If they told you that Monty Python was going to be re-made, with a new cast, you would be ready to hate it. Well, this is the baggage I brought to the first episode of Reggie Perrin, the remade/remodel starring Martin Clunes. I wanted to kill him. The original Rossiter Reggie Perrin summed up the comic tedium of a life trapped on the morning train that your baby takes to Matthew and Son. And yet, the Clunes version made me lol (as they say in interweb land) and forget what went before. What an incredibly strong cast, with the sort of material that has been worked hard on but appears effortless, dressed in a knowingly clunky semi-detached suburban retro world where it is forever Groundhog day. The premise was clever and worldly wise the first time and the remake pays full tribute to it and brings it right up to date. I wanted to hate it, but I loved it. I didn't get where I am to day by not loving things.
Why is it that HIGNFY only does about 10 episodes a year? I don't know, but the first one of the this year looked tired and out of ideas. Even Paul Merton looked distracted. Don't forget, this is an edit-down from 2 hours of material, and boy did the editor struggle. It's like an old relative who you listen to because you respect them, but the endearing factors have long faded and they go through the motions. Poor.
Later with Jools Holland is the only show on TV that properly showcases new musical talent. Madness headlined and showed that they only improve with age. They are truly artistic. Not only that, the one that just used to jig about has learned to play the guitar.
Bat for Lashes is a band with a front girl. She references Nico, Bjork and Kate Bush and the presentation is very theatrical, but somehow, the songs did not do much for me. A lot of style, but how much substance? And the hussy was there with bare arms which would not have pleased...
the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, who was the biggest disappointment, with a song that went something like, "I am sad, because it's bad". He also seemed like an arrogant tosspot. Actually, he seemed like a miserable, arrogant tosspot. Just think, when the Caliphate comes, we will all sing along because it is all they will allow. They played a 70's clip of "Father and Son" which just went to emphasise how far the Catmeister has fallen.
Stunning surprise for me was William Elliot Whitmore, who did what was obviously a protest song, in the tradition of Guthrie and Dylan, but was in no way derivative. His vitality and commitment and sheer energy shone through and he was shitloads better than Yussuf (aka Cat). Liked the tats.
Do you take issue? Come on, if you think yer 'ard enough!
PS. The Weasel has slid down the rich list again. Guess I'll be reduced to doing Vegas.