I dip in and out of the chlorine-scented Saturday night tosh that is Splash! There’s a kind of compellingly ghastly hypnotic draw to it. Once you switch it on, it’s hard to leave. Thank god, at least, for the ad breaks. They force me to switch channels. Especially the Wickes ad. Someone told me on Twitter that the really annoying voiceover is by the lovely Timothy Spall. How COULD he? I don’t mind the earning of filthy lucre one bit, just not by means of adverts that make me want to rip my own brain out.
One thing I quickly concluded, watching Splash!, was that Vernon Kay and Tess Daly are entirely suited to each other, in terms of their taste in clothes anyway (they are married to each other aren’t they, I’m not fantasising this?).
The choice of swimming costume that is chosen for each celeb – bling, cut-away or cover-all – depending on their age and shape – holds a gruesome fascination, for a few minutes at least. Jo Brand is always marvellous wherever she is. And I may never fully recover my pelvic floor control after watching Helen Lederer being slid into the pool on a large mat by ‘tiny trunks’ Tom Daley. My favourite tweet about Splash! said something like, ‘this is what we thought the Olympics were going to be like’.
But there are some good series around that are worth watching when you’re snuggled up on the sofa on these chilly, snowy days. My absolute favourite is the fantastic Danish drama, Borgen, back for a second series on BBC4. Coalition politics are even more scary than semi-nude celebs arsing about on diving boards. But frankly I don’t feel I can do better than the Guardian episode by episode blog for that. The pretty good Revenge is back on Channel 4 for a second series. Ripper Street (BBC1) is enjoyable as an ‘early policing of the mean streets of Victorian London’ sort of thing with added Holmes-like detective work and deductions (and music and costumes) and some new fangled autopsy work. Plus, I have a very soft spot for Matthew Macfadyen, even in the rather dodgy checked suits he wears in this.
Spies of Warsaw (BBC4) wasn’t uniformly brilliant but it had its moments. I was moved, at the end, recognising just how appalling the consequences of events of the Second World War had been for the citizens of Warsaw and Poland. Horrific. And for those who are as shallow as me, you also get a lots of David Tennant, sometimes in uniform, and, for one brief moment, in the shower.
Then, my fellow blogger, the lovely Jo the Hat, alerted me to how cheap some fantastic old TV dramas are to buy on DVD at the moment if you shop around. So she and I have been very much been enjoying a return to viewing the beautiful Rufus Sewell as Seth Starkadder in the superlative 1996 adaptation of Stella Gibbons deliciously wicked and funny 1930s novel Cold Comfort Farm. Directed by John Schlesinger, it’s got a cracking cast. Kate ‘Robert Post’s child’ Beckinsale as problem solving orphan, Flora Post, then there’s Ian McKellen, Eileen Atkins, Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes, all giving magnificent performances. I live in Sussex, and so I’ve been enjoying recognising locations around the village of Brightling, where it’s set. It takes the piss out of sentimental portrayals of bucolic life beautifully. Incest, filth and muck amongst the slurry. There’s definitely something nasty in the woodshed.
I have also been rewatching Middlemarch, which may or may not relate to Rufus Sewell simmering away darkly and gorgeously as Will Ladislaw. Also very good are Juliet Aubrey as Dorothea and Douglas Hodge as Dr Tertius Lydgate. Beautiful telly, well worth a view.
Keep warm out there.
Posted by Inkface