Due to the strains and stresses of advent (a belated happy Third Sunday, everyone), I have been unable to do my ironing in front of Richard and Judy for quite some time. Thus I ended up yesterday with a large pile of shirts and David Suchet, who is, let’s face it, far better value for money than both Richard and Judy.
Beautifully filmed little episode of Poirot – but I have to admit I can’t quite see the repeated appeal of the programme. Because unlike most murder mysteries, Poirot’s cases are completely lacking in tension; the titular Belgian turns up after everything has happened, talks to people, then gathers them together and tells them what has happened. There are no lurking threats, just beautifully filmed inserts and perfectly costumed caricatures. For murder mysteries, they seem to me to be rather lacking in both murder and mystery.
All quite forgivable, though, when the wonderful Sophie Winkleman is involved.
Anyway. Poirot finished his case before I had quite finished my ironing, so with a few T-shirts to go I found myself watching – quite against my will, but every other channel seemed to be showing a home video of some old man having his teeth checked – The Top 100 Worst TV Moments Ever (Channel 4 – how many times must they be shamed on this website?)
This is my cue to make some wry observational comments about this hideously derivative kind of television. Except that they are comments that have all been made already. In fact, they were being made in the programme itself.
Worst TV moment no. 21 was The Docusoap, as exemplified by Driving School (how the docusoap counts as a TV “moment” is anybody’s guess…) The usual set of “need some extra money to buy Christmas presents” celebrities were on their sofas, talking with a complete lack of irony about how awful docusoaps were. One comedienne of repute (who shall remain Arabella Weir) regurgitated that old, shrivelled chestnut about how “one day they’ll be making docusoaps about making docusoaps”…oh please.
Did none of that postmodernist irony lead Ms Weir to consider that “celebrities talking about docusoaps in the Worst TV Moments Ever” could probably be included as one of the top 100 worst TV moments ever?
If they did that, it would probably also merit inclusion in The Top 100 Most Humorously Self-Referential TV Moments Ever. Using the self-referential “docusoap about a docusoap” comment in this context would give it a kind of triple-postmodernist-self-referentiality which would surely justify the rest of the programme.
Indeed, they could make a docusoap about The Making Of The Top 100 Most Humorously Self-Referential TV Moments Ever, and put the docusoap itself into the top 100, perhaps using a clip of them including the clip from The Top 100 Worst TV Moments Ever in which Arabella Weir makes a joke about docusoaps being made about docusoaps.
Or they could stop being so bloody rubbish and commission some decent television.