Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wendy's Week of TV: Part 26

Tuesday: you guessed it... Father Ted...hurrah. Lent combined with the nuns' helpline to assist Ted, Dougal and Jack give up their respective vices made for yet some more fabulous laughs.

Wednesday: The New Adventures of Old Christine
What's wonderful about summer TV is that sometimes, suddenly and most unexpectedly a show will appear, and then just as quickly it's pulled from the schedule. This Julia Louis-Dreyfus vehicle is subject to this treatment this week. Up against My Family on the ABC, I thought I'd give it another try (given that My Family hasn't been funny for many a series; really since Nick left). It does have possibly one of the worst titles in television history. Plus, it's really not that well written and a waste of Dreyfus's talents. I believe she won an Emmy for this part. i'm not sure why. It's also "old sitcom style" which, while nice for a bit of nostalgia is a little bit past it. The studio set, the staircase out of the loungeroom (admittedly not as big as Cosby or Full they were sitcom sets, with stunning staircases!), the laugh track sounding audience, the stereotyping of gender roles etc etc. Still, its brightly coloured, moves along in a fairly predictable way. There are worse ways to spend half an hour (Two and a Half Men I'm looking at you. At least the kid in Christine is actual kid-sized).

Thursday: In the absence of anything remotely interesting (to me anyway) I watched a Rebus episode on DVD with my mum. We both spent the bulk of the time asking each other in a puzzled fashion "that was wasn't in the book was it?". Having both read all the Rebus novels I do have a tendency to get them muddled up in my head plot wise. But this one was nothing at all like the Black Book. I have been searching for it on my bookshelves but it must be at mum's. (we share ownership). Ken Stott looks the part (more so than John Hannah whose episodes I haven't managed to see) but it was a mildly dissatisfying viewing experience. Still, we will try the other episode Strip Jack to see if it improves.

Friday: Yes Strip Jack was slightly improved. More Rebus DVD watching. Still, I don't remember any of the plot so I'm thinking they made it up.

Saturday: Mary Poppins. Okay everyone, mock me if you will, but try to stop laughing! When I was young my mum owned the soundtrack on LP, I knew all the words to all the songs even before seeing the film when videos finally arrived on the scene. Looking back the Jolly Holiday sequence with the dancing penguins and merry go round horse fox hunt if FAR too long (by today's movie watching standards). And of course Dick Van Dyke is totally miscast with his indefinable accent. But the children are cute, the parents are lovely and it serves as a reminder of just what a beautiful singing voice Julie Andrews had in her day. I didn't make it through the whole three hours (thank you commercial television for advertising) so I missed my favourite, "Let's go fly a kite". But I did get to see Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (think I may have spelled that wrongly). And Feed the Birds which is a beautiful song. If you like musicals. Which I do. Hah!

And then, just to lighten to the mood, another Rebus. This time, A Question of Blood in which they stuck vaguely to the plot of a shooting in a boy's school. But still....they just haven't been able to flesh out the nuances of Rankin's character, with his specific tastes and love of music, and his complicated family and personal life. This is what makes the novels for me, not just a crumpled old detective in a black linen suit. Surely, that's not very warm in Edinburghs cold climate. Everyone else seems to be wearing an overcoat. Details? Not sure why the costume designers settled on that either. It was watchable, more so than Black Book anyway. Also watched some of the behind the scenes where Ian Rankin admitted that he doesn't watch the television adaptations. I can see why. He might start crying and never stop.


djfoobarmatt said...

I've always hated Mary Poppins because it's about people who lived a long time ago in a strange house but rewatching as an adult I quite enjoyed it. The three year old (almost four) at our place enjoyed it too. I liked the two opening songs: the one about the feminist group followed by the one about being an Englishman.

Wendy said...

yes those are two very good songs....and my other favourite is when the children sing the song about the kind of nanny they would like....and the one about investing tuppence in the bank as well when they go to work with dad...I liked that one