Thursday, 18 October 2007

My Bestest Show

In the midst of all this doom and gloom about the BBC, let me totally ignore the big burning issue and explain why a rubbish clip show is The Best Non-Repeated Show On Telly. Note the caveat there - they're re-running Queer as Folk to celebrate C4's birthday and it's the exception to my tv rule of all old stuff being rubbish. It isn't that old, I know, but it still sings with more funny lines, interesting characters and deft scripting than all the new drama on tv.

As usual, distracted in the first paragraph. Anyway, back to my favourite show. It's on E! (love the ejaculation mark there), and - oddly - isn't repeated at all. Now E! broadcasts everything 500 times so that's weird. Probably copyright restrictions on the clips. And it's got the so-not-prime-it's-funny Saturday 10.30pm slot.

It's called The Soup and is basically a bunch of clips of American tv having the piss taken out of them by a smart-assed comedian-cum-presenter called Joel McHale. It came out of a show called Talk Soup, presented by Greg Kinnear initially, which had the easy-to-write-down-but-so-hard-to-do-well idea of showing clips of kerrrr-azy US talk shows and laughing at them.

I used to wonder how they managed to get such great clips but the answer was obvious - they'd plug the next episode of Springer by a caption saying "Tomorrow on Springer: Dwarf Lesbians Fight Back!" or whatever. Genius.

Anyway, The Soup is one of those shows that rewards regular viewers with in-jokes, making it somewhat better than a mish-mash of clips. It's sarcastic and ironic too, not something E! is known for, and Mr McHale's merciless ribbing of E! top dog Ryan Seacrest* is something beautiful to watch. This takes place in the segment where Joel takes the piss out of E!'s shows called "Let's Take Some E!", all pounding dance music and that. Not the world's wittiest joke, but, hey, it always makes me smile.

If you like laughing at celebrities and crap telly, this is the show for you. Here's a link to a very po-faced Wikipedia entry about it.

*Ryan Seacrest: a name designed by computer, surely? It can't be real. A bit like Ryan himself. Mind you, who'd have thought the British commander of forces in Iraq wasn't a fictional character. Sir Jock Stirrup. He sounds like he's a minor character in The Dambusters...

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