IchLugeBullets reviews the Christmas TV
Over Christmas, ILB made its triumphant return to its ancestral home of Northampton, better known to you all as the birthplace of the brunette one from the “Call On Me” video. What I discovered over four days’ respite was that a) Northamptonians still are, in my absence, the ugliest people in Britain and b) we’re finally getting a Nando’s, on the site of the former HSBC bank. On the latter note, I finally understand the feelings that were going through Michelle Obama’s head when she said “For the first time in my life, I’m proud of my country.”
As a result of living in the familial palace, I had fuck all in the way of items to review, apart from the Andrea Boccelli and Il Divo CDs my mother kept on repeat play during my stay. I was going to rate racially awkward things family members said while I was there, but other than “He’s not really black is he, his mother’s American” and “Mussolini wanted to help the Africans”, there wasn’t much there.
(Speaking of racially awkward, over the past few days we’ve also received a legal threat from ILB’s standout commenter of the year (sorry max r) Claude Carpientere. He’s going to sue me! He sent his summons via Facebook. Stay tuned for more details)
So in reality, the only cultural content we’ve been exposed to over the past week was the Christmas TV schedules. Therefore, we here at ILB present the first in an occasional TV reviews that, I dunno, take the “temperature of the current TV thermometer” or something. We’re like Charlie Brooker without the halfpipe-shaped face.
Eastenders: Over Xmas we also read Joe Layden’s “The Last Great Fight”, which charts the decline and fall of heavyweight boxing since the Tyson/Douglas bout in 1990, and it’s weird how much the lifepaths of Nick Cotton and Iron Mike have matched: in the late 80s, they were the baddest man on the planet, inspiring fear, revulsion and fascination in equal measure. There was a string of comebacks in the late 90s and early 2000s, each one having less impact but making them look evermore bizarre. And nowadays both have manboobs and you’d feel safe knocking hats off both of their heads. Nick didn’t even say “Awight, mah?” when he came back. Useless.
Mutiny On The Buses (1972): You see, this is why burlesque doesn’t work in the UK. The history of sex and sexiness in these hallowed isles isn’t Bettie Page, Playboy bunnies, Alberto Vargas or whatever. Stunting on a UK stage in those clothes, in that lingerie, with that hair and that attitude doesn’t make any sense, you may as well be walking onstage in a yashmak. Sexuality in the UK was always Carry On films, Benny Hill’s “Hill’s Angels”, Pan’s People, and big-titted broads with regional accents that apparently found Reg Varney sexually irresistible over the course of On The Buses’ TV run. So, for all the girls that are calling themselves “Felicity Boom-Boom” and performing to a crowd of 50 bored art-students somewhere in Dalston this weekend: switch your act up, start speaking as if you’re from Wales, shortskirt, and lie back and think of Blakey. You owe it to your heritage.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006): This… this appears to be a film based solely around the premise that Keira Knightley’s tits are so small that she can be easily mistaken for a man even when heavily made up. That has to be a depressing thing for any actress to take on. Not enough Stellan Skarsgard, but then again you could say that about every movie ever.
The Royle Family: Not even like watching Mike Tyson against Danny Williams, more like watching Mike Tyson corner you at a really bad house party one evening and standing there bored as he cries all over your shoulder. The Royle Family used to excel in some of the most subtle comedy to ever make it into British prime time, all of it tempered with a sense of realism. This exhumed Xmas special instead opted for a revamp of the “Mr Bean fails to defrost a turkey” routine, and some straight-up “wakka wakka wakka” puns. Good work all round.
Italian TV in general: Still awful, although they now have a black newsreader. I’m sure full acceptance of immigrants and non-whites into Italian culture can be mere months away as a result.