Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Square-Eyed Couch Potato: what I've been watching on TV in March 2008

"Coronation Street" is now a long long way from its former glories. This year the soap has controversially been overlooked for a BAFTA award nomination. What’s wrong with it? Well...ridiculous storylines (Michelle’s ‘two sons’ - aaaarrgggghhh!!!) and a lack of humour, that’s what’s wrong with it. Too much emphasis on the boring Platts, the latest instalment being demon-David pushing his tedious mother Gail down the stairs. Yawn, and, er, yawn again.

I began watching "Hollyoaks" last summer, mainly because my (much younger/target audience) work colleagues kept raving on about how good it was. Well I’m still watching, and still enjoying, this very underrated saga of the beautiful, bed-hopping young folks of Chester. It manages to combine the dramatic, the humorous and the trivial. Most recently, the whole Jake/Nancy/Charlie storyline has been gripping. Corrie, watch and learn.

"Harry Hill’s TV Burp" is still the funniest thing anywhere on British TV at the moment, but he seems to polarise opinion - you either love or hate him. Well, his show is certainly my "TV Highlight of the Week"!

I’ve been catching up on "Coach Trip" on Sky Real Lives, which is a kind of Big-Brother-By-Bus, as a group of intrepid travellers visit various European countries by bus and at the end of each show there’s an eviction vote!

"I’d Do Anything" started last week - it’s the latest Andrew Lloyd Webber casting show (following the very good "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria" and the fabulous "Any Dream Will Do") this time they’re searching for a Nancy and an Oliver to fill the roles in a new production of "Oliver!" I don’t expect this series to have the magic of the previous two, mainly because I don’t really like child performers. As for the adults....well the blubbing and sobbing tonight was too over the top for me. Get a grip, dry your eyes and toughen up, people!
Anyway who’s our favourite Nancy so far? Well, you know that EuropeCrazy is the home of appreciation for curly haired men, so let’s hear it for a curly haired girl too - GO JESSIE!!!

Thank goodness "Dancing on Ice" is over. It’s one of those shows which I don’t like, but I still watch it. (A bit like X Factor!) Not happy, not happy, really not happy with the result this year. Chris Fountain should have won and not Suzanne Shaw. Boooo.

"Boston Legal" remains my favourite TV show from the USA, and season 4 is currently running on Living TV. You’d think it would have gone stale by now, but the formula is so slick and funny and sharp that it could run and run. Well scripted, well acted, with such a mischievous sense of fun - if you haven’t seen it you are missing out.

Living TV is also currently showing an underrated little series called "Army Wives" which I rather enjoy. It took me a while to get to know the characters but now I’m enjoying this undemanding soapy drama about, well, army wives. Good show with lots of potential.

Many people say that "ER" jumped the shark a long time ago, and admittedly its best days are behind it, but I still enjoy watching this American hospital drama. The ‘Abby’s return to alcoholism’ storyline is getting a little drawn out now and it’s got a lot more soapy in recent series (to compete with the now more successful "Grey’s Anatomy" perhaps?) Yet there is something about "ER" that keeps me watching series after series.

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