TV Musings


Wednesday/Thursday 10th/11th December 2014

Last night was the conclusion of The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies – a drama based on the true life murder of Joanna Yeates and the demonisation of her landlord, Christopher Jefferies, by the press.

The press – and it seems the police – thought that Jefferies was guilty based on his bachelorhood, his hair-sprayed comb-over and his books. He was a difficult intellectual type – not quite as camp as the programme depicted – but not far off it.

Because Joanna was young and pretty, and she lived in an aspirational area, and she was found dead on Christmas day, the news story was huge. It filled up the front pages and rolling news for weeks… It was almost like a holiday crime melodrama – a Christie for Christmas…  And the dramatisation was as beautifully filmed as a sentimental Wintry rom-com. It even had some funny lines, and a potential girlfriend in the underused Anna Maxwell Martin as a shop owner.

Part one which focused on the immediate aftermath of the murder was more successful than part two which focused on suing the papers and Jefferies appearing at the Levenson Inquiry… What it needed was a journalist justifying their coverage… much as I loathe tabloids – there’s no drama when you don’t let one side speak.

And I would love to know why they think it’s ok to accuse someone of a crime before they’ve been tried and convicted. Or why they think it’s ok to expose an ordinary person to the full weight of misinformed public opinion.

In the endless McCann case – which was mentioned in the drama – the press regularly accuse someone of the crime – putting up photos or artists’ impressions. Accusing gypsies or people with German accents – and yet one word against the parents will see you hounded on Sky News and The Daily Mirror as if you were a monster. They encourage the public to get over-involved with things they can’t really know about and then they attack them for being over-involved in things they can’t really know about.

It’s brutal and weird and I wonder if they’re aware of it?

Here’s a journalist huffing about the accuracy of the drama :

and here’s a blog journalist covering the McCann libel trial (which isn’t being covered by the mainstream press – for whatever reason) :

And here’s an article containing the Mother Lode of McCann suspects – this one is fat, smelly, dirty, slow, foreign, dark, tanned, disabled (he’s got speech problems) and has an unhealthy interest in British white girls. Maybe one day we’ll find out why the press and the police are conspiring to make the McCanns look part of a cover-up (because if you spend two minutes looking at their bizarre publicity – it’s the only conclusion you can come to)… but until then… behold :

and here’s an interesting take on the lies and spin the McCanns have generated (for God knows why – even if they were drunk & got done for neglect – surely that’s better than ruining an investigation into your own kid’s disappearance?)

Musings on Last Night’s UK TV

Joe Swash, Rob Beckett, Laura Whitmore - presenters of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now!

Joe Swash, Rob Beckett, Laura Whitmore – presenters of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here – they ate, tortured, crushed & terrified too many bugs and other critters. It made the trials cruel and boring – other than that it was quite a lively year.

I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now – it’s more fun than the main show. The high-energy banter is more interesting than polished stunts. One of the reasons that Reality TV has over-taken drama in the public’s affections is that drama is mostly predictable. No one could write some of the truly eccentric people and left-field scandals that have been generated by has-beens and wannabees competing in popularity contests while singing, doing silly tasks or going about their mundane daily routines.

Remember Me – the first episode was a brilliantly creepy (albeit conventional) ghost story… the second episode was less frightening but still held out the hope of there being shocks and twists to come… the last episode was so bad I don’t know how it made it past a producer (who all – apparently – sit around with their 3-Act plot graphs poised to pounce on any script that ventures past their eyeballs)… It was dire… It made no sense… An old man who was trying to get away from a ghost turned out to not be trying to get away from a ghost but there was no adequate reason why he appeared to be trying to get away from a ghost… There was no explanation why the ghost had to travel by objects – or how she got to the man she was haunting… or why she wanted to kill a care worker’s little brother… or why the old man was 110 (unless it was because the writer wanted to shoe-horn the 1st World War into the script and still have the lead alive)… or why her war-related death should lead her to haunt a tiny terraced house in Yorkshire rather than the sea-shore where she washed up, or the ship she sank in, or India where she came from, or the German ship that bombed her… A ghost is usually out for revenge – or wants something desperately – so for her not be killed by the person she’s haunting, a person she was leaving anyway, adds nothing to the story… It might have been better if she had to kill children to keep him alive and he lured people so she could get them. Then the last episode could have gone somewhere new and suitably horrific.

the ghost in Scarborough

the ghost in Scarborough

L.M. Montgomery Virago Covers

Virago – who used to have some of the ugliest covers in UK publishing (bar the monstrosities Diana Wynne Jones was lumbered with) – has reprinted some of L.M Mongomery’s finest novels in to-die-for covers that pretty much any dreamy girl or boy would love to own (I’m stretching it with boy – but you never know…).

Lucy Maud is the Canadian author, famous for Anne of Green Gables, who specialized in writing about young girls making their way in the world – which, between 1897 to 1942, mostly meant how they organised their domestic circumstances. Despite our better opportunities they still have a lot to teach us about fortitude and hope.

Nice Guy Eddie



Channel 4 are showing a documentary about ‘virtuous paedophiles’… Men who are attracted to children but out of the goodness of their hearts don’t do anything about it… These men want your attention and sympathy so they can ‘get help’ for their ‘urges’… A specialist programme for potential sex offenders might be a good idea – although I assume there are psychiatrists who could deal with this problem… but the one thing we shouldn’t do is give in to their demands for sympathy… The implied threat of ‘if you belittle me or make me feel bad I will hurt you’ is a power move. It’s domineering. It’s a form of emotional abuse. It’s grooming… It may even be a lie… like pretending to have cancer so you get money or praise… It’s fatal to get in a pattern of rewarding someone for not committing crimes they claim to want to commit… they get addicted to being the ‘hero’ and we’re the nanny-sidekick forever enabling not only their grotesque sexual fantasies but their sense of martyrdom and entitlement.

Sexist Shirts and Oppressive Singles

The sexist shirt of sexist evil...

The sexist shirt of sexist evil…

I love a cultural controversy and two have floated past my eyeballs this week.

1. a scientist wearing a ‘sexist’ shirt.

2. yet another version of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’.

The first one is poor Dr Matt Taylor who had to apologise for wearing a garish shirt patterned with sexy cartoon women when he was interviewed on t.v. after his team landed a probe on a comet… I favour suits for important occasions so I think he was dressed foolishly – but if someone has a cartoon shirt personality I don’t think it’s too big a deal if they wear a cartoon shirt… And if the women were naked there might be a case for that being a misuse of our eyeballs (it does have images of a gun – so I’m surprised no one THOUGHT OF THE CHILDREN). But to make out that sexiness is sexist; and to make some poor sod cry as he pleads for forgiveness is ridiculous esp. when many young women spend a significant part of their youth wearing t-shirts with pictures of their favourite pretty boy… Ladies – you scream at men in the streets because they’re sexy… you put them on your walls… you’ve even started literally offering them your first born children… you are in no position to call men sexist for wearing shirts…. (on a side-note – the one and only reason I didn’t bother with science at school is because it was hard. Unless you’re stuck in a hell-hole where you get beaten for passing exams – it’s the only reason any student drops anything).

The second is another re-tread of the Band Aid single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ this time in the cause of Ebola… Most people are fine with it… But there has been some carping about the effectiveness of the aid industry – which I agree with – but in this case there’s a vaccine to fund so cold hard cash might come in useful (without funding a warlord or a corrupt government). Another objection is that it gives a false impression of Africa – which is true. I pretty much think of Africa as a place where people starve, get shot or die of dread diseases… Although that’s pretty much what I think of the U.S.A. – and South America – and Glasgow… so I doubt it matters. The last objection is that the lyrics are patronising and inaccurate…  which I suppose they are… but then lyrics aren’t a well-thought out essay – they’re just there to make a quick emotional appeal while fitting a melody… the point was – you’ll be having a lovely Christmas here and they’ll be dying there… DO SOMETHING… and I’ve seen far worse… It’s not genocidal… It’s not telling them to go to Hell… It’s not bitter and mean… My only real concern is the video – they show footage of a very sick woman in her underwear being removed from a house… then they cut to the famous singers arriving in their cars to sing (a little too smugly) in a cosy studio… A video is different from a news report – and I worry that no one thought of her as human enough to sign a consent form… I also think the contrast made the singers look over-privileged and shallow.

There’s my tuppence worth*

*or two cents worth if you like.

The Band Aid 30 Band.

The Band Aid 30 Band.

Dapper No Laughs

Dapper laughs aka Daniel O'Reilly

Dapper laughs aka Daniel O’Reilly

Poor old Dapper Laughs (a comedian) has been done in by the might of a petition, an open letter by Judas jokers, the anti-rape culture movement and the press making a big deal out of an internet star unlucky enough (as it turns out) to get a show on ITV 2.

There’s no doubting he’s not very funny – but he’s got potential – and his basic joke – that a dating guru promises legit pulling advice that turns out to be useless unless you’re a psychopath – isn’t bad. His main problem is that his persona isn’t big enough. Without hard work he was never going to be anything more than a tasteless minor cult.

The fact that viewers and moralists hated him enough to campaign against him or that the media would deliberately misinterpret footage to attack him – isn’t a surprise… But the open letter by fellow comedians… That’s a shock… Because this mob victory over one of their number (albeit a crap one of their number) is a threat to them all… And it’s the weakest who will suffer the most… Big stars with big vehicles will trundle on no matter how sexist or racist they are **top gear**- but if the small-fry offend an intense enough pressure group – they’ll be mobbed out of the business.

And we can’t be sure that all mobs will share ‘our’ values or that future generations won’t see us (and it will be all of us – the past is a melting-pot) as narrow-minded bigots.

This is very good advice (but Nathaniel – how could you sign the open letter?) :


A bonfire attendee wearing skeleton face as an insult to the dead community...

A bonfire attendee wearing skeleton face as an insult to the dead community…

UPDATE : rejoice – we’ve dropped the matter or the matter has dropped us. 

The Lewes Bonfire controversy is highly embarrassing… It’s not that burning effigies is a nice thing – although I’m told in East Sussex there’s no malice left in it – it’s like bobbing for apples or dressing as a witch at Halloween – but they’ve been been burning a different newsworthy celebrity or political figure for years. They’ve burned everyone from Vladimir Putin to Katie Price… They’ve burned Tony Blair (a Scot) with no issue… They’ve burned David Cameron (a Tory sort of Scot) with no issue… They’ve even burned Angela Merkel doing a Nazi salute with next to no issue… But burn Alex Salmond and there’s a twitter meltdown and the police are called… It’s racist (despite Tony causing no comment)… It shows we’re not part of the ‘family’ of the U.K. (surely ignoring us while including everyone else would be more of a sign that we weren’t part of the family?)… Alex himself took the opportunity to use the hate trigger word ‘tory’ a few times despite the ‘Tory Council’ having nothing to do with the Bonfire societies… Despite Glasgow having a party when Mrs Thatcher died… Despite us constantly attacking’English’ Tories as if ethnic group is relevant. And naturally Glasgow has picked up on the Sectarian nature of Bonfire Night – raging at the ‘No Popery’ stuff as if we’d know the dynamics of East Sussex based on us not living there… As if heresy was fine and dandy in the olden days and England couldn’t have been crushed into submission by Spain (that’s the background to the 5th of November – not the blowback that occurred in Ireland). What it says – is that the SNP is Scotland (not that I have anything against the SNP – but we’re not a hive mind)… And we can say what we like about others but others must never comment on us. And I suspect increasingly they won’t… Ignoring us completely does seem like a sensible solution to avoid cyber-harassment.