Monday, 2 July 2007

TVOD (2.7.07.)

Your sometimes-weekly guide to what's worth gawping at on the small screen is back. So what is worth gawping at? Let's take a look, shall we?

MONDAY: As always on a Monday, you have Heroes (10pm, Sci-Fi). Last week's was another excellent episode, this time flashing-forward into the future to give us a glimpse of what is to become of our cast (Peter's hooked up with Niki/Jessica! Hiro's lost his sense of fun! (gasp) Nathan's really Sylar!), showing us that it probably isn't going to be a happy ending. This show just keeps getting better and while I've heard murmurs from the States about the disappointing season finale, I'm willing to keep an open mind in the hope that the Yanks are wrong.

Also tonight, More4 are showing the brilliant doc, End Of The Century: The Story Of The Ramones (10.30pm). This one actually made me cry, but I'm a sentimental fool when it comes to music, especially the tragic stories of Johnny, Dee Dee and Joey, all of whom are interviewed here but are now sadly not with us anymore. Watch it or else.

TUESDAY: The big draw tonight, for me at least and, well, anyone else who likes their comedy with a bit of bite and bile thrown in for good measure is The Thick Of It: Spinners And Losers (9pm, BBC4). After the exceptional Christmas special in which the PM resigned and Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi, excellent as ever) seemed to be losing his vice-like grip on parliamentary machinations, the focus this time around is on who is to take over at Number 10 and, more importantly of course, who's side he/she will be on. Expect lots of dazzlingly inventive swearing plenty of allusions to our own real-life government.

Secondly, I'd like to highlight just how deplorable Gillian McKeith's new programme is. 3 Fat Brides, 1 Thin Dress (8pm, Channel 4) is another excuse for the fish-lipped harridan to harangue people into losing weight, but this time there's the added carrot of winning a beautiful wedding dress, should they be able to get into it by the day of their nuptials. Now, I don't think I need to point out that this kind of crash dieting is both dangerous and super-stressful, anyone can see that, but this evil bitch, McKeith, supposedly a qualified dietician, is making a fortune out of making people miserable. Fine, if they lose the weight in the end, then it can only be beneficial to that person, but turning it into a competition is just mean-spirited and grotesque. As for the people out there who find this kind of filmed torture 'entertaining', well then I know a guy who sells bestiality snuff films out of the back of his car that you could probably get your rocks off to as well.

WEDNESDAY: Tonight, another show that just keeps getting better, not that anyone watches it, continues its run. Friday Night Lights (8pm, ITV4) hit a graceful high note the other week with Smash (Gaius Charles) leading a strike with the team's other black players after Offensive (in more ways than one) Coach Mac MacGill's ill-advised comments about the differences between the Panthers' white players and black players. The way the story dovetailed after a highly-charged play-off game was riveting, tense and massively satisfying. For a drama that deals in universal themes to have not descended into soapy melodrama even once yet is astonishing. Long may it continue to surprise and break your heart week-after-week.

Damon Albarn's on Imagine tonight (10.40pm, BBC1), no doubt giving himself a pat on the back for his new venture, the circus-opera, Monkey: Journey To The West. I don't think I'll be watching this one as I can't stand the pompous, self-aggrandising prick but I do believe there are a lot of people out there who disagree.

THURSDAY: Not much on tonight really, other than My Name Is Earl (10pm, Channel 4), in which Earl (Jason Lee) tries to find a cat he once stole. Should be good-natured fun.

Over on Sky One, there's the return of the camper-than-a-row-of-tents, glitz and glam comedy-thriller-drama serial, Las Vegas (9pm). Word is that this series is the last chance we'll get to see Jimmy Caan acting all stoical (or constipated) as President Of Operations, Ed Deline and Nikki Cox' marvellous breasts, ahem, I mean acting talents as buxom and flirty Mary Connell. Don't worry though as it's been picked up for another season at least with Tom Selleck taking over the Caan-shaped void and eye candy, for the ladies at least, and professional boyfriend of Fergie from Black Eyed Peas (how do I know this crap?), Josh Duhamel will continue struggling to act his way out of a wet paper bag for our enjoyment.

FRIDAY: If you didn't get your fill of music festivals with Glastonbury last week, then you can look forward to BBC3's coverage of T In The Park tonight from 7pm. From what I can gather, only the main stage is open today, so there's sets from Bloc Party, Lily Allen, The Coral and Arctic Monkeys tonight. Basically everyone who's at every other festival then? Great.

Elsewhere, Marcus Brigstocke (way too over-exposed for my liking these days) filmed something at Glastonbury in his Giles Wemmbley-Hogg old-Etonian guise and they're showing it on BBC4 at 10pm. Also, Sean Lock does his best to save the increasingly unfunny 8 Out Of 10 Cats on Channel 4 at 9.30pm. Lock's always worth a chuckle or three but Jason Manford hasn't brought anything new to the table in place of Dave Spikey at all. They should have been a bit adventurous and asked Reginald D. Hunter or Rich Hall or Phil Nichol to take his place, not this Peter Kay clone.

SATURDAY: Well, today it's the big Live Earth gig from Wembley, New York, Sydney, Rio, Johannesburg, Hamburg, Tokyo and Shanghai and it's being shown on BBC1 from 5.30pm. It's for a worthy cause, saving the planet and all, but you just know that it's going to be a bit shit. It'll be interesting to see what the Beastie Boys do though, I guess.

On T In The Park tonight, there's sets from The Killers, Amy Winehouse, Babyshambles, Razorlight and, oh you can probably guess the rest. It's on from 7 again on BBC3.

SUNDAY: After trailing it since late last year, FX finally get around to showing Dexter (9pm), the first post-Six Feet Under vehicle for Michael C. Hall. In it, he plays Dexter Morgan, a forensic blood splatter analyst who also happens to be a serial killer. He only kills bad-'uns, mind, so we'll be rooting for him like we did the Krays in the 60s. Seriously though, this was one of the most critically-acclaimed new series in America last year and it's certainly one that I've been looking forward to. With a concept like that, it can't possibly fail.

Also tonight, there's more sex, swords and sandals in Rome (9pm, BBC2) and T In The Park has footage of Snow Patrol, Scissor Sisters, The Fratell-zzzz..... Sorry, dozed off there for a minute.


John From Cincinnati is the brand new HBO show from David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood) and it's fantastic. See lots of promos and stuff about it here and get excited. I'll be writing something about it myself very soon.

Take a look at how you perform at a festival by watching Iggy and The Stooges get loads of people up on stage during 'Real Cool Time' at Glastonbury last week.

And watch him freak out the squares on Tonight With Jonathon Ross too.

That's all folks!


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