Big Brother

Friday, August 25, 2000 by · Comments Off 

When Peter Bazalgette and Michael Jackson arrived at this year’s Edinburgh International Television Festival, a week or so after Big Brother delivered Channel 4 its second highest audience ever, it must have been an occasion on a par with the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday pageant: a gross spectacle, somewhat tasteless, with the subjects parading serenely in the glow of attention and adoration while thousands thronged about them seeking to pay homage at the court of the summer’s hit-makers. Read more

I Love 1974

Saturday, August 19, 2000 by · Comments Off 

When I Love the Seventies was first publicised, the BBC said that each programme would be accompanied by a complete episode of Top of the Pops from the year in question. Read more

Big Brother

Friday, August 18, 2000 by · Comments Off 

The programme makers may well fear that Big Brother has peaked a little too early. It is difficult to fathom a more compelling storyline than the one that concluded this week.

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The People Versus

Sunday, August 13, 2000 by · Comments Off 

It’s the new quiz from the makers of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, they cried. Read more

I Love 1973

Saturday, August 12, 2000 by · Comments Off 

I have fond memories of 1973. Read more

Big Brother

Friday, August 11, 2000 by · Comments Off 

“It’s only a game show” they trilled to each other, as one by one the contestants trooped before the camera to reveal who they wanted out this week. Read more


Tuesday, August 8, 2000 by · Comments Off 

The rarified atmosphere of the poker table. Read more

Tinsel Town

Monday, August 7, 2000 by · Comments Off 

It’s hard to make a hedonistic drama; characters doggedly pursuing self-gratification hardly welcome the audience in. In fact they shun us. Read more

I Love 1972

Saturday, August 5, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Most archivism on present day TV is so poor and lazily uninformed that I Love The Seventies is clearly a cut above the rest simply because it knows something about its source material, and appropriately contextualises it. Read more

Big Brother

Friday, August 4, 2000 by · Comments Off 

When Big Brother finishes, one of the legacies it will leave (besides provoking or truncating extended debates on issues of privacy, representation and exploitation) will be much discussion on the use of the web in conjunction with television. Doubtless Victoria Real (the design team behind the Big Brother website) will fire out a flurry of press releases boasting that they have changed the TV experience forever. Read more

Big Brother

Monday, July 31, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Who did you vote for? Was it Sada, with her tarot cards, crystals and droning mantras about being “one with the Goddess”? Or was it Caroline, with the machine-gun laugh, enormous teeth and pineapple hair? The first two weeks of Big Brother climaxed with us the viewers getting the chance to pass judgment on the fate of this irksome pair of contestants, and then seeing how the remaining occupants in the house coped with their former comrade’s dramatic departure. Read more

I Love 1971

Saturday, July 29, 2000 by · Comments Off 

I Love 1971 reeks of unashamed nostalgia. Concurring with its forbear of last week each section was interspersed with snippets of cine film and imbued with a sunny, yellowed taint. Tonight some of us relived clackers, The Banana Splits, Middle of the Road, Get Carter, Jackie Stewart, Shaft and the Brucie-era Generation Game, whilst those of us who couldn’t make it to 1971 felt an illogical pang of yearning anyway. Read more

Operation Good Guys

Thursday, July 27, 2000 by · 2 Comments 

In a few weeks, it’ll be time for a newspaper or magazine to proclaim that the sitcom is dead again. Read more

I Love 1970

Saturday, July 22, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Channel 4′s recent Top Ten series was, by common consensus, the best Saturday night telly for ages. It worked partly because of its scheduling (you’d never had anything like that on primetime Saturday evening before) but mainly thanks to its presentation: a carefully balanced mix of detailed research, knowing voice-overs and inspired choice of interviewees. Read more

Queen Mother 100: A Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving

Tuesday, July 11, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Unlike most people’s birthdays this year – which will last no longer than 24 hours – the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday seems to be running for a period of several months; and although it’s still a number of weeks till the big day itself, this solemn yet glossy church service was officially the highpoint of the whole festivities. Read more

Counterblast: Dear William/The Real Queen Mother

Monday, July 10, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Imagine a parallel universe in which the institution of the Royal family had crumbled in the dramatic social changes of the 1960s, but television itself had not been given its first big push towards becoming a mass medium in the 1950s. Read more


Thursday, July 6, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Here’s the setup: a legal situation comedy. Read more

Arena: Wisconsin Death Trip

Sunday, July 2, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Drug addiction, sexual dysfunction, spiraling violence, the corruption of childhood innocence , suicide, adultery… the very stuff of Millennial angst and the staple diet of sensationalist tabloids, but are these phenomena unique to our own times? This was one of the questions which anyone viewing James Marsh’s extraordinary film for Arena must have asked themselves. Read more

River Deep, Mountain High

Thursday, June 22, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Remember Now Get Out of That? Bernald Falk wryly commentating on two teams solving problems against the clock, and each other? Well River Deep, Mountain High is an updated version of this concept. Read more

Stand Up With Alan Davies

Monday, June 19, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Alan Davies, we are told, is the epitome of the “modern man”, and one of the most eligible men in the country. He’s certainly popular within the BBC, anyway, with Jonathan Creek an established success, a new sitcom starting next week, and this new series which follows him around on tour and lets him discuss the nature of stand up comedy. However, he also appears to be a miserable old git. Read more

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