Tuesday, November 30, 2004

MUSIC TELEVISION: Oddly, last night, getting home from the news that BBC One no longer thought that Top of the Pops was a mass audience proposition, much of that evening's BBC One was music-based.

First of all, there was Spooks, which seems to have abandoned all pretence at being a stab at realism. For some reason, MI5 was instructed by Captain Darling from Blackadder to get involved in the investigation of the kidnap of a rock couple's baby - the actual reasons made no sense; it was the sort of plot twist that got the cast of Are You Being Served running a hotel; or the characters from Golden Girls running a hotel; or... but you get the point. We were also asked to believe that this couple were the leading lights of the British grunge movement - which would mean they'd be like, who, exactly? They were obviously basing them on Kurt and Courtney, but if they really wanted a major figure from the British grunge scene, it'd probably have to be one of Swervedriver, right? Suspend your disbelief far enough to believe there was an English Kurt (and, in the end, the "Kurt" figure did blow his head off) and then you'd be asked to swallow that a baby kidnap drama involving them would force a ministerial resignation down the news agenda. Oh, and that "Kurt" was given a knighthood. For services to the music industry. And yet, oddly, despite Kurt having all this status and media weight, none of the Spooks had actually heard his music until there was a ho-ho, isn't it noisy moment. The whole set-up was so sloppy and ill-considered it was as if they'd written an episode about Westminster and made the fictional PM a Lord and called the lower house the Senate.

A quick break for the news, and then it was George Michael: My Struggle, or whatever they'd decided to call his self-justification. George seemed to think he was some sort of political prisoner: his career harmed by Walk The Dog rather than the run of very average albums. There were surprising appearances by Andrew Ridgeley - now looking rather grey around the temples, in as far as there is any hair there at all; he has an air of Alexei Sayle as The Young One's landlords. Shirley (as in Pepsi and) has turned into a slimmer version of Corrie's Eileen Grimshaw; and David Austin is still around - chubbier than the days when This Boy Loves The Sun comes out, but still part of George's inner circle. It's odd that George attempted to justify axing Andrew on the grounds that "if I was going where I believed I was, we couldn't hang out any more", but still managed to find a role for David.

The best moment, though, came when Boy George accused George Michael of a lack of dignity. Boy George, we should point out, had coloured his neck in so as to appear slimmed down.

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