who explains what’s been going on. Rick then sets off to find his family etc., dispatching the un-dead along the way. One of the things I loved about this series is that it all felt immediate. There was no long drawn out questions, no series long artificial tension of ‘will he find them?’ “Will someone die?” “Why am I watching this shit knowing that they’re going to milk it for all it’s worth and never answer any questions, whilst being pseudo-intellectual and philosophical to the point that I don’t care about any of the characters and actually begin to hope that they just die so I no longer have to suffer?”. You may have gathered by the above statement that I watched ‘Lost’. I did persevere through the first series of it, then I really just couldn’t be arsed any more. Fuck the lot of ’em

Well ‘The Walking Dead’ just isn’t like that. In every episode something major happens, and most of the time it is a complete surprise. You get the feeling that any of the characters could get chomped on at any moment, and some of them have already been deaded (another new word) completely. The characters are all believable, and make you kind of care about them.

The walking dead having a snack

Some of the scenery and camera shots are spectacular, and all of the actors are great. The writing is good, with not too much cliché and over sentimentality banded about. In my opinion most of the comedy from America is poo compared to British attempts, but they just cannot be beaten on their action-drama’s. Why can’t us Brits do something like this? Andrew Lincoln is excellent as the lead, and his American accent is flawless. He’s doing us proud, and definitely deserves the attention he is now receiving.

There are some lovely men in this series, which certainly helps to keep the attention, and there are pretty ladies too for those of that persuasion. I can’t wait for series 2, which is currently showing in America. Will we find out what happened to Merle, the now short-handed hick? What is the cause of the illness? What did the scientist whisper to Rick? And will any of the men get their bottoms out? Only time will tell. And this time around I’ll be watching with everyone else.

Terry Pratchett and His Magical Brain – Snuff

My absolute favourite author is Terry Pratchett. For nearly ten years now I have enjoyed his books, each one delights me in it’s own special way. I must have read each of them a dozen times, yet they never bore me. If you have yet to experience his magical brain I implore you to go out and consume them all as quickly as possible. All of the Discworld books are a mixture of fantasy, satire and morality all served up with a humongous dollop of humour and they are superb.

An Actual picture of Terry Pratchett

His latest offering dropped through my letterbox on Saturday afternoon, and I finished reading it late last night. Usually I can read any new book of his in a day. Unfortunately life had different plans for me, and I was forced to work, fiddle about with some computers and do some of that boring stuff called sleep. But no matter, because I finally finished it last night

Blind Io it was worth it

The title is “Snuff”, and it  concentrated on one of my favourite characters; Sam Vimes. I won’t go into too much detail, as I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the plot focuses upon a holiday the great commander is forced to have. He is sent packing to the countryside with his wife and child, young Sam, who is now six and completely enthralled by bodily functions. As Vimes often remarks, where there is a policeman there is crime, and sure enough he quickly becomes aware of something rotten lurking amongst the greenery. We are given an insight into Wilkins, Vimes’ gentlemen’s gentleman, who is not only a remarkable  companion he is also very well versed in the art of killing. I was really pleased to learn more about him, as he has always been a fascinating peripheral character and up until now we have just caught glimpses of his other talents. We also get to know more about goblins, and their mysterious filthy habits. And of course we  once again are graced by the presence of Vetinari, the Machiavellian genius who is the tyrant of Ank-Morpork. I once read that Terry Pratchett has received numerous letters detailing some women’s passion and deep rooted love of Vetinari, which just goes to show the pure persuasiveness and realistic style of his writing. Buy it here

I myself am a little in love with Sam Vimes. Yes, he is a fictional character who is married and in his fifties, but who ever said that the path of love is a smooth one?

And now I want to have a bit of a rant. You see, Sir Terry was diagnosed with a rare form of alzhiemers in 2007 . you may have seen the two television shows he participated in to show his journey of getting the diagnosis and the ways in which he deals with it. He came across as a very lovely and genuine man who is extremely brave. Yet with all that to deal with he is still writing. And here comes the bit that angers me…… In a lot of reviews of his most recent books his illness is mentioned. WHY? He is a fantastic writer, he always has been. Yet some people feel the need to define him by something that he just happens to have. That is an insult to him, he is so much more than that. Yes, you may not like some of his books, you may not like any of them. There are some people who only like his earlier works. Fair enough. But there is no need at all to bring anything other than his talent in to any discussion of his books. Yes I know that is what I am doing here, but I am not judging any of his work on the basis of before vs after his illness. I only judge his work based on his work, nothing more and nothing less. And that is the way it should be.

If I ever get to meet him I can die a happy idiot

A Dead Idiot

Jam Stuff in Cow’s Twats

Chris Morris is another hero of mine. Fearless, hilarious and extremely clever. I love all of the Brass Eye moments, but this particular clip is one of my favourites. Every so often the phrase ‘you don’t even know what electricity is’ will pop into my head and I laugh out loud. This mainly happens to me in public, and it’s a hard one to explain……..

Ross Noble and the Hare Krishna’s

Ross Noble is one of my favourite stand up comedians, and I’m so jealous of his magnificent abilty to improvise on a huge variety of subjects. I’ve added this clip as this is from the first Noble show I saw (unrealtime) and I soon fell in love with him. Hare Krishna

If you’ve never seen Ross Noble GO WATCH HIM NOW, or I’ll get angry

French Taunting

Another fabulous Python clip. The holy Grail is my favourite Python film, and one of my favourite films of all time. Sometimes I quote this clip when alone, and I laugh. Everytime.

Monty Python

This is not a well known Python sketch, but I love it. It’s classic and, to me, has all of the perfect Python ingredients – wordplay, double entendres, physical comedy and complete madness. What a super woody type of phrase…….

Ricky Gervais

I do love Ricky Gervais, and I think he was perfect when he hosted the Golden Globes. It’s a perfect mixture of cringing and hysterical laughter. Enjoy!

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