Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Square-Eyed Couch Potato: October - December 2009

I just noticed that this is my 1600th post, not really a significant milestone but I thought I'd mention it. I think I'll aim for the 2000th post by this time next year :)

Anyway it's been a while since I posted a TV review so I'll get this one out of the way tonight.

Let's rewind back to October.....
  • Two programmes about the German capital - "The Secret Life of the Berlin Wall" and "Berlin" both screened on a Saturday night on BBC2. The first one was a refreshingly different take on 20 years since the fall of the Wall, as it concentrated on the real lives of ordinary people and how it affected them. "Berlin" was a short series, going back to various points in history to look at how they have informed the city’s progress. Again it was really good to see a documentary series like this on our TV screens - more please!
  • "Private Practice" season two ended on Living, with Pete realising he’s in love with Violet, the mother of his unborn child; Addison struggling with an affair; Naomi deciding to leave for another practice after Sam telling her he still loves her; and a particularly gruesome cliffhanger where one unhinged patient holds Violet hostage and is going to cut out her baby! I haven’t really enjoyed this series if I’m honest, it’s generally been quite stale and going through the motions, and there is only so much of the relationship merry-go-round we can take.
  • I never thought I'd ever say this, but I saw the shark circling around the once invincible "Harry Hill’s TV Burp". I can't put my finger on it, maybe it’s the choice of TV shows he featured, but dare I say that Harry was less than perfect this time around, although having said that it’s still the funniest thing on the TV. I liked the "where has the knitted character been this week" thing though, but black mark to ITV though for turning this into another money-making phone-in competiion. Hopefully when he comes back there will be an improvement!
  • Unlike its British counterpart, "Dancing With The Stars" was played straight - it’s smooth, professional and slick with no Brucie-style "am I doddery?" jokes. No change in Bruno Tonioli though, he was still his controlled, restrained self (!!!!!!) It did however have one thing in common with "Strictly" - the wrong person won. Mya was the best dancer from day one, but try telling that to the voting public who chose Donny Osmond instead. Kelly Osbourne did pretty well though, getting into the final three. I particularly enjoyed Aaron Carter - shame that not enough of the great American public shared my view. By the way I will eventually get round to posting my "Strictly" review although I'm still too annoyed at Ricky Whittle not winning, to write anything about it just yet.
  • I didn't watch "X Factor" although watched the clips of the singing on YouTube, if only to keep in the loop with my friends at work. Anyway you’d need to have been on Mars not to have been caught up in the ‘Jedward’ mania which swept the country for a few weeks. They eventually outlived their usefulness and the show got back to being a "singing competition" (© Dannii Minogue) although it was highly questionable if any of the remaining contestants did have that elusive "X Factor": I thought Stacey Solomon had a nice voice, although I didn't get Olly Murs who looked as if he’s been manufactured in a lab with the combined DNA of Gary Barlow and Will Young, only without their respective talent. The press hatred of Danyl meant that it was inevitable he wouldn't make the final. Joe McElderry won: good luck to him, he seems a nice enough young lad with a good voice but I will foolishly predict here and now that his career progression will be more Leon Jackson than Leona Lewis....
  • "Hung" was a strange American drama on More 4. It started off well but I felt it lost its way qather quickly. It was the story of a man who becomes a "happiness consultant" (the key is in the show’s title!!) and a second series has been commissioned; but I don't really know if there’s enough depth in the character development to carry the show beyond one series.
  • When it comes to American TV series I'm always late to the party. I recently discovered "One Tree Hill" which has been going for years! Happily there is a solution in sight: E4 has been re-running the series from the beginning so I've been able to catch up. I really like this show, which is based around the family dynamics and romances of the Scott brothers, Lucas and Nathan.
  • "FlashForward" is currently on a break and will return to Five in March 2010: every week it continues to add more and more complexity but I still think it's worth sticking with.
  • "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here" crowned its latest king of the jungle, TV chef Gino D'Acampo, who we've been a big fan of here at EuropeCrazy HQ for many years since he used to appear on "Good Food Live" on the Good Food channel (remember that!!) - anyway we rather enjoyed this year's series once Katie Price walked out after a week of non-stop bushtucker trials.
  • Finally, season one of "Being Erica" on E4 has come to an end. I've thoroughly enjoyed this new Canadian series although it did get a little silly towards the end; again, like "Hung" I don't know how this series will develop, although I think there's another series left in it.

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