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Friday, 26 February 2010

Married,Single Other

ITV have been low on drama hits for a long time. The likes of Monday Monday and Harley Street have crashed and burned and although others like Unforgiven and Collision have shown that the channel still has the potential to produce the good stuff there are few and far between on a channel that would rather concentrate their time on celebrity opera singers and dinner parties hosted by Michael Winner.

That’s why my little eyes lit up when new drama Married Single Other was given a airdate. The premise is hardly a new one centering around a group of friends dealing with love, lust and something else beginning with L that I can’t quite think of at the moment. I had hoped the series would be similar to ITV’s drama jewel Cold Feet which will remain one of my favourite series of all time.

Putting the content or premise aside after weeks of the lackluster Law & Order UK it was just nice to have a new drama that wasn’t a whodunnit or a series hosted by Alan Titshmarsh.

Married, Single Other isn’t the new Cold Feet but it manages to be interesting enough to keep me interested. Perhaps the characters aren’t quite as likeable if I were to compare the two side by side but there are good levels of drama and humour to make it an easy watch.

Married Single Other takes its role as a romantic comedy very seriously often turning a little twee and sickly in places where the romance is sometimes shoved down your throat. The opening sequence was a hair away from having hearts and puppies running through a field full of buttercups and that was a little off putting.

The cast is strong with perhaps Amanda Abbington and Dean Lennox Kelly’s characters being the most interesting as I feel I can predict where Lucy Davis’ character is going to end up and Ralf Little as “Clint” (an attempt at humour that fell flat) seems to be playing himself.

The series isn’t quite the jewel I was hoping for but saying that its unfair the judge something based soley on a first episode where the characters need to be introduced and stories laid down but it shows enough promise to become a success.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Brit Awards 2010, ITV

As Lily Allen burst onto the stage in a flurry of pink and parachutes, her mockney tones seductively hopping along to her hit ‘The Fear’, it looked a promising start to the Brit Awards 2010 and the ceremony’s 30th birthday. But expectations came crashing down as soon as Peter Kay walked on stage looking more uncomfortable than Ashley Cole having his phone fixed in a suit tighter than the Sheriff of Nottingham’s wallet. Immediately he declared that the only fun to be had would be organised and responsible. So starting on a bum not, it’s no wonder Kay’s opening monologue and any other lazy line relating every guest, winner and performer on the bill to an un-amusing Northern reference bombed. You see, in an auditorium full of music and media big wigs whose sole goal is to collate record breaking amounts of business cards while dousing their livers in as much booze as humanly possible-responsibility is the penultimate thing on this audience’s mind, the very last is paying any attention to the dullard on stage’s desperation.

We refer you back to the Brit Awards 2009 hosted by James Corden, Matthew Horne and Kylie Minogue; yet it wasn’t our pop princess who got a critics’ kicking. No it was the blokes either side of her trying to crack gags which no one was listening to, and any comedian will tell you that if a crowd ain’t listening, then the laughs ain’t going to be flowing. The Brits organisers have made this mistake four years in a row now (Russell Brand hosted proceedings in 2007 and The Osbournes in 2008) carelessly throwing comedy and reality stars into an arena that simply does not suit them, leaving them to face the awkwardness and silence alone. The Brit Awards doesn’t need a comedian or a wacky family; it needs a presenter, someone slick and likeable to do short snappy links between each performance and award. We vote to bring Chris Evans back, who did a fantastic job in 2005 and 2006, humbly accepting for his TV comeback that he was the facilitator, the man to ease the audience from one section of the show to another with no sad attempt at a quip in-between.
Evan’s stint was perhaps also memorable for its clever staging and camera techniques, cutting to him at various points around the Albert Hall. Whereas Peter Kay slid away into the shadows of the main stage only to look awkward and bumbling as the real action unfolded before him. Back to that ‘responsible fun’ comment, it proves exactly why Kay was the wrong choice of host. The Brits isn’t meant to be organized and corporate, it’s rock n roll tabloid fodder. Thank God for Liam Gallagher’s unwanted award disposal technique to provide headlines for the following morning. Compared to the stars of today, Kay appeared as nothing more than an end of the pier has been.
Although the Brits are now 30, its 25th five years ago still packed more punch. This year’s shindig seemed hollow with unnecessary throwbacks to the years gone by such as random awards like ‘Best Brits Performance’ and only a fool would use that as a tedious excuse to get Mel B and Geri Halliwell on stage.

As performances go they were good but nothing special; Kasabian, JLS and Robbie being particular highlights. On that note we’ll leave you with the biggest secret of all...Cheryl Cole was miming! I found this hard to believe myself but it is true!

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