Fat Hands

she used to sit in this cafe, and just face the wall. And it wasn’t coffee she was drinking

Shouting at the Telly

Posted by Alix on 16 January 2006

I’ve been watching a fair bit of telly lately, thanks in part to using the magic box’ replay function. A while back I sat through most of the More Four 30 Days episode called Binge Drink Mom, shouting at the TV, as the woman in question, who had decided to drink excessively for a month in the name of science/TV/ her daughter’s sake, failed miserably to appreciate what it means to engage in this type of behaviour. Here was a woman who was responsible, and organised and therefore absolutely rubbish at drinking. Watching her try to binge drink made me cringe – she obviously didn’t like alcohol, couldn’t understand why anyone would want to drink it, and seemed to derive very little enjoyment from being drunk. She provided as much insight into drinking culture as I do into the lifestyle of a professional bodybuilder. I find Americans are often a bit poor at drinking properly (to be fair this generalisation doesn’t apply to any I know). When I saw that BBC Three’s Mischief series was doing a similar exercise I should have been put off by Mo’Fo’s poor example, but instead was overtaken by more base instincts, and decided to try my luck in case there was funny footage of people falling over. I’m glad I did – I thoroughly enjoyed watching this, mainly because the presenter, Nicky Taylor was charmingly hilarious and immersed herself happily into drinking. Her approach to making a documentary was pretty funny – she tended to awkward silences when interviewing the professionals about her task; often there was a palpable sense of unease among the interviewees as she ambled through the questions, oblivious to their growing sense of not being sure whether it was just incompetence, or that they were being set up. In the wrong hands this could have come across as a deliberate attempt to be wacky, but she carried it off very well, putting me slightly in mind of Jessica Stevenson, which is no bad thing. She set to the job in hand with gusto, going out repeatedly with hardcore drinkers, getting as pissed as possible, falling over, being sick, being obnoxiously loud, and telling people how lovely they were, and making her three small children ashamed and confused. It was the small touches that made this program standout for me – the visit to the alcopop warehouse to interview the company rep, where she consumed the free samples with unconcealed glee whilst talking to the rep about responsible drinking, her insistence on drinking gin during lunchtime meetings, accidentally pulling the arm off a medical demonstration skeleton, and burping at an interviewee. I liked this program and hope that there will be others in the series like it (and also that Nicky Taylor gets to be in more things. I have no idea who she is or where she came from).
Also on the subject of BBC Three I watched Tittybangbang whilst I was off work and I honestly haven’t seen anything so lacking in humour for a long time. It makes Little Britain look appealing. If this is British comedy’s hot new talent I think I’ll continue living in the past. I followed by watching Man Stroke Woman and enjoying it, which was either because:
1) Anything would seem fantastic viewed after Tittybangbang. 2) I was high on throat sweets
3) It was actually not bad.
What is bad, just to go out on a whinge, is BBC Two’s Balderdash and Piffle. Fascinating subject matter ruined by gormfaced Victoria Coren. Would it really do anyone any harm to treat etymology (danger comic sans content) and historical linguistics a bit more seriously? I’m sure people could cope with that.

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