Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Square-Eyed Couch Potato: April 2011

Starting off with three programmes all sharing the same theme - hotels - so forgive me if I group them together. "THREE IN A BED" (Channel 4), "THE HOTEL INSPECTOR" (Channel 5) and "THE HOTEL" (Channel 4) are all running at the moment and have all been deserving of my attention.

Just like "Come Dine With Me", "Three..." is better in a one-hour slot rather than running daily at teatimes - it cuts down on the endless and unnecessary recaps for starters. It's the same format as usual: three hoteliers staying at each other's establishments and then paying what they think it was worth. It's still pretty fresh though and it's probably good for another couple of series, however it seems to be going down the "Come Dine..." route by finding the most extreme characters and mixing up the most contradictory personalities. (picture courtesy of Channel 4)

"The Hotel Inspector" hasn't changed a bit either - Alex Polizzi is back to pump up the drama and basically makeover some hotels in need of help. Again, why change a successful formula? Although having said that, it's a very predictable formula and very very similar to "Kitchen Nightmares" = in that you know which way she'll go about it, and how it's going to end. (picture courtesy of Channel 5)

"The Hotel" is new, and is basically an old-school fly on the wall docusoap about a Lake District hotel, the Damson Dene. It's certainly warts and all, so fair play to them for letting us see behind the luxury facade...which is more like a mix of "Fawlty Towers" and the aforementioned "Kitchen Nightmares". I'm curious to see how the story will develop, and particularly how the Eastern European staff will cope with life and work in a new country and culture. (picture courtesy of Channel 4)

"WHO DARES WINS" (BBC1) returned to our screens this week. It's the only one of the National Lottery gameshows which I'm remotely interested in. Basically it's about guessing what's on a list and I try to play along every week. I get very frustrated with the pairs of contestants though - especially when one answers all thr questions and the other one doesn't!

BBC4 has began showing re-runs of "TOP OF THE POPS" from 1976 onwards in real time, so this month it's April 1976 and "Save Your Kisses For Me" is at no.1. Back in those days of course, the contest always took place earlier than it does now - and it was on 3rd April 1976 when Brotherhood of Man won it. Imagine a Eurovision song at no.1 in the British chart now?? (picture courtesy of

I'm sure that Blue would like that, but in the meantime they had to settle for a BBC1 documentary "YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS BLUE" (previously mentioned on this blog and in comments ) and which, I reiterate, was a bit of a revelation for the Beeb and indicated - at long long last! - a change in attitude towards Eurovision, and why this country hasn't done so well in recent years.

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