Catch Up With…Homeland

"Hey, drop your pants big guy- I'm feeling a bit 'mood disordery', if you know what I mean."

It’s been a mere eight weeks since Homeland first arrived on our screens. And what an eight weeks it has been.

Much has changed for CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) in this seemingly short time. For one, she has gone from being so busy in the first episode she didn’t even have time to clean her vagina properly, to being able to simply disappear to a cabin in the woods for a couple of days to get drunk and have extremely unwise sex with US marine and suspected double agent Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). Read more of this post

The Undateables

On the surface, this seemed like another thinly veiled Channel 4 point-and-gawp freak show.

But instead of a body horror celebration with a ridiculous title that would make it sound like a lesser known Stieg Larsson book (The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, anyone?), the trailers for this one painted an image of a show that was going to be more about watching a group of telly defined misfits falling flat on their collective faces trying to find love.

As you can no doubt imagine, I had my fingernails sharpened and my typing fingers ready to carve it to shreds. Read more of this post

Have You Been Watching….Homeland?

We live in an age of anti-heroes. No one gets to be a good old-fashioned knight any more: strong, true and brave. The only thing you can be sure of is the nagging suspicion that even the best person out there is only marginally better than the alternative.

Enter Homeland, which is all about shades of gray and features a hero so flawed she’s basically a villain. Claire Danes plays the lead, Carrie Mathison, a FBI agent so damaged she makes Lindsay Lohan look like a model for well adjusted living.

She has a schizophrenic-esque mental disorder, no regard for legal propriety, doesn’t care about her colleagues, uses her sexuality as a  desperately blunt tool to advance whatever she thinks is a good idea at the time, is a raging egomaniac and she likes jazz.

Jazz, for God’s sake! Read more of this post

Strictly Baby Disco

Baby Gaga

The title of Channel 4’s ‘Strictly Baby Disco’ documentary is pretty misleading.

Firstly: there aren’t actually any babies involved. Yes, the kids involved are all under 10, but anyone expecting a real-life version of that Evian ad with the computer generated cherubic breakdancers will be disappointed.

Secondly, you’d think that the ‘disco’ referred to in the title was self-explanatory, right? There are many strange things about this programme, but the most baffling of all is that the dancing portrayed is definitely not disco dancing as we know it. Believe me, if you tried to impress with any of these moves down your local Jumpin’ Jacks, the best you could hope for (other than public ridicule and humiliation) would be a swift exit in a straightjacket. Read more of this post

Have You Been Watching… The Fabulous Baker Brothers?

So who are these chancers, and how dare they talk about food on Channel 4 without being Gordon, Hugh or Heston?

by Kate Diamond

Tom and Henry are brothers. Tom has baking in his blood (so much so that his haemoglobin is approximately 58% cake) while Henry is a chef with actual awards. He’s also younger, a foot taller and has better hair. Game, set and match.

To hype up the lacklustre sibling rivalry, the credits shout about a ‘blood curdling battle’, cut with close ups of kitchen knives, axes and fire pits.

You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s Dexter. It’s not Dexter. Except, maybe, the bit where he brings them all the doughnuts.

The Baker Brothers take it in turns to cook stuff. Henry does things like crushing whole garlic bulbs with one hand and lobbing pork joints into the open fire: ‘Grrr, yeah! Read more of this post

Have You Been Watching…How To Cook Like Heston?

"So, you just add the enriched uranium and let it simmer. But not boil! Never let it boil!"

Heston Blumenthal is the Willy Wonka of the culinary world. Or possibly some kind of chemical-addled 15th century alchemist. If anyone’s capable of turning lead to gold, it’s Heston…and by ‘lead’ we mean ‘biscuits’. And by ‘gold’ we mean ‘some kind of souffle with exploding jam in it’.

He’s the sort of person who hires a ‘development chef’, calls him Jocky and insists Jocky cooks with a pneumatic drill and a cement mixer.

But would you like to cook like him? Most people don’t have nearly enough test tubes and bunsen burners in their kitchen. And it’s hard to convince the kids that edible wallpaper is an acceptable substitute for fish fingers…although mashed potato volcanoes with erupting gravy would probably be a hit. Read more of this post

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