TV Troll: Rock On And Make Gene Proud

By Jo Last edited 161 months ago
TV Troll: Rock On And Make Gene Proud

If Londonist were invited to take part in the venerable comedy/chat show hybrid Room 101 (Wed 10pm BBC2), we are sure we would have no trouble coming up with a list of items to be sent to the titular chamber, never to return. Let's see: people who stand on the wrong side on the escalator; cyclists who run red lights and go down one-way streets the wrong way and generally act like menaces; the BNP; Ant and Dec; smug, inconsiderate gits who seem to think the Tube is a good place for live-action homegrown porn; Bench Full Stop clothing; people who think screaming Little Britain catchphrases is funny; Jack Vettriano paintings; Gyles Brandreth ... Yes, Gyles Braindeath, former Tory MP, jumper-wearing buffoon, with a freakishly huge teddy-bear collection. There is something wrong with adults who collect plush toys - don't try and tell us otherwise. We'd love to see him slide down the hatch, gibbering in terror. Sadly, we get to see what he's nominated for annihilation instead. Life can be so unfair.

Life really can be a bit of a shitter, especially if you're a Wolf Boy (Hidden Lives: It's Not Easy Being A Wolf Boy, Mon 9pm Five). In this Five documentary, we're promised a look at the lives of an extended family who all suffer from hypertrichosis - a one-in-ten-billion condition (which makes you wonder exactly how much skinny dipping was taking place in the family gene pool). The only consolation for the unfortunate sufferers of so-called "Werewolf Syndrome" is that they'll never be stuck for a Halloween costume.

Five is showing more prurient pop sociology this week in the form of Gender Swap (Mon 10pm Five) - Rebecca Loos and Darren Day will be sweating under layers of latex for us this week. Truly, they must love us to suffer so. Maybe Gender Swap will be a valuable contribution to the debate surrounding issues of Butlerian performativity ("that the gendered body is performative suggests that it has no ontological status apart from the various acts which constitute its reality") in a modern celebrity-obsessed society; if it doesn't manage that, well, at least we get to see two people (in)famous for having inappropriate sex in various states of déshabille - bonus.

From inappropriate sex to illegal sex - no, not that kind of illegal, you filthy-minded lot. Channel 4's 'adult'-themed season kicks off with Sexology: Armed Robbery Orgasm, about a couple who combine, um, armed robbery and orgasms. Genius. We're having trouble picturing the logistics of this particular fetish - yeah, sure, it sounds pretty cool and extreme, but we bet in reality it would be less Bonnie and Clyde/Tarantino, more Crimewatch/Carry On. In fact, Channel 4's Sexology mini-season (Sexology: Obscene Machines, Tue 10.55pm C4, should be another highlight - robot sex! Articulated RealDolls!) ties in well with the launch of their new cable/satellite/Freeview outlet more4, which we're looking forward to. We never say no to more Sopranos, after all.

Donal MacIntyre is all over Five like an STD this week, what with Killer Shark Live (Mon-Fri 8pm Five) on every day, and MacIntyre's Toughest Towns (Wed 11.05pm/11.35pm Five) as well. We're sure there is some sort of urban sharks joke to be made, but we'll just say that we wish Killer Shark Live featured Donal using the street-fighting skills he undoubtedly picked up in his Toughest Towns tour to punch a hammerhead on the nose while insulting its parentage and choice of football team, because that would be rather ace. Extra points if the shark ate him afterwards.

TV Troll would like to apologise profusely for failing to tip Rock School (Fri 9.30pm C4) last week; how this gem of culture-class-clash-confrontation passed us by, we don't know. Take a load of choristers at an exclusive private school, then give them six weeks to turn themselves into genuine rock gods under the tutelage of KISS frontman Gene Simmons. Will they learn to strut and pout like proper rock legends in time for the big concert? Will they realise that metal isn't just for meatheads, and there is a compelling beauty in the dischordant feedback fuzz and heavier-than-fuck beats of the classics of the rock canon, or will they carry on preferring the Pachelbel variety? We can't wait to find out.

Sex and rock'n'roll - but no drugs? Sounds like the divine Sharon Osbourne, in the anecdote related by Nikki Sixx in The Dirt (we've plugged it before, and we'll plug it again, until every last one of you has read it, goddammit), about trying to procure some mind-altering substances for Ozzie but being thwarted by his formidable manager and future wife. Gawd bless Shazza - who is of course a judge on X Factor (Sat 6.10pm/8.10pm ITV1). After the brutalities of boot camp last week - like Guantànamo Bay but with added blonde highlights and close-harmony singing - it's time to select the favoured few for the live shows, which start next week. As before, the smart money is on Shane to win. You read it here first!

OK, so we've got the X Factor segue out of the way. Now, how to tie in Lost (Wed 10pm C4) ...? Oh yes, Charlie, who plays a significant supporting role, is a rock'n'roller who has recently given up drugs, and probably wants to have sex with Claire (don't we all?). Smooth, eh? It ends on a cliffhanger even more precipitous than usual this week, so it's a good thing the next episode is on immediately afterwards on E4 (Wed 11pm E4). Phew, crisis averted. On that note, TV Troll would like to wish you all a happy week of S and D and R'n'R and we'll see you next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel. If your life is lacking all those things, cheer up - at least you're not a Wolf Boy. m/ Rock on! m/

Last Updated 03 October 2005