*or, what’s on TV.
It turns out I have an unhealthy relationship with telly. Not MY set specifically, but the inexorable drone of the background noise a telly at low volume generates. I just like to have it on. I used to have it on whilst I did my homework. I had it on when I was revising for exams. I even have it on now when I want some ‘peace and quiet’ to read a book. It’s unhealthy because my counsellor told me. But it’s OK – she was my sexual therapist. What it does mean, though, is that I unknowingly absorb an awful lot of screen hours.
My recommendations for the rest of this week are few. Film-wise, Monday is key. I’ll admit to being a *leetle* freaked out at seeing Birdy (SONY – Sky 323, 23:45) listed, because last week, I suddenly remembered how obsessed I was with this Alan Parker transatlantic corker and how I hadn’t seen it for a couple of decades. Released in 1984, we experience Nic Cage and Matt Modine both fresh and unpolished. It’s not a comfy film and you might experience flashbacks, but is an unusual portrayal of post-Vietnam scarring, physically and emotionally. With an added Peter Gabriel score for extra haunting.
For a bit of relief on Evil Tuesday, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (Film4, 21:00) is guaranteed to make you chuckle – charismatic, yet quirky Brit, Simon Pegg thrust into the heart of the Big Apple. And it completely works.
For your Friday night in with wine and Walkers Sensations, Joy Ride (E4, 21:00) is effectively a modern-ish remake of Duel. Think scary, killer juggernaut and a pair of hapless cuties – Paul Walker and Steve Zahn. There’s a bucketload of tension and a few drops of blood, but I LOVE it.
Lucky Dip: In the Electric Mist (BBC1, 23:15) on Wednesday might be worth a punt, if you like Tommy Lee Jones.
I will admit to being a regular viewer of Eastenders. But I also maintain that it’s so my brain can wind down and, eventually, switch off after a frenetic day of small people. It usually coincides with dinnertime too, so it seems an ideal gap for that sought-after background churn I obviously crave. Otherwise, I will watch most things, but fall asleep before it’s halfway through. But not much impresses me any more. Gone are the heady days of back-to-back Saved by the Bell/California Dreams. I don’t know when the transition occurred, but I like telly for big people now.
So, on Monday, you can perch on the edge of your sofa with Daredevils: Life on the Edge (Ch4, 22:00) which is a docu about Danny MacAskill, extreme sports enthusiast, who is infinitely more daring than his weather-forecasting namesake. Watching this will either leave you with an urgent sense of life-fulfilment or will send you to your fluffy bed with a mug of lukewarm Ovaltine, thanking some lucky star that you’re sensible and safe.
On second-chance Wednesday, I think you might like to try Rev (GOLD, 21:00). This sitcom didn’t do so well on terrestrial, but I don’t think any of us dare bypass Tom Hollander in anything. The bloke is alluring, intelligent, slightly effeminate and he surely MUST appeal in SOME way to everyone? It’s all in the eyes, I reckon. Forget the religious element and embrace the emotional commentary amidst the subtle humour. G’wan.
On Thursday, I’m drawn to Michael Johnson: Survival of the Fastest (Ch4, 21:00) but probably for all the wrong reasons. My terribly racist late father used to crack tasteless jokes about why black people were so much better at athletic events, so I’m kind of intrigued as to the science behind why this actually might be. Whilst the topic of genetic selection generally forces my head into an ostrich-shaped hole, I am hoping for at least potential enlightenment here. I won’t hold my breath, mind.
If you’re still awake after your Friday night film, then flip over to Heavy Metal Britannia (BBC4, 00:00) to re-inject a bit of life through your veins. This sporadic crop of music documentaries has been absolutely brilliant and, even if you think you’re just not into metal, I defy you not to feel invigorated by this insight into what’s still considered a niche genre. Besides which, I am utterly convinced that as middle age gallops up, so does the volume and weight of our musical interest.
Watching telly is our time to unwind and, well, veg. We’d all rather be virtuously reading a book, preferably non-fiction to further expand our personal knowledge banks, but in the real world, once the little people are zedding, switching off one’s grey matter is infinitely preferable for some. Just don’t watch Eastenders…