Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Week in Telly 28th November-4th December

IT'S CHRISSSSSSSSSSTMAAAAAAAAS. Like tinsel it is. There will be none of that Christmas specials baubles around here for a while yet.

Doctor Who: The Space Pirates - Episode 3
Coming soon...

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
Man About the House 

A beach holiday is on the cards, much to the annoyance of Robin who would rather go skiing so he doesn't have to show off his pasty white skin. Larry flogs him a sun lamp he's bought off Mr Roper, who doesn't tell Mrs Roper. Robin spends most the episode in some very tiny shorts.

The A-Team
Pure-Dee Poison

Someone is supplying poisonous moonshine in a rural area. Small and/or rural areas really are the A-Team's speciality. The episode starts excitingly enough when a reverend comes into a bar and shoots up the moonshine. He is but one man though so calls in the A-Team who don their country cowboy-like gear and take up in one of the bars. The oddest part of the episode is B.A. striking up a sort-of romance with the reverend's daughter. I say sort-of because at a push they indulge in some light flirting, mainly coming from her because B.A. rarely seems to string a sentence together that doesn't end in the word 'sucker'. You can see it her eyes the way she looks at him but B.A. barely seems that bothered. Maybe she liked him because he's been stripped down to only one chain round his neck.

Man About the House

Robin's brother, Norman, comes to visit. They immediately ask the question we are thinking: why has Norman never been mentioned before? Norman is better than Robin at everything and when he turns up he invites Chrissy out for dinner. As Robin has been trying it on with Chrissy for six series it is abundantly clear why he's never brought up Norman before.

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!
Back in Time for Brixton

The family continue to move through the years, experiencing the lives of West Indian immigrants. We reached the 80s where the kids and I got to hear about the New Cross house fire, as well as the depiction of black people in the press at the time. This has been a great series and I only wish it had been expanded into more episodes, like the previous series.

School Swap: Korean Style

Three Welsh pupils head over to South Korea to experience a very different sort of school life. This turned out to be episode 1 of 3 but I am not sure I can be bothered to watch the rest. It definitely could have been condensed. In summary, the South Korean kids put in more hours and as a result are far more advanced than their Welsh counterparts. After school finishes many go to tuition, often until 10pm every night. As one of the Welsh students commented, I have to wonder just how happy the Korean children are. They aren't sleeping much, they don't have much in terms of social lives and at some point they must burn out. I am unsure it is worth the sacrifices.

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! x2
The A-Team
It's a Desert Out There

After a group of elderly day trippers get held up at gunpoint shortly after leaving a casino, the A-Team pay a visit and discover what's going on with a gang called 'The Scorpions'. I don't know why the gang felt they needed a name and I am baffled as to why they felt the need to shout it out to the geriatric gamblers, thus clearly identifying themselves from behind their covered faces.
A long time ago I heard someone describe B.A. as dressing 'like a children's TV presenter' and now that is what I hear every time he appears on screen. He had toned things down last episode, which clearly helped him pull, but he's back to normal now. The idea of B.A. being a shining example to young people seems utterly absurd; if nothing else he's incredibly rude. If you aren't familiar with it I feel it is my duty to share Mr T's single, 'Treat Your Mother Right'.

Man About the House x2

The final couple of episodes of Man About the House. This final sixth series has been interesting and the only change I would make is having Robin's brother, Norman, introduced at the start of it. Spoiler alert: he first appears in episode 5, he proposes to Chrissy in episode 6 and he marries her in episode 7. It is a pretty quick turn around but this is actually acknowledged in the show. We are told they have been seeing each other for a couple of months and the wedding invitations only go out a fortnight before the big day. I know, to use a word of my nan's, 'courtships' were shorter in the past, but by 1976? Only knowing each other for a couple of months - really? There are many things that have make Man About the House of its time but I think this one may just top it.
The wedding itself it held in a registry office, something I wasn't expecting but when I saw the set I immediately jumped to the conclusion that this was probably far cheaper than shooting in a church. Man About the House has rarely ventured on location and a church wedding would inevitably have blown the budget.
Robin has spent six series flirting with Chrissy but these six series are in fact only three years. When it's time for Norman and Chrissy to head off on their honeymoon to glorious sunny Scotland, everyone is offering goodbye kisses. Robin and Chrissy exchange a full on snog in front of friends, family and the groom. It's a wonderful what-might-have-been but I am glad they remained purely as friends.

One disappointment is that this is the end of Larry. Starting out as Robin's occasional dodgy-dealing mate, he appeared more regularly after taking the attic room upstairs. Having another bloke around did obviously completely alter the original series dynamic but this also kept the show fresher. Robin and Larry sometimes landed themselves or each other into trouble. The character of Larry also gave someone Robin could air his thoughts too on matters he wouldn't discuss with Chrissy or Jo.
One of Man About the House's spin-offs, George and Mildred seems to get repeated regularly on ITV3 so I will inevitably get round to it at some point. I am not wildly enthusiastic about it as, as I've touched on in other posts, George and Mildred's relationship frustrates me somewhat - though clearly not as much as it does Mildred. I am much keener to see the show's other spin-off, Robin's Nest, which I know has Robin running a cafe. I have never spotted it in the repeat schedules though so I may have to just take the plunge and order the box set.

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

The A-Team
Chopping Spree

Cars are being stolen then sold on, then stolen again and sold on and... you get the picture. The cars get chopped up so they can't be identified. In an attempt to catch the thieves the A-Team use Faceman's cherished custom Corvette. If driving round in a huge black van with red stripes on didn't make them stand out enough, Face has a white convertible sports car with red stripes. No wonder they had to be constantly on the move to escape the military police. The sting with the Corvette goes awry when, after jumping out of the van to catch the would-be-thief, the actual thieves jump in the van and drive off with it. It then becomes a race against time to find the van before it gets chopped into bits. This episode gives Face the opportunity to act as a used car salesman. For the A-Team's con man it should be the perfect gig but it amused me that Face actually got frustrated at having to do something so below his expertise. He also had to reign himself in a bit from being too good so his colleagues didn't get suspicious.

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!

Rugby Union: England vs Australia

No rugby on telly for me last week because, yet again, I was lucky enough to be at Twickenham, this time for England vs Argentina. That had been a pretty exciting game but it was nothing compared to Australia. England beat them on their home turf three weeks in a row during the summer. To make it four was a magnificent prospect. Nothing felt guaranteed and it was an abysmal start with Australia taking the lead. Both teams fought hard and it certainly was not an easy comeback for England but gradually the points built up. This was a thrilling end to England's year. Compare it with this time last year when England, the hosts, had been knocked out of the World Cup at the group stages. Everything felt rather bleak. This year has been a fantastic turn around; a grand slam win in the Six Nations, beating Australia four times and an entire year undefeated. Despite this there is still room for improvement and it will be interesting to see if this success can be maintained in 2017.

Tom Kerridge Cooks Christmas

I said there would be no Christmas specials yet and this doesn't count because it is basically just food porn. As a kid Christmas was obviously all about the presents but as an adult I get much more excited about all the food.

The Nation's Favourite Christmas Food

This repeat from 2003 is a hark back to when countdown shows were all over the TV schedules. They don't even tell us how these top ten Christmas foods were voted on. It could have just been the production team's office. Various celebrities talked about said foods and as most of them were chefs, took it in turns to suggest recipes. Two of the celebrities featured, Keith Floyd and Clarissa Dickson Wright, have in fact since passed away. Numerous others have long ceased to be regulars on telly so it was very much a show of 'Oh I remember him!' Unsurprisingly, turkey with all the trimmings came out top.

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here

It is finally over. I enjoyed most of it and it was nice to have such a happy camp for a change.

20 programmes
12 new
8 old

Best: Rugby Union: England vs Australia. Great fun from start to finish and I was elated with the result.

Worst: The Nation's Favourite Christmas Food. It was only background telly but even then I can't take any more dreadful countdown programmes.

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