Posts Tagged ‘television’

Somebody. Please! Just... turn... it... off......

Somebody. Please! Just... turn... it... off......

As acknowledged weeks ago, Bruce and Fran held out little hope of Masterchef Australia replacing the hefty hole left by Biggest Loser. The main issue then was the levels of arrogance displayed by the three male hosts. In the ensuing weeks, the pain of watching them has been intensified by Channel Ten’s presentation – essentially an inability to allow a sentence to end without pausing for




dramatic effect then foisting Real Stock ads on us.

It’s started to impinge on everyday life. Before adding milk to his coffee in the morning Bruce has to open the door of the fridge, look inside pensively, then grab one of the free ad rags stuffed into his picket fence and spend three minutes flicking through it before finally deciding that, yes, he will put the milk into his coffee. Fran, on the other hand, has started talking to herself. It begins with the morning alarm clock:

“Now Fran, it’s 6.15am, that was your first alarm call. It means that later on this morning you are going to have to get up and go to school,” she says, before depressing the snooze button and adding: “You now have five minutes to go. That’s five minutes to go.” At which point, Bruce has to restrain himself from turning over and smashing her annoying, bald little head with his fist.*

Sadly, the program has become to them what COPS was in the early 1990s to Bill Hicks: the sore tooth that you can’t stop touching. Every time Mini-Me appears with his snear and yells some inane encouragement (yesterday to declare that the reputation of Australia itself rested on their ability to make dim sum) or Jabba the Hutt does another impersonation of the over-indulged eight-year-old posh kid trying to please mummy before morphing into a lecherous version of the lizards in Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas‘ acid-tripping bar scene, Bruce begins yelling while Fran starts writhing uncomfortably on the sofa next to him like a smack addict convinced there’s something under her skin.


At least Police Chief Wiggum appears to have settled into his role, revealing a pleasant, encouraging nature and a willingness to leave the scripted, excruciatingly pointless, tension-building links to his co-hosts.

According to a TV column by Debbie Schipp in yesterday’s Herald Sun the Twittersphere is awash with people commenting on the show. Who can blame the Twits? After all, if you’re full enough of your own self-importance to believe people need to know your every thought (says the blogger – oh the delicious irony…), then why not emit your shrieks of despair and anger in 140 characters or less: “GET YOUR FACE OUT OF THAT PLATE, YOU BALD SLOB!” perhaps or “WHEN’S PRESTON’S LIZARD TONGUE GOING TO FLICK OUT AND GRAB THAT SPARE SPRING ROLL?”, even “SOMEONE PLEASE COME AND PLUNGE A STEAK (sic) THROUGH MY HEART”.

But hold on – apparently that’s not what they’re saying. Oh no, there’s a group of people discussing Preston’s cravats; one columnist apparently would like to marry him. She should talk to Fran, who’s taken to watching it with a sick bowl close at hand for the moments when he attempts to smile and/or slurp up an extra piece of food.

That said, who didn’t smile when Simple Sam won last night’s dim sum challenge, hey? And, according to my watch it’s only 275 minutes until tonight’s eliminator. Gives me plenty of time to poke this sore tooth. Ow…

[* She’s not bald]

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The End is Nigh!

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Revelations, 19:20

Earnestly and often have British hands been wrung over what to do about the superiority on the sporting field Australians enjoy over our own ailing teams.

“Put more money into grass roots coaching,” the powers-that-be cry.

“No, build centres of excellence in Burton-on-Trent,” shout others.

“Surely we need to increase the hours they play sport in school,” say educationalists.

“Give them all performance-enhancing drugs,” say the wise and the Americans.

“They’ve got better weather,” says John Kettley.

Well, I’ve seen the light – there is another way: pipe Australian TV into every British home.

“How could that possibly help?” you holler.

Simple, everyone will go running into their streets demanding that they never have to endure such torture again.

“But surely in a country raised on James Nesbitt’s unbearably smug grin, Billie Piper’s talentless omnipresence, Simon Cowell’s too-accurate-to-be-an-impression impression of Satan and 400 variations on You’re a Fat Bitch and Nobody’s Ever Going to Love You, Now Please Cry for the Camera and Show Me Your Poo, nobody has any taste left. Surely the critical function of the great masses has gone the way of the dodo and opposable thumbs on possums?” you say.

Abandon hope

Seriously people, I would have thought the same. But, believe me. Television in the UK is like the peak of the Renaissance in comparison. All of the worst British period dramas and soaps are shown on ABC anyway, I’m A Celebrity is being shown TWO YEARS after it was on in the UK so you can’t even vote and Big Brother manages to be even less watchable. Other highlights include:

  • Breakfast television not in any way subtley switching to paid-for ad features

“So Geoff, from Butt Tweezers Inc, do your tweezers really clear butt hair better than every other butt tweezer on the market?”

“Well, Eliza, yes. Although there are no other butt tweezers on the market as yet. Our butt tweezers, available from all major chemists and supermarkets, come with a three-year no rust guarantee. And, if you buy now you get a free periscope for watching over your shoulder while picking at those tricky in-growing hairs.”

“Wow, that’s amazing Geoff from Butt Tweezers Inc, I sure know how awkward those little buggers can be.”

And so on. Every fifteen minutes. Presented as if it’s a slot in the show. Jesus.

  • Sam Newman makes Rodney Marsh seem reconstructed (Edit: but he has since been booted off the Footy Show. Perhaps Sky Sports would like to take notice?)
  • The adverts. Three breaks in South Park – which is only 22 minutes long! And in films they’re like the signs at Disneyland. There, they tell you the wait will be 45 minutes when you’re only 20 minutes from the front of the queue so that even though you’ve had to wait 20 minutes to sit in a little boat for five minutes while a bunch of wailing mannequins assault your eardrums you think you’ve done well.

Bruce and Fran sat down for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade the other night, deciding to brave the ads. The programmers gave them the first 25 minutes ad-free.

“That’s good,” they said in unison. “Must be showing some respect for Indy.”

By the time the last half hour came around and it was getting past bed time, it was ridiculous.

    “Hey, Junior,” shouted Sean Connery.

    “Yes, d-“

    CUT to ad break… “This movie, in fact everything you see on this TV is sponsored by Toyota and Carlton Draught.” “Hey, what about us at Harvey Norman?”

    “-ad?” said Indiana. “And stop ca-“

    CUT to ad break… “So get on down to your local Holden dealer for our 60th anniversary sale.”

    “-lling me J-“

    CUT to ad break… “With Butt Tweezers Inc’s patented flexi-grip, you too can be free of…”

    And so on.

    • “Hard-hitting” current affairs programmes – Today Tonight, 60 Minutes – are as hard-hitting as Watch With Mother

    So, with the London Olympics around the corner and Britain’s one decent runner tainted by drug allegations, time is running out to find the next generation of medallists. Just follow the example of the good folk Down Under and British sprogs will be running for the playing fields whatever the weather and the Ashes will soon be heading North.

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