Tuesday TV News: Escape From Reality? No Thanks

By Jo Last edited 162 months ago
Tuesday TV News: Escape From Reality? No Thanks

Long live reality TV! Without it, this week’s schedules would look worryingly barren – aside from must-see telly like Nip/Tuck (22.50/23.50 Wed C4) and Scrubs (20.00 Fri C4), all the high points of the week’s programming are derived from members of the public making fuckwits of themselves.

Also, the Channel 4 scheduler who decided that Nip/Tuck was best shown when most non-insomniacs have gone to bed clearly needs to cut down on the Colombian marching powder. Curse you, you nameless, faceless sadist. May you be sent to a Hell that consists of watching Nigella Lawson’s appalling and narcissistic Nigella 24/7 while being buggered with a red-hot hedgehog.

To convey fully the horror of this show, for those who stare blankly at a computer rather than a TV screen all day, here is the introduction from ‘Gella’s stomach-churning microsite:

"Welcome to the microsite for my new show!

During July I'll be inviting celebrity guests to join me in the kitchen for cooking and cosy chats.

We'll be talking everything from make-up and handbags to gadgets and gizmos. And I'll be opening up Dr Lawson's agony clinic to discuss real-life dilemmas, problems and difficult situations.

I'll also be running daily competitions to win lots of goodies so hope you can join me!"

It sounds almost as bad as the Cola Cake she’s threatening to make. (13.30 daily ITV1)

Channel 4, in the meantime, seem to have realised that people only watch the sublime Big Brother because, at heart, it’s nothing more than Jungian archetypes fighting each other to the death.

Derek is the Wise Old Man; Makosi fluctuates between the Good Mother and the Terrible Mother; Craig and Anthony are the Syzygy... but this column is not supposed to be about BB, so back to topic. Ahem. Yes, having grasped the fact that getting a load of weirdoes and shoving them into cramped living quarters makes for fascinating viewing, C4 have come up with The Nightmares Next Door, which they ought just rename Big Brother With Added Class Warfare In Caravans and be done with it. This Londonista cannot wait. (21.00 Wed C4)

To complete the Nigella-style Feast of reality telly in store for us, we have How Clean Is Your House? (20.00 Wed C4), You Are What You Eat (20.30 Wed C4, note to self: calling so-called ‘Dr’ Gillian McKeith rude names just because she is obsessed with poo is not on), Wife Swap USA (20.00 Thur C4), and What Not To Wear (21.00 Tue BBC One) – all shows of which it is impossible to tire.

On a darker note, for those who enjoy self-flagellation and take a dour pleasure in finding out exactly how tightly wedged around the U-bend the country’s public services really are, there’s a lovely cheerful Panorama, all about neglect of the elderly in the NHS. Sounds like a veritable volcano of fun and kittens and sequins and super happy tiara carebears. Or not.

After that Snickers of televisual wonders, the diligent viewer deserves a nice nap. To that end, all those insomniacs who manage to watch Nip/Tuck without the benefit of TiVo or even a humble video recorder ought to check out Meet Joe Black (21.10 Sat BBC Two), as this Londonista has never found a surer cure for sleeplessness. Look up ‘turgid’ in your OED and next to it you will find a picture of Brad Pitt with nuclear-winter peroxide hair, playing Death, Destroyer Of Worlds, with a yellow mullet atop his beautiful cranium. Yes, not even Brad Pitt looking soulful was enough to keep this reviewer awake. There is a first time for everything, after all.

If anyone has bothered to read this far, and is wondering why there is a picture of Kath and Kim accompanying this article, well, there is no such thing as a K&K overload, and series 2 and 3 are out in Oz. Huzzah! Honestly, we don’t deserve such perfection – we send the Aussies Monarch Of The Glen - bizarrely popular Down Under, according to certain sources – and they send us the best sitcom since Fawlty Towers. Advance Australia Fair to the power of a million! We’ll even forgive you for Dannii Minogue and The Tribe.

Last Updated 19 July 2005