Monday, 17 December 2012

TV's not just for Christmas...

I watch a lot of TV. A LOT of TV. I'm not comfortable with people who say with pride: "I never watch TV actually," or even "I don't own a TV". They should be sitting in a corner rocking. They should be sprinting to Comet - are they still a thing? - and grasping the first TV they see. To be without a TV is to be without a soul. That's what some philosopher said.

And yes, that philosopher is me.

TV is my friend, my confidante, my distraction (once even when in flagranti I watched The Big Bang Theory over his shoulder. True story.), my teacher, my guide and my pleasure. Yes, I do live alone. And yes, I am single, since you ask.

Tonight f'instance. I have had a comforting background accompaniment of Strictly Come Dancing, Come Dine With Me and Click. Click, if you haven't seen it, is up there with Adam Sandler's best. His best are shite. How did this guy ever get so far? It's one of the enduring mysteries of our time.

I have also been reading, talking to people, cleaning and cooking. So, watching TV does not dull my senses. It does not stop me enjoying intellectual pursuits. For example, I just learned about how Zack and Mimi made a porno. But TV does have some drawbacks. Particularly at this time of year. Adverts, for one. Fucking Christmas adverts. They seem split between perfume, supermarket and department stores. I didn't know anyone actually went into department stores anymore.

Perfume adverts feature proper A list celebrities (almost all American, presumably to avoid humiliation in their home country, like Bill Murray in Lost in Translation) abjectly debasing themselves to sell something called Envy or Premiere or Lust. This year I think Brad Pitt wins. His portrayal of a mangy lion relaying a confused speech about inevitability is selling, hang on... I think it's Chanel. I could be wrong, but Chanel do have a history of terrible adverts. Remember the one where Nicole Kidman says something so cringingly awful that it must rate up there in her top 3 horrific moments - the first two almost definitely have something to do with Tom Cruise I should imagine.

Then there's that one with Scarlett Johansen. One of the sexiest women in films and they've given her Margaret Thatcher hair. And made her spout shit about how she's just looking for one thing. Love. It's a wonder she managed to prevent herself projectile vomiting all over the camera.

I can't help wonder whether all perfume adverts are some kind of hilarious in joke between actors and directors. They have eyes and ears, so they can see and hear how fucking awful the end product is. I like to think it's a sort of camp, knowing humour underlying all of these expensive and futile snippets of film. The alternative is too terrifying to contemplate.

Adverts that most definitely don't have a sense of humour are the arse-clenchingly awful, mostly misogynistic and yet somehow also misandric supermarket 'adverts'. In fact, they manage to insult pretty much everyone and make out that Christmas is some kind of depressing, fatalistic grind of a tradition that cannot be escaped and most definitely cannot be enjoyed. They mostly depict harrassed mums running around preparing for Christmas day, with men relegated to a sort of buffoon character. The mum looks tired, harrassed and upset, the kids look spoiled and ungrateful and the men bumble about in Christmas jumpers. But wait, right at the end, look, it was all worth it. And it's Christmas. And they wouldn't have it any other way. Somehow managing to sum up the worst of 1980s Sunday lunches and highlighting everything that's distasteful about Christmas - greed, laziness, waste - they make me want to blow up every branch of Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury's. Tesco I'll let off just for this year because their adverts don't make me actually scream and hit small children.

Leaving us with the cloying, fake sentimentality of departments store Christmas adverts. They always have some classic song murdered by some wibbly voiced girl and some kind of harking back to a mythical time that never existed where everyone is rosy cheeked and has a huge, loving family to surround them at this special time of the year. This year they're the same old hackneyed shite. Except for John Lewis. With the snowman dragging his stumps across country to (presumably steal, as he's a snowman and thus has no money) a hat and scarf for his snowgirlfriend. I'm pretty sure he'd have been able to find an H&M or something much nearer. It has the Power of Love murdered by a wibbly voiced female and should have me punching holes in the wall. But I like it. It makes me feel nice. Don't tell anyone though.

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