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Monday, 29 March 2010

Jumping for Glee

Ultimate Movie Toons, ITV1
Eastenders, BBC1
Piers Morgan's Life Stories, ITV1
Glee, Channel 4

Question: What sight could be more confusing than Duncan from Blue and a pregnant Denise van Outen performing a samba version of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious on national television?

Answer: The sight of a boy in a wheelchair singing Jump in a mattress store on international television.

More about mattress boy later, for now, back to Denise and Duncan...Yes, as part of its committment to produce ever more bizarre takes on generic formats, on Sunday ITV1 decided to treat us to Ultimate Movie Toons, a of top ten countdown of songs from animated films voted for, of course, by the public. As with all such ventures, there were highlights (Michael Ball growling his way through The Bare Necessities was particularly gratifying) and lowlights (Beverly Knight murdering Beauty and the Beast; who knew it was possible to find oneself pining for Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson?) Danni Minogue presided over events, evidently thrilled with her ever-rising star and smiling as much as her plastic surgeon would allow. I for one am as thrilled as she is; I remember my horror when she attempted to resurrect her music career with her tour of Jumpin' Jaks up and down the country on the early noughties.

Another glorious highlight from Ultimate Movie Toons

Less enjoyable was this week's Eastenders two-hander between Stacey and Max which culminated in a Hitchcockian moment where the camera slowly panned out from the Square to a bird's eye view of London. Unfortunately the cinematic ending was in no way a reflection of what preceded it. Lacey Turner did her best with the rambling and incoherent script - perhaps the writers had been hit by a bout of swine flu - but even she couldn't make a silk purse out of that sow's ear. Max was required to cry which was almost as funny as his failed attempt to make himself sick on the live episode. The Melodramatic Props Department (TM) was once again called on to add dramatic impetus; this time in the form of a dried out floral tribute to Bradley which magically brought about a reconciliation between the pair. Eastenders appears to be on general downward spiral of late; earlier in the week, we were treated to to some "yoof" dialogue from Billy and his dodgy mates; something to do with hoodies and guns and respec' innit? Dreadful.

One person you would never find in a hoodie is Joan Collins, although woe betide you if you disrespect her; something Piers Morgan was careful not to do in his Life Stories on Saturday night, a kind of updated version of This Is Your Life without the pesky "friends and family" bit. As befits the format, Piers was slightly simpering throughout but it was nonetheless a rather entertaining interview - Joan has, after all, had quite a colourful life; she is currently on husband number five. Be that as it may, other than the fact that she is a (self-professed) wizz in the kitchen we didn't really learn anything new about our Joanie and the whole thing seemed like a missed opportunity for her to finally ditch the gloopy mascara, badly applied red lipstick and hairpiece and show us the woman that "her Percy" sees over the breakfast table every morning.
Celebrities Sans Slap; would that work as a concept? I'd better contact ITV immediately.

So back to that boy in the wheelchair, who came to us courtesy of U.S. series Glee which appears to be the televisual lovechild of High School Musical and Ugly Betty. Is that a good thing? I can't decide. Judge for yourself...

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