Luke ON TV – The Baftas, Britain’s Got Talent, Cutting Edge, Waking the Dead, Pulling

by | Apr 24, 2008 | All, Reviews

I’ve not watched the BAFTA TV awards for a while. Have they always said “and the Bafta is awarded to” instead of “and the Bafta goes to”? I have to say the majority of the winners were deserving. Not quite sure how Holby City bagged the best continuing drama (a soap to us normal folk)?

Host Graham Norton did his best but he’s better on his chat show where he’s free to say and do pretty much as he pleases; here a lot seemed to fall flat. The joke about the abysmal Rock Rivals ratings tickled me though. I also learned Pasty Palmer of EastEnders can’t really read and Peep Show’s Robert Webb is appears to be going bald. The problem with any award show, though, is a lot of it is just people clapping and thanking people we’ve never heard of. I actually think that’s what PVR devices were invented for – I took great pleasure in whizzing through the acceptance speeches by the cast of Holby and the two dull guys from Heroes who didn’t seem sure what they’d won.

In between people thanking their peers there were some highlights. Like the delightful Andrew Garfield who was truly shocked by his win in Boy A and came across very well. I was glad Gavin & Stacey did so well as its well deserving of all the buzz this second series seems to be generating. I’m glad it scooped the audience award because, although I’m absolutely loving Britain’s Got Talent, I’d hate to see Piers Morgan accepting the award and talking about how much he wanted to beat Sir Alan Sugar. Paul Merton’s tribute to Brucie was perhaps the highlight of the night its just a shame it took nearly two hours to get there.

Britain’s Got Talent‘s second episode was perhaps a little short on actual talent. The completely tasteless Anya Sparks who (with bra showing) danced so badly to Toxic I think even Britney would have to blush. I usually like Amanda Holden and think she usually has a good grasp on talent so why put Anya and her white bra through! Say what you like about Simon Cowell, but he does know what passes as talent and Anya ain’t got it!

The show seemed more frenzied and lacking in wow moments this week, choosing instead to go for the what-the-hell-were-they-thinking moments. One glimpse of talent came from the group who played Coldplay’s Clocks and 10-year-old Charlie Green with his surprisingly good rendition of Summer Wind. But after years of Pop Stars, Pop Stars the Rivals, Pop Idol and The X Factor, and with Paul Potts winning last year, I don’t want to see another singer win.

Britain’s Got Talent is more fun than the singing competitions we’ve seen year after year and to reduce it to a singing competition is a real shame. Maybe I’m getting cynical but was singer Madonna Desnna really worth the standing ovation and the tears? I tuned in for Britain’s Got Talent not Britain’s Got Sob Stories and I didn’t think she was very good at all. Of course I Will Always Love You isn’t the easiest song to sing (I’m more at home with Rabbit from Chas’n’ Dave or perhaps Daniel Powter’s Bad Day if you push me) but she really didn’t seem to deliver and I may have to give up on the series if she wins. That being said, bring on next week!

With Gavin & Stacey scooping the big prizes, I do worry that BBC3’s other brilliant comedy Pulling is getting a little overlooked. It never fails to make me laugh and, although the storylines are completely mad, they somehow work brilliantly. I’d love to see this for a third series but I wonder if the barrage of people who switch off after their weekly dose of Gav and Stacey have blown the chances of this Sharon Horgan masterpiece getting another outing. I guess with the last episode of series two airing on Sunday its too late to start telling you just how wonderful this is, but if you’ve not seen it yet it’s a real comedic treat that deserves far more attention than its getting.

BBC1’s flagship drama series Waking the Dead is back. You may think the title refers to the fact that it’s about a team who solve cold cases, but in truth it gets its tile because when Boyd (good haircut Trevor Eve) gets into one of his uncontrolled and uncalled-for bellows, his shouting is enough to wake the dead.

This was one the main things that made me give up on the series a few years ago. It just seemed to be Trevor Eve shouting a lot with Sue Johnston looking puzzled and some dramatic music to keep the tension. I’ve always found the acting in this series a bit over the top and amateurish in places. Couple that with the sometimes over-complicated storylines and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. As it turned it out, the first episode of the seventh series was quite good and either I’ve got more intelligent or the storyline was easier to follow. Of course Boyd lost his temper in places but I knew that was coming and although I do find it completely unbelievable that someone in Boyd’s high profile position would continue to spit out his dummy, I did find myself getting into the story involving a dead prison officer and featuring the always creepy Michael Maloney. One thing though that did annoy me was Boyd’s missing son storyline. Yes I must commend the writers for giving his character a good strong name, Luke. I just wish our detectives weren’t so tormented. You never see them singing along to their Ipods whilst make a nice chocolate sponge, stroking a Labrador and just generally enjoying life.

The latest series of Channel 4’s documentary series Cutting Edge (ending this week with an odd sounding doc about kids who box) has been interesting, engrossing and sometimes frustrating. The latest episode entitled Cotton Wool Kids embodied all three, following the lives of children with parents who were completely convinced if they let their offspring out of their sight, they’d be stabbed, kidnapped, shot or bullied. All parents are overprotective to a point. (My mum’s sitting by me while I type this to make sure I don’t buy a yacht on eBay or enter a “naughty” site.) The parents featured were completely convinced their children were in danger and hence kids as young has five are living in fear of being taken and snatched, with the adults quoting the story of Madeleine McCann as if she were a neighbour or schoolfriend.

The documentary shed some interest light on modern Britain with only two out of 10 kids now playing in their street. I really felt for the subjects as they yearned for their freedom and found myself getting more and frustrated by the programme as it didn’t really give us an ending and I wanted to sit the parents down and talk to them properly. Cutting Edge always does these sort of things well and I want to see a follow-up to see if the parents have calmed down or are still buying their kids I-phones and Nintendo Wii’s to keep them in the safe confines of the family home where they can apparently come to absolutely no danger.

Pulling is completely CRUMBLETASTIC and needs more attention, and although I enjoyed bits of the BAFTAs, most of it didn’t really entertain me and gets the BLACK PUDDING award.

Feel free to leave your comments below as I love reading what you think.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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