After last Friday’s crime extravaganza I decided to watch something a little different this week – game shows aren’t really my cup of tea, but according to the comments I receive from people who read my column, it’s better when I dislike things. Hosted by the fantastically amusing Paddy McGuinness (of Phoenix Nights), Take Me Out is a dating show in which one man is given the chance to impress thirty women. Each woman has a light that she can turn off to indicate that she wouldn’t date the man. His aim is to leave himself with the largest number of (aesthetically pleasing) women to choose from at the end. Some of the ladies involved have a distinctly bovine appearance or are just plain androgynous and will therefore have lower standards than their more attractive counterparts. The man must avoid the situation where he is left with what is referred to as a ‘grunter’. If he is lacking enough in visual appeal himself – or if he partakes in some unusually esoteric activities during one of the VTs – all the women will turn off their lights. The man is then sent home to come to terms with the fact that thirty mostly unpleasant-looking women have resisted his charms on national television, aww. Even McGuinness can’t turn this awful show around, and he’s a funny guy. It is so bad that it actually becomes watchable as some kind of bizarre documentary about chav mating rituals. Summary: more cheesy than a tramp’s ball sack.
Last Sunday evening saw the broadcast of the final episode of the BBC’s three-part drama South Riding. Starring David Morrissey, Peter Firth, Penelope Wilton and John Henshaw; South Riding is set in the part of present-day Yorkshire which used to bear that name. Despite this (and the large number of fine thespians), most of the cast have appalling Yorkshire accents. Peter Firth (whose usual authoritative tones we are so used to) continually manages to slip back into his ordinary accent after the first sentence, which can be somewhat cringeworthy. John Henshaw, who many people know as ‘that bloke off the Post Office adverts’ plays an excellent role as Mister Huggins, an extremely devout man who has a penchant for a few extra-marital games of hide the salami. The obligatory underlying and unexpected romance is had between Sarah, the new Headmistress at the local school, and Robert Carne – played by David Morrissey – who sits rather well in his typical performance as a misunderstood semi-bastard. Disappointingly, it turns out that it was only really worth watching for the number of big names in the cast; the storyline being somewhat lacklustre.