Review: Trash vs. Class
ROB SMITH offers us the best Trashy and Classy TV from the coming week.
Term has started again. All that work you didn’t do over the holiday is sitting in the corner cackling at you. It’s time to retreat from reality and enter the warm embrace of telly land. Every other week I’ll be offering you the best Trash TV and the best Class TV to chase away the Cambridge blues. One offering will be cheesy chips and mayonnaise from the Van of Death, the other a slap-up meal at Browns paid for by the parents. To put it more literally, one offering will be more BBC Three the other more BBC Four.
Trash: Celebrity Big Brother
CBB stands and falls by the quality of its housemates and the sick minds at Endemol have pulled out all the stops on its last outing.
Stephen Baldwin is the Sainsbury’s Basics version of his brother Alec but just like Sainsbury’s Basics is far better value for money. He claims to have been sober for twenty years but has in reality been drunk on Jesus and Right Wing Talk Radio. He willingly holds forth on any topic and even spent an hour teaching professional fighter and muscley lump of boredom Alex Reid how to throw a punch. If you hit the red button while watching it brings up a countdown of the time left until Stephen stalks through the house ritually sacrificing infidels.
Meanwhile his arch nemesis, celebrity lady-pimp Heidi Fleiss, looks like a Muppet version of Steve Tyler that has been left on a radiator for a decade. Instead of eyes she simply has two pools of endless sorrow and misery. Staring into them for too long almost certainly opens a portal into a Lovecraftian dimension of unspeakable horror. Basshunter (real name too boring to print) I initially hoped was only there as part of an international arrangement to detain him permanently for crimes against music. In reality though he’s rather cute in an overgrown thirteen year old sort of way and has an entertaining crush on someone whose only reason for entry is her ability to have sex with Ronnie Wood for a full year without vomiting in his face. There is really no better antidote to an essay crisis than CBB so check it out on Channel 4 every night this week.
Class: Only Connect
Since 15 to 1 was taken round the back of the TV shed and shot through the forehead there has been no properly difficult quiz shows on TV. That is until now. Only Connect has returned for another series and can be viewed on iPlayer right now. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s essentially a trip into a Cambridge fellow’s wank fantasy, from the Greek letters naming the initial tasks to Vicky Coren, whose laconic wit probably doesn’t leave a dry cock in the house with men of a certain generation. The quiz itself requires both general knowledge and lateral thinking as it’s all about working out the connections between things. Even better there are no prizes other than a mental pat on the back, meaning the show attracts autistic and frumpy half-hour heroes who are there for the sheer bloody love of knowledge. If you took the prize money away from Deal or No Deal it would simply be an idiot impassively opening boxes which have no bearing on their life. Actually scratch that last point as I think Watch have already commissioned that show.
Only Connect is essentially what Eggheads should be: the questions are harder, the contestants are smarter, and Jeremy Vine’s leering litso is nowhere to be seen.
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