Not the catchy Elvis Costello number, sadly – just the wrong side of the August bank holiday weekend. I must apologise for the lack of a post last week! I completely forgot to mention I was going on my holidays. By holidays, I mean a two-night break in sunny Morecambe, but that’s as good as it gets for us these days. And honestly? We had a brill time, despite about half of it being spent on the road. And we stayed in a Holiday Inn, so we had a big, shiny telly in our room. With the main day spent in the Lakes, retracing some steps (wheel revolutions) that were last trodden (driven) 12 years ago, to find the spot where the proposal took place, it couldn’t have been more perfect. Unless Jodrell Bank had still been open on the way home. We were also fortunate enough to spend a yummy few hours in the company of our esteemed Editor, Keris, on our last day! I’ve known Keris for over five years and it was the first time we’d met – very exciting!
And now, winter draws on and gigantic spider season is almost upon us. Sigh. I’ve also cocked up massively and, since it’s already halfway through Tuesday, I’ve decided to crack on and offer you next week’s viewing recommendations, as it should be!
So, we have Saturday viewing pleasures to look forward to! I’m a little hesitant to recommend Cloverfield (Ch4, 23:15) on the grounds that its storyline is quite banal and its location, used a gazillion times before. BUT – and it’s a big but – it has one thoroughly redeeming quality. As a bunch of young Americans make a bid for escape from Manhattan as it’s being ripped apart by the throat by a host of gigantic aliens, we get to see the drama unfolding through the viewfinder of an amateur handheld camcorder. Entirely. This, although infuriating in parts, utterly builds the drama. So, I definitely say give it a whirl.
Oh, Monday, how we loathe you. But next week will be lifted effortlessly in the shape of a very young De Niro in Taxi Driver (Sky Modern Greats, 22:00). Mad, bad and dangerous to know (you talkin’ to me??), Vietnam vet Travis Bickle’s tortured soul aims for redemption in this Scorsese classic. You must have seen it before, but watch it anyway.
Love him or loathe him, Ben Affleck delivers a mean performance. So it’s interesting to see him turn his hand to directing with Gone Baby Gone (BBC1, 23:20) on Thursday night. Little bro Casey stars in this lesser-known mystery about the disappearance of a little girl in Boston (US, not Lincolnshire). Every parent’s worst nightmare, yet a compelling storyline.
I seem to be developing a trend for evil horror on a weekend. Next week is no exception with The Devil’s Backbone (Horror Channel, 22:55) on Friday. A haunted orphanage at the end of the Spanish Civil War makes for terrifying viewing, with a beautiful, symbolic backdrop. From the director of Pan’s Labyrinth, you won’t be disappointed as the secrets of the usual suspect young caretaker are unfurled. This must be worth a cushion and a bowl of popcorn.
Lucky Dip: SoulBoy (BBC2, 23:35) on Saturday. A comedy drama laced with a Northern Soul soundtrack – how can you go wrong? Also, it may succeed in proving something good *did* come out of Stoke-on-Trent. Apart from pottery, of course.
So, Olympic Fever symptoms have cleared up, but have no fear – there’s a fresh outbreak of Paralympic Fever doing the rounds to take its place. If it’s your viewing choice then my amateurish advice is to take to your snuggly bed with a hot water bottle and thick, fuzzy socks. Text your other half, get him or her to make you a cuppa and bring it up with a packet or two of choc Hobnobs and just take it easy. I’m kinda getting into my netbook’s Kindle app, so my evening’s viewing can be somewhat interspersed with a chapter of reading here and there. Who knows… by the end of the month, I may even be switching off my telly in favour of an early night, snuggled under the duvet with an actual book. Shock horror.
Oh, come ON! Everyone loves John Barrowman, right? Well, you may have heard on the old TV grapevine that an updated version of Dallas is coming to our small screens. So, what better viewing for early Sunday evening than John Barrowman’s Dallas (Ch5, 19:55 and 20:30) with both parts being aired back-to-back? He goes on set during filming and explores the comparisons with the old series’. To be honest, I loved Dallas in its day and if I get to hear John Barrowman’s lilting, infectious laughter even once, it will have been totally worth it.
A brain-melting start to the week is an absolute must. Horizon: How Small is the Universe? (BBC2, 21:00) follows on from last week’s ‘How big…?’ and although, if you’re anything like me, too much talk of space and time makes you hyperventilate, it’s such a fascinating insight into all the research that goes on. And, to be fair, it will make you wish *you* were a quantum physicist.
Hump Day hilarity, wrapped up in a serious container in the shape of Doomsday Preppers (NatGeo, 22:00) is an absolute MUST. My husband will be watching this from a serious angle, for sure. It’s a new series charting the long-term preparation of a variety of ardent souls, resiliently preparing for the end of the world. Interesting viewing – even if you come away adding candles to your mental shopping list.
Lucky Dip: The pace of early weekend comedy For the Win (BBC3, 22:00) will allegedly wear you out in time for bed. It’s vulgar, a bit ‘out there’ and should definitely make you chuckle, if online ratings are anything to go by. Plus, a welcome alternative to horror.
I’ve been unwittingly behaving like it’s me who’s on holiday all summer long. This has been infinitely helped by my eldest rising at a very ungodly hour each morning, yet taking himself downstairs to watch telly and do some colouring whilst his little tearaway of a brother still sleeps. And Mummy has been enjoying a lie in until around half eight. How I am ever going to get everyone up, fed, dressed and out the door by that time come Thursday is totally beyond me. But, no doubt, we will all soon be back into the swing of the school run before we can even blink. So I’m certainly going to make the most of our last day tomorrow. Probably by sleeping as much as possible.