Autumn is well and truly over and thankfully that means the reality tv blockbusters have all crowned their various champions at last and are over for another season. Yee hah. But that means it’s the Xmas schedules on the telly now and one of the things about having a wife and 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren is that you get to watch a lot of stuff over the festive period which can be as much fun as anal warts.

I managed to successfully steer the womenfolk away from the tv guide the other night and craftily ensured that we missed seeing The Holiday, surely the worst film any lumberjack shirt-wearing man should have to endure. Besides it also meant we could watch Gogglebox, which is easily the funniest thing on tv.  Although I dodged that filmic bullet, my brain must be turning to festive mush because we’re now deep into the schedules and rather unexpectedly have found myself enjoying stuff, mostly. The other day we had our two fab elder grandsons over to stay over and we whiled away a couple of fun hours in the afternoon watching the film Nativity! Our younger grandson G in particular loves it and we hadn’t seen it before. And it was great. I’ve been desperately scrambling through the tv guides to see if I can find the sequels on the box (although I know they’ll be rubbish in comparison).

Then last night my gender reassignment came through as I watched, and I can hardly believe I’m saying this, Dirty Dancing with C and daughter R. Agghh. Oh I know it’s one of the classic chick flicks, and dire, but you know after all these years enduring the bloody thing I actually think the dancing (the dirty stuff) and the early soul music is great. And I enjoy poking fun at all the classic dialogue moments. Plus, and this really is an admission, I bloody enjoy emulating old Patrick dancing the end sequence with my daughter. Not the lift bit but the stuff right at the end where he dances in at the head of the group looking like a puppet monkey. Love it.

Then C went to bed as R and I watched, duh duh durr, Notting Hill. Old Hugh doing his stuttering schtick yet again as a lovelorn West London book shop owner who manages to pull stunning American film star, Julia Roberts. Yep it’s about as likely as me winning Strictly Come Dancing (last night’s moves notwithstanding). But I watched it nonetheless without too many carping comments and, you know what, with a little bit of enjoyment. I think the wine was kicking in big time by the end but hey it’s Xmas.

And so today, there we were wrapping parcels after doing the final bits of shopping (and I’ve a torrid story to tell about M&S and their pre-order service which for the second year in a row proved to be a bloody disaster) and we tuned into Chicken Run, which is a brilliant homage to all those stiff upper lip, chocks-away-Ginger films from the 50’s. And the line, ‘It’s raining hen’, is just sublime. Straight after this we watched the short movie The Gruffalo which  is a superb animation of the book which every grandparent must know word perfectly. I think it’s just about the most complete short story; simple, intriguing, gripping and just oh so clever.

Oh blimey I’m starting to gush now. In case you think I’ve turned all emotional there’s still a bit of lumberjack left in me (could have phrased that better) because there’s been some right crap too. And the biggest pile of guano appeared on ITV yesterday and again this morning. Now long term readers will know that I think ITV’s output is targeted at people who think Sherrie Hewson is wonderful but just occasionally they produce stuff which is just a bit different and usually catastrophic. David Dickinson’s Show was a pilot series which lasted about 6 programmes before being killed off as a mercy mission – see https://pastapaulie.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/the-duke-pukes/. Then there was the regression programme, Have I Been Here Before? which was just weird but launched the career of the historian and fabulously popular Jules Hudson (and hello to his many female fans).  I can’t do it justice here but check out https://pastapaulie.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/deja-vu-viewing/ for more background.

Anyway the latest bizarre programme is entitled The Speakmans and it features these two ‘life therapists’ – ahh – who look like the last two survivors from Brotherhood of Man…


I worry about people from Rochdale whose teeth are whiter than their t-shirts and who sport matching hairstyles. Well these two are well-known to viewers of This Morning because they’ve already cured a number of ‘celebrities’ of their phobias and hang-ups. Oh really? Oh yes, they’ve successfully helped Kym Marsh overcome her irrational fear of motorways. What? A grown woman who’s worried about busy roads? She clearly doesn’t live in London. Poor lamb. And they’ve helped Kerry Katona with her wellness feelings. Ahh.

Well, impressed with this formidable curative power, the big wigs at ITV have given Nik (note the spelling) and Eva a series of their own to cure more poor souls. All of whom seem to be some very sad women. Yesterday’s pathetic case was some woman who couldn’t leave the house for fear of being sick. She had some medicine as a kid which made her vomit and for 20 years she allowed her mummy to mollycoddle her into not letting her out. Or something. As far as I could tell Nik & Eva cured her by showing her some pictures from her past and suggesting she hadn’t grown up. Oh my God. Such pyscho-analytical insight. Anyway by the end of the show she was riding around on a show pony as she did when she was 6. Ahh so that’s alright then.

I can’t remember what issue today’s loon had but they fixed her by throwing pictures of her into a dustbin. It’s just awe-inspring healing. And about as scientifically-based as homeopathy. I can hear the ducks all the way from down here. But somebody as well as ITV must think they’re the real deal because they reside in a £2.4m Rochdale mansion, apparently, which might be oxymoronic or a just bloody sardonic.

Anyway check it out, it’s unspeakably awful and rather a good giggle.


ps the girls have just crashed which means I can switch over from Bridget Jones’ Diary and  reassert my head-of-the-household manhood by switching over to Saving Private Ryan. It’s full-bloodied macho killing action but I always end up wiping a tear from my eyes at the final scene. Oh god I better get that gender operation reversed before it’s too late.

This entry was posted in MEDIA WATCH, tv and tagged , , , , , by Paul. Bookmark the permalink.

About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

6 thoughts on “Unspeakable

  1. Great post as ever Paulie, but tell me what do you think of A Muppet Christmas Carol ? Think carefully before you respond 😉

  2. Ah thanks L. Well, to be honest I’ve never seen it and would choose not to unless one of the kids was lobbying for it and I was feeling sauvignon mellow. Truth is I never liked the original story; I’ve always thought Dickens was melodramatic. I’m sure the Muppets version is a lot less sentimentalistic.
    Did I pass?

  3. I love this film, although I never watch the other Muppet films, because of the songs and the sly humour ( check out the shop names for example, they are called things like Duncan and Kenworthy or Morris and Micklewhite). I put it on every Christmas Eve and sing along with a vodka and tonic. These things, along with my husband not having to work, are the foundation of a good Christmas for me.

    Yes, you pass, but do give it a try some time with a good drink at hand 😉

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