Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Ball ball ball, footy footy footy…

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Well, Euro 2008 has just finished. I’m not much of a football fan throughout the year (although it’s difficult to avoid in Glasgow), but I always get quite into the World Cup and European Championships. And let’s face it, this has been a particularly good one. I was supporting Holland, and so especially enjoyed their games against France and Italy, but there were lots of good matches and moments. I really don’t need to go on about the actual quality of the football too much though; if you were watching tonight (on the BBC) then you will have heard all the pundits going on about it (and they probably know a little more than me about the game…) As about 3 of them said, the real winner was Football.  Plenty of great goals, only 3 red cards in the whole tournament, few controversial refereeing moments, and some ridiculously close games, and the winning team entirely deserved it.

Of course, with no British teams involved, the TV companies have to work slightly harder to keep the viewers interested. Unfortunately this tends to lead to them trying to connect anything that happens to an English club team. Just tonight, Motty was going on about how this was a great moment if you were from Madrid, Barcelona etc and Liverpool! All because the guy who scored the winning goal (Torres) plays for said club team at this moment. In fact, at the moment Spain lifted the trophy, I wonder if Torres would even have been able to say where the hell he played during the rest of the year…

There was also one of the Dutch goals where Motty said “well you could say that that goal was set up by Chelsea and scored by Liverpool”.* No, actually it was set up by Holland and scored by Holland. Grrr. I understand mentioning it a bit, but it’s like trying to take credit where credit is not at all due.

* I might not have the right teams here, but I really don’t care.

Another odd thing - despite the fact that there were no English-speaking nations involved and despite being held in Switzerland and Austria, which between them have 4 major languages (German, French, Italian, and Romansch), everything was done in English. First of all, all the strips had the word “Respect” on them, which was part of a fair play campaign (which seemed to work pretty well it has to be said). Also, from what I could tell, the tannoy announcements were done in english first and then in those of the 2 countries playing. Even a certain rather well known Scottish-sounding fast-food chain had their slogan in, well American I guess (roughly translated into English it means “I am feeling amourous towards this specific thing”.

I wonder how the rest of Europe feels about all this. I guess a lot of them don’t mind, but imagine what the reaction would have been like if at Euro 96 (held in England if you didn’t know) the organisers had been told that as the majority of the teams attending spoke (for arguements sake) German, that everything had to be  auf Deutsch? The tabloid headline write themselves…

Anyway, those are my football thoughts over for another 2 years. No doubt I’ll have so equally half-baked Wimbledon-based words to share before the week is out (Come on Tim!)

(5 points for those who get the reference in the title of this post)

TV highlight of last week

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

I was off work last Tuesday due to copious vomiting (less of that later…) and, as one does when ill, I started watching random daytime TV. I was careful to avoid the more horrific side of this genre, (specifically Jeremy Kyle. the most hideous show since Kilroy got from exiled from Tellyland), and looked about for some comfort TV. I enjoyed a couple of episodes of Third Rock from the Sun, and that episode of Quantum Leap in which Sam is a frat-boy called Wild Thing and has to stop some anti-Vietnam protesters from setting off a bomb. Class.

However, the best thing I saw was, surprisingly, on Loose Women. Now I’m hardly the target audience for this show, being a man and er… let’s not finish that thought; there’s no way it can end well. Anyhoo, I was flicking around and found that the legendary Joan Rivers was being interviewed about her Oscar red-carpet duties.

The moment I saw that she was on a day-time TV show alarm bells starting ringing in my head. I’m sure she’s done a lot of TV (being slightly older than time itself) but she strikes me as someone who really doesn’t really care about little things like the watershed. And how right I was. She was talking about how she can’t really speak her mind about the stars she meets. While talking about Russell Crowe she said “get ready to bleep this” and then called him “a fucking shit”.

What a lady, but oh dear. Being British TV there was no bleep button ready, and no delay. So Ms Rivers opinion went out across the nation in it’s full, glorious Technicolor. The presenters immediately apologised, as did Joan herself, but it really was too late.

However, being that the audience figures at the time were probably not exactly huge, I wonder how many complaints were received. The incident was reported on the BBC News, but no mention of complaints as far as I saw. On the other hand, Ms Rivers was actually removed from the set during the next ad break. Awesome. I bet she still doesn’t care.

The whole thing must be on YouTube by now… yup, see it here

This does leaves me pondering 2 things. Who actually complains about things like this? I can see why some people (like those who might have had small children in the room at the time) would be upset, but what difference would the complaint actually make after the event? It was Joan Rivers who said it, and she’s hardly going to personally apologise…

On the other hand, why do these live shows not go out with at least a 10 second delay? Not just for swearing purposes, but there must be occasional slip that they would rather cover up. The best known example of this is perhaps Shaun Ryder on TFI Friday, swearing repeatedly even when reminded not to on a number of occasions by Chris Evans. But let’s face it, the Ginger One and friends probably wanted the publicity and it must have helped rather than hindered viewing figures. And if you don’t like that sort of thing then you shouldn’t be watching TFI Friday in the first place.

One example when the lack of delay is just weird was Live8. Madonna, assumedly having been told to keep it clean, decided to scream the f word at around 7 o’clock. Now, Mrs Richie should really have known better, but surely the BBC should have been ready for something like this? However, let us not forget that this was the same concert in which someone thought it was a good idea to have Snoop Dogg sing his title song around 6pm. If you aren’t familiar with the lyrics, the chorus goes along the lines of: “Snoop Doggy Dogg; what’s my mother-fucking name” repeated a few times over. Wow, that’s some great programming, Mr Concert Organiser Person (if that is your real name).

My personal favourite piece of pre-watershed swearing, and this is the last one I promise, was when Slash was on CD:UK a number of years ago. Once again, whose great idea was this? Okay, let him play but surely they must have realised that his chat wasn’t going to be exactly kiddy-friendly. Anyway, Cat Deeley started asking the usual pointless questions about his band/latest song etc, and Mr Slash dropped in a few rude words here and there. I have to say that they were such a natural part of his speech that I barely noticed, and he doesn’t exactly announciate his words (that might be the most British thing I’ve ever said…)

However, from some stupid, STUPID reason, Cat asked him “what’s the most rock n’ roll thing that’s ever happened to you?” Now considering who she was asking, they got off kind of lightly. Slash’s reply was “Well, I was in this bar one time and this girl came up to me and just started giving me a blow…” at which point Cat interrupted. Quick cut to Ant and/or Dec after the interview to apologise, rather red-faced…

Deeley never worked in this town again. But only because she went off to make more money in the States. Dang.