About Damned Time, And How Not To Say Things In Magazines

  • 2/19/2008 11:40:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

Finally. After being sat on the shelf for what seems like ages (it had previously been scheduled to broadcast at the end of December), Love Soup is back for a second series. An ever-welcome slice of Renwickalia will be screened every Saturday night at 9pm, from the first of March. Despite the slightly disappointing slot for the show (will it get bumped every time the Six Nations knocks Casualty over the 9pm line?), this is A Good Thing.

Despite the Digiguide listing for the first episode making reference to the Gil character, we're making the mental leap of guessing the last couple of months haven't seen Michael Landes rushing around filming a load of sub-plots after being unavailable for the initial filming. Not to worry, because the reliably excellent Tamsin Greig is back as Alice, along with Sheridan "Only Good Thing About Two Pints" Smith and Montserrat "Ashes To Ashes" Lombard. Splends.


Yes, because we're physically incapable of being wholly nice about everything for two consecutive updates, we're going to have to unnecessarily pick fault with one aspect of the show. And here it is: in this month's edition of Word magazine (no-one we know ever calls it 'The Word', despite what Mark Ellen claims), Tamsin Greig takes part in the monthly recommend-gasm "Word of Mouth". In just a few sentences, she manages to make what is quite possibly the wrongest statement ever printed in British publishing. And considering that includes everything Tony Parsons has ever written, that's quite remarkable.
The Extras special over Christmas was extra special, just beautiful. Ricky Gervais has got a way of being able to see the world and go, "Oh, come on!", but also to turn it on himself. He's looking at us in the way Shakespeare does - "Look at these foolish people, these foolish children who only want some attention." It's the same story.
Gnnnn. Maybe we were off school the day our English class went through the scene in The Merchant Of Venice where Shylock interrupts his speech to take a cheap shot at Peter Kay and Big Brother, but really. Come on, Tamsin. A moderately enjoyable collection of fairly weak musings on The Cult of Celebrity interspersed with spiffing pratfalls from Stephen Merchant: yes (and that sounds positively hyperbolic compared to what much of The Internet had to say about the Extras special). "Looking at us in the way Shakespeare does": cause for a bemused sigh and a weary shake of the head. This is why every time we see something by Ricky Gervais that we quite like (and it does happen), we duly have to put up with a gush of media commentators (and that's the correct collective noun for media commentators, by the way) falling over themselves to proclaim the majesty of King Ricky The First. Consequently, we feel compelled to take the polar opposite position, mainly because we're a bit worried the world might otherwise get lopsided and smash into Mercury by the year 2084.

We suspect Ricky Gervais has similar concerns to ours, which is why he made series two of Extras so shit on purpose.

Discounting the possibility that this isn't all a great big media in-joke along the lines of every guest on Soccer AM When It Was Good (no matter how famous) stating how their best friend in football was Coventry City's Gary Breen, we feel the need to dispense some advice. On the off chance anyone reading this knows Tamsin Greig, go around to her house on the 24th of March, and put More4 on at about 10.30pm. Make her watch the final episode of the current series of Curb Your Enhusiasm, all the while whispering the mantra "this is how you bring an end to a series" repeatedly into her left ear. If it helps, feel free to utter the mantra whilst performing The David Brent Dance (Awkwardly Uncomfortable Performance In Front Of A Huge Live Charity Event Audience Remix).

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