Monday, 29 October 2012

Strictly Sober

Once again I haven't thought this through. It's Monday night. There is nothing on the telly. Without the feintest clue what I am going to ramble on about I have nevertheless deemed it necessary to once again stain the pages of MOAFH with the first things that come to mind.

Acronyms are shit, by the way, especially when, as in the case of MOAFH, they aren't actually words. For those of you struggling to keep up it stands for Memoirs Of A Fire Hazard, the piece you are wasting your valuable life force reading right now. I mean really. MOAFH? Where did that come from? Why did I do that? I'm just glad I don't work in St Helens Information Technology.

So what can I tell you? I have been sober for nine days. I can hear the woos. It is easy to stay sober, relatively speaking. What is difficult is staying in, and therefore having to endure Saturday night television. In our house this means Strictly Come Dancing as opposed to X-Factor. Both would be too much to bear for either of us. We'd be finding brain cells down the back of the sofa as they literally shrivel up into a sticky liquid and pour out of our ears. MOAFH is all about the imagery. So anyway Strictly. Fourteen (now eleven) celebrities of varying relevance trying to learn how to dance with the help of bronzed, shudderingly perfect professionals. Each week one is voted off but unfathomably Bruce Forsyth makes it through to the very end.

Staggeringly it is the 10th series this year, despite the fact that the formula barely changes from year to year. You get a couple of doddering oldies who usually get the boot early, several flat-footed and awkward buffoons whose role is to provide comedy and who are routinely saved from the exit on that basis, and it's all blended together with a few beautiful people who generally have some experience of dancing of sorts or at least stage performance. All of which gives them an unfair advantage but it is not about the competition. It's about laughing at the z-listers and them not caring because they are getting paid sacks of cash and they won't be getting up on Monday morning to talk to students about their bursary and it's possible whereabouts.

As mercilessly trashy as all this sounds it is frankly unmissable. There's something addictive about it. I don't know whether I just enjoying looking at Ola Jordan and fantasising about how many times I would need to punch her gobshite husband James Jordan in the face before his nose actually fell off. You thought I was going to write something else after the word 'fantasising' there didn't you? MOAFH is a clean-cut, family column. You twat. So anyway, James Jordan. The judges are supposed to be the villains on this show but we all know that the real baddie is James, with his crap John Terry haircut and his smug self-assuredness and his ability to do the splits. A friend of mine broke his leg doing the splits once. He couldn't feel it because he has Spina Bifida, but it is not to be advised. So think on, Jordan.

Less trashy but no less embarrassing is Boardwalk Empire, which follows the ballroom bonanza on what my dad used to call 'the other side'. It was ok to refer to tv channels as 'sides' back then because there were only four of them, like a square. Now, there is so much manure on my television, that many 'sides', that the geometrical permutations are frankly incalculable and distinctly whiffy. Boardwalk is great, in a slow-burning, build tension and keep everyone guessing sort of way, but is not something I recommend you watch with your mother. Hardly an episode goes by without some poor actress being required to simulate some scarecely believable sexual practice. This week's delight involved a man being choked with his belt whilst engaged in the act. One can only speculate as to how many Prohibition-era gangsters were actually involved in this type of thing. More likely there were none, and it is merely a device to wake you up during the bits when the plot slows down to somewhere near a total standstill.

Sod it! Next week I'm going to down 17 Jagerbombs while watching Merlin.

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