Category Archives: Television

Warming hearts before Christmas

Well, that’s what we needed in a cold and dreary December!

After an uncomfortably long break from Bull, there was some pre-Christmas cheer. Not too much, but enough to convey hope. And that’s with them tackling US immigration policies. I could see it had to come, but couldn’t quite see how you’d get a decent outcome without distorting reality.

Bull - Separation, portrait

Two stories that ended up a lot closer to each other than you might have thought to begin with. The main characters were sympathetic people; the official ones less so.

Warming to Gabriel even more. The question is whether he’s a keeper, or if he’s done his bit by now. Bull’s employees don’t have marvellous track records where partners are concerned.

But it was at least a little bit Miracle on 34th Street.

(Photo © CBS)


They got her out of there

Anne Hegerty has left – by which I mean she was voted off – I’m a celebrity get me out of here. I’m glad I didn’t start watching the programme on the basis that Anne wouldn’t last long and surely I could invest a few hours watching.

She lasted and I wouldn’t have, even from the comfort of my own living room. I’m pleased Anne did so well, and hoped she’d go on to win. After all, who wants John Barrowman to be successful yet again?

(I won’t mention the other contestants, because I’ve not heard of them.)

Never having watched these celebrities compete, I have no idea what they actually do in the jungle. Possibly neither do real viewers. There’s no guarantee what you see is what happened.

I learned of Anne’s freedom on Facebook this morning, and felt both relieved and sad. A couple of weeks is a long time to go silent on social media.

Hoping to find out more, I Googled, but the stuff I found in the tabloid press made me blush. It also left me no better informed than when I started.

What makes me especially happy, is that Anne picked up new fans for doing so well among the creepy-crawlies, and that by setting a good example she has become a role model for others on the autism spectrum. For me that was an unexpected bonus of this spectacle, but if I’d stopped to consider it, I shouldn’t have been surprised. The jungle reaches further than The Chase.

On that basis I’m terribly grateful to Anne for suffering for the many, and showing the rest of the world what is possible.

Prejudiced? Moi?

Yes. A bit, I’m afraid.

I disliked Gabriel from the start of this season’s Bull. Hitting on Danny when she came to Cable’s apartment like that. He was smarmy, and it was annoying that Danny seemed to go along with being ‘wooed.’

When he came to Cable’s funeral, it was clear he was given more room in the show. But even in bed, Danny seemed to be reluctant while Gabriel was forward.

And then, all that was needed was some ‘respectability’ and I change my mind. Except, it wasn’t so much that he turned out to be a doctor in his home country. I believe it was that when Gabriel was called upon to use his medical skills, he suddenly smarmed less and became a real person.

Danny and Rodrigo

So the writers and directors of Bull have to share the blame with me. I wasn’t snobbish about his day job, looking after the apartment building. That’s as fine a job as any. I simply don’t like smarmy men hitting on Bull’s people. And next time if Danny could dress for dinner as though she hadn’t come out in her underwear?

It will be interesting to see how this evolves. I sense Bull getting involved, but whether the romance is going anywhere is anybody’s guess.

(Photo © CBS)


Just a brief post on the greatness of great authors. I know. It’s sort of obvious, but why haven’t they asked more authors (of proper books) to come and write for the Doctor? Malorie Blackman’s Rosa was simply perfect.

Doctor Who - Rosa

Rosa, about Rosa Parks, in Montgomery in 1955, fitted in not just Whovian stuff and time travel, but it provided a whole section on [black] history. For us older viewers, this might seem like old news. But how many younger ones have not actually learned this at school [yet]? Maybe never will, the way things are going.

How useful to have a bus driver on the Tardis team, and a police officer in training! Not to mention a black man of today, discovering how far away 1955 really is, despite things seeming bad now.

More Malorie episodes, please!

(Photo © BBC)

Blue Peter at 60

I quite agree, shampooing a camel isn’t the first thing anyone expects to be doing. But it’s the sort of thing that happens on Blue Peter.

And no one expected Blue Peter to last sixty years, either, I imagine. But here they are, sixty years on, still making stuff out of washing-up liquid bottles, handing out badges and generally inspiring children to do things.

I believe Offspring managed three badges between them, which was pretty good, and we did two bring and buy sales (and please, no more of those, ever!). Not having grown up with BP, I don’t have childhood presenters. To me, all the old ones are just that; old. People who seem nice and who are wheeled out when there is a reason. And I loved the pooing elephant.

My presenters are the same as Offspring’s, going from Diane-Louise Jordan to Matt Baker. I loved most of them, but some more than others. I just had to Google Meg, Matt’s dog, to see if by some miracle she’d still be alive. Alas, no.

Watching the 60th birthday show I was struck by how out of touch I’ve become. I’m sure the music would have sounded better to my old ears if I’d continued to watch. Which, I did promise myself I’d do, back when Offspring suddenly got too old. But you move on.

Glad to see they still get up to unlikely things. Loved seeing Radzi on that Royal Navy aircraft carrier. It was a bit NCIS, really. And it’s surely a sign of Blue Peter’s status that it didn’t seem at all strange.

Nor was it odd to see Lindsey learn to operate a hot air ballon and to go to Finland to fly the BP balloon on her own, in freezing weather, landing – softly – on snow. It’s what they do. And it’s what I’m very grateful I don’t have to even begin to consider doing.

Happy 60th to you!

A female Doctor

I had wondered. Who hadn’t? I didn’t doubt that a female Doctor would work; I just wasn’t sure they had it in them to make her work. But work she did, and magnificently so, even if she didn’t quite remember who she was to begin with. She knew what to do, and why. And what’s in a name?

Doctor Who Series 11

Having no experience of Jodie Whittaker was probably a good thing. I knew as little as those who met her, when she fell into that train on Sunday night. A train, which to the Resident IT Consultant’s delight, was as wrong as screen trains tend to be. Just as well, once the weird and wonderful creatures have finished falling, the train would be a wreck anyway.

The new Doctor felt perfect, the way some people do, without you having been aware that you might welcome an improvement. Was that Jodie’s doing? Or the screenwriters’? Both, perhaps. And her hair… it was great hair!

Her companions were also pretty perfect, for being dyspraxic, having [had] cancer or being a rookie police officer wanting some excitement. I have seen criticism of there being three of them. I don’t agree, and feel that to have had one, wouldn’t have worked so well. I’d have liked it if there had been four. Ryan’s grandmother was quite a woman.

Doctor Who Series 11

The adventure was also good, neither too tame nor too outlandish, and what a change it made to be in and around Sheffield, with actual accents being spoken. (I’m fine if next time we’re in some unknown corner of outer space.)

All we need now is the recipe for a sonic screwdriver. If it’s that easy to make, we could all have one.

(Photos © BBC)

Pregnant? No. Maybe?

Anything’s possible. Obviously. But no, I don’t believe that large shoulders is a sign of someone being pregnant. Those are called shoulder pads. Very 1980s, and I suppose they had to come back.

But a lot of you believe that Renée Felice Smith is pregnant. Maybe. Some of the searches for this were last year, but rumours regarding NCIS: Los Angeles’ Nell are surfacing again. I was advised by Daughter to have a close look, as Nell had looked ‘ a bit fat.’

Nell and Eric

She did, and she didn’t. It could be the dress. The jacket – and its shoulder pads – could simply be a fashion thing, rather than somewhere to hide a baby.

So as I watched this week’s episode, with the predicted ‘back at work and almost like normal’ situation, I deduced Renée isn’t pregnant. At least not from what you can see. A woman can be expecting with nothing at all to show, until it does.

(Of course, even actors can put on a bit of weight. And, there have been threats of someone leaving…)

Actresses of a certain age might want to have children before it’s too late, but still continue acting in successful shows. Look at Daniela Ruah. And, thinking about the unexpected, but not unlikely, move of Eric and Nell, erm, moving in together, it could be a precursor to an on-screen development, or to explain away a real life one.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Nell and Eric

I wonder if CBS realise quite how many fans are looking for news about Renée Felice Smith? Sometimes it seems as if they believe they can decide who’s the most popular character in a television show, when it is actually us, the viewers.

Didn’t particularly like the yellow dress, but Nell often wears flaky outfits. And why not? Excepting the shoulder pads.

(Photos © CBS)