Tag Archives: uk

Telly Tuesdays : Broadchurch

I’ve decided to make a change to my categories, as writing about travelling just made it more clear to me that I’m not going on holiday anytime soon. So instead I’ve decided to switch to another major interest of mine, television. Yes, the majority of the programmes that I watch are via iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube or Sidereel, but it still counts as TV, plus I work unsociable hours so the only other option is to turn off my brain and make do with Jeremy Kyle.

For the past 8 weeks I’ve been ever so slightly obsessed with an ITV crime thriller called Broadchurch, a detective series in which Olivia Colman and David Tennant investigate a small community after a young boy is murdered. The best elements of it were the dual allegiance of Colman’s character, who is an active member of the community and mother of the dead child’s best friend. At first she refuses to believe that anyone within her community could commit a murder, yet over the course of the series she begins to doubt herself. I have loved watching Olivia Colman since I saw her playing the scatterbrained mother Harriet Schulenburg, and I still don’t feel like I’ve recovered from Tyrannosaur – arguably the best film I’ve ever seen that I never want to see again. She is perfection, so I knew I wanted to watch Broadchurch as soon as I saw that she was in it.
Then there’s David Tennant as the distant and blunt detective with the failures of a previous case and as well as a serious illness weighing heavily on his mind. Plus he’s my favourite Doctor Who, so enough said really.

But the series did have its problems. At times it felt like I was watching some sort of sequel to Hot Fuzz, complete with comedy accents, a token outsider and Colman back in the police station. And by the end it seemed that the writers were fixated on creating every character into a paedophile (not so much like Hot Fuzz). But either way I love a good puzzle, so was immensely proud that I correctly guessed the killer from the first episode, even if everyone else did too.

That was the main failing of the programme, in such a small community there are only a certain number of people that you can paint as a suspect before the one person that no one suspects becomes glaringly obvious. I won’t spoil the reveal for anyone who has yet to watch, but the reasons behind the child’s murder are equally dubious, and many elements of the investigation are left unresolved (WHY was Danny arguing with the postman!?). However it has been announced that there will be a series 2, so it will be interesting to see how the writers work around the complete lack of serious crime in rural Dorset coastal towns, unless the people of Broadchurch are just very, very unlucky. The closing moments of the series seem to suggest that the two detectives, who were the only three dimensional characters anyway, will move on to pastures new to escape the demons that Danny Latimer’s murder unearthed.

It wasn’t perfect, but it kept me hooked.

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Wednesday’s Got Issues: Politicians act like, well, politicians

Warm, meaty, expensive goodness

Today the main topic of conversation seems to be Cornish pasties and petrol, as the government announced plans to increase VAT on hot convenience food, and told everyone to panic buy petrol in case of a strike. Not only are Cameron’s cronies insisting that the already struggling working class must pay for their comfort food, but we must also keep containers filled with flammable liquid at hand at all times. As usual it seems that a government does not have the best interests of the populace at heart.

Watching 10 O’Clock Live this evening, the pasty tax seemed to be characterised as an attempt to curb people’s waistlines and ease the pressure on the (now fucked) NHS. But making people pay an extra 20p for a Gregg’s pie doesn’t seem to be the most effective way to encourage people to lose weight. I would suggest more community exercise programmes, better diet education in schools, or make healthy food cheaper – the amount of times as a student that I chose 8p Tesco Value noodles over a £2 salad is really quite embarrassing.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Minister Francis Maude is facing criticism over his advice to keep a jerry can (a large container with a capacity of 20l) full of petrol in our garages, to prepare for an upcoming strike, though the date has yet to be decided. This led to huge queues outside most petrol garages today, as people took the government’s advice and started to panic. This created chaos among the petrol suppliers, who struggled to keep up with demand, and may face further issues in the future.

Basically, it seems to boil down to politicians acting before thinking. Which should hardly come as a surprise to us, seeing as we are currently being ruled by an unequal coalition government full of such conflicting ideals that, in the only laws that they have managed to pass, they are the only ones in the country who support it. I give you the astronomic hike in tuition fees as an example of both how little thought there is for younger generations, or indeed pre-election promises, within 10 Downing Street.

I would quite like it if they could do something that the majority of people actually agreed with for once. I won’t hold my breath.

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Travellin’ Tuesdays: Don’t go west, go English

Being of the unemployed persuasion, my recent desire to go travelling again cannot really amount to much, unless I take the advice of the Enjoy England campaign and explore my own fine country for a while. Like a lot of travellers, I was struck by the continued aversion to domestic travelling by everyone not a tourist. In NZ, undoubtedly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, I met people who didn’t even seem to see the point in travelling between the country’s North and South Islands. Back then I was astounded by what I saw as a complete lack of curiosity, but then I returned to Blighty and set about thinking of ways to leave it again. If we are familiar with a place, or associate certain things with particular regions (incest in Norfolk, anyone?), then we are less inclined to explore with an open mind. But in the last few years I have visited more of the British Isles then ever before, and there have been very places to which I would be reluctant to return. But that’s travelling, you’re not going to like every single place, but it’s worth your time to give it a chance, just in case it turns out to be the most amazing experience of your life.

So go England. Go Wales. Go Scotland. Go Ireland. Go to every corner of our country, and see if it doesn’t give you a better understanding of what it is to be British. Whether it’s a hike around the Giant’s Causeway, a rugby match at Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium, a wild night out in Glasgow or a surfing lesson in Cornwall, do it.

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It’s my elimination and I’ll scream if I want to

When Rachel Crow was eliminated from the US version of X Factor recently, it would seem that everyone was shocked, but no more than her. The teenager threw a full on toddler-wanting-sweeties tantrum that made American hearts weep. Not so much in the UK. Our response was, as always, to mercilessly take the piss out of the precocious little twonk.

When Hollie Steele broke down during her performance on Britains Got Talent a few years ago, I couldn’t watch it. Seeing a 10 year old crying for her Mum on live TV was pretty excruciating and it kicked off a lot of questions about the ethics of allowing young people onto programmes such as these. Yet in the case of Rachel, we saw a spoilt child who threw a fit when she didn’t get what she wanted. The public didn’t like her enough to vote for her and her elimination was valid. In fact it has been reported that she has been approached by Disney, so pretty soon we’ll have yet another Miley Virus running around and infecting our kids with their squeaky clean poison. Fabulous.

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