Kudos to Stephen Colbert. Not many chat shows would feature a scientific breakthrough in this way. And scientist Brian Greene does a great job in explaining the hugely important Gravitational Waves discovery for the average viewer. No scientific knowledge required.
Category: "TV & Radio"
Over the last five years I've seen a lot of CBeebies. Probably more than any of our children have actually seen. Some of it was good, some bad, but the content that sticks with me, the stuff that annoys me, is how nauseatingly preachy children's television has become. I should add by children's television I mean stuff like CBeebies, not the extended toy adverts on the commercial channels the lower orders let their brats watch. Cbeebies is awfully preachy, but even worse it often gets its preaching completely and utterly wrong.
Take Mike the Knight for example. This show is popular with my two boys. Mike is a trainee medieval knight and gets into all manner of scrapes with his sister Evie1 and pet dragons. The general idea is that Mike learns lessons through life and encourages children to be "more Knightly". Except he doesn't. Mike spends 99 percent of each episode behaving like a spoiled, bad-mannered little bell-end.
Something odd has happened to British television in the last couple of years. The gameshow, once a staple of primetime television, has disappeared from our screens. Or has it?
There was a time when "Later..." the live music show presented by Jools Holland was essential viewing. On a BBC that knows so little about music that in every documentary it trots out the usual bollocks about how important punk was1 Jool's show was a breath of fresh air. Not only did it present bands playing live - something Top of the Pops producers would have you believe was technically impossible - it offered a real interesting variety. But those days are gone. Instead every week you have exactly the same show. Of course the band names change - but the actual show is pretty much identical week after week.
There are plenty of new shows on BBC's pre-school channel Cbeebies that are worthy of praise. Show Me Show Me for example is clearly designed by people who love to entertain children and it's no wonder our three little ones love it. Mr Bloom's Nursery is another recent arrival that seeks to entertain, with only gentle nudges of education. The children learn, but without being talked down to.
However the channel features some really poor shows that lay on the education - preaching even - so thick there seems no room to actually entertain the audience. Chief among these is Same Smile - a box ticking programme of such banality and evangelical self importance that it's bound to get some producer fast-tracked for greatness at the Beeb. Same Smile aims to teach children that although we are all different we all have the same smile. You know, racially harmony, cultural diversity and all that. Except unless you bring your kids up in a KKK household they'll have realised this already.
You don't have to tell a four year old that people are different, that some families go to different kinds of church/temples, or that people live in different houses. But Same Smile and its three shitty little pandas are used every episode to teach kids the absolute bleeding obvious. The format is simple, the annoying smug presenter visits a school and patronises the children for a while. Then three children are chosen to take a panda each and show them their home, culture, crack den - whatever. And supposedly by doing this we all learn to sing in perfect harmony or something.
It's a load of old festering bollocks is what it is.
For many years now Royal Mail Postman Pat Clifton was the man you could always rely on in Greendale. He was the glue that held the community together, the face of officialdom that could be relied on to being the post whatever the weather. Not only did he bring the mail he was often there to save the day in many a community crisis.
But watch Pat at work today and something has gone terribly wrong. Rather than being the glue that holds the Greendale community together he seems to be the cause of most of the local problems. If you've a special event and need a package for it delivered on time, these times you can guarantee there will be some dreadful and potentially dangerous cock-up.
Cbeebies is full of very strange programmes. Take Numberjacks for example. This appears to be a remake of spooky 70s show Sapphire & Steele albeit with the eponymous heroes replaced with CGI talking numbers that live inside a sofa.
Then of course there's Waybaloo a show about dwarfish Buddhists with speech and learning difficulties, which tries very hard to be representative and fill each episode with a group of children of every hue that means the production company is very likely to exhaust Canada's supply of Chinese children pretty soon.
One of the oddest shows is Grandpa In My Pocket. Here James Bolam, slumming it from grown-ups' telly, plays the titular Grandpa. Now don't get worried - grandpa's excursions into "my" pocket are not of the Daily Mail-baiting "I'll give you a Werthers original sonny if I can have a rummage" kind1. Oh no, instead it refers to Grandpa's ability to shrink to a pocket size when wearing his "magical shrinking cap".