Thursday, 29 September 2011

So did the Doctor Who Confidential film crew capture the meeting in which it was decided to cancel Doctor Who Confidential

Because, if the Doctor Who Confidential film crew failed to capture the meeting in which it was decided that Doctor Who Confidential is to be cancelled, it's probably the first key moment in the parent series' recent history it had not laboriously documented, and in turn, removed all the fun from it.

The problem with BBC Three's Confidential is that there are only so many times you can watch the same thing over and over.

Namely, and chiefly, Doctor Who effects supervisor Danny Hargreaves explaining a special effect and using the word 'basically' a lot (and effects work is essentially the same every week, although there has been some perverse value in seeing how Danny has aged over the years).

And if it isn't old Danny, it is various producers and writers explaining the plot in over-excitable terms while sitting in front of editing monitors, thinking 'Sell! Sell! Sell!' or, in the case of Russell T Davies, sitting in front of silver blinds and an overdue script blinking on his PC in the background.

"It's all marvellous!" he'd say in best I'm-on-tv voice, despite having been up 72 hours straight.

Danny Hargreaves, Doctor Who effects expert, appeared regularly on Doctor Who Confidential,
often saying the same thing: "Yeah basically it's like a really big effect and we all stand really well back?"
Other Confidential staples include clip montages set to anonymous indie guitar riffs, or cast members caught japing around off camera wearing anoraks in freezing cold fields.

Once or twice is fine, but a whole 13 episode series of it? The cracks were definitely beginning to show.

So this cancellation - made so BBC Three can focus its reduced budget on original programming rather than on making a spin-off of a BBC One show - is actually a good decision, and one less thing for completist fans to fret about.

And there's no shame it - Confidential's done all it can, and has been fun to watch in the earlier years, when Doctor Who was new and bright and popular again; but now's the right time to go - because let's be honest, anyone who has ever been interested in how Doctor Who is put together, is already going to know by now, thanks to Confidential.

So, with Confidential's budget now re-available, who's for a bumper-length run of new Don't Tell the Bride? Can we get Danny Hargreaves in to do some explosions or something? A bit of green screen? Anyone?

Related stories:
Doctor Who - The God Complex review: Nice touch with the Nimon as it all gets good again
Doctor Who: Let's Kill Hitler review - the only River in the, er, River, is a River?
Doctor Who: Episodes 8 - 11 trailer: 8 fatuous observations
Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War review: 'Epic', ' Blimey', 'quips'
Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane: Andy Pandy outfits in space
Doctor Who trailer: this is quite exciting and momentarily diverting
Christopher And His Kind: Glad it wasn't Tom Baker
National Television Awards: Dermot/Doctor great, everything else ho-hum

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Waterloo Road isn't a school but a place for actors and kids to do soapy stuff and quip a lot

School was never like this when tv-ooh was there. In fact, things are all a bit jolly at Waterloo Road - give or take the odd schoolgirl abduction by a man in a white van.

Which might be a bit odd for a programme described as 'a gritty drama about a failing inner city comprehensive school'.

The Road - as its fans might call it - doesn't often feel that gritty, or even much like a school: the scenes set in the staff room feel only seconds away from becoming a group of actors standing around talking about Equity pay rates or their next audition, rather than teachers ensuring the next generation of adults are up to scratch, or at least know their way around a sum or two.

This is no rooted-in-fact heavyweight drama about falling standards in our schools.

Instead it's a gay old skip through staff-room power-play and a showcase for the slightly hesitant acting techniques of inexperienced teenage actors not celebrated since the days of Grange Hill.

And why not eh? It's soapy all the way, and probably all the more popular for it.

Like with Jez, the new PE teacher (we know he's a PE teacher because he wears tracksuits), dealing with the implications of getting your kids back when your ex-wife dumps them on you and your new wife.

He's joined the school with his new wife, and fellow teacher, Sian (played by Jaye Jacobs, fresh from Holby and sometimes forgetting she no longer needs to be Bristolian) but the kids' arrival has caused all sorts of upset, perfect for filling the airtime.

Chopsticks

"What about a Chinese tonight?", Jez asks his son Zack.

"As long as you don't drum with the chopsticks," replies the 14-year-old.

They'd had a bit of bother earlier (the whole Jez-abandoning-him-thing) which is now on its way to being sorted via a takeway.

Phew. Another new addition to the cast is Sarah Hadland, better known as Stevie in Miranda and also seen as a slightly flirty airline employee in James Bond's A Quantum of Solace.

She's arrived to do a turn as new Head of English Linda Radleigh and is inevitably 'ruffling a few feathers' amid cute and quippy lines ("A faint heart never won a fair maiden!") and odd snatches of Francais - you see, character! - plus some crazy old driving of a battered old Golf.

Miranda-style comedy asides straight down the camera cannot be far away.

'Previous'

But there's more - Linda Radleigh's got a bit of 'previous' with the head-teacher Michael Byrne, who in turn, also has 'previous' with Sian.

"I should never have left you," says Michael to Sian over some after-school spreadsheet work on the school laptop, as he hands her a single malt as a nightcap.

"You know what, I never really liked whisky," Sian says, all meaningfully, as she gets up, smooths down the skirt of her camel-coloured two piece suit she likes to wear a lot, and leaves; while he's left to ponder his lines for next week.

And tv-ooh will be there.

Monday, 26 September 2011

An inexplicably serious and thoughtful review of The Only Way is Essex series 3 episode 1

Pointless genital adornment at the ready everyone - it's the return of so-called structured reality soap The Only Way is Essex.

But for anyone on the look out for a vajazzle, you'll be disappointed.

It seems that any diamante-clad private parts are not getting a look-in this series, possibly because vajazzler-in-chief Amy Childs has left to become a full-time celebrity.

Which might be a bit of shame. Because where once there was Amy and her dim but endearing lack of general knowledge, there is now just idle chatter and not much going on.

It feels like, now that the programme's become more established and it having won a people's choice BAFTA, the cast now know their value to the programme, and it's all a bit harder to believe in a series that's meant to be about 'ordinary people' when they're appearing in magazines all over the place and acting like celebrities.

Not that it's important to believe in it, of course - but equally the producers shouldn't think the show's reputation alone can carry it: episode one was just a catch up with the characters, and not a lot really happened.

Right now, The Only Way is Essex is all about weight loss and the aftermath of failed relationships.

Mark and Lauren G, Sam and Joey, and Kirk and Lauren P - they've all split up since the end of the last series.

In fact, it's said Kirk and Lauren P split after having to spend three weeks together without going out, as they both recovered from each having a nose job. Now that may have been interesting to watch. Imagine the rows!

There are also several new characters, none of them with very much clothing. They include underwear modelling twins Dino and Georgio, muscular but short; and also Mario, who is the new squeeze of Lucy and is clearly signposted - via his tanned buttocks - as unashamed man-totty for Loose Women fans.

And Arg, back with Lydia, is fighting the bulge, as is Gemma, whose weight loss has helped her find a whole new inner confidence, as well as newly dyed brown hair, just like Amy Childs.

"I just feel that there's a volcano waiting to erupt," she says, in a way not too dissimilar to Amy.

"Really?" asks Harry, pointlessly.

"Yeah," she replies.

Good to have it back, of course - but let's have some rows, let's have some drama.

Can someone go and wind up Kirk please? Cheers.

Previous related stories:
Only Way Is Essex: Series two - a verdict: the winners, the losers
Only Way Is Essex - the dumbed down, dumbed down
Only Way Is Essex: Reality/drama hybrid wins heart, confuses mind

Friday, 23 September 2011

Paula Abdul saw a man's willy on US X Factor and it made her sick; here he'd be a celebrity

If a man dropped his pants and waved his bits about during an audition on the UK X Factor, we'd probably all have a jolly good laugh about it.

ITV would do a phone-in to see if he should trim or not for his next appearance.

Dermot would be a bit cross but secretly think it was funny.

Olly and Caroline would interview his social worker on The X-tra Factor.

It's all because an undiagnosed mental health problem presenting itself as inappropriate exhibitionism, masquerading in turn as entertainment, makes great tv.

Many have built careers on it.

But when this very incident happened in the first episode of the new US version of The X Factor (showing in the UK on Wednesdays on ITV2), judge Paula Abdul only went and walked out.

And then, back stage, she coughed, and coughed again, and then retched, like she'd just received terrible news.

And then she said she was sick - and all within reach, and ear-shot, of the film crew.

Where's your pluck, woman? You're not going to be freaked out by some man's ill-timed showing of his penis are you?

Oh you are.

As a result, Paula Abdul's over-reacting overshadowed Cheryl Cole's low-key but actually quite alright, but, of course, ultimately doomed first (and only), appearance on the show.

And Cheryl wasn't fazed by a man prancing about with his trousers around his knees (blurred out for us at home) - in fact, she didn't blink an eye: "I've seen worse on a Friday night at Yate's," she didn't say.

So will penis man make an appearance in the US final when all the 'useless' acts come back ahead of the announcement of the winner?

And can we bring penis man to the UK Boot Camp stage?

Kelly Rowland would give a head-flick and stare full of attitude, while Tulisa would rate him out of ten and Louis would be mysteriously quiet.

Gary wouldn't like it, but that's ok.

But will we see him again? Of course not. It's a singing competition.

So why include him in the first place? Because the producers must have judged it to be funny (at least for us at home) and because Paula Abdul had a turn.

Still, let's hope penis man gets the help he needs, eh, readers.

Or at least some new elastic for his waistband.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

71 Degrees North: More than just work for jobless actors and presenters, but only slightly

Oh dear. Poor the celebrities taking part in difficult challenges in a contrived race to an arbitrary point for the enjoyment of an indifferent audience.

You can see it in their eyes. Their hearts aren't in it. For us, 71 Degrees North on ITV1 is several weeks of rompy, mildly diverting reality tv with a game show spin, to watch when we don't really fancy Holby.

But to the participants, maybe it's three mortgage payments.

Life must be strange being that person who once appeared regularly on tv, but now finds appearances are infrequent at best.

Most 'celebrities' are basically self-employed - so when you get the offer to take part in an endurance game show in Norway, what do you do?

You accept the offer because it’s work and you missed out on that part in Aladdin.

Of course, they're all excited at the adventure (as they all inevitably claim) but it must be an odd thing to do for a living – trading off your personality because you’ve once appeared on tv.

It’s as odd as the notion that their well-known face makes a programme like 71 Degrees North more entertaining. It can of course, but not always.

John Thomson: 'Flips lid', voted out
So here, we learn John Thomson, who was once in Cold Feet, doesn't like to lose. He flips his lid after his team has to face another night in a cold tent, which they have to put up themselves. He’s then voted off, wondering if he still gets his full fee.

We also learn presenter Angellica Bell has more upper body strength than hardy tv gardener Charlie Dimmock and that Rav Wilding from Crimewatch is quite a good team leader. Amazing.

But why not just get ‘normal’ people who have ‘normal’ jobs to take part instead? Can they not get the time off? Or have they got more sense?

Or do they - the mysterious tv-producing they - just recruit actors and presenters because they know they'd be up for it, and can summarise concisely?

Sean Maguire: 'Hollywood actor'; went home
It's only week two of 71 Degrees North, and two of the celebrities have already had to leave, outside of the normal end-of-episode process of voting a team member off.

The actor Martin Kemp has a bad back, while 'Hollywood actor' Sean Maguire - once in Grange Hill and then EastEnders - had a bad-tempered rant at an off-screen producer when he didn't like his questioning, before deciding to leave in a barely-concealed sulk.

Presenter Paddy McGuinness, along with his co-presenter Charlotte Jackson who doesn't say much and so comes across like his slightly in-awe girlfriend, is there as the guide, support and mocking commentator, but these challenges are some of the toughest on tv at the moment.

Of course none of it really matters – these participants are fair game, they got a nice fee for it and we get a programme to watch. And if we didn’t have celebrities, who WOULD they get to take part?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Downton Abbey series 2 episode 1 review? More like SOPHORIFIC Abbey! LOL ;) Er...


With the exhaustively blanket press coverage ahead the second series of Downton Abbey, the entire population may well have been persuaded to watch.

And, never one to miss the opportunity to be influenced by the cover story of TV Buzz magazine, tv-ooh decided to watch too.

And what a spectacle: first a doddery old man shot in broad daylight, and then a strange dimly-lit office full of Mac computers doing complicated hi-tech stuff with thirty-somethings looking busy and stressed.

Wow - something major is going on here!

Oh hang on this is Spooks.

So switching over to Downton Abbey, the difference is clear - this is like a tv dose of Valium, but in a good way.

Sure, there's plot, story lines, stuff going on - but really the idea seems to be that you sit back and enjoy the overall soporific effect.

You can't deny the budget - the costumes, the grand location work, and plots and acting of varying quality.

But really it's about going with the flow - a flow jarringly interrupted by the ad breaks, admittedly (boo to commercial telly and its money making business model!) - and in that sense it's fairly near ideal, not-wanting-to-go-back-to-work-tomorrow, Sunday night tv.

So will Matthew survive the front line of World War I? Will that 'good luck' toy Lady Mary gave him remain clean? And will they rekindle their romance, Matthew and Mary that is, not Mary and the toy?

Will the woman who played Henry VIII's first wife in The Tudors and now playing Vera Bates in Downton Abbey continue to blackmail her husband, the loyal house servant Bates?

And will Dame Maggie Smith continue to get all of the best lines?

"You'll find there's never a dull moment in this house," she says, perhaps not entirely truthfully, which means she probably will.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Made in Chelsea series 2 episode 1: Feminism look away, it's "women as cake"

Made in Chelsea, the structured-reality soap with a plum in its mouth, is back - and it's like the immaculately-groomed cast, dressed in their muted tones and curiously pastel fashions, have never been away.

Not much has changed - but prize goon Spencer has had a shave and a haircut and as a result now looks like a clean-shaven goon but with a much better haircut.

But the points the show earns for Spencer’s new look get immediately cancelled out by the arrival of his friend Jamie – a posh, rich, party loving traveller who’s bad with money.

So much so that Jamie's “bank manager” (a sort of cockney-geezer-gone-slightly-posh accountant charged with looking after his family’s business fortune and who, like the audience, looks like he wants to "nut" Jamie one at the earliest opportunity) threatens to cut off his card.

But it’s a bit hard to care about Jamie. Why should we be bothered with someone who can no longer afford their champagne magnum delivery?

Although we're rooting for that headbutt from the accountant.

'Light incident'

Elsewhere, the scenes of light incident continue: the louche Ollie Locke takes his new girlfriend Chloe on a fishing trip, along with his best friends Binky and Cheska. Chloe ends up tasting a maggot.

Indications of tragedy - that is to say, stuff to develop over the series - involve Ollie’s ex Gabriella, who has now also become best friends with Binky and Cheska, but can’t let go of Ollie.

And Hugo - Spencer's best friend and boyfriend of Millie - has gone from loyal and moral and sensible to a kind of would-be "player" type, flirting with new cast member Victoria.

The situation leads to the following cringe-worthy exchange.

Witness:

Hugo: "I want to have my cake and eat it. And I want two different types of cake depending on what mood I'm in."

Spencer: "If you're single you can have as many cakes as you want. You can go to the love bakery and have a taste of the whole lot."

Hugo: "I don't see why you should have to have just one flavour."

Spencer: "So try the other cakes - wander the store and taste the cakes! What type of cake would Victoria be?"

Hugo: "An exquisite cake."

Spencer: "It's hard not to have a taste of an exquisite cake when presented with one."

So there you have it - women presented as cake.

There are no words.

Apart from to say - Caggie's on her way back from New York.

Let's hope she's left her guitar behind.

Related stories:

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Doctor Who - The God Complex review: Nice touch with the Nimon as it all gets good again

You have to admire the confidence of a programme that can set nearly a whole episode of itself in a rubbish-looking hotel.

Strictly speaking, it was just a corner of some alien planet or other made to look like a rubbish hotel, but the effect's the same.

Which was, namely, to make the audience think we were all in for another episode of Doctor Who done on the cheap, like the slightly disappointing Night Terrors episode the other week.

Fortunately, The God Complex turned out to be pretty good - for several reasons:

Amy and Rory had much more to do rather than escape from something tedious and time-filling they'd become trapped in while the Doctor got the main action.

The obligatory Real Life Thing or Object Designed to Creep Out the Children was there - this week, a ventriloquist's dummy, which, this week, worked. It was creepy.

And - brace yourself long-term fans - the creature was referred to as a minotaur, and said to be a distant relative of the Nimon (referencing notorious Tom Baker 1979 serial The Horns of Nimon) (but to tv-ooh, the creature looked more like the Destroyer creature from the 1989 serial Battlefield, as it happens).

And, perhap most importantly, the Doctor himself was the most Doctor-ish he's been for a while - funny, quirky, thinking, vulnerable yet powerful, and in control.

Which is a good thing.

Throw in David Walliams doing a prosthetic-ed up turn as a cowardly rat-like alien - almost like a character from Little Britain if it were to do a spacey-spin off (it'll happen one day, when there are no more ideas left) -  plus some good character-led writing from the pen of Being Human creator Toby Whithouse, who, if Steven Moffatt ever moves on from the show, could be the perfect replacement.

At a guess.

But Doctor Who's at its best when it's focusing on the main characters and their relationships.

So the unexpectedness of the last five minutes, as the Doctor returned Amy and Rory home, was a nice surprise.

To see a bit of outdoors, and the TARDIS back on a normal street, was a contrast after the gloom of the hotel interior  - and, with it all feeling a bit like the Russell T Davies-era for some reason, it was a reminder of why many of us love the show so much.

Amy and Rory will be back, of course - they have to be, because it's the finale in two weeks.

But before that, it's Cybermen and James Corden - and tv-ooh is definitely more excited about one rather than the other.

Can you guess which one?

Related stories:
Doctor Who: Let's Kill Hitler review - the only River in the, er, River, is a River?
Doctor Who: Episodes 8 - 11 trailer: 8 fatuous observations
Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War review: 'Epic', ' Blimey', 'quips'
Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane: Andy Pandy outfits in space
Doctor Who trailer: this is quite exciting and momentarily diverting
Christopher And His Kind: Glad it wasn't Tom Baker
National Television Awards: Dermot/Doctor great, everything else ho-hum

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Made in Chelsea is back on September 19 and with five new cast members who look like this

Made in Chelsea is back for a new series on E4 from September 19 and joining the so-called cast will be a bunch of new so-called characters, who will all contribute to the so-called drama.

And, if truth be told, tv-ooh cannot wait for it to start. Here, then, is what is known about them "to date".

New cast members - key points:

1. There are five of them
2. Several of them have "previous" with current cast members
3. One of them's all a bit double-barrelled name-wise but without the hyphen

New cast members - names and other essential information:

Victoria Baker Harber, 22, half British, half Fijian. She owns lots of shoes. Apparently she can't be nice to people if she doesn't like them. That's her on the left in the photo above, sitting the wrong way in the chair like that. She'll never get comfortable. But it's good to see she is maintaining the Made in Chelsea tradition of amazing hair. Although it looks a bit too high-main for tv-ooh.

Ollie Proudlock, 24, and "a party lover". Is there room for another Ollie in the show? Can you trust someone with a name like Proudlock? So many questions already. He's in the billowy red shirt sitting next to Victoria. Probably on the arm of that same chair, so he can't be comfortable either. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? Ollie is a friend of Spencer from Eaton - tv-ooh is seriously cooling to him now - and Ollie has also dated Caggie.

Chloe Green, 20, is dating original cast member and tv-ooh favourite Ollie "great hair" Locke, and has a dad who runs Burtons or something. She went to school in Monte Carlo which must have been nice for her. Apparently she knows most of the cast already and is "excited" about "giving it a try" (ie joining the programme). She's in the middle of the photo above and is the one "owning" the mantlepiece.  How does the mantlepiece feel about this? Will the mantlepiece feature in the show in some way? We do not know at this stage.

Candle and candle stick, age unknown. Rumoured to be a replacement for Spencer. Ho ho.

Louise Thompson, 21, is a student at Edinburgh University, but from London originally. She's "best friends" with current cast member Rosie and has dated prize plum and dating-goon Spencer for six months. Louise and Spencer have, apparently, "rekindled their romance this summer". Not great news for Caggie, assuming she didn't go to New York at the end of series one, that is. Louise has also dated Francis. We just hope that chandelier above her head is safely secured to the ceiling otherwise Louise ain't dating nobody. Can someone call props?

Jamie Laing, 22. He has a family who are big in biscuits (ie they're involved with the McVitie's biscuit company). Apparently Jamie "loves to have fun" especially in places like Berlin, St Tropez and New York. How jet-set. He's wearing all black in the photo above which means he is "serious" but his blond hair tells us the opposite. Oh the contrasts! More importantly, he looks the most comfortably positioned of all five which may suggest he'll be the most popular. Then again it's quite simply still all to play for at this early stage.

New cast members - in summary:

More of the same.

That picture again:

New members of the cast of Made in Chelsea. Series two begins September 19 (pic: Channel 4/E4)
Related stories:

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Surgery soap Doctors goes a bit Waking the Dead; solves a murder in no time; all turns out nice

With a theme tune that always sounded a bit like a jaunty b-side from a guitar-laden indie band from the mid-nineties - and one that used to make tv-ooh scream as it signalled the end of tv-ooh's lunch break at work - soapy surgery Doctors has always been a programme I thought I knew - and therefore never really watched.

But seeing it today I discovered it wasn't just about some old lady or other who comes into the Doctors doctors surgery and who has a story that isn't all it appears to be, and set to a background of the Doctors and nurses playing, well, doctors and nurses with each other.

Episode The Sharpest Cut - number 95 of a staggering 231, numbers fans! - didn't have a doddery old lady in sight.

Instead, some young dude calling himself Jack Hollins - son of main characters Rob and Karen - is on some sort of "work experience" organised by his policeman dad.

Jack's shadowing a police forensic scientist, Harrison, and Jack gets involved in the investigation into a fatal domestic stabbing of a woman.

The plot zips along, with visits to the crime scene, a few potential suspects to put everyone off the scent - including official Sinister Acting by the first wife of the victim's husband - but, best of all, young work experience Jack helps to solve the mystery.

The result is a little self-contained afternoon play and it's almost beautifully simple - a murder mystery done and dusted in 28 minutes flat, first with a fake confession and then your actual real confession, and with actors all grateful for the work.

And without wanting to mention either version of The Killing on tv-ooh again, in The Killing they spent weeks trying to figure this sort of stuff out.

Clearly, the answer is to get a bright work experience kid involved - he'll tell you whodunnit in no time.

The next episode of Doctors is called Murder Sleep so perhaps homicide is a new direction for this daytime soap stalwart, or perhaps it's a debate into the legalities of euthanasia maybe, set against a sub-plot of a faulty appointments booking system.

Although reading the synopsis - Freya gives a new mum some advice, Lauren's flirtation with Daniel takes a sinister turn - it's anyone's guess.

Lovely.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Hollyoaks Later needs to be racier otherwise it's a wasted opportunity with pert bare buttocks

This week, early evening teen soap and all-round general hormone cauldron Hollyoaks has applied for, and been granted, a special license from the makers of "tv for grown ups" for a run of five hour-long episodes under the name of Hollyoaks Later.

And as befits all "tv for grown ups" the programme must, by dint of law, include bare bottoms, "scenes of a sexual nature", drugs, and swearing - and Hollyoaks Later has not, so far, disappointed on any of those.

Even if the only swearing so far is a relatively tame "gobshite".

Although to be fair it is only Monday - so it's fingers crossed for a "bugger" by Wednesday.

But like an adolescent given free reign of the family home when their parents go on holiday for the first time without them, Hollyoaks Later has the slightly awkward air of a programme that feels slightly lost at 10pm, away from its regular time-slot of 6.30pm.

It feels a bit like the kind of old-fashioned Christmas episode or movie spin off of a 1970s sitcom you used to get, where familiar characters go to a new, unfamiliar place, and all sorts of larks and japes ensue - possibly with hilarious consequences, possibly not.

So - and ignoring semi-tedious plot lines about a fit-camp, and a young girl possibly being stalked by an older guy (whereby we hear clunky "evil" music every time he appears, which means he is Bad) - the main plot involves soon-to-be-married couple Mercedes and Riley.

They go off on their hen and stag parties respectively, the former to Ibiza, and the latter to, er, a paint balling game in the country.

But naturally it all kicks off doesn't it - for there are Secrets, and, as in any soap, Secrets do not stay secret for long.

Throw in some surprise characters who shouldn't be there (to add "dramatic tension" yeah?), a few bare bottom shots, some really quite appalling acting from someone who probably isn't an actor at all (rival paintballing team leader, that's meant for you), and, of course, a tetchy virgin called Seth who appears to murder a prostitute as she "de-flowers" him after she gives him drugs.

Which, if you think about it, is actually quite a conservative and moralistic message.

Don't have sex, don't take drugs - or else you'll end up a murderer and having to walk around naked with an addled mind and in a blood-stained dormitory.

It seems the main difference with the later timeslot for this is they can show things that otherwise they'd have to only mention, but Hollyoaks Later needs to get a bit racier and swearier and more adult sharpish - otherwise it's a bit of a wasted opportunity, however fun it might all be.

Unless of course there are more bare bottoms, that is.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Watching too much Danish crime drama is like really bumming me out, man

As much as tv-ooh is enjoying the BBC Four repeat of the original Danish version of The Killing, watching four episodes of grimly gripping murder mystery per week isn't all that cheering, truth be told.

Of course, we know it's brilliant and involving and the recipient of bouquets and solemn but approving nods from people who know about Good Television, but as August departs us and September arrives (hiya!), tv-ooh is almost looking forward to the show finishing, so the tv sun can shine again.

We are now on episode 10 of 20 - so half way - and about to overtake the point at which the US version (showing on Channel 4) is at.

And, as discussed here on tv-ooh previously (well, blithely skirted around), there were 20 one hour episodes in the original, and only 13 'US tv one hour' (ie 50 minutes) episodes in the remake, so it's interesting to see the differences as both series chug along.

Which also means the US version has roughly seven episodes' worth of less material.

Not that you'd notice though - let's face it, no-one's going to miss that dry-rot subplot.

But the important thing is that both series are as good as each other, and you can enjoy both without any knowledge of the other - and if anything it's probably much, much kinder to your brain.

Just try following them both at the same time - that's a challenge all in itself.

'This dialogue's not very clear.'

'Oh it's Danish.'

Or, 'Where are the subtitles?'

'Oh it's the US version. We don't need them.'

Or, 'I didn't think Sarah had a mother.'

'Oh it's that unspecified family friend with the boat.'

Perhaps, then, there should be an end-credits voiceover offering a phone number which we can call for support.

Or where we can get some of that ever-present knitwear.