Twenty-ten’s TV in eight paragraphs

BBC2’s Mongrels was probably the best thing on telly for me in 2010.
   Hustle suffered from being filmed in Brum and the scripts weren’t as good (the “Kylie Minogue” scene being one of the few highlights); Ashes to Ashes’ ending was disappointing and the whole series felt cheap; Luther had a few too many “angry black man” scenes for my liking, even if Idris Elba can act better than anyone on telly; and, over on ITV1, Identity was only good when Keeley Hawes was wearing that pencil skirt.
   The first bright spot other than Mongrels was the reinvigorated Doctor Who. I was not much of a fan of the Scotsman, though at the moment I know he has a multitude of fans. Three and Nine were my favourites, but the direction that Steven Moffat (Chalk, Jekyll) is taking the series appeals to me. Forget Eleven, who can resist the charms of K-Gill? Stuff the Union, Jack: I love Scotland after all.
   The second bright spot was, and I’m sure many of my BBC-watching friends will agree, Sherlock. I have read a lot of the Conan Doyle books and bringing Holmes into 2010 was always going to be a risky venture. Moffat has succeeded, and the first episode (of a short three last summer) was a nice adaptation and modernization of A Study in Scarlet, entitled ‘A Study in Pink’, but with enough twists to the tale to keep us guessing. It also didn’t fall into parody, which modifying Holmes can get you doing. (Anyone remember The Return of Sherlock Holmes with some Australian actor and Margaret Colin as Watson’s descendant in the 1980s, when Holmes is awakened from being cryogenically frozen? It was filmed mostly in the UK, so for the American scenes, they simply hired Shane Rimmer, who, oddly enough, is not American). Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are the best pairing since Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke, though it was still that first episode that pressed all the right buttons.
   Over in Germany, Alarm für Cobra 11 had a great season première in September, and subsequent episodes didn’t measure up. And these days, I’ve mostly given up on American television (still going through Venture Bros. episodes as one exception), while New Zealand terrestrial TV just seems to be filled with cooking shows and Gordon Ramsey appears far too often for my liking, regardless of channel.
   Please, please, can someone remove that foul-mouthed bastard from my screen?
   TV chefs should be like Martin Yan, or, as I told the audience at the St Mark’s leavers’ dinner last night, Des Britten.
   So, here’s a quickie from the series that gave me the most laughs this year, spoofing one of my favourite series of the 2000s. And of course Marion, the Persian cat, has an accent like Omid Djalili’s. Makes perfect sense to me.

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2 thoughts on “Twenty-ten’s TV in eight paragraphs

  1. Please, please, can someone remove that foul-mouthed bastard from my screen?

    Ha ha! It’s been suggested that he swore more for US audiences than UK ones (or rather the US version of Hell’s Kitchen had more clips of him swearing as such), but I don’t know, myself.

    It’s been years since I saw Martin Yan but I do remember when Yan Can Cook aired on our public television many years ago, and I do agree.

  2. I don’t even understand why cooking shows are even in the Zeitgeist (see this for an example). They must be the most boring shows that can be made. Adding Ramsey into them simply makes them unwatchable.

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