|We're going through changes|
I got the new fangled Sky+ TV guide on Thursday and though my brain is au fait with the new functionality, my fingers still keep pressing the old buttons so that when I want to access the Sky Planner I actually get the second menu screen. In a way this is quite good because I can't think of too many occasions when I'll visit this page. What it could lead to is the ghettoisation of channels.
My deft little fingers have muscle memory in them so I don't so much know the numbers of my favourite channels but my fingers do, if you know what I mean. This can lead to problems. A few years back, early in my relationship with my girlfriend, I keyed in the number for Men & Motors without even thinking about it and this caused hoots of derision from my good lady, this in the days when Men & Motors offered other forms of entertainment other than seventies cop shows and petrolhead telly.
I'm all for a good renumbering but what I really want is to be able to choose my own numbers. While Sky doesn’t let us do that just yet there is now a menu for favourite channels, far more useful than that blue button functionality. Again though I fear I will get hooked on this useful addition to the detriment of catching good shows on more obscure channels. This update could be good news in terms of usability and bad in terms of viewing diversity.
If I were the boss of a minority channel, I'd be dead worried.
I must say though, I find Sky+ far more usable than either of my Freeview boxes and my IDTV, all of which can be painfully frustrating to use.
In my kitchen, where we have to use an internal aerial, Freeview signals seem to be unable to permeate the walls, particularly frustrating as in the office, just feet away we can receive every channel through a bent coat hanger.
We did manage to get BBC News24 in the kitchen but that involved standing on a stool with one arm in the air and as Peter Sissons came out looking more like Max Headroom anyway, we decided it wasn't worth the effort. Even DAB signals fail to get through unless you perch the radio on top of the sink and shove the aerial out of window. It’s not really worth the effort just to listen to Jeremy Vine.
Turning up like a bad ha’penny
Shameless is really managing to live up to its name. The episode concerning the death of Kev's mum managed to puncture nearly all of television's taboos.
Actor Paul Copley has been a familiar face on British television for decades. Now more than just his face is famous following a highly amusing turn as naturist and sexual deviant Norman, who popped up as the latest unsuitable man in Carol’s life.
While his dangly bits threatened to take centre stage, the stand out performance came from Jill Halfpenny who was far more convincing as a violent sociopath than her ex-soap hubby Phil Mitchell could ever hope to be. She was on cracking form as the vengeful Roxy. A part in Bad Girls may be beckoning but I think she should return to Corrie to stalk Gail. Mind you she’ll have to get in the queue.
Wogan Now and Then seemed like a good idea on paper but what this show really does is remind us that our Tel is far better on radio than he ever was on the telly. The old codger is far more entertaining when talking rather than listening and I reckon a discussion show rather than a chat show would better suit his undoubted talents.
That said it was great see Freddie Starr again though I still don't see what's so great about Jon Culshaw. Who needs a comedy version of the Prime Minister when it’s so easy to laugh at the real one?
If UKTV Gold is gradually repositioning itself as a general entertainment channel rather than a nostalgia one, I’d love a new channel showing the stuff they used to have on in the good old days. A bit of classic black & white Doctor Who wouldn’t go amiss and few repeats of The Goodies would be most welcome too.
Better than the programmes
There are always a few amusing moments on Commercial Breakdown but only in actual adverts. The links are normally worth fast-forwarding over. Indeed they’ve never managed to get the right presenter for this since Jasper Carrott, with the likes of Patrick Kielty, Ruby Wax and Jo Brand and now Jon Culshaw all failing to cut the mustard.
Culshaw’s unfunny gags are punctuated with his array of voices but he’s about as funny as that office bore who won’t stop doing Little Britain impressions.
Where’s Clive James when you really need him?
Nobody likes change
It's a time of great change at EastEnders and it may well be that not all the new faces will bed in. I’m still unconvinced that Honey is a good addition while Deano is just annoying at present, though things may improve when the rest of Wicks clan appear.
Making a spectacular impact has been Bradley, grandson to Jin Branning and a nice light character that fills a gap in the show. This being Albert Square though he was only into his second episode before the Walford police had him banged on trumped up charges. They'll be charging him with Dennis’s murder next, except they won't because everyone seems to have forgotten all about it.
Some people tell me they don't like the Millers but I think they take the show back to its roots. I was amazed at how quickly Garry And Minty allowed the shabby Keith into their home. Surely they could have put him through a sheep dip first.
Meanwhile Mickey’s voice seems to get huskier and huskier. If we’re not careful we'll soon be down to Beppe levels of inaudibility and that would never do.
I think the aliens from Invasion of the Body Snatchers may be at work in Walford. How else can we explain Yolande's total personality transplant?
|All in the family|
Incidentally my spell checker didn’t recognise the word ’Emmerdale’ and tried to change it to ‘remedial’. Hmmm.
Life on Mars continues to push all the right nostalgia buttons.
I remember the excitement of cracking open the old Party Seven cans. What the show failed to convey was just how unpalatable and gassy the beer within them usually was.
The test card girl is really creepy though and I'm glad that they've managed to keep the tension going. Hats off to John Simm, as the nature of the show requires him to be in every scene, which is a big responsibility. Phillip Glenister is doing a remarkable job as bullyboy detective Gene Hunt, giving what could have been a two-dimensional character just the right amount of depth. He's becoming worryingly likeable.