Televisionaries is a new weekly column in which we review television programs. It is partially named in honour of the second tier cartoon series Visionaries (above). This week we look at the work of: Adam Curtis, Louis Theroux, and some fucking morons.
Young, Rich And Househunting
You used to have to look for pricks on TV. Even on early Big Brother they were usually hidden amongst normal people. However, since MTV pioneered the pure prick formula with My Super Sweet 16, the prick-umentary has become the fuselage of any unambitious television schedule.
National servants BBC3 have worked hard to become acknowledged masters of pricksploitation, and with Young, Rich And Househunting, they finally come close to the prick masterpiece. As opposed to MTV’s stuff – jammed with too many kinetic cut-aways and youthy montages – BBC3 track these pricks in long, agonising shots, letting them prattle away until they've inadvertently skull-fucked their reputations into a bottomless bog of prick. Among others, there is 18-year-old Winchester old boy Kieran, who is ‘in a band’. And his friend Johnny, who is not.
Kieran has made the mistake of wanting to buy a flat in ‘London’s trendy East End’, presumably because people like us have made him think it's 'cool'. Kieran, if you are reading this: any perceived coolness of East London diminishes every time you think about it. Every time someone like you moves in with a £100k starter fund from The Bank of Mum n' Dad, the rent prices go up, and anyone who has to work to afford their hovel has to move to an even less convenient Poundland slum. By the way, I'm writing this from Leyton, you prick.
Louis Theroux: Miami's Mega Jail - Part One
There was a lot more wanking in this show than I had anticipated. Compared to the time Louis went to meet Paul Daniels or Jimmy Savile, this was very wank-heavy indeed. The inmates of Miami's mega jail call wanking 'gunning' and they do it to disrespect female guards, but Louis wasn't afraid. He stood there watching a murderer jerk-off at him from behind bars, and responded with little more than a quizzical raise of the eyebrows, much like he did when Paul Daniels made a joke about Debbie Mcgee's bottom. Louis then had a long conversation about wanking with a 'habitual masturbator' with a shitty afro. There were some other bits in the programme about the irony of America – the land of the free – keeping looooads of its citizens in prison, but I'd heard that before. Tonight, Louis' USP was all the wanking.
Prime Minister’s Questions
Stilted chat show, presented by David Cameron. This week, he is posed six questions about rape by a Jewish-looking guy with a speech impediment. Cameron fends them all off by saying that the speech-impediment guy has misquoted everyone, which is what you’ve got to say if someone asks you about rape. Thereafter, everyone starts cheering, and then various other people in the studio audience ask questions to Cameron, who clearly has some kind of star quality to these people that I don’t quite get. A guy called Sir Allan Haselhurst asks about the Commonwealth. A guy called Dennis Skinner basically tells Cameron he’s a complete asshole. It's not exactly Loose Women, but the audience participation aspect, although gimmicky, makes for fun.
The Street That Cut Everything
Nick Robinson goes to Preston and discovers two things: 1. That nearly everyone in Preston is fat. And 2. What would happen if one street tried to provide all their council services for themselves in exchange for a council tax rebate for six weeks? What would happen is that Robinson would try and ruin it for them. Every time the good folk of the street are getting along quite nicely – proving that every anarchist argument more or less holds at the level of a street – Nick Robinson’s shiny dome hoves into shot and he gives them some awful duty, designed to prove their reliance on the state: "Clean up the fridges that my BBC researchers have just fly-tipped at the foot of the road!" he screams. "And the graffiti I’ve sprozzed on the walls! And after that you’ve got to piss around taking care of some elderly folk who don’t even live on your sodding street anyway!" While fun, in the end the only lesson learnt is that Nick Robinson moving into your area can really lower the property prices.
ODD FUTURE WOLFGANG TILLMANS ALL
It’s difficult to twig which is the more amazing: that King Of The Hill managed to run for thirteen years, or that the show Fox have picked to succeed it (and have now re-commissioned for a second series) is outclassed by even the most manatee-penned episodes of American Dad. I like to imagine Seth MacFarlane, from his castle made of DVD box-set money, doing a shit in a hat, signing it, posting it to the Fox executives, and then laughing stupidly as they frantically try and get it a prime-time Thursday night slot. I like to imagine that because I'm currently watching Bob’s Burgers and this week the burger joint is closed because of mould, so they've gone to live with a mortician called ‘Mort’. Yes, ‘Mort’. It's that funny.
All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace
Sci-fi movie which ends with the terrifying reveal that China has actually tricked the West into using its malign economic skulduggery to cripple its own people. Starring: Bill Clinton as the idealistic President whose swarthy passions handed global power to some lizards with calculators; Ayn Rand as Rosa Klebb – the Russian superbrain with a secret love; Computers, as the nihilistic double agents silently destroying our world for no apparent gain; and Adam Curtis as God.
OLD BERTY BASTARD