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Posts Tagged ‘Dominic West’

The Hour; or the BBC does Mad Men

Posted by idetest on August 5, 2011

Greetings Possums.

Well, it’s a warm day outside,  my landline won’t work so I can’t ring the tax department and demand money from them (a pastime I’ve grown to love), so instead of going out and getting a life I’ll stay inside and write to my non-existent readers on the internet.

Because they won’t judge me.

 

Today, we shall speak of the BBC’s latest attempt at pretending it’s not a vacuous, populist shadow of its once great self and can still churn out TV shows that don’t want to make your eyes vomit blood.

This show that they’ve made is The Hour; nineteen-fifties set period drama about the backstage drama of the first ever current affairs show on the aunty. It takes place with the Suez crisis as its backdrop and also seems to have a whole Cold War/espionage/secret spy murder story going on as well.

 

They are very pretty though. And at least they got the smoking in.

Its first episode, I’m sad to say, was crap. It was annoying, clichéd, had terrible music and presented its two leads (Romola Garai and painfully weedy Ben Whishaw) as little more than walking vox pops for the plot devices they were shoving down our throats. Did I mention the irritating incidental music?

It goes as thus: Spunky, posh bit of a crumpet Bel wants to be hard hitting journo but is bored to death in fuddy-duddy newsreels showing debutantes, so she and man boy Freddie decide to pitch a current affairs show that’ll have middle England gasping into its cocoa.

Unfortch. Freddie is a pleb and Bel has breasts so they aren’t good enough and need the help of slimy, mediocre but oh, so posh and connected Hector. Who, despite being married to a brain-dead trophy wife, spends a good thirty seconds trying to seduce Bel; before she drops her knickers and they make sweet nylon sheeted love all over her ugly nineteen-fifties Formica table.

Ugh.

Coupled with this is the actual plot of the Suez Crisis which it keeps on forgetting to include properly and the murder mystery thing. Which is so bland and so generic  a spy thriller that I can’t even remember it. Oh, wait; someone got thrown down a stairwell last episode.

 

Anyway, some thoughts about plot and the show in general;

1) It has Anna Chancellor, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw. Three actors I love. Why is it not better? It could have been fabulous but they’ve obviously dumbed it down and focus grouped it out of any depth or originality.

2) Is Freddie supposed to be a virgin at nearly thirty? That’s the way they make him sound in the conversations.

3) Regarding the plot; was brain-dead wife’s hunky brother supposed to be the gay lover of the secretly-flaming actor/fiancé of the deceased debutante in the bathtub? Who knows?

4) That blond guy from Green Wing is ageing terribly.

5) I know it’s the BBC and so therefore has a budget of £2.70 and a bus fare but if they’re going to set something in nineteen-fifties London could we get a look at nineteen-fifties London, please?

6) Next time do better.

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The Wire: The cause and effect of white flight. In one easy package.

Posted by idetest on July 1, 2010

Hola bitches

Because I’m a bitter drunk with too much time on my hands I often entertain myself forming lists of things I dislike for no other reason that it’s this, or I go out and make friends and have meaningful relationships. Ew. Those give you cancer.

So here are my reasons for why the TV show The Wire is the worst excuse of a cop show. EVAH. Actually it’s not, it’s surprisingly well done. But there are certain elements of the show and its fans that will send you into spasms of self-righteousness. You’ll notice my own particular reasons for hating the show take on a theme…

A) I hate Dominic West. I hate his face, his faux cockney accent, the real accent he has when everyone found out he went to Eton and he was able to revert back to it. I hate that he actually came out in support for the Tory party. I despise all the Eton educated actors actually; him; Damian Lewis (the ginger from Life– which was a far worse: a quirky detective show. Kill me with shovel). It’s nothing particularly personal against Mr. West. It’s just everything he is and represents. I’m sure he has a lovely personality.

Look at him. Bein' all hot and doable. Twerp.

B) Idris Elba is a terrible actor. True good ol’ Stringer Bell was fine. However on the back of his cult status on The Wire the BBC, in all its infinite wisdom, gave him his own show back in London Town. Oy vey. Did you see it? It was tres horrible. Granted, Luther knew it was OTT and ridiculously melodramatic and made no bones about it. Good. However, there are other more talented actors –particularly black actors who never even get a look in for a leading man part usually- who deserved the role more than Elba does. The only redeeming factor of this was the psychotic murdering scientist Luther befriended-she was FABULOUS! In short because of this pretentious crap we are now getting lowbrow crap being spewed out on us.

Twat. I mean, I still would...but y'know. I wouldn't be able to look at myself the next day.

C) The people who watch The Wire are annoying, middle class, yuppie tossers. Y’know the sort-they grew up in suburbia, know about two non-white people and once went to ‘the ghetto’ for a laugh. They will go on and on about the show at a party but then walking home will cross the road to avoid the black guy walking down the street towards them. In short, these naive, hypocritical cunts who wouldn’t have gotten anywhere in life if it wasn’t for mummy and daddy paying for university and giving them a deposit on a house think they know shit about shit now just because they watch this show. They don’t. And they need to fuck off.

D) Have you ever been to The Guardian Website? If not go, it’s probably the best online news source you can get. Trouble is it’s full of self-hating British TV reviewer openly fan-wanking over this show in some sort of perverse boarding school circle jerk flashback (I’m guessing here). Anyway, these reviewers who have spent their whole life with the wonders of the BBC and television that is not actually complete shit on their doorstep now like nothing better than to rant and rave about how British TV is the pits and we should worship to The Gods of American TV. Except they don’t seem to understand one important factor-American Television: Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, CSI: Miami. American CABLE Television: The Sopranos, Deadwood, Six Feet Under. See the difference? You may have to think about it but you’ll eventually understand. These dimwits from whatever shithole suburb of Lower Upperdownshire are failing to recognise the difference. Personally I would like to take them to New Zealand. A country where they think a documentary on conjoined twins, a farming show and a seven-year old repeat of a bad Australian ‘cop’ show is a GREAT night’s telly. If they survive this and yet still are left yearning for more cerebral content from the BBC, etc, THEN and only then should they ever be allowed to complain about how inferior it is to US shows. In short The Wire fans are wankers and deserve death. By any means. I’m not picky.

E) Changing tack completely though, the show isn’t all bad. I LOVE the idea of it representing all the different seedy elements of Baltimore’s cityscape. I love shows with spiralling casts and a saga-like feeling to them. I completely agree that on this level the show itself is a great piece of work and deserves recognition. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s the greatest TV show of all time (that as we all know is actually Dawson’s Creek. And anyone who disagrees will get shanked) but for what it’s achieved on its miniscule budget, and frankly, the fact that it got commissioned at all considering how damning it was to just about every aspect of American society, not to mention it’s a truly novel and weird concept for a TV show in the eye of network executives, it deserves kudos. However, for giving every middle class white guy in the western world with an office job and a broadband connection the right to think they know the inner workings of drug dealers and urban poverty it does need to be shot.

F) However, another thing. I read an interview with several of the cast members where they spoke about how directors and producers were unsure how to do scenes where the black characters were interacting with their children. And had to ask…do black men kiss their children good night? Do they hug them? Yes. You may want to re-read that sentence as I was shaking my head so much when I wrote it may not make sense. And yes they were asking this in the 21st century. If only Obama had been elected 8 years earlier….It’s depressing in a multi cultural, and frankly sickeningly patriotic, country like America the races know so little about each other. You’re all American after all. You only ever speak to each other (Occasionally you mock a Canadian or beat up a Mexican but the rest of the world doesn’t really exist. So what’s your excuse exactly?)

G) While I’m having  a heart attack at the thought of defending this show I may as well go a bit further and say this: I’m glad a police show (I loathe the word ‘cop’. Use it in my presence and bitches gonna get their weaves ripped out) finally got ‘real’ rather than doing endless episodes where attractive, wealthy, suburban white people murder each other. It’s not realistic. Obviously white people do murder each other. But the attractive people do not. Let’s be honest, most murders do occur…well, to poor people. Obese, gap-toothed, unemployed, drug addicted, un-educated, four-kids-to-five-different-men (I’ve seen it happen) types. Those people who live in McMansions and drive SUVs to pick up Victoria and Sebastian from their private school are not often found bludgeoned to death by an angry spouse high on Crystal meth in a trailer park. No, the reasons murders in the suburbs are a ‘Ooo, how intriguing and scandalous’ fetish for crime show writers is because they actually, do happen so rarely and IT IS actually still a scandal when it happens in real life. Murders in the ghetto are not. Because they do actually happen (Yes, I’m looking at you The Mentalist).

The only one of these terrible mass audience schlock type US network dramas which does occasionally show that people what do murder each other are in fact usually the slight less stable, less intelligent sectors of society is NCIS. Yes, that show has a redeeming factor (other than the bitchy Israeli woman. I secretly love her.) in that most of its murderers are hick, hillbilly uneducated soldiers from a rednecks ‘r’ us emporium somewhere in West Virginia. All the soldiers are presented to only be in the Navy for the free healthcare, benefits, pensions, education and patriotism, that can go fuck itself. Also, they are all unstable and only ever out to make a quick buck. They always seemed to be getting deaded while up to no good a-scamming and a-scheming. For a show which at times defends Guantanamo Bay and would give Fox News and awkward bulge in its trousers, it’s decidedly realistic to the poor shmucks who are actually finding themselves getting blown up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bitchy. A Zionist. FAB-O!

And thus ends my rant on The Wire…which had more tangents than Kate Moss trying to recount what she did the night before. But alas, it was to be as the show brings out such a high level of bile in me that distracts me from the bigger picture. That picture being this: The Wire is a good show. Sort of. But just don’t ever become an actual fan of it. Because then you deserve to die. Oh, God, do you deserve it.

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