Television

The UK! Land of Dr Who, Vicar of Dibley, Time Team, and strange talking bobble-head dogs!  Yea…

All television is, in some sense, mindless.  It’s nice to sit down with some reading and have the discovery of Richard III’s body on in the background. Or to have a wonderfully drab documentary that tells you all the dirty secrets of an old well-to-do family.  Or maybe Time Team is uncovering what they thought to be a Roman villa, but it’s really a Roman village!  But then there’s that other part of the television.  The part you forget about, like, actors are real people.  When they’re not in a movie or a show, they’re in commercials.  And not only are they in commercials, they’re in really annoying commercials that come on in high rotation.  It’s like… you think of an actor, that you’re pretty sure you couldn’t not like, and then do something horrible to them, and you begin to wonder.  But, everyone has to make a living! It doesn’t mean I don’t dread this commercial (and it’s two other variants) coming on every break during my quaint little documentary!

Some (few but far between) are as entertaining as surprising to see someone you recognize!  It’s nice to get a reprieve from the shocking anti-smoking and don’t text-and-drive commercials that would not pass on American television.  While I do agree with the messages, and think it probably is more effective to be that blunt, I’d much rather dwell on such commercials as this one.

But familiar faces pop up in other places as well.  Like, hosts of fun shows like Top Gear.  Like Hammond.  Who could dislike him?  Well, I still don’t, but I can never see him in the same light after he hosted the most ridiculous Ninja-Warrior-esque game show, Total Whipeout…I think.  I don’t know where the British come up with this stuff.  Honest.  I can’t even remember who won, or what they get for winning.  All I know is, everyone failed every level (except that one where they jump from little pillars onto the big spinning one, but even then it was whoever five get there first).  The point was, whoever failed the fastest and go to the end…right?  Or were they suppose to succeed in their endeavors?

And then there’s the real television shows, the dramas.  The series were you follow your favorite actor as they take on the role of a damaged, young detective in a small town.  I’m waiting for the cinematography to get a little less melodramatic, but by the end I was into it.  Broadchurch isn’t normally something I’d tune into, but with David Tennant as the lead and Arthur Darvill as the village vicar, how could I not at least give it a try?  The plot is a child is found dead on the beach in a small, quiet village.  No one knows why.  A troubled detective, new to the area, is put on the case with a local woman (who was expecting to get his job) as his partner.  Despite the humorous first 60 seconds, the mood was dark very quickly.  Tennant plays the scruffy cop well, but Arthur Darvill was only introduced fleetingly in the first episode.  We’ll see how the next one continues next Monday at 9pm on ITV.  Too bad I’ll be in Oxford!  I wonder if they’ll have a telly?

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