Just 'cos I've been on holiday doesn't mean I've not kept up with my obsession with quality TV (big thanks cable -on-demand). And so, I would just like to take the time to "big-up" the following:
Dr Who(BBC1 / BBC3) - the All New Doctor Who squeezed a few more tears from my eye with the final Series 2 episode Doomsday. Shameless manipulation of the audience's emotions, a few gaping plot holes, coupled with enough "stuff" going on that they could have drawn it out from 45 to 90 minutes and still left it feeling breathlessly densely-packed, it was nonetheless flipping marvellous. And that last scene on "Dårlig Ulv Stranden" (Bad Wolf Bay)... with that music... sob! Nice work, Russell T Davies - not bad for a former Chucklevision-scribe.
Saxondale(BBC2) - maybe its because I've got a shameful history of bad rock music, but I'm loving Steve Coogan as ex-roadie Pest Controller Tommy Saxondale. I'm still to catch up on the last few episodes, but co-editor Stu informs me that there's a choice Dumpy's Rusty Nuts reference in store for me...
Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive(BBC3) - close Brydon-friend Steve Coogan may be able to walk the walk, but only Rob Brydon can talk the talk. Or something. Behind the scenes and in front of the cameras for Rob Brydon's disasterously bad TV panel game show.
Over the years Brydon has been crafting for himself the character of the "real Rob Brydon", in interviews and in films (Cock & Bull Story), and this builds on the foundations in a wonderfully cringeful manner. Across between The Larry Sanders Show, The Show / The Bob Mills Show(the British equivalent of Shandling's masterpiece, and perhaps that show's superior, given a dangerous edge by the very nature of the reality of its fly-on-the-wall backroom scenes - repeats, please!), 29 Minutes of Fame with Bob Mortimer (a very bad panel show made real!), and, oh, let's be lazy and just say "Have I Got News For You", it's probably the best thing on British telly at the moment. Unless you can't stand Rob Brydon, or unless you're stupid.
Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe - new series starting this week on BBC4. Don't miss it - it'll be flipping graaaaate!
Saxondale is sheer class - the D.R.N. mention was in last weeks episode. Hadn't thought about them in years - memories of the old Marquee came flooding back!
Was disappointed with new Rob Brydon show but will give it time. Have to pick up Cock and Bull Story - tried reading Tristram Shandy and found it hard going. Wonder if the film will shed any light on it.
And I've already set a reminder for the new Screen Wipe - even the trailer thingy had me giggling! :)
DRN memories flooding back to me, too, from the time I saw them in a club in Birmingham. I made the trip up there especially - what a hero!
I've now got visions of Dumpy walking out to chants of "you fat bastard", with circles of fluorescent paint daubed all over his not inconsiderable body, with a set of motorbike "handlebars" in his hands that he then proceeded to "play". Class! Check out their official website - http://www.dumpysrustynuts.net/
Cock & Bull - enjoyable film, but I don't think it'll help you with Tristram Shandy too much!!! Did you see Martin Rowson's cartoon version in the Guardian some months back? Perhaps a bit more elucidating. Ooh look, you can buy it HERE as well.
Saxondale - it's gotta be said, Coogan is a fantastic actor - its a joy watching that face in action!