Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Top Telly of Twenty Ten!

I feel like I haven't blogged in ages! I've been busy Christmas shopping, I got all the bits and bobs for the Blogger Secret Santa all ready to be sent off tomorrow! I also bought a massive Heffalump for my niece. I didn't like Winnie the Pooh when I was little, but I don't think Heffalumps were in it then?! Either way, I quite like Winnie the Pooh now because of the video game Kingdom Hearts.

I've been meaning to write this post all month (mostly because I was chuffed over my alliteration in the title!) but I ended up getting too emotionally involved in Corrie and decided to wait until the drama was over there. So yes, this is a post about all my favourite shows from this year! I watch a lot of telly, mostly American shows which I watch online. I was so invested in so many shows this year that I had to stop watching some (sorry Castle, Dexter and The Mentalist!) because it was taking over my life. Some shows came to an end (Dollhouse) which I can't say I'm too bothered about to be honest! But I don't just watch American shows, I watch a few English series, some classics have come out this year as well as old favourites returning. So let's try and recap some of my favourites from 2010...

English DramasIf there's something the English can do well it's a good drama. As a nation we tend to wallow in misery and lap up other people's shit lives. What stands out most for me this year is the calibre of dramas for teens and young adults. Firstly there's obviously Misfits. This has been my favourite show of the whole year, it gets me frothing at the mouth and spamming Facebook with updates that just consist of "OMG MISFITS". There is not one thing you can fault with it and I literally cannot understand people who hate it. I can only assume they have written it off before giving it a proper go. Not only is it hilarious and clever, but I also like how they portray interracial couples and body image. Despite it's dark undertones I believe it's ultimately positive for young viewers rather than say, Skins which glorifies strung out, waifish, impossibly fashionable teenagers. Series 2 started in November, with a Christmas special coming up. It's still going strong and I'm hoping they don't run out of ideas soon. I cannot even describe the amount of love I have for TV shows and films that include time travel, but that's not to say it doesn't make future plot harder to write!

Following on, a new series this year came from director Shane Meadows. Of course I mean This Is England '86, which blasted onto our screens during the end of summer. It's set three years after the film This Is England, where little Shaun was caught up in a white supremecist gang and Combo has just beaten Milky half to death. The new series has almost all the original cast back (but no Jack O'Connell- boo!) and focuses on Woody and Lol's rocky relationship. The costumes, music, home decor, setting, EVERYTHING about this is completely spot on. Almost all the dialogue is ad-libbed and at times it's such uncomfortable viewing you need to take a breather before carrying on watching. But you can see the love and affection the cast has for each other, for Shane and for the story being told. Hopefully this is going to get a second series, with Shane quoted as saying he would like to continue with it if the first series had a positive reaction.

I'll start with the soap that took over my life last week...Corrie! Ever since I can remember Coronation Street has been on in my house. I remember Curly and Des and Toyah and Spider. But it was the Corrie tram crash that had me glued to my tv, and when not to my tv, to twitter hashtags for an entire week. A glorious week of wailing and pain and joy. My stomach was doing sommersalts until Dev and Sinita were safe. I cried when little Simon was rescued and I, along with I think most of the nation, wondered how their live episode went by so flawlessly. There is no mistaking that Corrie's mix of drama and hilarity are unique in soaps and the fifty years it's been going means that it's the reigning master of all other soaps! That being said...

Eastenders also had me glued to the telly for a couple of months because of the one and only Crackhead Phil! Now, I'm being entirely serious when I say I think Steve McFadden was born to play a crack addict. Never before has a performance been so hammed up on 'Enders. Rumour has it that Steve McFadden was doused in five buckets of vegetable oil per scene of achieve his clammy, glistening shine upon his wrinkly brow. The storyline culminated in the spectacular burning now of the Queen Vic. If you ever want to make a good episode in a soap, trap your audience's favourite characters in a burning building. Sure fire drama and emotions!

America have had some cracking comedies in their time. Arrested Development has yet to be knocked off the top spot for me but this year has seen the return of Community which is by far the cleverest and most touching comedy to come out for a long time! Community is about a group of study buddies who are all completely different but utterly devoted to each other, no matter how much they deny it. The first series started out very routine, but somewhere along the way it got more and more surreal until you have scenes of characters singing American Tail songs to mice and building pillow fort cities. I truly care for these characters, because they're vulnerable and need support. This series has been just as good as the first and I'm hoping they have a lot more to give. I love all the characters but my stand out ones are Troy and Abed, who steal the show with their bromance. Their little skits at the end are funny enough to be a show of their own! There are also some inspired cameos from the likes of Tony Hale and Anthony Michael Hall (the geek from the John Huges films!). I could go on and on linking to videos, it's all comedy gold. The first series is currently being shown on Viva here in the UK.

A series that Channel 4 promised a long time ago and finally delivered was The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret starring Arrested Development alumini David Cross and Will Arnett. This series is so cringingly funny that at times I really want to close it before I've finished the episode! I think English people will take to this because of the basic formula of "pig-headed American doesn't know English culture". You can watch Todd Margaret on 4OD right now!

And finally an British comedy in the form of Grandma's House. The Simon Amstell written and starring comedy about life round his Grandma's house on Sundays. Lots of good likenesses to all our own families. It's terribly awkward but hilariously funny and well acted. Special mentions go to Grandma and Granddad for seeming so like my own, and Clive for being good enough to hate. I really hope this gets a second series! What's interesting about this is how Simon slags off Never Mind The Buzzcocks on the same channel that it was broadcast on. Very clever stuff. Also can I confess my obsession with little Simon Amstell? I used to wake up extra early on Sundays to watch him on Pop World!

Of course this year it was the World Cup! This year was the most hilarious World Cup because of obviously the majestic vuvuzela, which racked up at least a hundred internet hours of hilarity. Closely followed is John Terry's fish dive against Slovakia, which I found completely hilarious. Other highlights included Fernando Torres's fabulousness.

It was the election this year and I sort of got election fever. It seems like so long ago now that all the promises have been broken and Gordon Brown hasn't called anyone bigoted since. But one man stands out as a true legend amongst TV presenters and that is David Dimbleby. This is man bloody old and he was awake for at least fifty whole hours whilst giving election night coverage. There is even a Twitter account dedicated to his called 'Dimblebot'. He's to election night coverage what Terry Wogan was to Eurovision. A salute one of our national treasures.

A special mention also goes out to Jeremey Vine, bless him. His interactive green screens, including a staircase (my personal favourite) made my delirious sleepless election night even more hilarious than I could have possibly imagined political defeat could feel. Thank you Jezza!

Reality TV
I have to end on something that dominated the end of the year in terms of my TV viewing. Of course, I mean X Factor. I was completely hooked this series for the first time in ages. My favourite to begin with was Nicolo, whos Twitter since has been an endless source of amusement. Nicolo is Italian and good looking and totally indifferent to everything. He swore on national telly and insulted the show on a regular basis. I loved him! Secondly I loved Aiden, probably a little too much than a 22 year old should love a 19 year old. It was a bit creepy, but so was he. I was heartbroken when he was voted off! Some great songs got sung, my personal favourite being this one, but of course really what we all tuned in for was Katie Waissel, Wagner and Cher. They were so abhorrent that they had the nation in an uproar. There is no shame in liking the X Factor, only snobs will tell you that it's not worth it. If anything, it gives you a sense of belonging in the community.

Also, a special mention to the human dance machine that is Matt Baker on Strictly! Man rides a FUCKING UNICYCLE like it aint no thang. I love him I love him.

Phew. I think that's about everything I can say for now. This post got pretty mammoth! I feel drained, I'm going to go sit down with a cuppa and watch some telly.

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