The TV Week That Was #10

7 Nov

Isn’t false advertising just a bit horrible? There you are sitting in front of the box when the most dazzling brilliant thing comes up and claims to be able to do all of the housework, shopping and go out to work for you, but as soon as you buy it you realise it’s only actually capable of eating batteries and getting in your way. Well this is what happened with Wallace and Gromit’s World of Invention (BBC1).

The adverts made out as if it was a series of half-hour shows where the dynamic duo would invent things and we’d watch it go wrong, ready for Gromit to save the day. Er well it turns out that we were actually given a Blue Peter-style kids program. At 7:30pm. The duo “presented” the programme that barely had them in it, and was actually fronted by two annoying and patronising humans who were all like “ooh look at the weird fly-trap clock isn’t it amazing kiddies?”

This is going to sound weird but Wallace looked uncomfortable. Okay, he didn’t look it but Peter Sallis’ usually lively vocal performance as the hapless inventor was mysteriously subdued and stilted,implying “I really don’t want to be here.” It was a bit of an advertising disaster. This is why I hate BBC1. They bloody ruin everything.

On to more insightful things now. Remember on of the first TV Weeks That Were? I talked about The Hospital, a rather depressing yet funny account of the goings on in a er hospital. Well a new series has been made, this time dedicated to the police force, called Coppers (C4).

Oh it was all good fun. Admittedly some of the cases that came through the custody centre were a bit sad, particularly when the officers showed you before and after mugshots, but some of the comments and antics of both the police and the detainees was hilarious. Some of the camera-work was immense as well: talking shoes! Well not really but a conversation between two inmates was filmed to look like their shoes were talking to each other. It was brilliant. There isn’t actually a lot more to say about the programme other than it was insightful, didn’t take itself overly seriously and was the right mix of funny and tragic. Next week: two demented traffic cops who like to imitate the sound of the siren and use speed counters on boys on bikes.

If anyone out there followers my Twitter feed then you’ll know that instead of watching The Walking Dead (FX) at 10pm on Friday I saw it at 11am on Saturday. Because I hate horror. And try to avoid it like the plague.

But hey this was the next big thing in TV (in a good way not in The Event way) and I had to give it, as they say in the north, a right good go. Cue me feeling increasingly uncomfortable as Officer Rick Grimes (some British guy who I can’t remember the name of) stumbles through a hospital to… (dons spooky voice)… Find something horrible round the corner. Or a completely eaten human body to be more precise. So far the series hasn’t got more grisly than that so I’m effectively in the clear. Right?… Right?!

Well we’ll see. The show is beautifully filmed and atmospheric and the zombies are… realistic, not that I know what a zombie would really look like. My beef with the show so far is that it bears more than a striking resemblance to 28 Days Later: guy wakes up in hospital, no-one around, staggers around clueless for a while, finds friends who save his life, turns out he hasn’t been scratched or bitten so they’re okay. Still, it’s really good telly and no-one should be denied the choice between kids TV and a zombie-apocalypse.


One Response to “The TV Week That Was #10”

  1. Encrazed Crafts November 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Wallace and Gromit…dang. Haven’t really sat down and watched them since A Close Shave. It’s good to hear the creator of those two recovered from that one fire that burnt all his stuff, at least. Though getting the bait and switch like that would probably have caused me to rage-out.

    While the 28 Days feeling does loom early on, I think it got a lot better/original as the episode played out. In fact, no offense to the movie it sorta ripped off…the show did it better. In 28, the main character walked around and the empty silence was haunting. Though it was creepy for its time, Walking Dead got the same feeling off but with even more biting (no pun intended) unease. The bullet holes in the wall and trashed setting spoke much louder than empty streets and buildings at the beginning of 28 (before the church bit), and as soon as the door ‘of the dead’ started rattling you knew it was game on time. The ‘corpse’ on the floor looked really bad in terms of effects, and I actually thought the show might turn into cheese but was pleasantly surprised with the chilling darkened stairway scene, and the makeup on the half there bike girl showed how polished effects can be. In fact, I don’t know why they didn’t go back and ‘fix’ the corpse in the hospital because it looked very out of place with the rest of the episode.

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