Hands up who was a big old miser and refused to watch the opening ceremony, then?
I will confess to not having been gripped with Olympic Fever. But me and the Uvva Arf felt it was one of those moments in history, so we sat down to watch with no expectations. But, wow! Save for the tedium of the full A-Z parade (we took to the back garden with torches to try and catch the bunnies in the hope they’d at least be up to P when we returned. Alas, still on B) we were completely blown away by the commitment and quality and attention to detail. For those amongst us – not Us, clearly – who moaned, griped, slated and generally complained… what freaking planet are you ON?? So, other nations have invested a small fortune in elaborate pyrotechnics and technological marvels for their opening ceremonies – but this is Britain, folks. This is who we are, what we do best, a compacted depiction of our history. It couldn’t have BEEN any better, any more apt. And, outstandingly, it was all run with military precision by volunteers, to an impressive, emotional soundtrack. I like to think THIS is Britain.
So, you can either watch all manner of things Olympian on one of the thirty-five thousand channels dedicated to the event, or… something else on evil Tuesday. Like Spanglish (Gold, 21:00). I saw this once, thinking it was a comedy. Although it loosely claims to be one, I was absolutely blown away by Adam Sandler in a far less wacky role. He is quite charming. He plays one half of a couple (the other being the stunning Tea Leoni) who employ a Mexican single mother as housekeeper. Understandably, she is far more used to the simple life and everyone’s live change immeasurably. It’s a heartwarmer.
Hump Day also brings us a bit of comfort viewing with As Good as it Gets (Gold, 21:00). I feel sure everyone will have seen this by now – if not, why ever not? – but it’s one for a squishy sofa and makes for the perfect antidote for Olympic syndrome. Grumpy Jack Nicholson and downtrodden Helen Hunt make an exquisite pairing and their Oscars were well earned. Plus, every one of us gets the whole ‘side-effects of writer solitude’ thing.
I can’t WAIT for Friday! Yes, for obvious reasons, but also to watch Exit through the Gift Shop (Ch4, 00:15). It’s less film and more docu, but I don’t believe there’s a person alive who isn’t utterly thrilled and intrigued by Banksy. I love a good reveal and despite this being one that will probably never happen, a little insight into the complex mind of this infamous artist will be most welcome. It’s a clever showcase of his talents, whilst allowing Banksy to emerge at the end with a lot more respect and his anonymity intact. An absolute must for anyone and everyone.
Lucky Dip: Paprika (Film 4, 23:10) on Friday could well be one to watch with your well-earned bottle of plonk. Especially if you’ve always wondered what it’s like to take drugs, but always been too scared to try. Ha. This is a Japanese anime tale that allegedly inspired Inception, although is undoubtedly a lot less palatable and a lot more likely to induce freaky dreams. Good luck with that… unless you secretly like that sort of thing. Like me. Unfortunately, it clashes with the Banksy docu. Oh and kids, don’t do drugs.
No doubt you’ve noticed my absence [tumbleweed]. It was only a holiday in the most tenuous sense of the word. A mummy never really downs tools, eh? But Mr W put in a heck of a lot of man hours building my studio and we managed one day at the seaside. But taking a break from regular life begs the question – is it SO wrong to still want a telly in your hotel room? Yes, people always take books away with them, along with the romantic and glorious notion of peace and quiet and ‘me’ time. In reality, if your kids are little, you’ll be sharing a room which kinda means you all need to go to bed at the same time. We’ve been here before, tried to strike up a happy medium. But all it really means is lots of being bored and becoming a lot more capable of dealing with a 5am start. But the telly was still a Godsend. It’s something you can do in the dark, doesn’t involve talking and yes, most kids will sleep through it. Let me just say, it’s up there with the kettle and teabags as a booking pre-requisite. And it’s one of those rare occasions when you don’t even care much if you only have BBC1.
Tonight, I recommend something that I might regret. Mud, Sweat and Tractors: The Story of Agriculture (BBC4, 22:00) is the first of a four-part docu that’s sorta food related. On the back of the Olympic opening ceremony, I, for one, have been filled with a vague sense of pride for our green and pleasant land and its heritage. And I think that farmers and what they do is still grossly misunderstood. So, for me, this one is filled with promise.
It’s obviously a week for the grey matter, as I am definitely favouring the docus. Wednesday offers us another gem in the guise of The Two Thousand Year Old Computer (BBC4, 23:00). I have no doubt whatsoever that Mr W will want to watch this anyway. It follows the trials of a bunch of scientists following the discovery of the Antikythera mechanism from a Greek shipwreck in 1901. What a superb job to have… as long as you have the right kind of mind, of course.
Thursday is my little boy’s 2nd birthday and we plan to eat lots of yummy cake. So, after he’s gone to bed, what better than Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight (BBC2, 20:00)? I’ve been in a constant battle of wills with my extreme love for all edible things crap for quite some time now and whilst I don’t want to see two wonderfully jolly fellas unhappy, this will no doubt show us a whole other side to the loveable rogue chefs. Can’t wait… I think.
How better to end the week than with TV’s version of a relaxation CD? New Forest: a Year in the Wild (BBC2, 19:00) should be one for the whole family to enjoy together, with a gentle entry to the weekend in celebration of some of Britain’s finest natural habitats. Can’t wait. Although, for some reason, it makes me think of the autumn.
Oh, and there are some athletics on BBC1 too. Of course, you probably want to ignore all the other amateurish advice and punt for the Olympic-fest instead. To be honest, no one would blame you if you did. Roll up, roll up – there’s something for everyone! The perfect end to, no doubt, another frenetic week.
[Pic courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net]