Reason to hate the Daily Mail #1211616

So I’m staring over the shoulder of someone on the train at their copy of the Daily Evil aka the Daily Mail. I spy an article on Big Brother and this is the standfirst (as well as I can remember anyway. I get the feeling Marcia Wallace does/did voices on The Simpsons

Anorexia, confused sexuality, Tourette’s Syndrome, suicidal depression: five of the contestants have psychological problems. Marcia Wallace asks: Is this the sickest Big Brother ever?

So let’s get this straight. First of all, five contestants, four “conditions” – I guess we have to assume that two contestants have “confused sexuality”, which is apparently a psychological problem. So would that be Richard and Shahbaz because they’re gay? I tell you what, they both seemed really sure they fancied men so I’m not sure how confused they are.
Or have they forgotten that Shahbaz is gay and they’re talking about Sam because she’s a pre-op transsexual? Again, living your life as a woman for three years – presumably not that confused about her sexuality or are we to assume the Mail meant “confused gender”?
Then there’s the idea that Tourette’s Syndrome is a “psychological problem”. Hmm. Not sure you can actually cure Tourette’s with counselling, it being predominantly an inherited disorder.
God I hate the Daily Mail.

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US TV

Season finales: Scrubs and House

In the penultimate of my series of finale guides this week, I’m having a look at two medical dramas: House and Scrubs (no, I won’t be covering Grey’s Anatomy: it’s pants).

House's finale

House

With no real story arcs to clear up, House could have just ended with business as usual. Instead, the season has a cracking and indeed shocking conclusion. There’s enough misdirection in it to make it hard for all but the most jaded to spot what’s going on. There’s also no pat resolution, making it a tense summer for the House fan. Although we can guess that the regular character in jeopardy will survive through to the next season, there’s a possibility that things won’t return to the status quo: indeed, the episode went through most of the possible changes that could occur, so you’ll be able to spend the wait working out which is the most likely.

Tension factor: 8/10

Scrubsfinale

Scrubs

This season’s been a bit rubbish, so it’s no surprise that the finale should be rubbish. Resorting to one pregnancy: that’s a bit tired, but reasonably acceptable. Resorting to two pregnancies: that’s starting to suggest desperation. But three pregnancies? Just how few ideas do you have to have left to try that? No real tension here, given that we’ve had no build up to these bolts from the blue, so don’t fret too much.

Tension factor: 2/10

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The beauty of early psychology in pulp novels

I’ve been working my way through Ian Fleming’s James Bond books of late. Cos I’m inherently lazy and I’d fall asleep if I were actually reading them (early commute), I’m listening to them on my iPod, mind – what’s even less taxing than reading a James Bond? Listening to a James Bond book.

I’m currently listening to The Man with the Golden Gun, which like almost all the books has virtually nothing to do with the movies and vice versa. It’s slightly amusing anyway since the man reading them tries to do the accents and he’s not the world’s best at that; now imagine a book set on Jamaica, where half the characters appear to be Pakistani…

But then I get to this cracking psychological analysis of Scaramanga, the villain.

“I read recently a profile of Scaramanga in Time magazine. It mentioned something that was barely commented on, but I think is important. It said Scaramanga can’t whistle. Although it may be hearsay, I think there is an element of truth to the suggestion that homosexuals cannot whistle.”

There’s a lot of that kind of rubbish in the Bond books, although you can never be quite sure whether Fleming’s taking the piss – the books get a little more knowing as the series goes on. There’s Pussy Galore in Goldfinger who gets ‘cured’ of her lesbianism by Bond – she was raped when younger and that put her off men, but one night with Bond fixed her. And then there’s From Russia With Love, where the villain has to murder people during the full moon because he’s manic depressive.

But you’ve got to love 1950s psychology, haven’t you? They came up with some outstanding stuff, all cloaked with the authority of science. All the movies and books picked up on it and now we have an entire decade of media that is entirely laughable thanks to their attempt to use science to guide their plotting and characterisation.

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US TV

CSI finales

Continuing this year’s season finale guide, today I’m going to be looking at the final US episodes of the latest seasons of the CSI shows: CSI, CSI: Miami and CSI: New York.

The finale of CSI



CSI

Despite the promised tension of the potential death of a much-loved character, the finale lacked any real kind of tension. Instead, it was business as usual as the team investigated various crimes while Character X languished on his or her death bed, flat-lining every time an advert break was due. However, the ending lacked life-and-death tension, but had an emotional tension instead that makes you wonder what direction the show will go in next year. Still the best of the CSI shows, but they really don’t know how to open or close a season well, I’ll tell you that much.

Tension: 6/10

Csimiamifinale

CSI: Miami

With the promised conclusion of the “mole” storyline, the death of two ‘regulars’ and much more promised for this episode, it comes as no surprise to learn that it was all a bit of a letdown and astonishingly stupid at the same time. That’s CSI: Miami for you. Everything’s wrapped up nicely at the end with the traditional Miami message – the legal system is stacked against the victims and if only David Caruso was in charge and allowed to kill all the bad people, the world would be fine. A foreign trip and a reunion is promised for the start of next season, so long-time viewers are going to be all a tizzy; everyone else will be vaguely bored.

Tension factor: 3/10 (irregular viewers); 5/10 (regular viewers)

Csinewyorkfinale

CSI: New York

On paper, this should have been quite exciting. But then so should the previous episode have been, in which a former favourite gets burnt alive. But it wasn’t. This suggests there’s something wrong in the whole New York set-up (maybe the direction; maybe the cast) that needs some fixing. It’s also becoming clear that what the producers and cast would really like is a show about Mac (Gary Sinise), the ex-marine, and the skills he brings to everyday New York from the army. Sinise, whose band goes around playing gigs to support the US armed forces, would clearly like that too, and the show would certainly be more interesting than the cast-off forensics plots that CSI proper didn’t want and anything involving the other ‘characters’. So quite dull as a finale. But unlike Miami and regular CSI, which both had life-threatening scenarios for regulars, this don’t cop out (ooh, what a pun) and someone is still in the poorly bed at the end. If you’re a CSI:NY fan, it’ll be a tense summer. Otherwise, you’ll find it very easy to resist its pull.

Tension factor: 1/10 (irregular viewers); 7/10 (regular viewers)

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UK TV

Jade? An Essex girl?

Jade

I don’t get it (yes, my camera phone is rubbish. That’s not what I don’t get).

Jade’s from Bermondsey, isn’t she, unless I flunked my last “failed Big Brother contestant” trivia challenge? So what’s with the “Milan – Paris – Essex” line? Are they saying only people in Essex like Jade? That the show’s going to be set in Milan, Paris and Essex? That Jade has a secret Essex past? That only people in Essex are like Jade? Are they under the mistaken impression that Jade’s an Essex girl?

What’s with the Essex? Anyone?

Or can we just assume that Living are a bunch of anti-Essex snobs?