Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sarah Connor update

The Rural Juror. It's a running gag in 30 Rock, a film with an oddly unpronouncable title. I'm reminded of it every time I hear a cast member mumble "Previously on the Sarah Connor Chronicles". Seriously, who thought up that name?

We're nearly at the end of Series 2, and it's like watching paint dry on a burning building.

It's a show about people on the run - from killer cyborgs, from the future, from themselves, but mostly, they're running away from the show itself.

It has the air of improvised science fiction, lurching from one giddy ta-da to the next, but with no real idea of what it's actually about.

At least Battlestar, for all its grimness, bad hair days, and occasional episodes about blah, always had a plan. It wasn't going to tell you, but that was for your own good.

Sarah Connor keeps its cards close to its chest, but with the infantile glee of a child crying "it's a secret! it's a secret!".

Let's just imagine for a second that you've been watching Season Two in one glut on a long haul flight - and somehow not tried to flush yourself out of the plane. You'll have seen John Connor go back to school, leave school, move house, meet whacky pregnant neighbour (who vanishes for, oooh, 15 weeks), find a blood-soaked wall of cryptic clues in the garage, forget about it, remember, forget, remember, and finally totally forget it.

John also gets a girlfriend, who vanishes, then comes back, then he dumps her, then she's back, then she's gone again, oh noes! she's from the future - and what's that, John Connor? You say you knew all along? And there were all these clues that we missed? I don't think so.

Oh, and hang on, you also knew all along that Derek also had a girlfriend from the future? And didn't at any point think there would be hilarious consequences involving guns and luggage? (By the way, Sarah Connor Chronicles loves guns and luggage - it's like they're sponsored by a dull duty free shop. Next year, I predict we'll see a lot of inflatable pillows)

As both girlfriends from the future are pretty annoying, it's quite useful that one shoots the other and then leaves the show. Sadly, this still leaves the most annoying character going - and that'll be Sarah Connor.

Imagine an incompetent female Jack Bauer, with even less of a sense of humour. You know those Facebook adverts about the signs of a stroke? Frozen face, drooping eyes, incoherent mumbling? Dear Lena Headey, how would we tell?

As she shuffles grimly from one disaster to the next, killing nice people and blowing up pretty things, you realise that she's the real Terminator. So awful is she that there's even an episode where she's in hospital, and the patient in the next bed sets fire to herself rather than spend another minute with Sarah Connor.

Maintaining a shred of dignity is lovely Summer Glau. Her contract now clearly states "No more fights or smashy smashy - Ms Glau will just look aloof". She's got her eyes on what she'll be doing after Sharah Chonner Conicles. If not rom coms, then maybe a shop window dummy.

She even emerged intact from the episode where her brain fritzed and she worked Hollywood Boulevard as a hooker. Her standard expression to her co-stars is clear: "How can you speak this drivel?"

Poor Thomas Dekker manages it. It's unfortunate that he's got a gay face. They play with the hair, they add the odd scar, but the older he gets, the more he looks like a minty flyer-boy for Heaven. Seriously, would you entrust the future of humanity to one of them? Or even some used chewing gum?

His episode 19 twist of "ha! ha! I knew the plan all along! And I can hold a gun! Facebook me, bitches! lols" falls flat. He bases his revelation on pointing out goofs and errors from previous episodes - which, believe me, isn't a game you want to start playing with Sarah Connor. Answer me this, John Connor - whatever happened to the elaborate mobile phone code? The time paradoxes? The grafitti in Series One? What's that? Free glowsticks and 2for1 on alcopops? Okay then, I'll consider it.

So why am I still watching this drivel? Okay. Two reasons.

Reason 1: The honest hope that at any minute Lene Headey will get a fit of the giggles, turn to the camera and ask "Please, do you have any idea what's going on?"

Reason 2: The Mansonator. God bless you Shirley Manson. Dropped in like scenes from another, better show, you've stolen the series and my heart.

If, in early episodes, it looked like she wasn't acting, then she's underpassed that by miles. Even in the middle of a killing spree, she looks barely awake. She's perfected the appearance of wearing sunglasses without actually ever having to.

The Mansonator is far and away the best thing on television. It's hard to pick a favourite moment or lack of expression. "Sit on my lap" might be a winner. Or even the reaction when her missing daughter is found and she looks quietly disappointed that she's not somehow turned into a Gucci handbag.

She's got all the toys, and she knows it. She's even got a recovering Terminator in the basement who loves Lego! Watching her daughter play Bionicle with him ("Can my duckies play too?"), you know you're onto a winner, and your heart sinks whenever the action cuts back to Sarah Connor, holding a gun and some luggage.

Please don't kill off the Mansonator! And please don't cancel the show. Or, if you have to, please start a spinoff where Shirley Manson and Summer Glau open a cupcake emporium. Go on. Just imagine either of them saying "Would you like extra sprinkles with that?" See? Best. Idea. Ever.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The Ted Baker Sample sale was taking place just round the corner from my flat, so I popped in. It was chaos, and nearly impossible to find anything unless you were large.

This being a Samples Sale, there was a strict No-Returns policy. But this didn't stop one woman. Not only had she brought back a huge bag of stuff and the receipts. She'd also brought along her social worker.

On the walk back to the flat, I passed our local drop-in centre for d'ute. Two girls were applying make-up to a friend who was screaming "No! I'm supposed to look like I'm not fucking living on the streets."

St Pancras may be up-and-coming, but we still have our moments.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chris Moyles Homophobic, a bit

Chris Moyles rapped for Will Young gay remarks.

Curiously half-hearted ruling. I do not like Chris Moyles. I think it's rubbish that he's allowed to say that Will Young dresses up in women's clothes and shaves his legs just cos he's gay.

Oddly, if I had to choose between Moyles or Clarkson, I'd take Clarkson. Clarkson at least uses "gay" as an unthinking term of abuse. He's nearly pensionable age, after all, and children born between the two world wars were brought up to think different.
Moyles? Not so much - especially as he makes great play of his best gay friend, poor Aled, who must occasionally sit at his desk before dawn, just staring out of the window and quivering slightly.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

At times of national moment

It's always interesting to see who has brought up the search terms. Here is "Jade Goody".

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Belief Systems

So, there was some pillow talk with a Theology Lecturer. He asked what I did for a living, I tried to explain and he pulled a face.
"Oh," he said, "I had a psycho ex who loved Doctor Who."
"Ah." I said.
"Not the new series. The old one. He had all these videos of it in his flat."
"All neatly arranged in order, no doubt."
"No, that was the freaky thing. They were in piles, everywhere. But he could find a story in seconds. Clean socks, not so much."
"He knew all sorts of freaky stuff. I mean, honestly, he could recite all of the programme names from beginning through to the end. How mad is that?"
I sipped my drink, carefully. I was thinking... I can do that. A a bit of a hiccup with Seasons 2, 9 and 15, but other than that... oh god.
I smiled weakly. "That's totally insane."
We nod, awkwardly.
There's porn on. It still baffles me. "I mean, who first looked at a riot baton and thought you could do that with it?" I ask.
He looks at me, oddly.
And I'm thinking Day of the Daleks has to be after Curse of Peladon, surely?

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Alcazar Album II

There's a review! In Swedish! I have no idea what it means. I tried typing it into translation software and it told me "this appears to be Indonesian rather than Swedish". Who cares? Ovantat fortraffligt!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Being Jordan

Gemma made me watch Piers Morgan meets Katie Price. Which was a bit like Godzilla vs The Flying Lizard if Godzilla ducked awkward questions and Katie Price could fly.

It was extraordinary. Price's body language was priceless. Asked if she's still with Peter Andre she looked down and said "Yes" (lie!) followed by scratching her nose (lie!) and repeating "Yes." Cut to Peter Andre (shall we call him "poor Peter Andre"?) looking like Mr Preying Mantis shortly after the Mrs reveals she's peckish.

Jordan came across as hard as nails. Even when trying to be relaxed and candid, off-the-cuff and cheeky, she was like nothing so much as The Mansonator. At any moment she could have sliced Piers Morgan's head off. And it would still have asked her easy questions.

There were two Awful Moments. The first was when Jordan spontaneously revealed her child abuse. Or rather mentioned that she didn't want to talk about her abuse and then waved her hands in front of her tear ducts. "No tears! No tears!" shrieked Gemma. It was just enough to give the Red Tops their "I Was Abused!" strapline, but without actually any details, or, er, any suggestion that she really had been abused. It looked phoney. I'll stand corrected when her pederastic maths master is sent down for 40 years, but it looked like an orchestrated clutch for the "My Trauma" cover of Chat.

Morgan let it go - despite him vowing to ask hard questions and her promising not to duck anything. He even said "let's not go into it". It looked like a rehearsed stunt - surely, if it was real trauma stripped bare, her mum and husband would have rushed on stage to stop the recording.

The second awful moment was when Jordan revealed her seduction of Peter Andre. She'd turned up at his hotel room. "He was expecting Naughties," she said. At which point we all slid off the sofa and into the foetal position, "And he got Naughties."

The camera cut to poor Peter Andre, busily proving that you can't blush through fake tan.

And then Jordan said, in a moment to rival her "Christ, you must have a bucket!" zinger on the Graeme Norton show, "Well, I blew him in the toilet." Class.

Puzzlingly her hair was scraped back for battle. Or as though she was going for the St Jade Skull Cap feel.

This was actually harder viewing than the opening episode of Red Riding - where bad things happened to a skinny youth mostly cos it was
a) The 1970s
b) The North
c) He couldn't act.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Telly update

Sarah Connor is addictively awful, isn't it? Especially the episode where they send Sarah Connor to a hospital cos she's a grumpy humourless bitch and her roommate sets fire to herself rather than spend another night with the cow.

Battlestar clearly continues to be Best Thing Ever - apart from the Token Annual Rubbish Starbuck Episode - which actually was better than most of the others - if only for Tigh's Oh!My!God! eye acting when Starbuck plays the piano.

I've run out of episodes of Doomwatch to piss myself laughing to while chainsmoking and calling women "bird".

Chuck is displacing Middelman as my new favourite thing. I cannot tell you why, as it's exactly the same episode every week, and yet it's brilliant.

The only thing I've been watching on ye actual British telly is Being Human which was constantly amazing.

I am also watching a french film called "Nuits Rouge" about masked adventurers and the Knights Templar. It opens with the line "These thefts of men's brains - terrible, are they not?". It is addictive, but I am rationing it.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

New Alcazar Album

I'm so excited I could wee. You can preorder it. Or you can enjoy the giddy joy of the AlcaBlog:

We´re still in a state of happiness after our victory in Skandinavium, Gothenburgh!!! Now we´re at the office to talk about the future of Alcazar.....The album is almost finished and we hope you will love it...We do !! We just signed a great record deal with Universal in Sweden, be aware all the fans in Europe...A new singel is coming out soon!

Thanks to Alcazar World you can hear snippets. And oh!my!god! it's like they've turned the Alcazar up to 11. There's even... surely not a rip-off of East 17's Steam.

Oh dear. I'll have to order a whole new set of gay fuses.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Temporary Straight Flatmate

Straight men are seen as the ultimate mecca of the gay scene. "Straight acting" is proclaimed as a virtue, and for many gay man, their Mr Darcy would be a married plumber from Dalston.

Sadly though, the reality is a sad disappointment. Just as most gay man do not spent their entire time baking quiche on ketamine, so straight men aren't exciting.

This month I have a temporary straight flatmate, and the situation is so ghastly I'm taking the cat down to Plymouth pretty much for the duration.

Here is the spare room:

Take a careful look at the debris. The exploded luggage, the stained sheets, the bog roll wrapped around the duvet, the scattering of cigarettes. It's hardly a Triga video is it?

I had to go in there. I didn't want to, but he'd left a window open and the snow had been pouring in. For six hours. While he'd pumped the central heating up to full blast as strangely, the flat was a bit chilly. And then he'd gone out.

It's truly ghastly. There's the snoring, the farting, the way the flat smells of cheap cheese, and dear god, the man hasn't eaten a vitamin in a fortnight.

Back to the gay cliche, there's a dream of being enslaved to an oblivious man (look! we've grapsed dreams that Suffragettes would laugh at). The reality is spending all your time picking up abandoned food wrappers, discarded glassware and shed pubic hair.

It's not a total write off. He does occasionally wash up. This involves waving cup/glass/bowl briefly under a cold tap.

It's also curiously like being in a relationship, as, oddly, I'm somehow always in the wrong. Especially about hifi equipment. My laptop is terrible, there's something wrong with my television, my DVD player isn't up to scratch, and let's not even talk about my broadband provider.

I've tried reasoning, but this is met with a disapproving "ah" and then a counter-argument. He's not even paying rent, nor has he shown a token "oh, shall I get us some...?" towards the flat. The worst thing is how maddeningly petty it's making me. Stuff vanished into his room - lighters, radios, books. And that's fine. I'll probably get some of it back. But the sheer relentless awfulness of it grinds on and I just get more and more wound up. I think it would be alright if, just once, at some point, he'd said "thank you". But he's straight. And, as we know, that'd just be showing a weakness.

The good news is that soon there will be an end to it when he moves to Dubai, a country that, by all accounts, likes unreconstructed straight men. And, if I do snap before then, let's just hope I get a gay judge.