Sunday, 28 December 2008

Xmas indigestion...

So how was it for you? T'was lovely here ta, very nice and foody and drunky and friendy and that.

As for telly....

Er, well, wasn't Doctor Who a little disappointing? Having read Russell T's fantastic book on how he came up with it, I'm kinda sorta not surprised really. He had to rush it to film it at the end of the last series, through a horrible cold and nasty flu, genuinely finishing pages the morning they were about to be shot. Obviously the book didn't say much about the content but when you know that's the background, the general unspecialness of this special isn't unexpected.

The other doctor was boring - am I the only one not to rate David Morrissey at all, in anything he's been in? He was boring playing Gordon Brown in that thing about him and Blair (method acting?) and the worst actor in the otherwise sublime State of Play. He's just tall, blank, miserable and shouty. Mind you that didn't do Christopher Ecclescakes any hard (oooh, controversial!)

The story had a few hoho smiley bits in it, like the Tardis/balloon, but seemed like Who-by-numbers to me. Mrs M&S Dirty Voice was OK I s'pose, in the way that the bossy-evil-lady usually is in these eps (even when dressed as a giant spider in the two-Xmases-ago special), but again I've seen this before.

Don't get me wrong, I watched from start to finish and enjoyed it a lot, best drama on the box so far this festive season, but I'm very glad Mr T Davies is passing the baton on to someone else. Now write the Big Gay Thing you know want to, Russie, it's time for you to do something different.

Funnily enough I was with neighbours who'd never seen New Who - they don't watch telly at all... I know, it's a crime, but there you are -  so I got the Titanic Xmas Special from last year for them. Second time around, I loved this more than the first time, and they were amazed at how good the SFX were, how funny the script was, Kylie being in it and the whole disaster movie schtick. A good intro to the series - they're off to rummage for it on the cheap in the End Of The World sales currently on at every shop ever.

As for everything else I've watched:-

Royle Family - Dave and Denise's Xmas dinner was somewhat over the top in their stupidity but it was sublime from start to finish (although I missed the last few mins as friggin' EastEnders overran by seven whole minutes. Grrr)

Harry Hill - superb and peerless

Charlie Brooker - my Tivo took a dislike to him and recorded a repeat of The Soup instead. It's on again soon and it's set proper this time.

Wallace and Gromit - nicely nice niceness. Supernice. Nicer than Nannette Newman. Not that funny, or that dramatic, but just the perfect 8:30pm Xmas Day thing. With my Animationiser hat on... well, I take it off and doff it to Aardman in an exaggerated stylee. Wonderful. A few CG things, I noticed, just adding sheen to the superb handmade oddness of the thing. A Brazilian friend Facebooked me about it, never seen it before - despite being in the UK for 18 years - and thought it was quite the strangest thing he'd ever seen. "Eet is for kids, no? Why does doggie not speak? And that man, that Wallarse, he is an eeeeediot. Why does Eeengland like him, huh?".

(Promise not to write any more comedy accents)

The IT Crowd - not the strongest of episodes to be frank. Moss not being in it, despite the "you didn't even notice I was on my holidays" gag, doesn't help as he's the best character in it. Didn't seem to have much of a story and then kinda fizzled out. 

What else? Well lots of eps of Frasier and Will and Grace, as always when inside at Xmas, very good they were too. Have we ever had a sitcom as clever as the former, by the way? Erudite, clever, pompous (and revelling in it) but such great writing. The episode on today where old DJ Bulldog comes back, becomes Ros's babysitter and scares off her potential suitors, only to declare his love for her, was funny and yet intensely sad in the end.

Right, off now to run on a treadmill watching an ep of Family Guy. Having seen almost all of them in the last month or so, off of iTunes, the formula is obvious but it's still one of the most inventive and gag-packed things around. Makes the cross-trainer seem less of an instrument of torture and more a place of comedy and smileyness.

Happy oh-nine and that!

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