The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

A Friday Night TV Review

Again, this is an old one, but is one of my favourite reviews I’ve ever done. Most of the shows here would later go on to be highlights of their series in my eyes. Anyway, without further ado…
Being the sort with no life, I’ve spent a good protion of my friday nights in front of the telly, mainly because BBC 1  and channel 4 have some excellent comedy, with that in mind and an almost new line-up, I decided to take a watch of the BBC Friday night.

Total Wipeout Fast Forward 8.30pm BBC1

Total Wipeout, for those, who haven’t seen it, is a fairly mental endurance test show, think of it as Gladiators meets takeshi’s castle. The sport aspect of it isn’t taken seriousy at all, so maing it impossible to look at from an endurnce point of view, especially with contestants like fat, Chesney Hawkes singing, ten bowling enthusiast Maria. Richard Hammond and Amanda Byran are on hand to present, and by present I mean rip the piss out of everyone on it. As a show, it’s good in the new half hour format and doesn’t feel dragged on. So, in short, it’s a stupid, but incredibly fun half hour, if you want to switch your brain off and watch people get mocked, soaked and smacked.

Have I Got News For You 9.00pm BBC1
The Stellar news (and still the best) satire returns for another series with, this week, Frank Skinner at the helm. As Per usual it’s a standard topical quiz, there’s nothing (save for a new round) remarkably new or exciting. It’s still very funny, but that’s mainly down to Paul Merton stealing the show as usual. It’s still worth watching, but don’t expect a revelation.

Reggie Perrin 9.30pm BBC1
Martin Clunes plays the title role in this update of the classic 70’s sitcom and right from the go it’s utterly brilliant. It’s full of relatable moments, be it horrific train journeys and miserable dialogue (who hasn’t gone to work/school and anwsered, “have a nice day” with I won’t?) It’s also very funny, his dis-regard for everything is hysterical, be it throwing his suitcase into the room when he walks into his office, throwing his phone in the bin and being horrible to his secretary. Martin Clunes is brilliant with both the delivery and the mood of the character. It’s an excellent start of what promises to be an excellent show.

Genius 10.00pm BBC2
Austrailian feminist Germaine Greer joins Dave Gorman ofr another episode set of mental ideas in this fusion of Dragons Den and Tommorrows World (who else remembers that…?). As with previous episodes, the stars of the the show are the public pitching ideas, this week had fruit machine ATM’s, women only voting (obviously Germaine loved that one…) Onionade (yes, fizzy Onion pop) and switching the days of the week through lottery. It’s fairly mental and is usually brilliant, but Germain Greer isn’t a comedian, forcing Dave Gorman to work a bit overtime on the jokes and you don’t get the perplexed ranting of the guest star (eg Johnny Vegas) over a rubbish idea. In the long run of the series, it’s pretty average, but it isn’t terrible.

Friday Night With Johnathon Ross 10.35pm BBC1
Chat shows are becoming rarities, especially on terrestrial primetime tv, it’s a shame because they’re normally good fun, thank go for Johanathons long running show. This week had Simon Pegg (plugging Star Trek) Miley Cyrus (plugging Hannah Montana) Helen Mirren (plugging State Of Play) and Spandau Ballet (oh for…) Forgive me, but I never got into Spandau Ballet, being born in the ’90’s and all, they’ve never been anything special to me, so their interview was pretty meh. Good thing Wossy was there to tell a few jokes, indulge in a Spandau quiz and generally liven it up. Now, the next guest could have been a huge problem, usually when teen stars or young female singers go on this show, they’ll be very quiet and won’t make a good guest (eg Lady Gaga), so you can see why I was pretty sceptacle about Miley Cyrus. However, I was happily surprised, she ended up being a whole load of fun, going slightly crazy in the process, but all the while being absolutely brilliant, discussing the new movie (urging people to see it in the craziest way possible) and teaching Wossy to dance. Helen Mirren on the back of that however, although incredibly professional and slightly fun in a different way, seemed dull in comparison. Enter Simon Pegg, who beamed down using special effects and talkin’ Trek. Unfortunately he did a quick plug and left pretty promptly, so Spandau Ballet could do a couple of tunes. In short, it was an excellent episode which left me with a new foud fondness for Miley Cyrus. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch Season 1 of Hannah Montana (I later did this and thoroughly enjoyed it).

I’ll leave you with some clips of the Johnathon Ross show.


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