Reviews: Reggie Perrin, HIGNFY, Later w/JH

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.


Anonymous said...

I was looking forward to the new Reggie Perrin but wasn't as keen on it as you. Just couldn't see Clunes as Reggie. Felt weird.
HIGNFY has lost the plot a bit. Ian Hyslop lost credibility with his attack on Bloggers ( and Guido in particular on Newsnight ). I see it as another establishment programme.
It's Jools rather than Jules Holland I think.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Thanks. You are right about "Jools". I have corrected it.

strapworld said...

I do agree, I look forward to the Tuesday Later with Jools and record it. I first saw The Killers (I am old) on his last series and was so impressed. They reminded me of my days attempting to be a rock star!

We had a group-in Middlesbrough late 50's/early sixties. Played the pub scene at £5 a night -which was good money. Our singer modelled himself on Conway Twitty and we cringed everytime he sang (or attempted to sing) Only Make Belief as he could never, ever reach the high notes! GOD we were good!

Years later, in another life. I arrived at a Hotel in Birmingham, late, where a driver was waiting to take me to speak to an audience of police officers. In the lift to my room was a small man and his blonde lady -Americans- talking about a good gig that night! I ignored them and rushed to my room- changed and left for the meeting. I was later taken to a Spanish restaurant for a super meal and was poured back into the hotel at about 1am.

I went to the lift and waiting there were the same two americans. It was Conway Twitty!! There for the concert (gig) which according to them went really well! I was so taken aback with my hero of yesteryear, his obvious wig, built up heels and still only up to my chin! that I never asked for his autograph! Fame!

strapworld said...

WW. Must relate this one.

The group had just started and we were asked to play at a wedding reception!

Halfway through our FIRST number we were asked to leave!!

I have often wondered if that marriage lasted. My kids always joked that if they ever did a This is your Life on me they would find that couple to come and kick me!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

A tough gig, Strapworld. Not had anything as bad as that yet. (I occasionally promote, and manage a musician)

I am trying to start an urban myth that Vince Cable was the front man in a band called The Hotwires.

strapworld said...

Well, Vince Cable has a fifties/sixties ring about it. Larry parnes would have had him in his stable along with Marty Wilde, Billy Fury,Duffy Power etc.

But I will assist you in your urban myth, as long as you support mine. "The Vince Cable Formation Dance Team is looking for new members"

King Athelstan said...

I also wanted to hate Reggie Perrin, so I was surprised at how well it worked, liked the Sunshine Desserts reference and Neil Stuke as the boss.