Daily Archives: August 27, 2010

Ultimate Big Brother: Welcome back to the house of fun

There’s nothing I like on Big Brother more than a bit of True Romance. Which is why I stopped watching during the Josie/John James nonsense. Romance? Fauxmance, showmance, nomance. Josie is probably not as horrible as I think she is, but she’s certainly not as “lovely” as her Big Brother legend has recently portrayed her (conveniently forgetting the almighty strops, sulks and manipulative behaviour that reduced Caoimhe to tears more than once).

Anyway, she’s gone (hurrah!) which means I can enjoy Ultimate Big Brother properly now. And there’s a lot to enjoy. Nadia, for a start. There’s a woman who tells it like it is, but not to the point of cruelty. Then there’s the tragedy of Chantelle and Preston. She obviously loves the bones of him (and what’s not to love?), and they’re both really sad about the end of their marriage. Will he end up having to get the tattoo of his current girlfriend’s name lasered off his leg? Watch this space. Or rather, watch the space on Preston’s leg.

Brian Dowling is a less shrieky, more confident version of his former self, but he’s still reliable for a bitchy comment. John McCririck is totally cringeworthy, but sometimes (like when he demolished Makosi’s entire religious belief system with a few well-chosen words) he’s quite fabulous.

Apparently Michelle “No naked jacuzzis!” Bass and someone called Victor (I vaguely remember him) are supposed to be going in to a secret room tonight, to join the house proper at some point. ¬†Add in a choice bit of meddling by the Tree of Temptation, and it’s all brewing up very nicely.

Posted by PLA

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Kick ass women: Sharon Gless

I love it when someone I admired from the deep recesses of my youth re-emerges, oh so many years later, in a fabulous role. My recent conversion (thank you Jo the Hat) to Burn Notice has brought the marvellous performance of Sharon Gless as Madeline, chain-smoking doyenne of Miami and mother of ‘burned’ spy Michael to my attention. Ms Hat writes beautifully of the many merits of the show, but I wanted to shine a spotlight on the entirely dysfunctional, yet very likeable, Madeline. In an era when you never even see a bad guy smoking on-screen anymore, this woman manages to puff away continuously, in every scene, even when she’s ‘working-out’ in front of a video. My eyes water just watching her.

So why does a dysfunctional, nicotine-addicted mother get to be a kick ass woman? In short because it’s Sharon Gless and she plays it so well. How many gorgeous, but not surgically enhanced, older women do we ever get to see on our screens? The other kick ass woman on the show is Fi, played by Gabrielle Anwar. And she is marvellously impressive as a capable woman to be sure, what with her resourceful way with explosives, love of big guns and shooting people. But I can’t bring myself to put her on a pedestal. She’d get blown off by a sea breeze anyway – she’s scarily thin which makes her no kind of role model in my world.

The show is wittily and smartly written, and Madeline’s relationship with her son (as well as his friends, particularly louche but adorable side-kick Sam Axe) is complicated and develops as the series progress. One of my favourite scenes is when she takes Michael along to a session with her therapist and they bat differing versions of their messed-up family history back and forth in a way which manages to be both realistic and highly amusing.

So Sharon Gless as Madeline Westen is great in its own right. But add that to her glorious portrayal of Christine Cagney, alongside Tyne Daly (and rumour has it we’ll be seeing her making a guest appearance on Burn Notice soon) in the iconic 1980s cop show, Cagney and Lacey, and the woman is a kick ass woman to the bone.

Posted by Inkface

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