TV Troll: Who Needs Friends, Anyway?

By Jo Last edited 160 months ago
TV Troll: Who Needs Friends, Anyway?

What happened to the idea of the summer being a fallow period for telly watchers, resigned to endless repeats of Last Of The Sodding Summer Wine, Columbo and Porridge? When did TV execs wake up and realise that, actually, just because it was light outside, it didn’t necessarily mean that people wanted to spend their evenings (heaven forfend) socialising or (shock horror) going outside? Well, may the eternal lords of the flickering screen be thanked that they woke up, smelt the Fairtrade coffee, and started to commission things to watch for fun (as opposed to things to watch while having a nervous breakdown). Excuse the overabundance of italics in the preceding paragraph, dear readers; this Londonista is just rather … overcome at the thought of all the lovely goggle-box watching that lies ahead this week. Here goes …

Starting with the depressing stuff, tonight you must watch The New Al-Qaeda (Mon 9pm BBCTwo) if you are at all concerned about the bearded fanatics with a penchant for seemingly random acts of violence, how they are using the Intarweb to recruit and train cannon fodder suicide bombers, and how their ultra-l33t h4x0r sk1llz are being countered. And you thought the Net was only good for time-wasting and cyber. (And Londonist, of course.) In a similar vein of seriousness, Trauma London: The Medics’ Story (Thur 8pm BBCOne) promises to be an eye-opener for those of us who weren’t directly affected by the bombings on the 7th July:

How the medics of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel dealt with the aftermath of the explosions in London on the 7th July, treating over 200 people affected by the blasts.

Required viewing, indeed.

Continuing the London theme, albeit in a slightly less reach-for-the-Prozac kind of way, ITV – yes, ITV of all places – is showing two, count ‘em two decent-sounding documentaries about our fair city. Maureen Lipman (always worth watching) presents In Search Of Style: Metroland (Thur 7.30pm ITV1), all about the design history and social impact of the London Underground, while Adam Hart-Davis does his amiable nutter act all around sites in the capital affected by war in How London Was Built (Tue 7.30pm ITV1). If you share even a modicum of this Londonista’s nerdy hard-on for documentaries (the sight of the Dispatches [Thur 9pm C4] title sequence has been known to induce little geek-gasms in the past) then these ought to be worth a gander.

That’s quite enough of the heavy stuff. If you really must, feel free to watch the execrable A Bear’s Tail (Fri 10.35pm C4) or the slow-burning Extras (Thur 9pm BBCTwo), but bear in mind that watching Donald Trump’s hairpiece in The Apprentice USA is really rather more fun. Every joke that could possibly have been made about his bonce-lawn has undoubtedly been made, but it has to be seen to be believed. Maybe being a billionaire is … never meeting anyone brave enough to tell you you’re an international laughing-stock. The write-up for Dealing With Dickinson (Sun 8pm BBCOne), speaking of orange men with funny hair, sounds utterly amazing, too:

David tests the team's antique knowledge with cash prizes at stake. But resentment over his controlling hand erupts into a furious row when his proteges question his antique knowledge!

If that doesn’t epitomise Sunday night TV, then what does?

Finally, Channel 4 are giving mad people who missed the first series of Dessie Housewives another chance to ogle watch the various beautiful bods of Wisteria Lane get on, and get it on (Fri 11.40 C4). Sort of like Jilly Cooper on crack, but with that Stepford fembot vibe too. Watch as the perfect lives of Bree, Susan, Gabrielle and Lynette gently fall apart. Roll on series 2!

Finally finally finally (fo' rizzle ma shizzles), if you're still bored, head over to the TvGoHome archives for some real old-school nostalgia, and to be reminded what a flaming genius Charlie Brooker really is. We are not worthy.

Last Updated 25 July 2005