In defence of a televisual Outcast

I’m going to say something pretty unpopular now. Wait for it….I like BBC1’s much-slated Sci-fi drama Outcasts.  In fact I really like it.

I do, however, have a huge character defect which may be partially responsible for this.  I have a natuaral compulsion to automatically despise television programmes that are generally well received and love series that people hate. Maybe it is best decribed as an unjustifiable childish snobbishness or a student-like sense of irony.

I refuse to watch a single episode of Lost or 24 or the Wire yet I have watched, and to at least  some extent enjoyed, countless z-rate celeb reality tv-shows,  pointless gameshows and daily magazine shit-fests. It makes for a much better conversation if you and a friend have both seen a shit television programme the previous evening, there’s just so much more to say.

Okay, I know that Outcasts isn’t and never will be Sci-Fi of the same calibre as say Battlestar Galactica, but at least that there are so few of us fans that we can crowd together like smokers outside a pub united in our vice and feel a common sense of belonging. 

Yeh, so leave us and our beloved Outcasts alone. You’re probably missing the latest episode of Ugly Betty or Desperate Houswives. Fuck you.

The Kyle Factor

Like many people your single goal in life is probably to appear on ITV’s mid-morning depression-fest The Jeremy Kyle Show.

The show would have you believe that all you have to do to be booked as a guest is visit their website, drop them a text or call the Jeremy Kyle premium rate chat line. However this is not the case.

The truth is you must comply with certain guidelines. These guidelines have been hidden by the shows producers but I think it’s right to bring them into the public domain now.

So here it is, The Jeremy Kyle Guest Eligibilty Checklist

  • Own as few of your own teeth as possible
  • Your idea of smart/casual dress must be a Le Coq Spotif tracksuit
  • Have the name of an estranged lover tatooed in the most prominent place you can
  • Be prepared to try and assault Jezza
  • Live on a council estate
  • You must not have completed yout secondary education
  • Demonstrate an ability to smash up a hotel room the night before the show
  • Have a child of unknown parentage
  • Your drug and alcohol issues should have Amy Winehouse shaking her head in a manner of parental disapproval
  • You must have never worked
  • Have a sob story. However if you have a sob story and the ability to sing you should try X-Factor first. If you’ve never heard of the X-Factor think “Jeremy Kyle: The Musical”
  • Try and have a friend who is even uglier than you who is prepared to sit in the audience and bellow incomprehensibly in your defence
  • Have the ability to beat the lie detector but do not use this ability on the day
  • Be able to pathetically accept the error of your ways and take the help of Saint Graham and The Aftershow Care Team

There you have it. I’ve saved you all the leg work. If you meet all the criteria above you’re as good as booked. So crack open another can of Stella and forget about your meeting with the probation officer. You’re gonna be a TV star!

I don’t like Dream School on point of principal.

What do you do with a school full of kids who think multiplication is just the reason they have so many brothers and sisters? Well if your Dame Jamie Oliver (OBE MBE KFC) you get an Oxbridge Classics teacher to teach them Latin. Obvious isn’t it?

Jamie’s Dream School is Channel 4’s latest Jamie Oliver vehicle. Only this time, instead of trying to force feed fat kids cabbage, he is ramming facts and figures down the throats of urchins.

Jamie is not alone in his mission. The Headmaster of the Dream School is named John D’Abbro, however in typical Oliver mockney style he is referred to as Dabbs. Dabbs gives the impression of a man who strives constantly to prove how down-with-the-kids he is. He refers to how he was kicked out of multiple schools before seeing the light and becoming head boy at his final school. His awkward overly laid back style of management would have David Brent cringing.

Star teacher of the week must go to former poet laureate and world’s quietest voice record holder, Andrew Motion.  Motion, or Motty as Oliver would have him called, came up with an ingenious idea to keep order in his classroom. He gave the class a simple choice, if they were interested in poetry they could attend his class and if they didn’t like poetry they could fuck off. His novel approach seemed to work and for the first time in the history of the programme I had a shocking revelation, some of the kids attending the Dream School are actually human. If he ever gets sick of writing haikus he could always become Education Secretary.

Education, Education, Education. (Unless your not interested)

What are you doing here?

They say write about what you know and I know television. I do not mean in a media studies sense, I mean I watch a lot of it. I don’t work in television, I just own one and like to spend a lot of my time in front of it.

There aren’t many things that I do everyday that would make an interesting or tasteful subject for a blog but I’m going to try and make a go of it with television.

This isn’t an audio visual blog as most of my viewing is done on my faithful 22″ Alba. A TV that could be described sympathetically as modest.

Obviously all future posts will be incredibly biased towards my own opinion and tastes.  Impartiality is of no importance here, this is not the BBC.  Comments that agree with me entirely are always welcome.

Programmes to watch tonight:
Jamie’s Dream School (C4) The Model Agency (C4)