Call me silly but I can’t help but love a bit of nonsensical fluff: I’ve sat through all sorts of pap that quite frankly isn’t very groundbreaking but it’s fun and throws up a few laughs. This is exactly why I love Desperate Housewives (C4).
This season, Bree has split from Orson, Lynette has to deal with her college roomie Renee (Vanessa Williams, aka Wilhelmina from Ugly Betty), Susan is coping with her money problems and Gabby must face up to a teeeerrrible seeecret (in a ghostly voice “whoooo”). Oh, and Paul – that bloke who got put away for a murder that never was – returns to the lane with a new wife. So very little has changed for the women of Wisteria Lane: they’re always facing a crisis and they face it well by doing one of two predictable things. They either rally around stuffing down one of Bree’s cakes or break down in tears/ over-react in some other way. But it doesn’t matter because I watch the show for its hilarious lines, mostly from the despicable but witty Gabby. Don’t judge me…
Despite this love of fluff – and I include Heroes and Lost in there – I really couldn’t take The Event (C4).
Well I’m sure some persistence might have paid off but I couldn’t be bothered to sit through another programme that takes itself far too seriously, has dodgy acting and characters who you couldn’t give a stuff about (everyone knew the best thing about Heroes was the tag team of Hiro and Ando. The Event barely musters half of that). Oh and it had a disorienting flashback-every-two-seconds format that was just idiotic. At least you could keep track when Lost did it. Get the impression that I didn’t like it (flashback to a scene of me picking nail varnish from my fingers while the plane crashed)?
Distinctly less disappointing was Child Genius: Five Years On (C4). My first thought was “holy crap has it really been that long?” My second procrastination was about how some of these kids weren’t geniuses, they were just poor children being bossed around by their parents.
Take the Indian brothers: their parents kept piling on maths and physics textbooks on them like there was no tomorrow, even forcing them to take them on holiday. ON HOLIDAY FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. They had gained several A-Levels between them but to be honest I just felt sorry for them: their folks practically bribed them with 25p every time they studied for an hour. A childhood robbed.
There were some genuinely gifted kids, one of them being artistic talent Kieran, who has sold paintings for thousands. He is truly gifted because he’s had no training and has only been working with pastels and watercolours for a couple of years. Their parents don’t know a jot about art. That’s real talent for you. Perhaps the most poignant moments came when the programme caught up with their original geniuses though. Aimee is as loud and proud as ever but Dante is far more modest. Some of them have completely gone in their shell. Bless them.
Finally, I can’t express how shocked and appalled I was by Joan’s treatment on Mad Men (BBC4) this week. The way Joey talked to my favourite character (she’s the only decent one: strong, fairly humble, works hard and is respectable) – it was enough to bring the feminist out in me. I won’t repeat it. It was vile. Trust Mad Men to bring chauvinists like that to justice – but was is a good thing? Joan doesn’t think so…