Friday, March 27, 2009


You have to question the state of modern television when some of it's finest programmes are generally about how crappy the medium can be. Although you could argue that Harry Hill's TV Burp is essentially a vehicle for mainstreaming the madcap comedian's lunatic shtick there's no denying it remains a well aimed and pretty funny show.

Better still is Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe which doesn't just na
vel gaze the idiocy of the industry but repeatedly pummels it in the proverbial gut. To be fair he also gives praise where praise is due and if anything it's a very British primal scream at a medium that resonates such nostalgia in people like myself, promises so much, yet routinely disappoints if you're looking for anything above the level of repetitious mediocrity these days.

It's also one of my favourite shows of the past gawd-knows-how-many years and it's perhaps only the BBC who would commission and continue to produce a programme that red flags the dubious nature of much of it's own content

Well Brooker is back with a brand new season of a Screenwipe offshoot - Newswipe. Once again it's a acerbic, satirical but ultimately razor-sharp examination of the way news media has become a lazy, twisty, turny, truth-stretching Machiavellian in the living-room corner.

Whilst we're talking about a BBC series well worth catching let me also swiftly recommend something new from a similarly subversive individual of a slightly more mature vintage : Alan Whicker's Journey of A Lifetime. What could have been another cheap-jack talking head clip-show is elevated to an elegant tribute to the man himself as the intrepid well-traveled Whicker revisits the locations and subjects of his most-fondly remembered shows from his last 50-odd years as a broadcaster...

A true, one-of-kind legend, it's always a pleasure to spend some time in the gentleman's company and retracing his televisual steps in this fantastic series is no exception.


Post a Comment

<< Home