Thursday, 12 January 2012

Bye Bye Bob

January is traditionally the month of New Year's resolutions and frugal living. Having over-spent and over-indulged at Christmas, it is the month we're supposed to detox and start saving pennies again. In keeping with this philosophy, I have been watching much more TV than my normal quota.

The announcement of Bob Holness' death began January with tributes to the Blockbuster legend. Watching old re-runs of the show, transported me back to earlier more innocent years when I recall pre-pubescent sleep-overs in a makeshift indoor tent, comfortingly shrouded in old sheets playing the Blockbusters board game.

Re-watching the show, I was instantly reminded of what used to appeal to me about it – unlike many TV quizzes I was always heartened I was actually able to correctly answer the majority of questions asked. Tellingly, The Boy recalls feeling particularly embarrassed by incorrect answers, rather than elated by merely being able to answer questions.

I'd forgotten the bizarre and unfair format of the show that sees two contestants compete against one, merely having to answer a few additional questions in order to complete a winning Blockbuster run. Watching the show now it looks so dated, from the slightly of-centre footage of the title screen to fashions sported by contestants, hideously colourful polo shirt prizes and video footage of the main holiday prize.

In keeping with 80s' and early 90s' fashions, following our Blockbusters tribute, we decided to have a Black Lace medley and watch old Bullseye repeats - another show with comically dated prizes (a tiny heavy-weight TV that's primary draw is its colour picture, an enormous camcorder that looked like it'd be too big for flight hand luggage size regulations..). It's just a shame, old 80s' and early 90s' adverts aren't re-run during "the break".

Aside from the return of Shameless and Sherlock Holmes; the start of channel 4's New Girl and the odd Dickens' adaptation, January television has so far been fairly uninspiring. The comically dramatic title of an Inside Nature's Giants' episode, Rogue Baboon, actually tempted me to watch a nature documentary and with Dating In The Dark done and dusted and a new Australian second series yet to air later this year, I also decided to give the second series of Playing It Straight a go. While musical interludes provide the perfect kettle boiling and toilet visiting opportunities, in all its mindless vileness, the show actually shows some promise as an equally trashy TV substitute. I look forward to Cara's journey of deception next week.

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