The world of literary/artistic criticism can be wonderfully/infuriatingly obscure. Trying to read books that demand an hour per page (hello, The Order Of Mimesis!) can get a bit wearisome at times; trying to read books dedicated to ”werewolves, shamen, witches, demons and murderers” (hello, Nick Land on Bataille!) can be a real mindfuck. It’s a good thing that we have people like Slavoj Žižek around to make crits, if not a walk in the park, then at least a lot more fun than watching Jordan And Peter: Marriage And Mayhem (Wed 11pm ITV1). We mention this because the hirsute Slovene is going to be guiding us through his Pervert’s Guide To The Cinema (Thur 11.05pm C4) as part of the Artshock series. Žižek has a knack for explaining hugely complex ideas in an engaging and even entertaining way, so all you cinema nuts out there are pretty much obliged to tune in, even if only to ensure that you get lots of lovely snob points at the next meeting of your postmodern arthouse-only film buffs’ club. Oh, and we don’t think he means “Perverts” in the Brass Eye sense. Phew.
Other Artshock programmes will look at sexism in art (featuring Margate’s most famous export, Tracey Emin - What Price Art, Wed 11.05 C4) and the
mad challenging artists who use their bodies – and things that spurt out of their bodies at various times - as a canvas (The Human Canvas, Tue 11.05pm C4). On the subject of art, we really think you should visit Drawball - make sure you say you disagree! – and have a look at the rather brilliant stuff there – including the evolution of this portrait of everyone’s favourite stripper with a heart of gold, and this much-grafitti'd scene.
Was the UK ever at risk from a military coup - in the 20th century, no less? Er, we don’t know, since we were far too busy learning about Nazi Germany like every other GCSE student back in the day, but that is the real-life premise of The Plot Against Harold Wilson (Thur 9pm BBC2). Wilson fans are well catered-for this week, with ITV’s Wilson (Tue 11pm ITV1) as well. We’ll be watching Drunk And Dangerous: A Change In The Law (Tue 10.35pm BBC1) instead, however, just to see if we recognise anyone we know (Stephen Twigg maybe?), although the alarmist line this investigation looks likely to take might be rather tiresome. It’s hard to know who to believe on the subject of licensing laws; it’s not exactly anarchy in the UK yet, except if you’re in the market for a taxi in the West End at 3am. It could just be too soon to tell if 24-hour opening will lead to mass alcoholism and doom and destruction, of course – but let’s not let that get in the way of lots of voyeuristic, faux-outraged footage of young people falling over and vomiting a lot.
Oh goodness. Tanya was on last week’s Footballers Wive$ (Thur 9pm ITV1) preview – ohgodohgodohgodpleasepleaseplease. We heard she wasn’t back until episode 5, though – odd. Whatever, everyone’s favourite chatshow hosts Richard and Judy are on this week, presumably playing themselves. Everyone’s favourite Big Brother presenter, however, isn’t enjoying her primetime experiment – poor Davina (Wed 7pm BBC1), she got the lowest ever primetime audience for BBC1. Not being sure how exactly interviewing Jordan and Eamonn Holmes fulfils the BBC’s charter obligations, we’re inclined to shrug and start the countdown to Big Brother (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun, all day and all night, not bloody soon enough). We like Davina on that.
This week’s trashy TV quota is looking bizarrely compelling. The dire My Family (cosier than eating Hobnobs in front of Last Of The Summer Wine in a dressing gown while it’s snowing outside) addresses the, ah, topical issue of cyclists and red lights and the wilful incompatibility of said. The quite, quite horrid Poor Little Rich Girls (Thur 10pm ITV1) this week has a millionaire’s daughter roughing it in the East End, and throwing a strop at a soup kitchen (aren’t the rich so generous and isn’t the work they do for charity simply marvellous?). We’re still waiting for Poor Little Rich Boys, however – do the makers think that girls make better television, perhaps? It smacks slightly of misogyny to us, actually. 50 Cent: Money Machine (Fri 7pm BBC2) will examine the rise to superstardom of Fiddy – yet another of those pesky signs of the End Times we’re always banging on about. Yes, he made it out of the ghetto, with a little help from the proceeds of his crack dealing business, a few good-for-publicity gunshot wounds, and some heavy-duty patronage; now, how to get the rest of the kids in the projects and the mean streets onto the straight and narrow? Hmm, that’s a tough one. The Games (Fri 8.30pm C4) is notable for having only one person TV Troll has heard of, namely that target of Jordan’s ire, Javine. Some sort of record, surely? Finally, guilty-pleasure, upmarket trash The Apprentice is on lots this week (Tue 7pm BBC2/Wed 9pm BBC2) for all the addicts out there.
If zombies ever take over London à la 28 Days Later (Sat 10.10pm C4), we want to stick close but not too close to this guy. Tesla coils are so freakin’ awesome. Zap the undead/infected abominations! Yeah! Finally, there’s an honourable mention for a worthy repeat, namely Bail Bailey: Part Troll (Fri 11.05pm C4). Clearly, a man-troll after our own heart.