The thing about Prague

March 25, 2010

“The thing about Prague is it’s where Satan came out of the ground.”

So says Fred, demonologist (quite a title) on Most Haunted Live: Gothic Prague – The Evil Within (also quite a title).

Just a run of the mill comment on a show which is Blair Witch meets reality TV with scrolling text messages from the nation’s viewers thrown in. (Louise in Woking’s lights dimmed when something happened on screen. Spooky.)


Let’s bounce

January 21, 2010

“And I’m like, give me 3 yards. Let’s bounce.”

“But is it ‘oh my gosh’ or ‘OH MY GOD’?”

“I think of my look as Holly Golightly goes to a Salvador Dali exhibit.”

“It looks like toilet paper caught in a wind storm.”

(Those Project Runway folk sure know how to stitch words together.)

Kashmir Mafia

January 14, 2009

“I’ve bought the DVD of Kashmir Mafia,” Steven told me. I nodded vaguely. A film about separatist fighters in the disputed Himalayan region, by the sounds of it. An unusual choice, for sure, but possibly interesting.

“It’s by Darren Star,” he explained. That seemed a little odd. A bit of a departure for the Starmeister after Sex & The City.

My eyes fell on the box. It was spelt slightly differently to how I’d imagined.

“Cashmere Mafia” to be precise. A TV show about four women in New York. Not such a departure after all.

Remote control freak

January 13, 2009

I merely offered to help set the digibox to record something tomorrow. But I liked the moniker which Steven came up with for me.

I guess there’s one in every couple. And I guess in our couple it’s me. I’m not too keen on the channel selection responsibility. But I do like to be able to make tiny but vital adjustments to the volume.

Most smartest

January 9, 2009

The latest discovery in the Wordage & Gym Class household is TMF, MTV’s freebie channel. As well as established classics such as the Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency (9pm), we’ve been introduced to some other gems including I Know My Kid’s A Star in which pushy parents fight over whose children are more talented (7pm), and America’s Most Smartest Model (the Most is an inspired touch) in which the teacher from Ferris Bueller asks a bunch of models questions (8pm). In one hilarious episode, the models had to eat cake if they got a question wrong, which was like torture for the poor lambs. Tonight, the “fat” (i.e. he actually has some) guy got kicked out which is probably all for the best as he was starting to believe the fat hype. Naturally they broke the news to him with a quip about fat ladies singing.

As fabulous as all this is, I actually prefer my reality TV homegrown, and so have been switching back to Channel 4 for Celebrity Big Brother. With a wide-eyed Latoya Jackson, a potty-mouthed actress off Shameless and Coolio going out of his way to piss everybody off, it’s as brilliant as always.

So our routine is currently America’s Most Smartest Model at 8pm, followed by Celebrity Big Brother at 9pm.

Something for everyone. That’s the secret of a harmonious household, kids.

I fancy The Vicar in the 3.20

November 22, 2008

A Saturday morning after the night before is all about the T4, programming for the young slash hungover. But if you get up too early, you’re greeted by the Morning Line, in which a bunch of horse people preview the day’s racing. It’s great! A motley crew of gamblers, bookies, ex-jockeys, fat racehorse owners in tweed and the kind of haggard middle-aged guys who spend their lives propping up the bar in market town pubs. Except these guys get to have their pub conversations on TV. What’s not to like! And when they interview racing folk at the track, it’s a fascinating glimpse into an almost feudal world with slightly seedy edges. Or maybe I just read too many of my mum’s Dick Francis novels when I was a kid…

Just watched the first episode of a Dawkins documentary about Darwin. The theory of evolution was explained pretty well, which it often isn’t. In fact, I think the badness of standard explanations accounts for the suspicion which with the theory is treated. I certainly remember thinking it sounded a little half-baked after getting a half-baked explanation at school – it all seemed a bit suspicious that evolution was throwing up all these useful variations. It was only several years (and a bit of maths) later that I got my head round the idea that the variations are random – most of them being completely useless – and that the useful ones only stick around because the animals with those ones are more likely to survive long enough to breed.

Of course Dawkins, being Dawkins, puts the scepticism  down to the religion vs science debate, making out that you can only believe in one or the other. But I’m sure there are lots of Christians out there who also believe in evolution – probably the very same Christians who don’t think it’s wrong for a man to lie with another man just because it said so in a very old book.


January 7, 2008

Big Brother. So addictive. In the UK, this year’s Celebrity Big Brother was shelved due to the Racism Row of last year, so instead we have Big Brother Celebrity Hijack where celebrities, no longer trusted to be contestants, take turns to be Big Brother. The contestants, meanwhile, are all 18-21 year olds of “exceptional talent”.

On the minus side, there’s something about seeing all these ridiculously successful youngsters that makes you feel immediately old and inadequate. This was made even worse when the Fashion Designer told the Singer/Songwriter that he’d heard he was “stoosh”. Great. Not only was I never going to be as successful as these people, it now turned out I was too old even to speak their language. (For those in my age-group, “stoosh” means stuck-up and rude – from a brief Googling, it appears to come from a Jamaican word for “classy”.)

On the plus side, however, the contestants’ highly competitve natures make it highly likely that they’ll soon be at each other’s throats. And the Boxer and the Circus Performer are kind of easy on the eye.


January 6, 2008

Watched an amazing documentary last night about how close we came to going out in a shower of nuclear missiles back in 1983. People on both sides talked frankly about the circumstances that led the Russians to believe (mistakenly) that the Americans were about to launch an all-out attack. 

The 90 minute show was accompanied with enough classic 80s pop to take an oldie like me right back. It also made liberal use of the “reconstruction”, a device I’ve always hated before, but one that seemed to work here – I think because we didn’t hear the “actors” talk, we just saw them pretending to be spies/soldiers/politicians while the real spies/soldiers/politicians talked over them. 

But someone involved in the reconstructions was having a laugh. When a Russian spy had to type a code into his calculator transmitting device, the number was 55378008. I recognised it instantly, of course. It won’t work on your iPhone calculator because the numbers are too round, but as kids we were endlessly amused by tapping it into our LCD (or even LED) calculators and turning it upside down to read “BOOBLESS”.

‘Ave it!

May 31, 2007

Once upon a time, back in the nineties, I was young enough to go out dancing to music with “repetitive beats”, to steal a phrase from the Government legislation of that era designed to curb such errant behaviour. Young enough to get trashed, overdo it, stay up all night and feel rather worse for wear afterwards.

This was known, in those days, as “larging it”, or “‘aving it large”. Even back then, the phrase was always a bit self-mocking, accompanied by exaggerated faux-dance arm movements.

Anyway, we all eventually moved on, and I just kind of assumed the language did too. Not so.

Enter Tracey, one of the inmates in this year’s UK Big Brother. Tracy is a hippy raver – or to use her quaint rhyming slang, “cheesy quaver”. We’ve only seen her arrival so far, but judging by that, her vocabulary consists mostly of the single phrase:

“‘Ave it!” (The exclamation mark is justified. She definitely exclaims it.)

OK, so it’s shortened over the years, as phrases do, but its origins are clear. The arm movements have evolved too, but they’re still part of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Big Brother addict. I just have to get this uploaded before the second episode starts in four minutes…