THAT WAS THE BOX – June 2015 (Week Four) | TV Reviews

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So the Essex gang are back in Blighty after their annual trip to Marbs. Of course it is business as usual, with arguments, arguments, people arguing, raaahs, falllings out and people wearing strange clothes befitting to someone twenty years their senior (yes, you Lydia). It’s early days so it’s hard to see how the series is going to shape up. But I have made a number of accusations.

Hot new couple alert. Nanny Pat and Pirate Pete. Yes, you’ve heard it here first. Nanny Pat seemed mightily impressed with the hairy one, but not his tattoos. She’s had a couple of scenes with him now, and let’s be honest NP has more personality than Jess, so if Pete’s got any sense, he’ll opt for a little bit of older lady fun.

What happened to Lockie’s Porsche?

I’m still loving Lauren’s impression of Gemma. It’s spookily accurate and it’s nice to see Lauren showing a bit of personality.

I still don’t know what’s going on with Chloe’s hair. In one episode we had a sort of Farrah Fawcett look. A swept back look and some other monstrosity. Sort it aaaht Chloe. Oh and stop being a bitch where it comes to animals. The funeral for Georgia’s cat and Lewis’ dog might have seemed silly to you, but losing a pet is horrible, and if saying goodbye like that makes them feel better, leave them to it, you witch.

Talking of Lewis. I am finding myself fancying him a bit this series. He’s swiftly replacing my beloved Charlie.

Argument of the week was between Tommy Mallet and Ferne. According to Mallet, Ferne is the loosest girl in Essex. Really? There is something of the East End docker about most of the men in Essex. It’s not too difficult to imagine their grandfathers back in Poplar coming home from the pub and knocking the old lady about because she’s stepped out of line. Of course, the modern Essex lads aren’t violent, but they still have little respect for women and talk to them like dirt. Mallet is an idiot, and Ferne was only trying to give Georgia advice. He does treat her like a doormat. Me thinks the man doth protest too much.

Mario is back, but I reckon he’ll now be nothing more than a Billie Faiers style bit player. He’s loved up in real life, and trying to clean up his act, so I doubt if he’ll be up for big, dramatic, fake storylines.

Danni and Lockie have split up again, because of his attitude. Lockie is a weird one. Apparently he is having counselling for not being able to convey his emotions. I’m not sure why he’s so closed. But then again, if the alternative is Tommy Mallet who constantly lets the world know how he’s feeling, I’d rather have Lockie!

Chloe Sims invented a new word ‘Femessex’. Even she had to admit that it sounds like a tampon. Apparently she isn’t a feminist. There is nothing wrong with being a feminist. Why do young women speak it like it’s a dirty word? No wonder the men of Essex behave like cavemen, if the women simper around thinking that’s all they deserve.

Oh and why is it every nightclub looks the same? Like it’s a set. No, surely it couldn’t be all fake.
Hilarious moment was Lydia’s Summer Solstice party, where a group of people born in the nineties displayed their idea of what being a hippy is. It seems that it involves wearing flower garlands round your head and suede jackets. It all looked a bit Wicker Man and I was expecting someone to shove Gemma into a giant wicker statue, but the GC has been suspended. Now it’s just up to Ferne ‘I’m not wearing a bra’ McCann to be the show’s resident troublemaker.


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Episode 2 of ‘Humans‘, and in some aspects I’m still not quite sure what is going on. Where did Anita take young Sophie the other night? The little girl was back in her bed with no memory of leaving the house, but mum Laura’s suspicions were roused when she found her pyjamas had been changed and the old ones wet. What had Anita been doing with her? It’s easy to think of Laura as a baddy, because of her dislike of the benign and beautiful Anita. But the robot serves to remind her that she is indeed human – not a perfect wife and mother, and no woman would appreciate another woman coming into her home who is more attractive, a better cook and can get through to the kids. Things were notched up to the creepy a bit more, when young Toby gave into his teenage hormones and touched Anita’s boobs. We then discovered that she was indeed a synth that had been ill-treated, had broken and was repaired. Hence memories she has of another life.

That strand of the story is about the clearest. I’m not sure what the disabled character played by Jill Halfpenny and her copper husband have to do with it, but he is certainly a bit dodgy. We also only learned this week that dear old Dr Millican (William Hurt) was the one who designed the synths in the first place. I get the feeling he designed them for benevolent means, but somewhere along the line, someone evil has decided to use them for more nefarious purposes.

High point of the week for me, was when Niska, the prostitute synth killed the creepy paedo punter, then escaped, pulling out her chip on the way, revealing that the synths have blue blood. This show is seriously creepy in that it isn’t set in some distant world that is unimaginable, it’s set in the world we live in now, and the people are ordinary just like us. It is a good allegory on how dependent upon machines we are, although if I ever thought my phone was going to rise up and go against me, I’m afraid I’d ask my provider for an upgrade.


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The title of this show was a little misleading. I had visions of four famous people who were now on the breadline and visiting food banks (here’s hoping that’ll be you soon, Helen Wood) but it wasn’t. It was one famous person, one sort of famous person and two guys who used to have relatively good jobs and are now signing on.

Star of the show was BruceLes BattersbyJones, who has gone from earning 100k a year and hobnobbing with superstars and royalty, to now living in a sleepy village in North Wales and singing on. Bruce threw his fortune away in booze and goodness knows what else and Corrie sacked him. He is now on the breadline, looking for his next big break. He came across as a likeable, if not damaged individual, who could be a bit of a diva, although I suspect most actors are prone to this. He is now writing a children’s novel which appeared to be called Blue Bell Wood (I’m sure that’s been done before) and it’s about good and evil fairies. He’s hoping he can be the next J K Rowling. Umm, don’t hold your breath Les.

We next had Lisa Appleton, who appeared on ‘Big Brother‘ about thirty years ago, and claims she is still famous because of this. She split up with husband Mario, who she went into the house with, and is now living in a crummy flat and living on benefits. Strangely, she still seems able to afford cosmetic treatments, because her face looked suspiciously botoxed, and her lips were a little inflated to say the least. I did feel sorry for her, trying to make ends meet, and living on the breadline. But I don’t support her claim that it’s hard to get a job because she’s famous. Loads of ex-BB housemates have gone back to normal lives. Maybe she should call Endemol and ask if she could go back this season as a ‘legend’ it seems it doesn’t take much to qualify as one (yes I’m referring to Helen again). By the end of the show, Lisa had signed off and was scraping by on tax credits, housing benefit and doing menial jobs like dog walking and handing out leaflets. You’ve got to admire her optimism when she claims she’s going to be a successful businesswoman some day. I think there’s more chance of Bruce Jones going back to Corrie.

I found the other two guys quite puzzling. Chris was an ex banker, back from Australia and looking to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, which is fine and dandy, but he reckons he can’t get a job. Well, I’m not being funny, but he appeared to have no ties back home in up north or wherever it was he lived, why didn’t he move down to London. It’s the banking capital of the country, and he could earn shedloads of money and study for his acting exams in his spare time. Chris clearly had a problem with being on the dole and associating with the sort of people who normally sign on. Once again, come to London. When I signed on, in a very salubrious part of town, my job centre was over-run with out of work actors, artists and writers (yes, including yours truly).

I’m also unclear about why English teacher Martin can’t find a job. No, I correct that. I’m unclear on how he got a job teaching children in the first place. Without being rude, Martin came across as a little strange. He was obsessed with order, and timetables, and various things, and it was hard to imagine him being able to cope with a class full of rowdy teenagers, and having to cope with all their emotional ups and downs. He has previously worked in Korea and is looking to return there. Once again, come to London. We’re crying out for teachers too. I can’t comprehend why any teacher would ever have to sign on, when there are never enough teachers or tutors.

God I’m sounding like Norman Tebbit and implying people should get on their bikes. I’m not, honestly. But if you have no ties, good qualifications and experience, I don’t see the harm in looking a little further afield for work. Signing on isn’t pleasant and I say if you can find a way out of doing it, do it as soon as you can.


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Yes and I hope Helen Wood is signing on soon. How can you call lovely Brian Belo someone who looks like a rapist or a murderer? I hope Brian re-enters the Big Brother House to collect Ash-er-leeen and gets the exit he deserves, with people cheering and letting him know he’s loved. And let’s hope Helen falls down a well. I have to say the war between her and Aisylene did look like something from a Disney movie. Aisleyne all blonde and dressed as Santa, handing out presents, and the witch dark and brooding and spouting her venom. Ugh. Please don’t let her darken my TV screen again.


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