THAT WAS THE BOX – January 2016 (Week Four) | TV Reviews
‘WAR AND PEACE‘ (BBC1 – BBC IPLAYER)
This weeks episode was definitely my favourite so far. There was less concentrating on every single character – making it like a soap opera, and concentrating more on Natasha, who started the episode young and lovely and besotted with Andrei, and ended it like a woman possessed, denied the chance to elope with the slimy and creepy Anatole who, although extremely unpleasant looking, is clearly a knock-out kisser, because one snog with him and she was willing to drop her drawers. It was only down to the intervention of her family that she was prevented from doing so. Now she’s going a bit bonkers and I’ve a feeling our young lovely with her dancing and her simpering, might turn into a bit of an embittered monster.
I didn’t appreciate the wolf hunting scene. I don’t care at the end if it said no animals were hurt during the making of the production, I still didn’t like it. I’m sensitive to things like that, don’t you know.
Anyway, back to Natasha. She wouldn’t have been exposed to Anatole’s attentions if Andrei’s father hadn’t persuaded him to take a year away to decide what he really wanted to do, and if he really loved her. Feeling abandoned, she did a dance in front of her relatives who live in a hut in Center Parks and then went to the opera where Helene hovered like a praying mantis, trying to entrap the young girl, reminding me of ‘Dangerous Liaisons‘. Anatole was then terribly forward and a bit rapey, but Natasha’s head was turned and she convinced herself that she loved him. He neglected to tell her he also had a wife in Poland. He’s a lad, eh?
Meanwhile Boris was encouraged to come onto Marya, who firmly turned him down, so he moved onto the comical Julie Karagina (played by Chloe Pirrie, last seen as the wonderful and strange Wendy in ‘The Game‘) and they swiftly became engaged. I so want Marya and Pierre to end up together, because they’re so suited because they’re misfits. A bit like Roy and Hayley in Corrie.
The programme ended with Andrei returning from his travels, and no doubt eager to pick up where he left off with Natasha. Someone should tell him that in the words of CBB’s Tiffany Pollard. He kisses like a Cheeseburger, but Anatole was a Big Mac.
‘PHONE SHOP IDOL‘ (BBC2 – BBC IPLAYER)
Round two of my new favourite programme, and the self-nominators face the scrutiny of the mystery shoppers. Roland (my personal favourite) is losing focus on his job because all he can think about is the competition, and when the mystery shopper is going to come in. His nerves are so bad that he takes himself off to an acting and speech coach, who teaches him to breathe whilst saying ‘Mars Bar’ and he leaves feeling better.
There was sadness when Danny announced to Fonehouse’s Andy that he was resigning to take a job in a factory. Danny claimed it was because he found sales work difficult. I suspect it was because his love was unrequited. Although on saying that, at the end, when he was leaving for the last time, Andy was struggling to contain his tears. So perhaps absence will make the heart grow fonder and we can have a ‘Phone Idol‘ wedding as well as the competition winner.
We met Mark and Gemma from EE in Poole.
Mark is a former footballer who calls himself ‘Brand Davis’ – expect to see him on ‘The Apprentice‘ later this year. Gemma came 3rd in the competition last year and is eager to do better this year. There was also Clare from Carphone Warehouse, York. A pretty former line dancer who gets overlooked for her geekier colleagues, and yet has a good knowledge of tech stuff and is interested in the Occulus Rift (me neither).
Back at Three in Lewisham, Ayyub told us how, before getting this job, he was so desperate for money, he was considering selling drugs. Sad to see that for a lot of young people who are not academically minded, the only options for them are trying to flog people mobile phones they can’t afford, or push drugs onto them. Jason, his manager took him and colleague Kiet through some mystery shopper role play and it was a thing of beauty. Jason needs his own reality show.
There was also Nick from Swindon who is called “Mr Perfect” because his last mystery shop earned him a score of 100%, which according to Andy is “almost perfect”. Andy also did a weird impersonation of Louis Walsh that made him sound Jamaican.
We don’t know the fate of Callum from Fonehouse Western super Mare, but the poor chap works in one of the quietest stores, and most of his customers are elderly. When his manager took him through role play, he ballsed up, so we can guess he didn’t make it through to the next round.
When it comes to mystery shopper time, Kiet cleverly guesses that he is being mystery shopped, purely by the questions the person is asking, which shows he is perceptive and listens to what his customers say. Ayyub sends his mystery shopper to the back of the queue after he pushes to the front, but he then impresses judges Christian and Sunetra with his technical knowledge.
Roland also impresses them with his big smile and helpful nature, but the consultation goes on for over an hour, which is pretty hard-going when you’re being bombarded with information. But it doesn’t work against him and he scores 96%!
Kiet and Ayyub also get through, as does Clare. Gemma and Mark score 100% each, which will only ramp up their rivalry.
Next week the hopefuls face the judges for the first time and I can’t wait. If only ‘The X Factor‘ was as exciting as this.
‘THE MAD WORLD OF DONALD TRUMP‘ (CHANNEL 4 – ALL4)
Who would have thought one of the greatest threats to civilisation would be a perma-tanned, 69-year-old eccentric billionaire with bad hair? But the truth is this, by the end of this year, Donald Trump could be the most powerful man on the planet, with his finger hovering over the nuclear button. God help us.
This documentary by Matt Frei looked at the people who follow Trump fanatically, and also delved a little into Trump’s business affairs. It would seem that he isn’t worth quite as much as he makes out, with Forbes listing him as having $4b instead of the $10b he claims (practically a pauper). His story isn’t the American dream. He wasn’t born in a one room shack and made a fortune from hard work. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, in a gated community of Queens, New York that kept him away from all the immigrants and poor people. An upbringing like this is going to have one of two outcomes, you’re either going to grow up curious about these people, feeling lucky you were awarded such privilege and therefore want to help them. Or else you’re going to fear them, loathe them and consider them less than you. We all know which camp Trump is in?
One person Frei spoke to compared him to Hitler, and worryingly I can see the comparison. Hitler came to Germany at a time when the country was struggling financially after the first world war, he manipulated people into believing the cause of all their problems was the Jews and the rest, as they say, is history. Trump’s targets are Mexicans and Muslims, with women and the disabled thrown in too, and because people are disenchanted with Obama, they look on him as the Great White Hope. His average voter is white, male and less educated, so in this country it would be the equivalent of Jeremy Clarkson running for Number Ten! Unfortunately in any western society, the working classes outnumber the privileged, which gives Trump an advantage.
Listen carefully to him, and he is similar to Nigel Farage. There are no clear policies, just a string of sentences put together making fun of people or spreading hatred. UKIP were very similar at the 2015 election and thankfully they lost miserably. Unfortunately, we still had the Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems in the running. Should Trump win the election to stand as the Republican candidate you will be more than likely be looking at him and Hilary Clinton running for president. Will Mr US ‘Top Gear‘ Man really want a Liberal female in the White House? You do the Math, as our American cousins say. But this doesn’t stop his fans from thinking Trump is wonderful. Those who Frei spoke to were fervent in their adoration, and as Frei pointed out, the last time he witnessed people queued up to see a political candidate speak, it was in 2008 and Barack Obama…
One of the funniest clips in the show was when Obama called Trump out for insisting he show his birth certificate. When Obama revealed said document, he then said Trump could go back to his conspiracy theories including Roswell and where are Biggie and TuPac! Trump wasn’t happy. Like most bullies, they don’t like a taste of their own medicine. The name Trump everywhere also makes me chuckle because where I come from, trump means ‘Fart’.
The consequences of someone so ignorant and yet so powerful entering The White House, is terrifying. This is a man who was accused of raping his wife Ivana, and then intimidated her into retracting her accusation. A man whose rallying cry is “We’re gonna build a Wall”. Surely a wall between Mexico and the United States is just the beginning. What will happen to those immigrants Trump hates, who are already in the country? Concentration Camps?
I’ve never considered myself much of a royalist, but on watching this, I was thankful for the constitution of my country. We could never have a despot like this in total power because the Queen could simply refuse his wish to form a Parliament. But unfortunately for us, the US is our closest ally and what Trump decides to do, we will get dragged into. I think I might take Alex Salmond’s lead and buy a ticket to Antarctica. Apparently radiation doesn’t reach there.