We’ve got interminable football followed by Wimbledon followed by the Olympics. I’m pleased the England boys and girls are doing so well in Euro 2012, not that we’re seeing quite so much screechy pub activity when the women’s team are kicking ass. But, in general, this is not a great time for those of us for whom PE lessons were a time of unspeakable horror. So what can you do? Box sets can come into their own during these dark times. I’ve been watching (daft crime writer/detective) Castle and (daft medical/flirt fest follow up to Gray’s Anatomy) Private Practice with some Frasier thrown in for good measure. Of those three, Frasier is the only one I’d describe as high calibre, but even the other two are moderately entertaining, and none of them feature sweaty grown men in bad ponytails running around a field.
Sport messes with the telly schedules which is profoundly irritating to the many millions of people whose good mental health relies on their soaps being reassuringly regular.
But there are some things that have been well worth tuning into nonetheless. Having (unexpectedly) enjoyed the ‘early Morse’ prequel Endeavour earlier in the year, which starred the adorable Shaun Evans (see above), it was pleasing to see him turn up in high class BBC barrister soap Silk as Maxine Peake’s able pupil (well, technically Rupert Penry Jones’ pupil, but they did a swap).
The last episode of Silk was gripping, with Neil Stuke doing an excellent turn, and it was very good news that there will be another series.
I’m keeping an eye on several Channel 4 series, Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23, which is pretty entertaining. Revenge is pleasantly diverting story of Machiavellian misbehaving in the Hamptons (that will, for me, always conjure up an image of James Taylor singing to Carly Simon in the dunes, but I digress). Revenge stars the pretty Emily VanKamp, last seen in Brothers and Sisters, as Emily Thorne (AKA Amanda Clarke). The premise is that she has supposedly returned to the place she grew up, in order to avenge her father, who, when she was but a wee motherless girl, was shafted and imprisoned by a conspiracy of his ‘friends’, including his lover, all of whom are members of the swanky Hamptons elite. What’s most odd is that everybody she comes across as a polished, swanky adult knew her very well as a child, and yet apparently no-one recognises her (except a labrador who must be about 3,000 in dog years). It’s all a bit daft, but it’s engaging enough and Madeleine Stowe makes such a superb superbitch/controlling mother from hell, you could almost imagine her on the set of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, and no greater compliment can I give any actor.
Portraying the other end of the American social spectrum is another recent import, the cartoon series, Bob’s Burgers. It captures the dynamics of Bob Belcher and his odd (but realistic) family with beautifully observed sharpness. There’s no bodies beautiful here. Smart and top notch and funny, it reeks of old hamburger grease, failure and thwarted longing. The perfect antidote to the football.
If you’ve got any suggestions, dear reader, as to good things to watch than don’t involve men in shorts or women grunting, do please share with the group.
Posted by Inkface