Sunday, April 27, 2008


Slaughter of the Nancies

Today I’m mostly feeling very ill, though managed to get out with Richard and Millennium for a secret mission; curled up on the sofa for the TV equivalent of comfort food, though (well, for me that’s really Doctor Who, but hey), with the results programme for I’d Do Anything. We’ve been watching it intermittently, in part for John Barrowman, in part because it’s a good musical (I was once a terrible undertaker at school), and in part for that reality TV buzz of extermination. Tonight I’m typing those unusual words: I agree with Andrew Lloyd-Webber. Bah. Keisha was brilliant throughout.

Back more than a month to the initial ‘auditions’ programme, and big lass from Blackpool Jodie instantly stood out for me as the perfect Nancy – thankfully, she’s still in. The single mum who made the hairs go up on the back of my neck felt the fatal touch of John Barrowman as angel of death in the second week, but the other who really impressed me was always Keisha. They’ve all repeated the cliché that she sounds like a young Shirley Bassey: well, she does, and I hope she goes on to greater things now she’s been dropped from the programme. Admittedly, in the ‘about the Nancies’ clips she came across as an egomaniac – but that’s what we expect of a leading lady, surely? It just feels wrong that a woman with such a fantastic voice and great presence keeps getting no votes when several of the survivors can boast neither. So best wishes to her, surprising side tip on Ashley, who’s suddenly improving and acting quite intriguingly (just as last year I gradually warmed to vampire boy), but mainly, go Jodie!

In the meantime, though, aside from the BBC doing a great big months-long advert for a commercial operation – we’ve got used to that – isn’t Oliver! a weird choice? Aside from the regular hilarity of John Barrowman, Graham Norton and a load of Nancies, aside from the completely doomed idea of choosing a bunch of Olivers (who have to be protected from votes or scrutiny, so you can’t get interested in their fates or life stories, and who are all just a bit bland anyway, save the one who looks scarily like Boris Johnson)… Is it just me who’s familiar with the story at all, and the archetypal ‘tart with a heart’? Because every time one of the panel points at a young woman and declares “You could be Nancy!” I contextualise it and hear ‘You could be a prostitute!’

Mind you, that makes it appropriately very funny if you notice how everyone now titters when every comment Barry Humphries makes about the young ladies is so blatantly informed by his, ah, lower brain.

In tonight’s more exciting viewing, once again we tuned to channels 301 and 302 and have just been disappointed. Oh, joy. People want to watch Doctor Who, the BBC’s second-highest-rated programme, and the BBC promises red-button commentaries. What do they actually show? Snooker. Last Friday? Snooker. On both spare channels. There’s been not a sausage since the commentary for The Fires of Pompeii (though if I had to choose an episode for extras, a fantastic historical and best story since Human Nature would have been the one. It’d just be nice to have the lot). So we’re watching yesterday’s surprisingly Sarah Jane Adventures-but-without-the-light-touch-feel episode on BBC 3, without people nattering over it, and are going to have to try and play it in synch with a podcast. Sigh. Still, Bernard Cribbins is being delightful as I type, Donna and Martha are great and I was pleasantly wrong-footed by thinking Gloopy Martha would be a Rutan; let’s wait until next week and see if that outweighs the irritating young genius and we get an explanation for the Sontarans plotting like late-’60s Cybermen… Cough, choke, rasp, ill-tempered and ill-bodied complaints, et cetera.

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... your post perfectly illustrates why I don't watch the show. My feminist ire would be SO inflamed by a load of gay men and a couple of old perves picking who would be the best prostitute that I'd explode. Safer for the world if I leave the telly switched off I think...
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