Much gaiety and rejoicing for those of us not so much feeling the recessionary pinch as having our very bones and flesh pulverised into a goopy, powdery mess by the recessionary car crusher - it's been a purple patch for your basic, non-subscription, good, old, prudent, august Auntie Beeb-type television. No need to go out and liberally splash your pennies on real humans and their stupid company! Just stay in and sharpen the corners on your square eyes. Entschuldigen bitte! May I take you through some current favourites? Why, you're so kind.
Well, honourable mentions must go to The Wire, the third season of which starts again tonight despite my fears that it would be bumped back into the Stone Ages (well, July) by the Annual Let's All Bray Like Poshos And Allow Mediocrity To Froth Us Up Into A Whooping Frenzy fortnight. As I type, the young chap is watching the last episode of season 2, having watched the entire boxset since 10pm last night. He's looking surprisingly well on the experience - largely unaffected, apart from his hair is sticking up in an alarming hand-on-a-Van-de-Graff-generator manner, which I'm not sure I can adequately explain. I can only assume that as he is not wearing trousers, at some point over last 20 hours, he's jumped right out of them. Anyway, The Wire is The Wire, and there's nothing more I can add to the commentary cloud surrounding it. Ask Brooker on YouTube.
Next. Psychoville, the new comedy from a dismembered half of the League Of Gentlemen. I came late to the LoG, and I enjoyed the third series and the film much more than the first two, which were more catchphrase-based and studio-friendly. They're damn good at a narrative thread, are the demi-LoG, and Psychoville got off to a mysterious and intriguing start. They're damn good at a cavalcade of grotesques spouting one-liners too, and there's no shortage of those, but as always, the funniest and most disturbing stuff is when Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton are feeling each other up - in this case, as a serial-killer obsessed possible psychopath and his long-suffering, bontempi-playing mother. Two men playing mother and son, virtually tossing each other off... Ohhhh, entertainment. But apart from the depraved thrills, the real strength is the acting chops. Unlike many written/performed by monstrosities, R+S can really properly act, and the amount of pathos they can cram into, respectively, a misanthropic '80s horror nightmare clown and the aforementioned mum-wanking misfit is quite extraordinary. So, ha ha, urgh God!, aw no... in that order. Oh and AND, the best incidental music you'll ever hear on BBC2 courtesy of Jody Talbot. Boffo. A good one.
The ha-has continue with That Mitchell And Webb Look, back with more self-regarding wordy sketchy fun. Smart move including a sketch pillorying criticism of their show as "hit and miss", and, oh, I don't know, some pretty clever other things and stuff... Yeah, I only really included this one because of my burgeoning and somewhat beautiful love for David Mitchell, after this interview and this appearance on J-Ross. After being quizzed on whether he had gadgets, gizmos, a big TV, wireless, an iron, and hair straightners, lovely David said with a delightful note of exasperation, "Yes, I am quite literally a contemporary of yours. We are alive at the same time." (A phrase which has quickly replaced the more conventional "I love you" from the larynx of the young chap.) And thereafter I laughed. Whisper it, but he may even unseat Mr Brooker from the top of my "If I saw them in the street, it would take a good couple of weeks and some really unsettling blog posts to flush the experience out of my system" chart.
Last one! Quick quick! Supersizers are back. Touched upon before, I am now ready to admit to the world my tiny little crush on Giles Coren, which will somehow not be swayed even with a visit to his Wikipedia page, which does not exactly paint him in the most flattering light. In fact, if you were to base your entire Giles Coren knowledge on Wiki, you'd think he was an angry, racist bully who writes bad sex scenes (and thus one must conclude also privately stars in bad sex scenes). But, hey...citation needed. Anyway, he works well with still the funniest woman on telly, Sue Perkins. But am I the only one who has been so worn down by endless formulaic plots where any man and any woman appearing on camera together for more than one minute must by law have some sort of sexual contact - Hollyoaks being a good example, where actually every single combination of cast members regardless of gender or sexuality have slung it up each other - and spends quite a lot of time waiting for Sue and Giles to tenderly lean into each other's embrace?
I am the only one? Excellent! Right, time for a Wire re-up.