THAT WAS THE BOX – March 2014 (Week One)

By on 9 March, 2014

TV REVIEW: TOWIE's Mario Falcone and Charlie Sims in bed - March 2014

© Instagram / mario_falcone17


TOWIE‘ (ITV2 – ITVPlayer)

What has happened to the young men of Britain? Is it just an Essex thing? Judging by the male stars of ‘TOWIE‘, flirting with each other is the thing to do with your homies. Kissing, hugging, adjusting each other’s clothes. This week Mario and Charlie tweeted a picture of them in bed together (see picture above) and Dan and Lockie were working out in the gym whilst semi-naked. Next they’ll be doing that fake snogging on dancefloors that girls do to turn blokes on. I don’t think it’ll have the same effect on the female sex somehow.

Main storylines this week is the ongoing to-ing and fro-ing between Fearne and Charlie, and the creepy Frank Major. Honestly, he looks like he needs a good wash and a haircut. His stubble isn’t designer, it’s more ‘I live on the street and can’t get my hands on a razor’. He and Charlie finally faced up to each other and it was reminiscent of the current battle between Obama and Putin. Lots of cross words and frontin’ (as the kids say) but very little actually being said. Apart from Fearne being described as a ‘bird’ (what is this, ‘On the Buses‘ circa 1973?)

The producers of ‘TOWIE‘ aren’t happy without people having relationship problems and suddenly Danielle and her 80s hair, and James (boring) Locke are at loggerheads because he’s been following some girls on Twitter. Cue loads of crying from Danielle and it prompting her to suddenly straighten her hair. But she still looks as though she’s come out of Bananrama.

Also in ‘TOWIE‘….

Arg is learning to drive again
Tom Pearce has been flirting with Fran to get Diags to admit his feelings to her (apparently)
Nanny Pat has no friends her own age.
Mario’s become celibate (apparently).


TV REVIEW: I Never Knew That About Britain - ITV


This is one of those little “filler” programmes between episodes of Corrie, and it’s a look at obscure facts about Britain, presented by Paul ‘Flog It’ Martin, Suzannah ‘Trendy Teacher’ Lipscomb and Steve Mould (me neither). It was all quite light-hearted, and the story of how the design of the Spitfire inspired a man called McLaren to design the folding buggy as it is now, is a bit of a non-story. We also found out how Britain was invaded by the French in 1797 but landed in Wales and were fought off by some Welsh women in natty red clothes. Finally was probably the most interesting story how an Edinburgh doctor called James Young Simpson developed chloroform to aid the pain of childbirth and went on to create pain relief during surgery as we know it today.

Perhaps it’s my historical interest that prompts me to stick with this show. But it’s light and fluffy and because it’s made by ITV it’s never going to be particularly po-faced. It would only be improved by the addition of Lucy Worsley and her hairclip.


TV REVIEW: Keeley Hawes in BBC2's LINE OF DUTY - Season 2, Episode 2

LINE OF DUTY‘ (BBC 2 – BBC iPlayer)

For me the best show on television at the moment. On the Twitter-sphere there is already BAFTA talk regarding Keeley Hawes and I have to agree. This week, poor old DI Lindsey Drake Denton was sprung from prison, but went from one dangerous situation to another. Both Arnott (who will literally shag anyone) and Fleming are coming round to the idea that Denton may be telling the truth in that DCC Dryden is involved in some sort of cover-up. Especially when it is revealed that the missing teenage girl Denton has been searching for, was serving at a dinner Dryden attended the night she disappeared.

Line of Duty‘ is real edge of your seat television, and whilst it is on, you can’t take your eyes off the screen, wondering what is going to happen next. With currently revelations about the Stephen Lawrence case, this tale of corruption within police seems all the more relevant and makes it event television. It’s just a shame it’s not on BBC1 or ITV1 as it would be drawing in 9-10 million viewers per week instead of its average of 3 million.


TV REVIEW: Kiki deVille vs  James Byron - THE VOICE UK 2014

THE VOICE‘ (BBC 1 – BBC iPlayer)

God I hate the Battle Rounds. I do feel the whole singing on top of each other and battling for supremacy is so against the British tradition of good will that I think that is where the programme starts losing viewers here in the UK; but does so well in America where the mindset is different. Oh my God such over-singing. One of my pet hates! At least the judges are wearing different clothes. Ricky Wilson wore that tartan shirt for so long, I bet it fell apart the moment it was in the wash. Only Kylie could steal this week. I do think Kylie has been a great addition to this show though as she isn’t as abrasive as Jessie J. But couldn’t they have found her someone more relevant than Jake Shears is helping her out? Really, whatever happened to the Scissor Sisters?

Will.I.Am had Leah McFall as one of his coaches. For those of you who don’t remember (I’m guessing that’s around the 98% mark) Leah was the kooky-looking finalist last year who has gone on to have a stellar career. I would really appreciate advice from her. Tom Jones is being helped by Tinie Tempah – what a strange pairing? And finally Katy B was helping out Ricky Wilson. I’m not familiar with Miss B, but I get the feeling she’s quite popular with “the kids”. I got the impression, a lot of the time, Tom wasn’t familiar with the songs he had ‘chosen’ for his acts. But I have to say the songs they choose for the acts on here are far superior to ‘X-Factor‘. You would never get Love Cats by The Cure sung on ‘X-Factor‘. Ever.

Other improvements are the inclusion of Emma Willis, who is a lot more rock and roll than Holly Willoughbooby. Emma does at least look as though she comes from 2014 whereas Holly looks as though she has been time travelled in from an era where Elvis is a young buck and everyone was Rocking Round the Clock to that hipster Bill Haley!

Annoyances come from the woeful overuse of the phrase “give it up”, the inflection at the end of everyone’s sentences. The only person on that show who should speak in such a way is Kylie because she is Australian and some Aussies speak that way. Anyone else using it looks like a tool. Like all talent shows, the judges tend to forget that there are contestants on stage waiting to hear their fate, and took the biscuit when he went off to his dressing room before making a decision. These acts are clearly fodder to the judges and some of them are better at hiding it than others.

Highlight of the night for me was when Will.I.Am. asked two girls if they enjoyed ‘scatting’. I almost spat out my Coca-Cola. I’m clearly mixing in the wrong circles.
Also, why has Danny McFly not helped his sister with the weird eye-liner get a record contract?

Two hours ten minutes is far too long for a programme these days. ‘The Voice‘ is aimed at young people, and an hour would suffice – something for them to watch before getting ready to go out. Investing 130 minutes in a programme which has provided very poor results in its previous two series is a lot to ask of anyone. Let’s see if now the annoying battle rounds are over, the viewing figures pick up next week!


About Karen Mason

Karen Mason is a London-based writer. She has published fifteen historical fiction novels and is currently working on her sixteenth. She is also an avid movie goer, with a particular preference for gritty British cinema and a weakness for Jason Statham films! Her music tastes stretch from Muse to the Cinematic Orchestra and she loves discovering new acts.

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