Continuing our unofficial, entirely-on-a-whim British & Proud campaign.
Don't believe the hype - the Golden Age Of Television is right here with us now. Big Brother my arse. Set the video, stay in, pretend to be ill, buy a dvd recorder and watch with friends who appreciate good tv because Thursday night on BBC2 is looking pretty good - The Line-Up:
BBC2 21:00 - 21:30
The return of award-winning, (but don't let that put you off), writing team that is Stephan Merchant & Ricki Gervais (The Office, as if you ned telling). Gervais plays Andy - a lowly extra still trying to get his big break after five years. An impressive cast over the next six weeks features Samual L Jackson, BenStiller, Patrick Stewart, Vinny Jones, Kate Winslet, and a couple of complete wankers namely Les (quick I'm gonna be sick) Dennis and Ross (another bucket, I need another bucket) Kemp.
In lesser hands this cast list would look like a display of self-congratulatory ego-massaging oppurtunity to bask in one's own reflected glory and although I'm sure they'd be the first to say, 'My friends are bettter than yours', I've little doubt the Marchant & Gervais boys will let things become sicophantic. I think it's generally appreciated that not all Celebrities or Americans are complete arseholes and who better to set the bull-shit detector on kill.
BBC2 21:30 - 22:00
The Catherine Tate Show (Series 2)
I'm not sure how much mass appeal this will revieve. The last series was patchy to say the least and I remember an entire episode where I got bored and didn't laugh one - but that could just be me. The saving grace is the impeccable skills of Tate (damn, I do so fancy a women who can make me laugh). Hopefully the genius comic creations that are, Nan, Lauren: "Am I bothered though?", the genius "I dunno!" couple, the over-protective new mum: "Shut up and drive you evil little dwarf", the psychotic woman: "..give 'im a good stiff back 'ander..." and loads more. Truly inspired writing skills sometimes fail to hit the mark every time but that's only because they themselves have set their own standards so high. I think the DVD of the first series is due out around now. Cue continuity, and go continuity: "(slight but contained laugh), And viewers may interested to know that the first series of The Catherine Tate Show is now available on DVD and video cassette from all good retailers."
BBC2 22:00 - 22:30
Absolute Power (Series 2)
I have to admit to missing all but the odd scene of the first series this. Another Radio 4 graduate isn't it? It stars Stephen Fry so that's all you need to know really. The only superior itillectual on the planet that insists on being clever all the time and yet never comes across in the least bit arrogant or prigish. Fry co-stars with John Bird as a pair of PR agents. Though not quite as starry as Extras, this also features some famous guests in the shape of James Fox and Philip Schofield. Well, It was probably all the agency had left that week.
What unites all the participants here besides their obvious talent and skill is their humility. We don't do 'Big-Superstar-With-Bus-Full-Of-PR's-And-Minders' in this country particularly well. We do, however, know how to keep our heads down and get on with the job.
Shame the 'beeb' can't be bothered to update Tate or Absolute Power's respective pages - odd.
Other worthy mentions should also go to the following (many others for sure but these are the first to spring to mind - clearly I have problems with long term memory!):
The Thick Of It
The Mighty Boosh
Around The World In 80 Treasures
A Picture Of Britain (not to be confused with the recent superficial, pedestrian, and frankly, shite affair from Alan Titchmarsh. Rumours of a new BBC channel for old dears and housewives called BBCTit remain unconfirmed at present, however dumbing-down still remains a top priority it would seem - evidence to follow.)
Of course you could always pretend to be so cool by going down the pub and pretending not to have known it was on but if you don't set the video before you leave you're a complete nob. Soak up the diverse brilliance that is British comedy and see why we are the envy of the world. Say what you will about the BBC and us 'investors' but when it comes making good tv it takes more than trying to please this weeks commercial sponsor to make a hit - Government pressure not-withstanding. Well you can't have it all can ya?
Let's hope I'm not building this up too much, but then, even a bad night on BBC2 is better than a week of SKY or ITV. I'm off again get another bucket...........no the big one.