All Hail The FreeView!
What a boon it is to live in the digital age, to have dozens of TV channels at your disposal, to be never lost for visual stimulus – even at four o’clock in the morning. Beats the old days with just 3/4/5 stations to chose from. OK, so TV was more of a shared experience then, all citizens bound us all together in a community of viewers. “Did you see X last night?” (everyone had, there was little choice, so you could bond over the telly).
But nostalgia ain’t all that. When you had 3 channels, half the programming was taken up with crap like NationWide, The Cannon and Ball Show or the snooker. You couldn’t escape that by switching channels because… well, because there were so few to choose from. And although most of what’s on now is dross and repeats, some gems do pop up from time to time. You just have to know where and when to look. So here’s three of my current faves, showing you just how I waste most of my days and evenings. Bon appetit.
1) Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (Food Network)
We denizens of the old continent often puzzle over the girth and weight of Americans and their ability to pile on the kilos. No more. This prog shows exactly how that happens. The food presented on this show is jaw-dropping in its crudity and lack of… well… taste. Everything here is huge, covered in mountains of processed cheese, stuffed with pounds of fried meat, drenched in sauce. It’s how I imagine that orcs would cook. Disgusting. 3D is pure car-crash television; bound to send you reaching for a salad and to rip up any take-away menus in the house.
2) The Keiser Report (Russia Today)
Ostensibly this show is about exposing the lies and corruption of the world financial markets (except the Russian ones). The star of the show is Max Keiser, a front-man who is part shock-jock, part economic guru. Ably assisted by his assistant Stacey Herbert, he lays into the criminals, fraudsters, zombies and liars ripping us off on the financial markets and in government. JP Morgan, The Koch Brothers, Goldman Sachs, financial regulators, governments… every one of the authors of our economic misfortunes gets monstered on this show. You also pick up all kinds of tasty tidbits about how the financial world works (or how it doesn’t) from watching. Quite compelling.
3) Mongrels (BBC Three)
There was, not long back, a campaign to shut down BBC3. The argument was that the network didn’t have a clear vision and that the programmes it produced were terrible. Closing the station would save the licence-fee payer squillions and blah, blah, blah. And then this comes along. A puppet show about animals living round the back of a pub in Millwall. There’s Marion, a feral cat with a Greek/Turkish accent; Kali, a West Indian pigeon; Vince, a sweary c*** of a fox; Nelson, a metrosexual, middle-class fox and Destiny, an Afghan-hound princess owned by the pub landlord, Gary. It’s so much fun you could even call it satire. Love it to bits. Series 2 is now showing.
Post Ends. Please Disperse.