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Friday, 25 December 2015

Chrimbo Reviews and the like Part 1

The Television.

You should know the drill by now, we get to review some of the greatest hits of the year on the box and that I've seen and dish out our Miranda awards for the most shite, waste of time there is.

The Good.

Not an awful lot to go on this year but what there is has a mostly supernatural bent to it.

The Enfield Haunting.  Sky One.

An excellent version of the classic poltergeist haunting back in 1977, with the excellent Matthew Macfadyen as Guy Lyon Playfair paranormal investigator and Timothy Spall as Maurice Gross who first logged the case.
There was a bit of carping from the real Guy in Fortean Times after it aired, saying  how they missed some of  the events out and that.  To be fair its probably my pick of the year, its all down to the genuinely grotty 1970's atmosphere it invoked and some excellent acting from both the girls in this.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Sky Atlantic.

A full on expose of Scientology from the people who were ensnared by this vicious and quite loopy cult. The UK arm is located at East Grinstead with satellite offices by Goodge street tube and a big cunting building on the South Bank, but in the US its Clearwater.  Its largely talking heads, but infinitely fascinating, seeing the sheer amount of cash suckered out of those seeking enlightenment and with many archive clips to back it up.
Wisely it shows archive clips of L Ron Hubbard as a deeply unlikeable control freak and nutcase (which he was) and his fantasist writings.  There is a lesser version of this on Channel 5 about escaping both Scientology and the Jehovah's Witnesses that's also worth a look too. 

Jekyll and Hyde.  ITV.

Its really been ITV's year, with the BBC looking increasingly run down, despite their better online prescence (ITV Player can do one) and a flashy new on line store for old beeb clips.  Been enjoying this much more than this seasons Dr. Who, more of which later.   Focusing on the son of Hyde rather than the original it brings the story forward to the 1920's which gives it much  needed atmosphere.  There have been some moans about how its too creepy for kids and I will concede that there is some scenes in this that are pretty near the mark.  Numerous shots of Lord Dance with his transparent skin and later on his mangled corpse are probably not what you want little kids seeing, but older kids and grown ups will certainly lap it up. 

My favourites are two female characters Natalie Gumede as Bella a nightclub owner a sort of proto version of Shirley Bassey with a nice line in attitude and Hils a secretary who just looks the part of twenties jolly hockey sticks.  ITV have spent big on  this and are doing their darndest to reschedule this out of all context and the like.

Finally I think Eastenders have been peeking at my sideboard when doing there nativity, along with shoehorning in some Islam into their version (didn't happen for another 500 years motherfuckers) but they are going on about elves and goblins and lobsters.
Jesus sacrificed to the dark, old, Gods so the sun can rise.
Done that and bought the T. Shirt if you want licensing  I can do unreasonable rates.

Other noted highlights Michelle Dockery on Japan, and the brave, crazy old ladies catching sea snakes with their bare hands in the pitch black from this is definitely worth a mention. 

Unforgotten, with its nice theme tune (reminds me of Himmel by Barbara Morgernstern) and multi threaded storytelling bottoming out with a lame cop out ending.  On a side note can Sanjeev Bhaksar have his own cop show, I don't care if he's cast as an Asian equivalent as Frost, as he was boss in this.

Finally a Kenny Everett documentary on ITV showing what a genius he was, cut up pioneer, wacky comedian, and maverick, still miss you Ken.

Miranda Awards.

Citizen Khan.

Because this is really quite vile. An unfunny sitcom with an Islamic Patriarch in place of the regular white patriarch head of family role.  Some one really should have added some jokes instead of giving us this "wrong on" comedy.  I'm not racist but Goodness Gracious Me did it better, a lot better.

Last nights Mastermind Celebrity edition, complete with a tranny, some black dude, Badly Drawn boy and a useless cunt.   The tranny won, she / he / it had her own sitcom on BBC which was uncomfortable and right on.

Dr Who. Which apart from making Arya Stark immortal and killing off Clara (oh come on its common knowledge) has been running on empty this past season.  The doctor has some stupid sonic shades, a penchant for playing guitar and as a rip off of Sun Wu Kong is trapped inside the war record for 1 billion years.  Its had highlights and that but, to be honest this season has sucked.

Midwinter Of The Spirit.

If you like Christianity and Exorcism then this is pretty much up your alley as its based on some old novels, if you are Atheist like me you'll find this drama grates very soon.  Anna Maxwell is the new vicar at some creepy old village in the country, plagued by a newly dead Jimmy Saville style satanist.  There is the bloke from Shameless as her mentor and lets stop as its bastard awful.  There's some nonsense about reconsecrating a saint before some fortune teller / mad woman brainwashes her daughter and Dead Savilles daughter into killing an altar boy.  Oh and the black bishop is a secret satanist too.

Its bollocks, I would love to see a story about an atheist exorcist who punches ghosts / devils in the face while reciting passages of the God Delusion but apparently there isn't a show in this.

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