Monday, 18 February 2013

Me & Oblivion.


I have never seen Breaking Bad. I know it's incredibly well written and the characters are fascinating and the acting is superb but there's just something about Breaking Bad that puts me right off it and, chances are, that something is you.

Breaking Bad is a TV programme and not the cure for disease and famine that it's made out to be. The joy and enthusiasm it has brought to millions of people, along with the numerous awards it has won, can only mean one thing: it's shit. Come on, EVERYONE LOVES IT. You know what EVERYONE is like. EVERYONE's awful. Why would I ever listen to EVERYONE? EVERYONE loves Coldplay and bacon and X-Factor and children and ringtones and coffee and football. So the chances of Breaking Bad being any good is practically zero. I mean, that's just science (please can I take over from Dean Burnett, The Guardian?).

It's exactly the same with 24 and The West Wing. "Jesus Christ, I've realised that love, food and water are meaningless now that I've got Community, Michael. You HAVE to watch it". But I quite like love, food and water. You're scaring me. Stop pulling at my jumper.

And it's a lose/lose situation every single time. "WHAT? You haven't seen Girls yet? You're a fucking idiot". OK, I'll watch Girls then...but...but...but it's a pretentious pile of crap about some of the most horrible people that you would NEVER spend any time with. Why are you putting yourself through it? The Wire was tedious, Mad Men was like watching paint dry while grass grew on the shipping forecast and 30 Rock has Tina Fey in it. Finding her in that was like finding horse meat in your dinner. Really smug horse meat.

But fans of these shows always have the same excuse for their TV shows clearly being terrible: "stick with it. It doesn't really get good until season 3". Then why don't they just not make the first two SERIES then?

That's why I like programmes that people don't go on and on about. I like that late night BBC2 drama Doctor Who. It's barely made a dent in the nation's conscience and it's really good. Catch it now before they take it off air (again). I just can't get into those edgy American dramas and finger-on-the-pulse comedies. Not when I have Pointless.

POINTLESS IS THE BEST PROGRAMME ON TV. Don't care how unmissable Homeland is because I'm still catching up on loads of past episodes of Pointless so I'm missing it. It's probably the most gripping, tense and exciting teatime quiz show I have ever seen. I'm in no way being sarcastic and ironic. It's brilliant. And the plot just blows my mind. Pointless is about the destruction of popularity. Admit it, at least part of the reason you turned to Breaking Bad was so you could fit in. Well, Pointless hates you for that. Congratulations on your superior knowledge of all that is globally accepted but you wouldn't last one round in Pointless. It's the trivial and the forgotten that have meaning here. The obscure triumphs. Name a Band from Liverpool? YOU IDIOT! Not them, the correct answer is The Crucial Three. That would have got you no points and therefore you'd win Pointless. This really is where the misfits rise, where the geeks inherit the earth and where zeroes win. It's easy to be a big fish in a small pond by keeping up with the TV must-sees but in Pointless they want nothing from you and that's why you will fail. Every single day at 5.15 you can see them...people who know too much...all of them falling two by two thanks to them only looking at the bigger picture. Good people, fine people. Well crafted characters who seem to come from real places and have real experiences and once we get to know them it's just a matter of minutes before they get written out of the series for good (or maybe come back the next day for a second chance at getting to the final). And the final...OH, THE FINAL... Only the truly unpopular can ever walk away as kings. I have seen them all face that challenge and....I have seen few survive. IT'S LIKE LORD OF THE FUCKING RINGS, PEOPLE!

But, you know, edited.

Not that everyone likes adventure, and my God Pointless has so much adventure, and that's fine because there's such an incredible subplot too. In the main story, Alexander offers mental quests to the brave while Richard shows them the folly of their hubris, but away from that there is so much more. Alexander will often mock these challengers and he does so with cutting wit and a look at Richard to confirm their superiority over any who dare stand in front of them. Except...that look lingers. Every time. Too long? Never long enough! I have no idea what the writers of Pointless have in store for any future series but it's pretty clear they are setting up something huge. It's hard not to fall for leads as good as these. No idea who the actors are but they have nailed these characters brilliantly. Alexander: suave, witty and, JUST WHEN WE THINK WE KNOW HIM, daft. Then there's Richard: intelligent, gentlemanly and highly trained in idiot-spotting. At the beginning (AND THIS IS A PLOT SPOILER) they seem only to be interested in finding worthy champions of the remote but now look at them. They so want us to know there's a spark there but, like any good drama, they want us to wait until they're ready. I know it ruined Moonlighting but look at those guys! I for one would be delighted to sit down in front of the telly after 5 with my dinner and watch them fuck. I mean, they're spotless. It would be the cleanest, family-friendly fucking on TV ever. I for one can see THE POINT in that. *winks*

I guess TV just isn't as charming as I'd like it to be anymore and that's one of the many reasons I love Pointless. It's bukkaked in charm. I used to love TV shows that could grip with winners and losers and twists and turns and, at the end, the characters have learned something. Clearly, I still do. In fact, it's on in an hour. Better pick up my suit from the dry cleaners. I like to look nice for them.





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