This time five years ago, I watched a heck of a lot of telly. This was the due date of my firstborn, but by then, I already had a teeny little son who was over a month old. Our old, big-backed set had blown up the day my waters broke. I say blown up, but it wasn’t quite as dramatic as that- it sort of fizzed and sparked and smelt of burning electrics. Unfortunately for my husband, the entire time I was stuck in the maternity unit with our dot of a newborn (ten days), he had no TV. The day we came home as a new family, we went telly shopping. I was obsessed, new mum on a mission. How could I possibly be up at 3am for months on end without my telly? We came home with a new flatscreen as well as a baby. Two new babies. Ironically, James slept through from a few weeks old, but I still had a fabulous new telly.
I’m a bit late updating, but to ease you gently into the week, do stay up for The Wicker Man (ITV4, 23:45). If you haven’t already seen it, why not? Not into horror? Classic seventies styling never fails to disturb where the guts and gore of a modern frightfest just can’t. I’m sure a hallucinogenic haze hung over the UK back then, even injecting the abstract into Edward Woodward… woodwoodwood.
This week’s light relief comes along on Hump Day with Caddyshack (ITV1, 22:35). Directed by Harold Ramis, backed up by Bill Murray, the doleful, deadpan duo won’t fail to entertain you, somehow with a license to say it like it is. It’s golf-themed, but don’t let this put you off – it could be carrier bag themed and still be hilarious. Vulgar and uncouth, be prepared to choke laughing.
The Royal Tenenbaums (Sky Atlantic, 22:30) is on on Thursday. Wes Anderson at his absolute finest takes us through a beautiful 130 minutes, chaptering the lives of the dysfunctional Tenenbaum family, reunited when their father feigns a terminal illness. The incredible Gene Hackman will make you cross and make you cry. He is exquisite in the lead, after whom the film is entitled.
Lucky Dip: Transamerica (Ch4, 00:45) on Friday (Saturday morning!) must definitely be worth dusting the popcorn maker for. A pre-op transsexual – played by Felicity Huffman – takes an emotional and physical journey after discovering she has a son. She is allegedly outstanding.
I’ve been trying to take a break from a personal TV schedule of NCIS, CSI (Vegas, Miami and Big Apple variants of) and other such series. These things come and go in phases, I find. An entire season of one US crime-related drama obviously runs a lot longer than over our side of the pond, often overlapping, but then we can be left utterly bereft when several finish at the same time. UK dramas – when they’re actually worth watching – can be frustratingly brief.
I am absolutely LOVIN’ The Walking Dead (Ch5, 22:00) on Mondays. It’s improving with each episode and despite an initial niggle with Andrew Lincoln being cast in an American leading role, I’ve all but forgotten he’s even a Brit. Each of the characters in the tiny, new community brings something to the mix and the whole ‘zombie’ (walkers) issue is dealt with in an amusing/grim way.
On Tuesday, I would recommend running an early bath and taking your equivalent of Fifty Shades to bed with a slab of chocolate and a cuppa. I despise Tuesdays on SO many levels, but there’s naff all on the box. Of anything, try Beauty and the Beast: the Ugly Face of Prejudice (Ch4 20:00). It’s the second series but might be worth watching if you need grounding.
Hump Day was never the same once Margaret Mountford left The Apprentice, was it? So what delights! Mags and Nick are reunited for this one-off docu The Town that Never Retired (BBC1 21:00). A select few pensioners are placed in a variety of (tame-ish) workplaces to see if they can cut it in today’s working society. It’s a one-off in two parts, if that makes sense? So if you like it and want to find out the conclusion, you can watch the rest on Thursday. I like this approach – clearly geared towards the target group. Leave a week between parts and we ALL forget… don’t we now?
So, if you want to be just a small amount of scared on Friday 13th, be propped precariously on the edge of your sofa by the latest Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads (Ch5, 20:00). There is something bizarrely compelling about this show – even my five-year-old is glued to the screen when it comes on after something else has finished. This appeals to me more, I think, because one of my ‘from childhood’ favourite films is Hell Drivers. But, unless I’ve timed it wrong, tonight’s ep follows the hair-raising ‘Southern Death Road’ in the Andes. And it morbidly fascinates me at the best of times.
Whilst I’ve been writing this, I can hear the irritating, toned-down drone of Robson Green on my telly. I’ve become a little bit addicted (in a healthy way) to Five’s The Wright Stuff of a morning and this oh-so dull fishing thing happens to be on afterwards. Wright and his little morning show used to irk me beyond belief – taking on such hefty debate topics, only to be discussed in extreme brevity by an ill-informed panel of minor slebs and forming biased opinions from one or two random viewer phone calls. But I’ve relented a little, usually coffee in hand and decided there *is* no definitive way to debate l’histoires du jour. Some exposure is better than none, after all. And I quite like Matthew Wright, as well as his choice of guests – handsome ones as much as funny/intelligent ones.