Sunday, 25 December 2005

A Very BrokenTV Christmas

(aka. We've had a bit to drink, and aren't tired enough to go to bed just yet.)

Before we start on our Top Ten TV Things Of The Year (we're not naming our Worst TV Show Of The Year until we hit number two on the Best TV list, to ramp up the suspense), here's another rundown. This'll seem a really bad idea when we sober up, but until then:

BrokenTV's Top Five Hosts Of Foreign Versions Of Deal Or No Deal

5. Argentina

So, that's what happened to John Gregory.

4. Slovakia

Clearly a surefire way to get ahead in Slovakian television is to have the WORLD'S TINIEST BEARD. It makes Tony Almeida in the first series of 24 look like Brian Blessed.

3. Bulgaria

Similarly, really bad shirts work well with executives of Bulgarian television.

2. Australia

Never mind the host, what's going on with all the clones in the background? Genetically created identical octuplets? Are they the contestants? If so, does all the money eventually go to an evil scientist in a mountaintop castle? And why are the prizes contained in children's lunchboxes? BROKENtv DEMANDS ANSWERS.

1. Slovenia

In Slovenia, the host's name is Victory Looser. And this is what he looks like. This is excellent.

(More accurately, it's the quiz host persona of TV personality Bojan Emersic. We still want to see it, though. Is there a Slovenian version of UKNova?)

In other DoND news, it seems talks are in place to have an extra episode in primetime, as well as the standard daytime episodes. Well, as long as it doesn't interfere with BrokenTV's ongoing mission to win the viewers prize (via the free web entry, obv). Now, who's up for our sweepstake competition, to see who can guess when the first tabloid columnist will erroneously claim Deal is another British TV invention taking off all over the world, like they always incorrectly do with the similarly Dutch TV show Big Brother?

Wednesday, 21 December 2005



The Guardian's Rupert Smith classified The Catherine Tate Show pretty much correctly when he stated that it's basically a product aimed at children so undemanding they're happy with their Crazy Frog ringtones and Girls Aloud singles. Unfortunately, he soon followed it up by seeming to assume that it's all his fault for not liking it after all, and that the majority is probably right. The limp-ass liberal wimp. Also, he actually said "swearing and catchphrases are great", the clot. No, if it's a comedy programme on terrestrial television at 9pm, I'd expect a bit more reward for plonking my carcass in front of the television than to see someone utter the same script as the previous episode, but in a slightly different setting each week. With different swears each time.

But, hey. As long as it gives an opportunity for cackling harridans in works canteens to say "bovvered?" to each other and to 'get' the reference, that's fine. Innit?

3. Little Britain (BBC One)

See number five. Lucas and Walliams nick the higher slot in the rundown, because I know they can do better than churn out another half-arsed "as Lou turns away, Andy gets out of his wheelchair and runs around in a manner befitting their current environment, to massed applause".

Oh, why don't Paramount Comedy repeat their excellent Spoofovision Mash And Peas links from about ten(!) years ago? 'My English Cousin' is worth a dozen vomiting racist old ladies.

2. A Bear's Tail (Channel Four)

Comedy for people who find Little Britain too highbrow.

Monday, 12 December 2005



There's a reason why nobody ever watches David Letterman in the UK. The reason is: because it's generally thirty-five minutes of tedious jokes-that-aren't, with a few interviews tacked on at the end. One episode we sat through featured a researcher being made to do a crap little dance that her ex-boyfriend used to do, repeatedly. This dragged out for a full ten minutes, meaning they didn't have enough time for one their guests. For Johnny's sake. Which is why it got shunted around the UK schedules, from a 7pm flagship programme for ITV2, until it ended up at 3am, presumably because it won the toss against showing Jobfinder repeats from 1989. Then ITV4 came along and needed something to fill the other side of midnight. We give it three months before it ends up nestled amongst the 3am low-quality camcordered smut on Men And Motors.

And that bald band leader bloke with the glasses who feels the need to bang a musical instrument every time someone, anyone, does anything, anything at all, really needs to go and invade himself with a brick.

And if there's one thing that annoys us more than Letterman, it's a feeble imitation of Letterman...


Chris Evans utterly failing to realise exactly why everybody suddenly got sick of TFI Friday by the end of the 1990s, there.

TFI had gone from featuring lots of interesting guests and decent bands, to a weekly hour of Chris Evans having his ego gently licked by several of his Super Showbiz Chums. Dipping into TFI's entry (hey, I'm as surprised as you), a typical show from 1997 featured Courteney Cox, Jimmy Tarbuck, Sinead O'Connor, Mansun and My Life Story. An interesting line-up that you genuinely wouldn't have seen on any other television programme. On an episode just two years later, the only guests they could rustle up were Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakson, in order to clear more space for tedious Letterman-esque banter with one of his flunkies. A Big-Brother-people-and-Sara Cox-guest-helmed dumper beckoned for TFI.

Fast forward to 2005. Not learning from the calamitous outings for TFI-lite vehicles for Chris Moyles and Christian O'Connell (not to mention Born fecking Sloppy), Chris does a semi-decent turn on Comic Relief, and subsequently worms his way onto ITV1's Sunday night line-up. Chris Evans gives lots of interviews stating how the new show had been in meticulously-planned development for months, and it would be quite unlike anything we've ever seen before. The first episode kicks off with a theme song all about Chris Evans, the only guest is a slightly uncomfortable appearance by his ex-wife. He presents a game-show segment where the public are meant to give a flying arse about whether a toaster is his toaster or another celebrity's toaster. There's a section where Chris Evans uses up time by showing something 'hilarious' to his guest, not letting anyone else in on the joke, then destroying the evidence. And so on. All this lasts for an hour. Christ.

The second episode may well have been the same (but with Only Guest being one of Evans' Super Showbiz Chums), but luckily I'd already stabbed myself in the eyes with a fork as a precaution.

Sunday, 11 December 2005

The BrokenTV Awards 2005

Yes, I know we've only been going for a few weeks. But anyway, here's the first exciting section of our end of year rundown, and not just an excuse to stick the boot in on several TV shows that have irked us months before we had the idea of starting a blog purely for the purposes of sticking the boot in on several TV shows that have irked us.

And don't think of disparaging us just because we're not even pretending it's a proper awards ceremony, but a top ten rundown of good and bad shows. We're too wily for any such critics, and in any case have just scarpered down the fire escape, shouting the following over our shoulder:


From ten to one, in reverse order:


Copying what The Daily Show does! It's the new copying what The David Letterman Show does! All three examples are fairly equally bad, although several bonus points to Not Tonight for getting John Sparkes back onto national television. It was only a Barry Welsh offcut, but we'll take it.


Good Things About Jimmy Carr:
- He's a quite good stand up comedian sometimes.

- His early stand-up delivery at times sounded like it was going to be uttered in the manner of the "it wouldn't be an elephant" bloke from an episode of The Chris Morris 1FM Music Show, which fleetingly brought back happy memories of listening to that while playing Sensible Soccer.

Bad Things About Jimmy Carr:
[The rest of this post deleted. We've only got so many terabytes of disk storage, you know. -Blogger admin.]

Good Things About The Friday Night Project:
- The backdrops were done by the same artist who did the cover art for The Best Of Blur.
[edit] Except: no! It was someone nicking the style of Julian Opie, and not the Blur:Best designer after all (see the comments). This probably pushes TFNP even further up the 2005 List Of Evil.

- Erm.

Bad Things About The Friday Night Project:
[Look, I've told you once. -Blogger admin.]

Numbers 6 to 1 coming soon. And we'll have to find ten programmes to be nice about as well, I suppose.

Thursday, 1 December 2005

Little Britain Series Four: EXCLUSIVE SCRIPT EXTRACT!

Yes, they're working on it already. Cunningly disguising ourselves as Richard Herring's letterbox, we've intercepted an early draft of episode 4.1, from which we present to you the following 'skit'.

[The scene: The studio set of Channel Four's hit not-really-a-quiz quiz show Deal Or No Deal. Noel Edmonds prowls the set, as is his wont, and the camera follows him while he makes his introduction. As he nears the centre of the set, today's contestant is revealed. It is Andy Pipkin.]

Noel : So, today's lucky contestant is young Andy P from London. Andy, are you looking forward to doing battle with The Dealer?

Andy : Yeah, I know.

Noel : Er, okay. So, you've selected your box which could contain anything from 1p, all the way up to a massive £250,000.

[Audience applause.]

Andy : Yeah, I know.

Noel : And the first step on the road to that cool quarter of a million is to select the first five boxes to open. Let's hope it's a low number to begin with. Andy, your first choice, please.

Andy : 1p.

Noel : I'm sorry?

Andy : I want to open the box with 1p in it.

Noel : Erm, you need to select a number from one to twenty-two.

Andy : Yeah, I know.

Noel : So, your first box, please.

Andy : 1p.

Noel : Erm, lets just go for box one...

[Cut to box number one. It is manned by Andy's long-suffering helper, Lou.]

Lou : Erm, Andy - are you sure you want to open this box first? It could be the quarter of a million pounds one...

Andy : Yeah, I know.

Lou : So, which box do you want?

Andy : The 1p one.

Noel : Oh, just open box number one.

[Cut to Lou about to break the seal and open the box.]

Lou : Oh, what a kerfuffle. Good luck, Andy!

[There is a distant seal-breaking sound. Cut back to Andy. In a flagrant disregard of the rules, he has broken the seal of his box, and flipped the lid to reveal it contains just 50p. Before anyone can say anything, Andy tosses the box over his shoulder in a dismissive manner.]

Andy : I don't like it!

[Pause for massive audience laughter, as if they didn't see it coming as soon as the sketch began. Cut to Racist Vomit Woman. Via an introduction by Tom Baker that refers to something from the 1980s. Like Wham bars, or Saint and Greavsie.]

Further Deal Or No Deal News

The American version begins on the 19th of December, on NBC. In a staggering display of wrongness, The Dealer in the American version is known as 'The Bank'. Therefore, it is rubbish.

Speaking of Deal Or No Deal...

...are we bored of it yet? Due to a combination of factors such as:

(a) The bullish performance of that bloke in yesterday's episode, where - wonderfully - he declared his own 'deal' price, got to speak to The Dealer (proving that HE INCONTROVERTIBLY EXISTS), who instead of making a counter-offer, simply said "no deal". Oh yes, it's moments like this that make us rush straight home from work, y'know.

(b) The woman on today's episode (look, we're no good with names. Just leave us alone) turning down a sizeable £29,000 offer to go all the way to the last two boxes, after just two from fourteen Box Jockeys recommended she turn down the five-boxes-to-go offer.

(c) The Box Jockeys no longer bother with that tedious "Ooh, I reckon it's going to be a low number, Noel!" business before breaking the seal. It was really, really starting to get on our tit end.

No. We still like it. Hurrah!

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