Tuesday, April 4

Docs, Dorks and Dicks

This weekend saw a welcome return for Green Wing - the effects affected hospital comedy which delivers like a maternity ward, says Helen Parton

Given the amount of advertising space, Green Wing, (Friday, Channel 4, 9pm) has been given - is there in fact a billboard in the capital that doesn't have a smug depiction of the cast in some pseudo Greek tragedy pose - you'd think this the station's only show, shown 24 hours a day, in some kind of Orwellian subterfuge plot. That aside, it's a return to form for the fastwalkybitsloooooooowwalkybitfastwalkybit comedy. One does get the feeling that sometimes the scenes verge too heavily on some of the drama school wankery the cast were probably made to perform as students, but otherwise it's hard to fault. Especially watchable are the sociopathic liaison officer Sue White and so-what-if-he's-ginger Mac Macartney hospital resident 'hunk'. A shame that all the medics on my last hospital visit looked like the sort of pissed off geeks who'd just had their Gameboys confiscated. Which brings me to Beauty and the Geek (Friday, Channel 4, 10pm). Never would I think I would ever be writing these words but where is Germaine Greer when we need her? It's like Zoo TV (as in the tits and arse rag, not as in that thing U2 on one of their overblown tours of yore). Several 'beauties' are each paired up with a 'geek' and required to learn to spell their own names, add up how many Brazilian waxes they'd had in a year if they had two a week etc while the geeks had to Dad dance to some R&B. Cue cleavage a go go, the women looking thick yet sh@ggable and the geeks looking mostly a bit startled apart from the young Tory who'd snogged Christine Hamilton and who in my estimation seems alarmingly close to being called up to the Shadow Cabinet. This shoddy piece of post pub viewing was probably the biggest insult to feminism since Brucie asking his beautiful assistant to 'give us a twirl' on the Generation Game thirty years ago. Apart from the assumption that you obviously can't be beautiful and cerebral, the geeks aren't that bad looking and the structure of the programme is a bit complicated. Two couples win each week and must nominate two other couples who go up for nomination and then those two have to battle it out in a mix of high brow and low brow questions. What the permatanned clothes horses made of that I don't know. They were probably just grateful to be spending time with true gentlemen who wouldn't roast them soon as look at them unlike the Premiership footballers they are normally most probably'entertained' by. Or at least that what should have been sloshing around their heads. And a small point, since when does naming the Beckhams' children equate to knowing how many people were in S Club? The former is obviously more difficult to answer, even for a low brow correspondent such as myself. (Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz and 7 if you're desperate to know). And to prove you can have cleavage in intelligent TV making, along comes CSI: New York (Saturday, Five, 9.10pm). It had rutting rollerskating minxes, bodies in carpets, obsessive novel writers and death by shampoo, all aided by the ubiquitous UV light, which seems to work equally well whether Gary Sinise's team are searching for semen, engine oil or Garibaldi crumbs. And lots of lovely glossy pans of New York too, which constantly up the glamour of New York. This is in stark contrast to the sweeping shots of London's Docklands in the Apprentice which I can't help thinking are massively misleading great swathes of the UK population into thinking this area is anything other than a soulless corporate hellhole in @rse-end of the East End. Still, blame Green Wing for persuading TV makers that it's all in movey-abouty camera trickery.

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