Luke ON TV – My Family, I Know My Kid’s a Star, Young Mums’ Mansion, Britain’s Got Talent, All Star Mr & Mrs

by | Apr 17, 2008 | All, Reviews

I’ve been writing this column since January and I didn’t expect you to lose complete respect and faith in me this early but brace yourselves its about to happen! I guess I shouldn’t beat around the bush anymore so here goes ……….I…….I…I quite enjoyed Friday’s My Family.

Like many, I watched the first series but lost interest quickly and have only dipped in and out ever since. So it was a little odd that I decided to give this first episode of the seventh series a go. Whether you like it or not, it is an achievement nowadays for anything, drama or comedy, to make it to its seventh series. I turned it on with low expectations and was surprised how it seemed to have grown up a bit. I can’t abide the dopiness of Abby and Roger but they didn’t get much screen time in this opener and the humour seemed surprisingly near the mark for a “safe” series.

One of the lines “so says my sister whose legs have two different postcodes” would perhaps be more at home in Pulling but I was surprised how mature this first one was. Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker who once refused to film an episode because the script was so terrible have always carried the show and this was proof of how good they can be when the script is right. Now I’m not saying I’m rushing out to buy all the DVDs and searching Google for My Family fan clubs, but this episode actually made me laugh in places and that’s all I really want from a comedy. I doubt it’ll continue to but I’ll give the second one a go just to see. Ahh that feels good to get of my chest.

Another disappointment this week when my favourite crazy mum Rocky was voted off VH1’s I Know My Kid’s a Star. Apologies for the spoiler. I know I keep banging on about this reality series but has me sucked in. To quote Gavin & Stacey, it’s like a Dyson! This week, I cringed through every painful moment of the shoe commercial scenes but, as usual, it’s the parents who show themselves up and behave like the children.

Rocky, who wasn’t the worst of the bunch but was the most interesting to watch, was sent home this week with daughter Hailey who didn’t shine in the audition but didn’t deserve to go. It’s a shame as she was my main reason for watching the circus that masquerades as a reality series but, with the other parents showing their true colours, I’m sure I’ll still be glued to my seat. I wouldn’t it past VH1 to give Rocky her own spin off, though.

After the successes of Little Angels and The House of Tiny Tearaways, another parenting series is just what BBC3 needs. Young Mums’ Mansion is billed as a social experiment to see whether single mums can function as a unit living together and working in a team. Unlike its other parenting counterparts, it doesn’t feature a physiologist delving deep into the lives of the single mums deciding instead to leave the mums to their own devices to either work in harmony or tear each other apart. As it turns out, this is quite a good series. It’s not as contrived as it first appears and it feels very real because the producers aren’t getting involved every few seconds to inflame the situations. Most of the mums are completely likeable apart from the one who never puts her baby down and complains on bonfire night that babies won’t enjoy the loud bangs. They’re babies not dogs, love! After years of watching people nearly tear lumps out of each other in the name of reality TV, the lack of conflict is the reason I really enjoyed it.

Britain’s Got Talent is back and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve decided it may well be the best programme on TV at the moment ad I’d happily fight anyone who disagrees with my pillowcase full of bricks. I can’t actually lift my pillowcase because it’s a little too full of bricks but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

It’s no exaggeration when I say I was completely engrossed by this opening episode from the dopey devil playing the Star Wars theme on the Casio keyboard, the pensioner who thought laying on a bed of nails was entertaining to the comedian who did a rather good Boyzone impersonation. But the thing I love most about this series is it does unearth some real talent and often has me near to tears. The 13-year-old opera singer Andrew Johnston was the biggest and most pleasant surprise. I watched it with my parents and we sat in awe as belted out a marvellous rendition of Pie Jesu. It was quite simply great TV. There isn’t enough TV nowadays that caters for everyone in the family but Britain’s Got Talent Is completely addictive and fun for everyone.

Ant & Dec are their usually great selves in this and I can even just about tolerate Piers Morgan (only just). Based on the success of Paul Potts (was never really my winner last series but he has still done well) and the truly stunning talent that featured in this opener, I don’t see how anyone can say that these talent shows don’t deliver. I’d quite happily sit through hours of it. How good was that dancing dog? That’s good TV! Britain clearly has talent!!

Unlike Britain’s Got Talent, which is the ultimate in Saturday night TV, ITV’s other Saturday offering All Star Mr & Mrs didn’t really hit the mark. I was new to the whole Mr & Mrs phenomenon (not really the right word, I know. Ha!) but I did recognise all the celebrities (Phil Tufnell, Wendy Richard and Shane from Boyzone) and that is rare with anything that features the words “celebrity” or “star” nowadays.

It was a bit of Saturday night fluff and it did its job as that but it never really got going. The studio audience didn’t seem that enthused and I felt it all fell a little flat. All a bit dull and lacking in entertainment. Phil & Fern did their best but seemed out of their comfort zone, perhaps their not used to being up of an evening, but with the right hosts who could’ve sparked some humour into proceedings it may have been a little better. Looking at the line-up for show teo they’ve even lost the “all star” factor as I only recognise Lembit Opik and his Cheeky Girl – and there are another seven episodes to go!

With no question Britain’s Got Talent was completely CRUMBLETASTIC and if the standard keeps up it could be CRUMBLETASTIC every week till the summer. Its with some regret I must give my BLACK PUDDING to I Know My Kid’s a Star for kicking Rocky the Mad Mum off.

Do you agree with me that Britain’s Got Talent is the best reality series on TV? Has My Family really got better? Feel free to leave your comments below.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

17/04/2008

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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