August 11, 2004

And one and two and ...oh. I guess that's it.

I hadn't watched it much the last several seasons, so someone will have to tell me --- what year was it that the entire cast of Friends decided to fake n' bake? I mean, I realize the glamour of pallor went out with grunge, but in these last season episodes they're running over here even Courtney "Glowing in the Dark" Cox looks like she's been lying on the middle rack of a 350° oven, being basted every half-hour.

I don't really like Friends that much, but I find it tolerable, and it comes on before Scrubs which I do like yet could somehow never manage to catch in the States, so sometimes I see it. Overall, though I haven't been watching that much T.V. With only two channels, the concept of "nothing on" takes on whole new dimensions. "Glimmer Man, and The Parkers;" yep, that is precisely, empirically equivalent to "the screaming void." Did you catch that, by the way? Considering a move to Ireland and fearful you might miss out on the crème de la crème of the UPN lineup? Not to worry, my friend: It's all part of RTE's "Throw it at the wall and see what sticks" programming strategy. After all, it's a small country; making a single hour's worth of television often requires days of labor on the part of anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred people. There's only four million of them here in the Republic; not all of them work for RTE. Seriously, they only have about 30 original Irish shows on at any given time. So basically they fill the hours with whatever they can get cheap. I mean, there's some of the stuff you'd expect, especially in prime time --- British and American and even Australian sitcoms, some of a vingery vintage, Inspector Morse, Law and Order, CSI, the Sopranos and Six Feet Under, ect., ect. But the rest is just totally random. One week the midweek movie is Raging Bull, the next it's Die Harder. Return of the Jedi was on the other night.

They're also big into the soaps --- well, the British and Australian ones, anyway. No, wait, I almost forgot --- they show Dallas on reruns in the morning. But mostly it's Neighbors and the Eastenders. It probably says something interesting that American soaps are set among the rich, Australian soaps among the middle class, and British ones among the working class. After all, you're pretty much de facto picking the milieu that you think will offer up the most opportunities for drama, right? I've got to say, the Australian and British daytime soaps are of a much higher quality than the American versions, or at least they're more like American nighttime soaps, in that they're somewhat more closely connected with reality. American daytime soaps have gotten to a kind of kabuki-theater like level where people act out these highly stylized betrayals and reconciliations, where no laundry is ever washed nor no toilet ever scrubbed. On the Eastenders, on the other hand, two of the main characters are old ladies who work in a laundry (one of them the actress who plays the younger shopgirl in Are You Being Served? which most PBS stations still pimp late at night. Let me tell you, it's weird to see the same familiar face in two different roles thirty years apart, with nothing in the interval --- like one of those stop-motion filmstrips that shows a plant growing, or more aptly, an animal decaying.) People actually do things like rent and watch movies. Okay, dude, I'll 'fess ---I'm getting a little sucked into the Eastenders. I've watched bits and pieces of like four episodes now and I've begun to figure out who's related to who and who slept with who way back when, ect., ect. In my defense: Two channels. But I swear the thing that really made me stick around and watch this one episode was the line reading the actress gave in this one scene where they're watching a movie: "They should'uv shot that 'Ulk. Look at 'im, rampagin'. Coo."

It still makes me giggle every time I think of it.

Posted by Diablevert at August 11, 2004 06:43 PM | TrackBack

OK, I've been jonesin' for an update on Eastenders for months now since BBC America took it off the air...what's up with Alfie and Kat???

Your aunt the closeted Eastie fan....

Posted by: auntie onion at August 12, 2004 10:36 AM

Is Alfie Cat's husband the bartender or the evil dude she used to date? The last time I watched there was this big drama with Zoe and Cat --- Zoe was all pissed at her boyfriend, Hot Guy, over something, and so Cat took her out shoe-shopping and bar-hopping to get her mind off it, and this really skeezy guy was hitting on Zoe, and Zoe was gonna leave the bar with him just to piss off Hot Guy, but Cat intervened and got all up in the skeezy guy's face, and a bar fight broke out. So both Cat and Zoe get hauled off to the pokey, and while there in a fit of drunken bonding Cat tells Zoe about how her Ex, Mr. Evil, blackmailed her into sleeping with him one last time. Next day, Zoe goes off on a tear trying to find Mr. Evil and chew him a new one; she eventually locates him in his office; she yells at him for a while and tries to slap him, but he grabs her hands and they tussle, and she ends up with a cut lip. She storms off back home and Hot Guy sees her; she allows him to think Mr. Evil made a pass at her and she had to fend him off, so then Hot Guy goes off to hunt down Mr. Evil, which he eventually does; Mr. Evil, cornered, spills all and Hot Guy learns all about Evil and Cat. Then Evil talks about his obesssion with Cat and intention to simply casually date bimbos from now on, and compares it to Hot Guy's relationship with his ex (implying that Hot Guy is still in love with his Ex and that Zoe is a bimbo). Hot Guy, disgusted, leaves with a sneer and goes and asks Zoe to move in with him. What with all the storming about and yelling and fighting, Cat is now afraid that her husband will find out about the whole sleeping with Mr. Evil thing. That's all I know about that for now. The only other one I've seen was all about how Dot's dying of cancer but she decided not to treat it because she's afraid of change...or something...I don't know. But she hasn't told her husband or anyone else about the diagnosis, though Hot Guy happened to see her at the hospital. Oh, and the other laundry chick is living with her son and his new wife and her and the wife are absolutely driving each other up a wall, and the son's being a big wussy about the whole thing.

Posted by: cms at August 13, 2004 12:20 PM

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