Monday, October 9

Didn't They Do Badly

Gareth Crew avoids being stabbed and braves the TV underworld: Saturday night terrestrial TV.

Saturdays, I would presume, are the same for the majority of people in this country. If you’re not unemployed/undesirable/collecting your pension (or, if you’re Michael Douglas – all three of those things) you go about your business and leisure. You could shop, and avoid being stabbed by youths outside of Matalan, or you could be playing football in the park, and avoid being stabbed by youths. You know, you go about your business.

Then, after the ultimate disappointment of the failure for yet another week to not win the Lottery, followed by a discussion with your family/girlfriend/boyfriend/dog/cat about what you would do if you did win the Lottery (at this point, the problem of not actually buying a ticket is insignificant) you’re faced with the choice: go out, buy that 60-year, £1,987 per month mortgage for your studio flat, making anything more than tap water unobtainable, and then the ultimate decision: DVD or TV. I opt for DVD every time, and looking through the Daily Express TV guide, here’s why:

Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1. Didn’t it used to be on Sunday nights, and used to be the chance for teenage boys to stare at the slightly revealing costumes? Now, re-imagined in a Planet of the Apes Tim Burton way, you have 'celebrities' dancing. Hosted by Tess Daley and Bruce '98 years young' Forsyth, the concept is simple: lets put a load of people who are loosely associated with the Beeb in some way and make them dance like some twisted marionettes with their professionally-tanned dance partners. This one was the first in a new series, and had such competitors (notice how I don’t use the word celebrities) as Jimmy Tarbuck, dancing with a lady sporting pneumatic breasts, and Nicholas Owen (a bloke who reports the news) with another brass-coloured babe. I didn’t watch it. Apparently this is the BBC’s premier, primetime Saturday night show. Did anyone say license fee?

Over on BBC 2, you had The Culture Show. Good, but pretentious. This was followed by QI and TOTP2, then a Monty Python docu-repeat. I would write more, but no-one watches BBC 2 on a weekend, do they?

Going head to head with BBC 1’s flagship are ITV 1's these heavy-hitters. PJ and Duncan, as they were originally called, are now more important to ITV than putting right-wing messages into their evening news bulletins. A variety show of some sorts, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway involves all the usual elements: 'comedy', competitions and guest stars. How much are they missing Paul O’Grady?

After that, X Factor. Sponsored by Nokia, I see. I don’t really understand this music-factory business; so, let’s leave it at that. What I have noticed is Simon Cowell needs to put some product into his rather dull and lifeless bog-brush type hair, and Sharon Osborne has too much. All I know is that we’ll get another rubbish Christmas No. 1, which is probably a ballad that would be sung much better by the person who wrote it.

Finally, there was A Knight’s Tale on Channel 4. I’ve got this on DVD, but didn’t fancy watching it.

So, what DVD did I pick? Raiders of the Lost Ark. It’s a classic, and apparently R2-D2 and C-3P0 are in one of the scenes.

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