Saturday, 25 April 2009

Ashes to Ashes - why we prefer Mars any day

Try as we might, we just can’t find much nice to say about series two of Ashes to Ashes (BBC1, Mon).

It’s not just that the show is not a patch on the sublime Life on Mars. It’s lots of other things too.

Indeed, we’ve got so many niggles with it, we’ve made a “big list”:

* We’re fed up with the non-stop trailers for it on every BBC channel.

* We’re bored of Gene Hunt, who used to be funny but now gets hardly any decent lines.

* We detest the way it isn’t set oop north any more.

* The car is rubbish.

* We hate that it’s called Ashes to Ashes. Apart from that being another Bowie song it makes no sense. Life on Mars meant something, Ashes to Ashes doesn’t.

* Why does Keeley Hawes’ character go to the effort of doing her hair and make-up in an 80s way? Surely, it would be a lot easier for her to just keep her 2009 style.

* Why haven’t Gene and his sidekicks aged a day since 1974, when we first met them?

* What month in 1982 is this new series set? Because Mirror Man by the Human League (as featured on the end credits) wasn’t released until November that year. Yes, we know that’s anal - we get similarly annoyed during Heartbeat too if that helps at all.

* Life on Mars looked authentically 70s. We don’t really get the same vibe from this 80s update at all. Chris’ quite convincing hair aside.

* What was all that stuff with the belts sticking out of the car doors? Actually, that was quite funny. But it still made no sense whatsoever.

* It would be so much better if they just ditched the supernatural rubbish and made a straightforward period cop show wouldn’t it.

That’s just a snapshot of our “big list” really. Possibly, more niggles will come to light as this silly series progresses. Not that we’ll be watching.

And yes, some people will no doubt complain that we’ve taken the whole thing a bit too literally and it’s all just a massive send up.

Think we’re missing the joke then.

Funniest programme of the week?

It’s got to be Nuts in May (BB4, Sun) as featured in Mike Leigh Night.

That’s right. The original film first broadcast on Play for Today in 1976.

We watched it with a 12-year-old who howled her socks off at the wonderfully odd Keith and Candice Marie (Roger Sloman and Alison Steadman) on their highly scheduled camping trip.

She’s also been going round saying “Kiss Pwudence, Keith” all day.


Not sure we’ll be saying the same thing about Ashes to Ashes in 33 years time.

We count ourselves rather lucky to have a small child who gives us the perfect excuse to watch kids’ telly.

Otherwise we would have missed the fabulous Timmy Time (CBeebies, weekdays) - the new production from Aardman.

Cute, believable characters, beautiful production values, accessible storylines - and not a word of proper dialogue from start to finish.

A bit like Nuts in May, in fact!

They said it:

“Have you seen them thong things? You could wash a month’s worth of thongs and still have space for your bedding. In my day, four pair of bloomers and you’d got a full load.”

Corrie newcomer Connie explains the demise of her domestic laundry business to a fascinated Jack Duckworth.


Anonymous said...

Ahem, some of us actually prefer "Ashes to Ashes" in that it's a heck of a lot funnier, creepier, and engaging. LOM was good but the deification of that show is bordering on the ridiculous...there were some excelent ones and some pretty awful ones. That happens with tv.
Your list is so full of inconsistencies and contradictions as to beg the question, "you're kdding, right?"
It's a fun show with mysteries galore and if you don't watch it, fine...but it pulled in more than seven million viewers, which is a terrific number these days. (That's the overnight, not counting downloads, repeats, etc. which will move it higher.)
Fine if it's not your cuppa but really, some of us like a fun mystery and show you actually have to watch to pick up clues.