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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Autumn viewing

Nancy Dell 'Ollio
As we look forward to the bitterly cold winter that we are promised,
the autumn TV viewing schedules are now in full swing.

Strictly Come Dancing as always launched with the predictable "best ever line-up." It's as predictable as the message "cooking doesn't get much tougher than this" over at Celebrity Masterchef.

The problem I see with SCD is that there's already one performer who is literally streets ahead of everyone else. Cheesy old Jason Donovan, who is determined to win. I can already see him in the final.

Holly Valance should probably also be there, but to my mind she comes across as lacking in energy. She doesn't fizz like the effervescent Chelsee Healey  (yes, I also asked "who?").

The most elegant dancer among the mature ladies is Anita Dobson, who is not only lithe and graceful but seems genuinely sweet. Lulu of course thought her experience and dynamism would make up for not knowing the steps in week 1 and was soundly punished. Nancy Dell 'Ollio, well, where do we start? She is apparently having regular hissy fits backstage, the latest being that she wanted to sue judge Bruno for saying it looked as if she had drunk a vat of champagne before her performance on Saturday.  (It did).

The thing with Nancy is that most of us think that when she says how fascinating and beautiful she is, she doesn't really mean it. But she actually does! The woman is completely delusional. J couldn't understand why she didn't get booted out right away, "because she's not a nice person." But that's exactly why she'll probably stay in for a while.

As for the others: well, Edina Currie severely over-egged the cougar bit and it became embarrassing, so that's why she went. I am worried about Russell Grant: I worry for his health and sanity. I love Robbie Savage. Beneath that brash extrerior, all teeth and hair and "I wuz a bad boy" he is quite vulnerable and couldn't believe the positive vibes his improved performance garnered. There's a couple of boring ones (to my mind) - Alex Jones and Dan Lobb from Daybreak. Oh and the drummer from McFly. But all in all, a compelling line-up!

Then there is Downton Abbey. Now I came late to this, having caught up with it when ITV repeated the first series a few months ago. Unfortunately, the new series is nowhere near as good. A lot of it makes me laugh outloud because it looks so much like the Comic Relief spoof. All those side glances.
The plot advances too quickly, like we're in a race. Lady Edith somehow managed to have a fling with a married man in the first episode which was history by the time the credits rolled.  After the acrimony in the first series created by upstart heir Matthew, we're suddenly led to believe that everyone adores him in the second series. And I'm fed up with the "will they won't they" business with him and Lady Mary. That's one bit of the plot that could advance.

A couple of other gems I am watching.  "The Department Store" is a fascinating little documentary on BBC 4. It's a gentle, wry look at three old-fashioned family-run department stores. The narrator says he is finding out if they will survive, but it's more about finding out about the people who run the stores. The first programme featured a store called Milner's and wondered if David Milner was serious about retiring at 65. Mr Milner is exactly the sort of mature employee who gives the over 60s a bad name. He was dogmatic, entirely resistant to change and unwilling to hand over the store to his daughter - exactly as his own father had refused to do with him. Even during his own retirement party, he slipped out to go back to work.

I really don't remember much about the pop group Steps so I was amazed to hear in Steps Reunion how they considered themselves to be about as big as the Beatles with numerous number one hits. They broke up amid acrimony over 10 years ago when Claire "serial dieter" Richards and the absurdly named "H" suddenly announced they were leaving, an hour before the last show.

As none of them has done much since then, "Steps Reunion" is a series that gives us the chance to witness them bitching and fighting about the break-up, with Lee even going so far as to magically produce H's resignation letter; and then presumably they kiss and make-up, because I see a tour has now been announced.  The series has been strangely compelling, though I feel a bit guilty for watching what J calls "proper rubbish."


Caroline said...

Haven't watched Strictly at all this year and don't intend to - just bored bored bored with the whole formula. X Factor, the same. Am enjoying Downton (though have only watched the first two eps of this series so far).
The Department Store sounds good, must have missed that one, but just looked it up and it's not available on iPlayer. Grrr!

Trevor said...

I feel the same as Caroline on this one....I am just so bored now with the 'competition formula'...and as for the loooooong pause on these type of shows before we are told who has 'survived' the vote - Oh dear it is just all so predictable.


Maggie May said...

Not surprised that Edwina went. She definitely shouldn't have tried to be sexy!
Nancy....... well what can I say except *grow up*!

I am watching because I still enjoy this programme and I agree that there are some people there who you know are going to win. I wish they would pick more equal dancers & not try & put in the obvious losers just for fun.
Maggie X

Nuts in May