Tuesday, October 03, 2006


The Dog Doesn't Give Me A Bone

I've been meaning to link to the magnificent 'Grace Dent's TV OD' for some time now. It is by far and away the best writing on British television I've seen. She's not always spot on - I didn't agree with all of this week's summaries, and I find the seemingly random words highlighted in bold quite distracting, but other than that, I'm loving it greatly - when she's right, she's absolutely spot-on. Witness on the truly bizarre, and really rather rubbish, 'Dog The Bounty Hunter':

'US reality TV series featuring Duane "Dog" Chapman. Bounty hunter, man-mountain, born-again Christian; watch as Dog trails then pounces on fugitives, before haranguing them heavily about the majesty of the Lord until they fling themselves into jail willingly to avoid a further ear-drubbing.'

'Dog's wife and long-suffering colleague, Beth, makes Cilla Battersby look like Sienna Miller. Dog the Bounty Hunter's chief weapon is surprise. OK, surprise and God. Saying that, it's difficult to be anything other than surprised when an 18-stone bodybuilder with a two-tone mullet in cycling shorts jumps out at you quoting the Book of Job.'

I have something of a problem with this programme. Leaving aside the somewhat questionnable vigilante politics of it all, why the hell can't the Hawaiian police department pull in these criminals by themselves? They always give up without a fight, and finding them seems to be pretty easy to be honest. Every episode goes like this:

1) Dog finds out all about criminals daily activities, and a super plan is made.

2) His son somehow finds a way to fuck it up.

3) They cruise about for a while, and accidentally bump into the criminal.

4) The pronounce at length about the inevitability of being caught if Dog is on your tail.

All the criminals appear to be on freebase cocaine, too, and the one service the programme seems to perform is to end the stereotype that people are crack are violent - the criminals Dog pulls in never fight, they're far too zombiefied.

The other subject Grace is right about is the seemingly endless profusion of celebrities in British life. On 'The All-Star Talent Show':

'On stage Mallandra Burrows (Kathy in Emmerdale five years ago) is ramming fire into her gob dressed in red PVC floozy-boots and snug hot pants.'

. . .

'It's an odd indicator of how saturated Britain is with Z-listers that you can now set fire to your own face on terrestrial TV dressed as a dominatrix and no-one cares: not the audience at home, not the audience in the studio, not even the judges who are paid to be there to judge you. "Does this go on for long?" sighs Julian Clary, as Mallandra limps off to apply frozen peas to her cheeks.'

If you recall, the planet Zaphod Beeblebrox is taken to at the start of 'Restaurant At The End Of The Universe' has passed something called the Shoe Event Horizon. The economy had slightly specialised in shoes, and gradually the planet became famous only for its shoes. It soon became only economically viable to open shoe shops, and quality gradually decreased. Eventually, the planets occupants died of famine and the streets Zaphod finds are full only of low-quality rotting footwear.

I only mention this because Britain is heading rapidly towards a Celebrity Event Horizon. The point at which there were more celebrities than things to be celebrated was passed long ago. We'll soon be at a stage where it simply isn't possible to pitch an idea to TV executives that doesn't involve Z-listers humiliating themselves for the rapacious edification of the TV-viewing public.

A few days ago, I was walking through Manchester with a couple of friends of mine. While queued at the cash machine, we started chatting about a poster nearby advertising the chance to win a date with Calum Best.

'Who's Calum Best?' I innocently asked.

'He's George Best's son. Other than that, he's mostly famous for being on 'Celebrity Love Island' twice, and sleeping with a lot of women'.

WHAT? So here we have a man, not at all famous in his own right, but only because of a man whose last real achievement happened thirty years ago, and who afterwards drank himself to death, who he happened to be related to? Better still, this was enough to get on a programme filled with 'celebrities', which then made his own superfluous 'celebrity' set in stone! He should make the most of it while it lasts, because the ever expanding armies of Z-listers means that his apparent monopoly on sex-related celebrity shows will soon be lost to someone both cheaper and willing to go further for the camera. What a world we live in.

this has somewhat convinced me (more) that i should have my friend following me around on my little jaunts around Bristol, like to the Hatchet and especially when i go to London.

i humiliate myself (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not) but it's actually funny and i have a ball meeting former strangers who come up to me after hearing my accent.

fuck these z-list 'celebs', we regular people can do waaaay better, lol.
Celebrity Event Horizon? Interesting theory. If I can take the cosmological terminology a step further, It's when they pass the event horizon and get crushed out of existance in the post celebrity singularity that interests me. Like this. http://bawbags.blogspot.com/
Rimone - I certainly fail to see the attraction in watching them nearly get off with each other. I've said before that more celebrities should do hardcore porn. Who wants to see them fanny about the issue?

Ill Man - Yes! The blog you link to proves my very point! Think of the service Nichola Holt is providing to the gentlemen of Britain by appearing in Rearenders 2, when she might instead be on some god-awful satellite channel.
I certainly fail to see the attraction in watching them nearly get off with each other.

but..but..but you watch big brother!

i totally agree w/you about the celebs doing porn thing.
I know - I'm an awful hypocrite about these things, although I should point out that my Big Brother viewing follows a strict pattern:

For the first three or four weeks, constant viewing. Constant debate with the people I live with and inflict it on. Then, at some point, I will go away for a day or two and miss some of it, and upon my return, the spell will be broken. It suddenly seems cheap, distasteful, boring - unwatchable. This happens every season.
Constant debate with the people I live with and inflict it on.

lol, you're a riot. :-)
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