TV Troll: Suburban Shenanigans

By Jo Last edited 151 months ago
TV Troll: Suburban Shenanigans
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The time has come. The waiting is over. Desperate Housewives (Wed 10pm C4) is back, and are we ever excited. We'll trot out the tired old cliché about how its acid-bright façade hides a surprisingly black heart because, hell, it's true; something is rotten in the state of Stepford ... even if we all know that the show doesn't quite have the courage of its convictions and there's occasionally a touch of the hugging-and-learning about the manicured fortresses on Wisteria Lane. We know Freaky Boy Zach won't kill Susan as she's in all the pre-season publicity; Mike on the other hand could well end up a little more perforated than your average plumber if Freaky Boy's trigger-happiness is, um, triggered. Andrew's psychopathic tendencies are truly chilling, though, even if his character doesn't quite achieve the emotional honesty on show in that modern TV masterpiece The Sopranos (weep, for the sixth series is to be the last), or even Shameless (Tue 10pm C4) about an altogether less photogenic bunch of neighbours. Perhaps the second series of DHW will take more risks, and the new Wisterians - with their creature-in-the-cellar dirty secret - appear most intriguing. So that's Wednesday nights booked out for the next squillion weeks à la Lost. The sacrifices we make, honestly, the mind boggles.

Tuesday night seems to be dedicated to wading through shit; "Dr" Gillian McKeith pokes her bony finger in some poor hambeast's poo like a true scat enthusiast in You Are What You Eat (Tue 8pm C4) and Alan Yentob wades through the literal and metaphorical shit left in NOLA after Katrina in Imagine ... Sweet Home New Orleans to find out how the city's musical heritage has and will be affected. For the worse, we'd hazard.

Holiday Showdown (Tue 9pm ITV1) is always good for a round of mud-slinging, too; a dynamic depiction of the class rifts that riddle British society, it's usually funny as hell, too, especially because the bourgeois family tend to end up crying into their muesli, while the chav family get all red-faced and shouty about the lack of greasy food and ciggies on an activity holiday in the Lake District. Rare is the episode, too, when there is no footage of the posher family sitting and looking mortified at a jolly singalong in some trashy resort while the beered-up proles dance like wobbly spinning tops. And it never stops being funny.

New this week: Eleventh Hour (Thur 9pm ITV1) sounds like appointment TV - Captain Jean-Luc Picard, billiard-ball-headed sex symbol, saves the world as a super-clever scientist. What more could we ask? Tony Blair Rock Star (Thur 10pm C4) isn't, sadly, about an imagined present where Tone, instead of entering politics, decided to take up music and became a god-like music genius while advocating a Third Way - that could have been quite funny. No, it's about his stupid band that we've heard about approximately a thousand times and we still don't care. Hotel Babylon (Thur 9pm BBC1), with Dexter "Gamesmaster"/ferret-faced weirdo Fletcher, is about the sort of super-luxury hotel that only Paris Hilton could afford to stay in, and the backroom goings-on therein - sounds like it'll be awesome trashy empty televisual calories. The Virgin Queen (Sun 9pm BBC1) is yet another biopic obsessed with the hymenic status of Britain's daywalker queen and famous neurotic, Elizabeth. There can't be many people out there who need to watch The World According To Google (Fri 7.30pm BBC2), as a world without Google can be summed up in one word: shit. No GIS? No Google Maps? No define:word? No Google News? Unthinkable. If they ever start charging for their services, the world would stop working overnight. Google always knows the answer. If only they'd stop caving in to the utterly revolting Chinese leadership on issues of free speech.

Confession time: Pete Burns may be a bit of a bully, but we can't help liking him for his excoriation of Chantelle ("are you even allowed to cross the road by yourself?") - the girl whose voice grates more than the huge industrial grater that must live in some factory somewhere to grate all the grated parmesan that Tesco, Sainsbury's et al whack into little pots with a huge mark-up on compared to the ungrated stuff, all because some people are too lazy to use a grater. So, quite grating, then. Preston: she's not "wicked", she is so terrifyingly dim that she makes Jade look like Oscar Wilde. How very depressing.

Last Updated 16 January 2006