TOMORROW’S NEWS “KAZZY Awards” – The Best and Worst TV of 2015!
So it’s the end of the year/beginning of a new one, and it’s time for my annual awards. TV was pretty hit and miss over 2015 with lots of it largely forgotten to be honest. But a few things have stuck out for me.
BEST DRAMA: ‘London Spy‘
Bonkers in places and left with many loose ends, this show at times was infuriating, but it was one of the few TV dramas of this year that would remain with me after I’d finished watching it. Key to it was Ben Whishaw’s performance as Danny, the former party boy turned hopeless romantic whose desire to discover more about his spy lover’s death led to other people dying, lots of confusion and Danny indeed stepping out from being a bit of drifter to someone with a potential career as a spy himself. I really hope there is a second series.
RUNNER UP: ‘Humans‘
This rather sinister series about the plight of human like synths trying to escape the man who created them, was gripping and kept you guessing throughout, wondering if the synths were indeed humans who had been cloned or transformed or whatever. It turned out they were synthetic but they were sentient. It ended with them going on the run. So look out for series two.
BEST COMEDY: ‘Chewing Gum‘
Consigned to E4, it’s doubtful many people watched this, which on one hand is a shame, but on another it’s good, because I fear if it was moved to the main channel, it would be forced to lose some of its edge. Michaela Coel’s performance of bonkers Tracy, who lives on a scummy Hackney housing estate with her crazy mother and religious fanatic sister, was fantastic. You found yourself rooting for Tracy as she broke free from her religious upbringing and explored her sexuality. Because this was late night E4 there was lots of swearing, talk about sex and periods and so on – basically like a female ‘Inbetweeners‘ – but while male filth is tolerated. Female rudeness is still taboo, so I can’t see ‘Chewing Gum‘ moving onto Channel Four.
RUNNER UP: ‘Peter Kay’s Car Share‘
On the other end of the scale from ‘Chewing Gum‘, ‘Car Share‘ was cosy, northern and fairly mainstream. The relationship between Peter Kay’s John and Sian Gibson’s Kayleigh, was both realistic and at times cringey in that way made popular by ‘The Office‘. It ended with the car share scheme being scrapped and Kayleigh possibly heading off to pastures new – just when we got the feeling they had started to like each other. We’ll have to wait until series two to find out what happens.
MOST HORRIBLE PROGRAMME OF THE YEAR: ‘Stars in Their Eyes‘
‘Stars in Their Eyes‘ is one of those shows that sits in the memories of people of a certain age. Like ‘Blind Date‘ and ‘Gladiators‘, it was one of those Saturday staples that had to be watched before you went out on the town. These days of course, my Saturday nights out are rare and so I’m happy to watch the late night re-runs on Challenge, which is good, because Harry Hill’s revival was just plain wrong. As usual with Harry Hill, the show became all about him and his stupid characters. The contestants had to take part in idiotic sketches and there was an ongoing skit about someone stealing Adele’s baby (because kidnap of an infant is soo funny). Like me, people turned off in droves and it quickly became an embarrassment to ITV. I presume they chose Harry Hill because Keith Lemon was too busy. It’s a shame because he would have been a hundred times funnier.
RUNNER UP: There is no runner-up. Nothing comes close in horribleness to ‘Stars in Their Eyes‘.
HEARTTHROB OF THE YEAR: Aidan Turner
Whether it’s as decent and kind Ross Poldark, or the dark and mercenary Philip Lombard in ‘And Then There Were None‘, Turner has made brooding, male sensuality popular again. Poldark became a huge success, largely because of his willingness to get his kit off and in ‘And Then There Were None‘, there were times he reminded me a young Sean Connery. If he’s not the next Bond, I will pickle my walnuts.
RUNNER UP: Patrick Grant
Completely different to hunky, brooding Aidan Turner, Patrick Grant is famous for faffing about with clothes. But he looks like a handsome leading man from a black and white movie, and a little bit of me fell in love with him when I watched ‘The Great British Sewing Bee‘.
FLOP OF THE YEAR: ‘The X Factor‘
Flogging a Dead Horse would be a more appropriate title for ‘The X Factor‘. The programme should have been taken off about three years ago, and this year it got its worst ever ratings and the winner’s single limped in at number 12, while a bunch of NHS workers took the Christmas Number One spot. What Simon Cowell doesn’t seem to grasp is that it isn’t the presenters or the judges people are sick of, it’s the very concept itself that is old-fashioned. When ‘X Factor‘ first started, pop was riding high and people didn’t mind manufactured puppets singing other people’s songs. These days it’s all about singer songwriters, and so ‘X Factor‘ just looks like a glorified karaoke competition and twelve weeks of watching Karaoke sounds more like a punishment that entertainment. Especially when you can switch over and watch Gleb Savchenco dancing round with his top off, on the BBC!
RUNNER UP: ‘The Interceptor‘
Hyped as the British version of ‘The Wire‘, ‘The Interceptor‘ had none of the grit, great writing, three-dimensional characters or intelligence of the American show. It was merely a man who looked like Craig David married to Tanya from ‘Eastenders‘, who was a bit drippy, and the Craig David man spent a lot of time stomping around thinking he was ‘Luther‘ and spewing out bobbins dialogue. I suspect there will not be a second series.
“PLEASE STOP IT” Award: Poverty Porn
It all started with ‘Benefits Street‘, on Channel Four, then Channel Five leapt on the bandwagon and now we have everything ‘Obese and on Benefits‘, ‘Married on Benefits‘ I have warts and I’m on Benefits… you get the idea. We don’t need reminding that poor people exist. That there are people out there who exploit the welfare system, that there are people with low IQs and bad teeth (see also Jeremy Kyle) but it’s run its course now. Those claiming benefits without just cause are just one of a group of people who are a scourge on society. What about MPs and their lack of morals? Bankers and their gambling with our economy, those who prey on young people to radicalise them into joining IS? The world is full of scummy, f*cked up people and I for one am sick and tired of hearing about them. I think a really good documentary series would be revealing the faces of all the people behind the vile comments on the Daily Mail website!
RUNNER UP: All ‘Housewives of…’ shows.
In fact, just close down ITVBe and done with it. It’s crap.
“PLEASE MAKE MORE OF IT” Award: ‘Murder Detectives‘
The three consecutive nights of this show were more gripping than any soap plot this year. It was all real. The investigation into the murder of a young man in Bristol, filmed like a drama, there were so many twists and turns, if it hadn’t been for Google to consult to find out what the real outcome, it would have been a nail-biter up to the end. There is endless potential to keep going with this series.
Unfortunately murders happen all the time and with each crime there are families and friends dragged into it, which makes it into a human tableau. This was reality TV, but about proper reality, not constructed storylines that revolve around the relationships of people barely out of their teens. It was pleasing to see Channel Four can still make ground-breaking television.
RUNNER UP: ‘An Hour to Save Your Life‘.
Similarly with ‘Murder Detectives‘, ‘An Hour to Save Your Life‘ focused on life situations. Following paramedics and doctors in the first hour after an accident or emergency, we saw their valiant attempts to save people’s lives, quite often in difficult situations. At times it was harrowing to watch, but in times when our NHS comes in for a battering, it was refreshing to see the hard work they do.
“END OF THE ROAD” Award: ‘The Only Way Is Essex‘
As I wrote earlier before, I think the time has come to pension off ‘TOWIE‘. The show is on a repetitive loop of ridiculous storylines concentrating on people we care little about, whose sole intention appears to be getting exposure so they can then gain column inches in the tabloids. Like young teenagers, a snog means they’re in a relationship, and they spend most of their time talking about things that happened off camera or what someone has alleged on Twitter. It’s boring and brainless and with all the real characters gone (RIP Nanny Pat) it’s time to say goodbye and remember the good times.
RUNNER UP: ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show‘.
For pretty much the same reasons as the poverty porn shows.
“BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR” Award: ‘The Javone Prince Show‘.
Who would have known that Jerwayne from ‘Phoneshop‘ could be so funny? Well, on saying that, he and Ashley are hilarious in the sitcom, but of course he is playing just one character. His sketch show gave him the chance to play lots of different characters and most off them were hilarious, my favourite being F*cko, the rubbish street magician. There were times Javone reminded me of a young Lenny Henry (forgive me, I am not Louis Walsh) and I think he could end up being a big star.
RUNNER UP: ‘Abz on the Farm‘
This is in second place because having seen Abz from 5ive in other programmes, I knew he was good entertainment, but what delighted me with this show was the close relationship he shares with Vicky, his long-suffering girlfriend. She is his mother/friend/girlfriend, rolled into one and is totally unfazed by the prospect of living off-grid in a shabby old farm in Wales. Please let there be second series. Pretty please! And and someone please buy his BRIT Award!