Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Homeland series 3 episode 8: So many, many questions but Brody is back

Last seen locked in a windowless room in a half-finished tower block in Venezuela that's, like, actually a real thing*, the surprise appearance of a red-eyed and semi-conscious Brody at the end of the latest Homeland was both a relief and a shock. He's looked better, if truth be told.

But the question, as always, is: what's next?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Celebrity Big Brother: 5.5 things we have learned from this year's CBB

This series of Celebrity Big Brother, what with all the shouting and all the egos and Lauren's pitiful inability to use a cup in the correct horizontal way, has taught us - the lowly, non-celebrity viewer - several things. These are they, and they begin with something called 'the slut drop'.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Blackout: We *heart* electricity, basically


There are two types of people in this world: those who don't mind pretend low-grade camera work wobbling all over the show, and those who watch such 'technique' for ten minutes and then start to long for a tripod and a stable shot with the sea-sickness pills to hand. We are longing for tripods.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Are loads of missing Doctor Who episodes about to be announced as found, or what?


It's been the talk of certain parts of the internet for a few years. Go and Google it; you'll see. And as a result, numerous Doctor Who fans have become incredibly excited; some may even have sought medication.

Could the rumour - that a batch of around 90 of the 106 missing episodes of black and white 1960s Doctor Who has been recovered from a warehouse in Africa - be true?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Stacey Dooley Investigates: Journalism-lite docos for people who probably don't watch Dispatches


Plucky young BBC Three reporter Stacey Dooley, from Luton, is an international investigative journalist and makes a living visiting different parts of the world and reading out the script of her producer.

But to criticise young Stacey's sincere efforts is like kicking a defenceless puppy - a defenceless puppy with its own film crew making hour long documentaries about drug trafficking, that is; and our Stace is so likeable in her journalism-lite documentaries, circumnavigating the edge of serious issues in a simplified way, that it's inevitable you warm to her personally if not as a reporter.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Southcliffe: A bleak drama with an identify crisis that promised much but delivered less

So what exactly was Southcliffe trying to be, exactly? Pitched as a story of a town coping with the aftermath of a gun massacre, the four-episode Channel 4 drama turned out to be far less straightforward than its simple-sounding premise.

And that would be fine of course - who doesn't love a bit of non-linear storytelling and a broody grey colour palette. If The Killing and other Scandinavian dramas have taught us anything, is that directors love to turn the colour settings down. It's a shorthand for 'moody', which in turn is a shorthand for 'serious'.

But although Southcliffe started strongly - watchable characters,  a nice build up of tension and the development of a convincing motive for the killer before the horrific rampage itself - the second half almost lost the plot, literally.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger: The possessor of the biggest mouth on television, which is nice

Tell me, reader, are you familiar with the name of Patti Stanger? She is a 'third generation' matchmaker, and has her own television programme called The Millionaire Matchmaker.

You can watch it here in the UK on ITV2 every weekday at 5.05pm. It's probably quite popular with the lonely and/or unemployed, and offers a nice 'comedown' after the tension-filled thrills of Deal or No Deal but, if truth be told, the standard definition picture of ITV2 is quite the letdown after the crisp HD of Noel Edmonds' shirt on Channel 4 HD.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Made in Chelsea series 5: When did everyone start acting like such massive fools?


Well, by 'everyone' we chiefly mean Spencer, and by 'massive fools' we just mean 'total bell-ends' or, if you will, 'like idiots', but either way, we think Spencer is doing this - that is, 'acting like a fool' - as a means of getting more screen time.

As tv-ooh has previously debated over and over, this here 'structured reality' of Made in Chelsea is often more 'structured' than 'reality', so essentially, it's probably all made up and in doing so Spencer's exploits make great television.

So who's the fool now? Is it Spencer? Or is it Louise? Or is it both of them? Or is it us for watching? The answer is, yes, yes and yes.

And possibly.

But let's not let that stop us now. Instead of debating our own self-worth, how about we look at several of the key characters this season, perhaps in a slightly mocking fashion, and glibly examine their 'story' so far this series.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Fall: Not a documentary about a famous US actress visiting the police of Northern Ireland

Watching Gillian Anderson walk about a bit and sit behind desks looking aloof with a pen and a silk scarf in BBC Two crime drama The Fall sometimes feels a bit like a famous US actress has come to visit a group of lesser known actors who have never met a star before, and so all are slightly in her thrall.

Such is Anderson’s reputation and celebrity, her rare appearances in UK-produced TV lend the finished result a sense of occasion, as if someone is just off camera with a pair of scissors ready to hand to her at any moment so she can cut a ribbon to open a new something.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Doctor Who - The Name of the Doctor: Amazing flashbacks, some relief, excitement ahead

The fact that every review you might read about the final episode of the latest season of Doctor Who is so overwhelmingly positive tells us a lot about several things.

Firstly, it's relief. It's evident in many of the reviews that the fact that the last episode, The Name of the Doctor, was completely absorbing, comes as a relief, especially after a patchy season. It's still got the power to wow, if you will.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Parks and Recreation on BBC Four is the best new four-year-old comedy on tv


In the pitch to the network it might have sounded like the worse tv idea since Splash or that thing where they're trying to make sewing competitive, but US comedy Parks and Recreation manages to overcome its dull-sounding premise - life inside a local council department in small-town America - to be the best new comedy on UK tv this year so far.

Why? Because it's actually funny enough to make you smile, or even, you know, laugh.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Dogging Tales tells us that a KFC and an orange Tango is more fun than random outdoor sex

Any documentary about dogging - that is, the practice of having, or watching others, have sex outdoors - was always going to have a high comedy value, no matter how hard it tried to be serious.

And Dogging Tales tried quite hard, with its pink-hued night-vision scenes of perplexed foxes or startled deer alongside the sights and sounds of doggers at work, or, to use their own parlance, 'at play'.

But the most memorable part was the sight of would-be dogger Terry and his girlfriend Sarah, complete with animal-themed masks to disguise their true identity.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Oh dear I haven't updated this blog very much lately have I? Sorry...

Of course, I'm not really that sorry. I'm not sorry at all. So sorry for the fake apology.

You see, the thing about blogging about television is that it never seems to end.

And not only does blogging about television sometimes suck all the fun out of the programme you might have enjoyed watching, there are always more programmes to watch, more blog posts to write, and, before you know it, you'd rather go to bed and read a book.

And as this is tv-ooh and not book-ooh, that would hardly do at all. So why am I telling you this?

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Made in Chelsea: Sometimes only Mark Francis being posh and saying 'darling!' a lot will do

'But we're in the Royal Borough!'

Ooh look, it's a video of Mark-Francis from Made in Chelsea that purports to contain 'his best bits'.

And whatever happened to his friend Gabilicious anyway?



Monday, 18 February 2013

Doctor Who 50th anniversary: Can the fans' high expectations be met?


It must be tough running Doctor Who, and basically being Steven Moffat, especially in the show's 50th anniversary year. Not only does he have to actually run the show, but he also has to deal with The Fans - and the weight of their expectations for how the show will mark its special birthday. So we will have our wildest dreams fulfilled or be left with a crushing sense of disappointment?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

People Like Us: Old ladies pee in bins but is the show burdened by the 'reality' tag?


Watching grainy CCTV footage of a woman in a launderette weeing into a large black bin, accompanied by the dry commentary of the launderette's owner ("Then she has to the cheek to wipe her hands!"), is both a funny and a shocking moment, but it's not suggesting everyone who visits Wishy Washy launderette uses the bin as a toilet - not least because the launderette would soon run out of customers, and the bin is not in possession of a flush.

Karen, the launderette's owner, is playing back the footage for the tv cameras, and she says she's never met so many weirdos since she started running the launderette six years ago.

You can easily believe it, but at least the mystery urinator had the relative decency to use the bin rather than the floor.

Friday, 18 January 2013

IT'S SNOWING! STOP THE WORLD! Who fancies a game of tv news snow bingo?

When the snow comes down, the hardy tv news presenters go out in force - and that's mainly just to stand in places, often looking quite cold, in order to tell us what we can already see outside of our window.

It's all fine of course - tv news is about pictures and it's pictures that bring tv news to life.

BBC News and Sky are doing a grand old job - but it's likely that, up and down tv newsrooms, news editors are on their umpteenth cup of filter coffee as the snow-coverage adrenalin keeps on a-pumpin'.

Some of them are probably spending quite a lot of time on the phone shouting at their reporters who are stuck on a B road on their way to a trouble spot.

Others may be quietly weeping inside, wondering if St John's Infants really is closed or if that was just a hoax call.

But whatever - it's the great big 'how to do snow' news coverage and it's here and it's IN FULL EFFECT.

Look out for the following:

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Borgen series 2: Kim the driver unblocks Birgitte's sink, but her divorce still feels a bit wrong...


Back when Borgen started in the UK in January 2012 we wrote how it was good that the main character, Birgitte, had a stable family life - her relationship was fine thanks, and all the drama took place in her office, or in the tv studio, or on the way to the office or the tv studio.

It felt quite fresh that the lead female character didn't have to 'sacrifice' her personal happiness in order to achieve professional success. Her biggest personal concern was banning biscuits in meetings.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

HMV: A great place to go and browse for stuff before buying it online

The Tudors series two blu-ray for £5 in HMV
The news about HMV calling in the administrators is sad but not surprising.

Having to compete with supermarkets, downloads and online retailers - often with much cheaper prices and with no awkward moments of judgement when you're buying that classic series Doctor Who DVD - meant it was difficult for the high street chain to keep up.

But, do you know, maybe if I'd bought this bluray copy of tv-ooh favourite and raunchy historical romp The Tudors (series two!) I saw last week for only £5, then maybe we wouldn't be in this sorry mess now.

It's unlikely of course - that's not how economics works, and I doubt an extra £5 in the tills would have helped that much, although I would have enjoyed hearing actors begin and end sentences with 'Yes your Majesty' again.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Celebrity Big Brother: Spencer and Heidi - who are they and what do they want?

Spencer's slightly menacing control over his wife Heidi in the Celebrity Big Brother house is both intriguing and disturbing all at the same time.

It seems that, in his affections, Heidi comes only second to that five litre water bottle he's always carrying around.

Exactly what 'Speidi' see in each other is beyond specific identification, but maybe she digs Spencer's lip-smacking when he eats or his stony-faced humour-bypass moments. Maybe Spencer likes the numerous surgical alterations Heidi has carried out to her own body, or perhaps her apparent complete subservience to him? Only they can really know.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Spiral: Date set for series 4 on BBC Four?

Prepare to be roughed up by borderline unconventional policing methods while wishing you paid more attention to your French GCSE, because the new series of Spiral is due back on BBC Four this February.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Spartacus - Gods of the Arena: 'You'll go out and wonder why men aren't all wearing dirty-grey loin cloths'

If you're unfamiliar with the heady world of Spartacus, the amount of blood, violence and impossibly honed beefcake takes quite a lot to get used to at first. It's like the producers, drunk on the success of the first series Blood and Sand, decided what they thought had worked, and demanded more. MORE!

But by the end of episode one of this prequel series, you'll likely be desensitised to it all. Gratuitous be-headings, CGI blood that spurts in the most dramatic of fashions with not a transfusion in sight, and frequent references to 'small cock' as an insult: you'll shrug it all off as if you were watching soft little kittens at play in a basket in a meadow.

You may also end up going out in the street and wondering why men aren't all wearing dirty-grey loin cloths and fighting each other to the death, but that's neither here nor there.

Monday, 7 January 2013

EastEnders: Why are Tanya and Kirsty fighting over Max anyway?


While it's unlikely that Tanya in EastEnders was referring to a Paul Daniel's Magic Set when she said Kirsty knew 'a few tricks in the bedroom', she knows Tanya's a threat, and so the pair are squaring up for a bitch fight over the same man - but is Max worth the bother? 

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Ripper Street: Gruesome and grim but with a vivid style and some 'cockernee' charm



The horrible sexual violence in the final scenes of episode one of Ripper Street - and the slightly daft 'in the nick of time' arrival by 'the blue' during the making of what may have been the first ever 'snuff' movie - may have been a bit too much for some viewers, both for its disturbing content and the attempts at creating a dramatic climatic scene by having the characters dashing about a lot.

You don't really get much drama from running around, or from having the grim mixed with the obvious or the absurd: the perpetrator was (of course) some posh bloke described as 'a toff with whiskers' and had a large film set built in his back garden. How did the neighbours not notice?