ITV sitcoms of the late 80s, and the theme tune sampling possibilities thereof
Interesting note: these opening credits have exactly the same production values and presumably software package as the 1988 Talking Heads VHS “Storytelling Giant”. Byrne’s opinion on the plucky Scouse couple who featured at the heart of “Watching” is currently known.
We’re not really suited to a TV Cream/Off The Telly-style piece of “Man, shit used to be different around here” writing, but needless to say in the late 80s ITV seemed genuinely glamorous. Even a piece of downbeat drama-comedy like Watching (about the one-off relationship between a birdwatcher and a, ummm, woman) could have a little bit of showbiz twinkle in its eye, a theme tune starting off like “Kimono My House” era Sparks and then going into Mari Wilson-via-My Fair Lady. Watching had hella “zeitgeist of the week” plotlines (sample episode: the gang play Dungeons and Dragons, and then go on a treasure hunt to find an antique buried by the game’s designer!), and the two leads have gone on to do a sum total of fuck all since. Still, the show had debut small screen appearances by Liza Tarbuck and Billy Mitchell (the one who couldn’t stop evil Trevor raping Little Mo, not the Donkey Kong prick), so congratulations to the casting department on their tremendous achievement. Still, could make for a decent Camera Obscura cover (“I’m not gentle or Gentile” is a pretty literary-pop lyric, tbh) or maybe sampling opportunities if someone wants to steal a march on the inevitable dinner table trip-hop revival, so get to it guys.
At one point they were going to make a sitcom out of the characters Nicholas Lyndhurst played in those late 90s WH Smith adverts. Thankfully, this never happened, so The Piglet Files has to rank as the low point of his career thus far. Still, never mind the show itself (wacky Johnny English-style M15 bumbling, although Clive “Lodger from A Clockwork Orange” Francis is always worth watching), get a load of that theme tune. It’s like “One Night In Bangkok” played by a particularly stoned Mark Knopfler. Possible sampling opportunity: Hot Chip get a Fabriclive CD to dick around with, turned into 11 minute chillout track ending.