Saturday 09 November 2013

There’s no problem with there being something on the TV that I don’t like. I am neither selfish nor unable to tune out and read or something. But I can’t cope with Masterchef Australia for much longer. My partner has been recording it on the Sky box for what seems like a hundred years. And it still doesn’t seem like its anywhere near finishing, there are more contestants remaining than there are at the start of the British one (I think, never watched it). “She was eliminated the other day but they’ve let her back in,” my partner explains as look at her wondering if this is all somehow affecting my gestating progeny.

THEY’RE LETTING PEOPLE BACK IN AFTER THEY’VE BEEN ELIMINATED? Why do the Australians always have to do things a bit differently? You can’t let people back in competitions…or they’re not really competitions. There needs to be some reduction in competitors to a finite point when a winner is announced.

The Walking Dead has had no such problem in eliminating personnel. And they tend not to get a chance to come back – unless they are a one-armed racist. The problem with this – and the show’s propensity to eliminate key cast members (do you remember how much you DIDN’T care when T-Dogg was killed?) mean that there is little left for the show to do at the start of the fourth season. There are a couple of untouchable characters left, if they die then the heart of the show is gone. Killing other people? Well the bloodlust of the show’s zombies and writers mean we don’t get long enough to get to know people to care when they die.

This season we could safely expect the death of either (or both) of Glenn or Maggie, if for no other reason than that they look a bit weird together – because he looks as though he is 12 and she looks about 30 (I kind of like it but I know it puts a lot of other people off). Rick’s son might also die. But they can’t really kill Rick of Daryl or I will stop watching it.

What I won’t stop watching is BBC1’s The Escape Artist which has been bloody brilliant. For one reason and another I find the work of David Tennant and Michael Sheen interchangeable and not that inspiring – even though, and this it a tinker of a clause, I think they’re both very talented and I like them both. The Escape Artist has been enthralling TV. As the third and final part looms on the horizon I am right on the edge on the edge of my seat wondering if justice is to be served – and still questioning why the main character’s wife went back to a cottage where she had recently caught someone watching her in the bath.

Checking my Sky box to see what else I have been watching tells me that there has been not much else. I have found the latest series of Downton quite good. Predictable but quite good. Eastbound and Down couldn’t be more different from Downton if it tried, which it does, quite hard. It’s finishing next week, but they said that about the last series. I don’t think I will really miss it but I laugh when I watch it.

What else? Homeland is boring the shit out of me so I am an episode or two behind. The same goes for The Agents of Shield which though slick and not afraid of a witty repost, is a bit devoid of emotion. I’m stuck halfway through Peaky Bastards, one episode into the previous season of Boardwalk Empire and still to start the first series of Top Boy, the second series of Deadwood or the Sons of Anarchy box set.

The only other thing that remains is Coronation Street. The Roy and Hayley storyline is killing me. I know what they were doing originally, layering on the beauty and love of the normal life. The romance of a day doing nothing. The lyricism in the everyday. And how much more beautiful it all seems when you find out you aren’t going to have it any more. Which is all well and good (and true one imagines) but are we meant to think we should all realise how much love there is in the mundane? Or that we should wait until we get a terminal disease? As for the assisted suicide storyline…I think it’s storyline with merit but it seems to have been rushed a bit. Would Hayley really be so annoyed with Roy for not wanting to help her die without giving him a  bit of time to adjust to the idea?

I can’t comment on the assisted suicides of transgender people with cancer with a degree of anything approaching experience but isn’t it a bit odd to think that you might start thinking you were the man you used to be?

As much as I don’t want to watch anyone die, even a fictional character, I don’t often get affected by a death of a fictional character. Notable exceptions: Morse, Danny Kendall (Grange Hill), Christopher Moltisanti and Omar in The Wire. It is testimony to the talent of Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson and the writers on Coronation Street that I am pretty sure I will have a little sob when Hayley passes on.

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