Showing posts from April, 2023

The Pink Medicine Show

This is a show I've had in the back of my mind to write about here for ages. What has so far stopped me doing so is that the show is barking mad and I really didn't know how to convey it. It is a comedy sketch show written by two actual doctors. It does not have the common problem that shows about doctors or clergymen aren't written by doctors or clergymen: this is the real thing. It's about as subtle as s very bad dose of herpes and you just know it was written by men who've spent years being shown diseased bits. For this reason it may not appeal to everyone's humour. However if you were a staff nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital in the 1990s and passed on the gossip about the nurse who went home drunk, put on the chip pan and started to get undressed before passing out and having to be carried out in his undies by the fire brigade, or about the student nurse who was in the News of the World because she was supplementing her grant on the game and

Penda's Fen

This post may either mark the end of my series of posts on 1980s TV or be a break in it. Anyway we go back to the seventies for some truly legendary television, since I was thinking about Penda's Fen and decided I wanted to have a go at writing a post about it. I say have a go: Penda's Fen is a hugely complex, ambitious and layered drama and while nobody has a higher opinion of my abilities than I do myself, I think even I might have dificulty doing it justice. It doesn't help that quite a lot of what is written online about it is written by the literati and is - sod it, I'm going to go there - a load of poncey wank and toss. Sorry, but I'm merely describing the fanciful stuff written about this show. I'm going to come straight out with it here and say that in my opinion this play is barking mad and that's why I love it. Who in their right mind would write this play and then even think of committing it to the jolly old 16mm? This difficulty is perhaps best c

Eighties TV Season: The Bagthorpe Saga

Continuing a series of posts about 1980s Tv series which haven't appeared here before. I was thinking of including The Bagthorpe Saga in my last post about coming-of-age dramas, but it is about the life of the Bagthorpe family rather than the characteristic transition from child to adult, so it deserves a post of its own. It is a six-episode children's show from 1981, and despite not being a coming-of-age drama did have the same effect they have on me when first broadcast: in terms of impact it really really punches well above its weight. I was fascinated by the insane Bagthorpe family, who I considered very sophisticated at the time. The series is based on a series of ten books (published between 1977 and 2001) by Helen Cresswell, also called the Bagthorpe Saga. They are about the eponymous family who are described in their Wikipedia article as 'eccentric, ultra-competitive, friendless, relentlessly self-absorbed and largely disloyal'. I was wondering how I was going t

Eighties TV Season: Some Coming of Age Dramas

Continuing a series of posts about 1980s TV series which haven't appeared here before. This post is about a number of TV shows which could be described as 'coming-of-age dramas': the other thing they have in common is that I didn't feel inclined to make a single blog post out of each one so I'm going to deal with them together, rather than not mention them at all. My inability to blog about each of these shows individually stems from a personal distaste for the coming-of-age genre, a distaste which comes from the fact that we all know the life events which appear in this genre are very difficult. I won't hide my usual motivation of distracting myself from life's difficulties by watching TV so too much trauma doesn't tend to appeal. On the other hand, on reading round the subject I am noticing that people who see these dramas at the right moment in their lives (teens, apparently) all speak about the significant impact they had. They also talk about the wa

Eighties TV Season: The Kenny Everett Television Show - Series 1 Episode 4

Continuing a series of posts on 1980s TV shows which haven't appeared here before. Surely Kenny Everett needs no introduction? Legendary, legendary, genius comedy star, who tragically died in 1995 of AIDS-related diseases. If you don't know who he is this is yet another occasion when your life will be dramatically improved by closing this blog and going and watching some of his stuff on YouTube - the Heroes of Comedy selection is a good start. His career moved between TV and radio and between mutliple broadcasters, his moves usually prompted by getting sacked. You can tell why I like him so much, can't you? I'm sure he was a total nightmare to manage, but you can't expect a genius to be a good little presenter.  Everett fell out with Thames Television over his previous show The Kenny Everett Video Show (nothing he did was bad, exactly, but the Television Show is the better of the two) and the BBC offered him a contract, having fired him previously over the complete