Monday, April 28, 2014

Catching up with the shows from abroad

Thanks to the sufficient processing power of the new MacBook Pro, I am now able to enjoy using Chromecast without the screen going into fits and starts.

Got caught up with A Trip to Italy on the BBC iPlayer. Once again, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan are on the road under the guise of being food reviewers. We see the food, we get to guess the bill, but we never hear if they liked it. Instead, like the first series, we hear Michael Caine impressions and the pair singing along to Alanis Morrissette while driving in a rented Mini through the Italian countryside. It's a fine way to spend a half hour and chuckle throughout, although the premise is starting to wear thin. I understand that, thankfully, there will be no third series. That's what I like about British television, they know how and when to end a show.

Also invested time in the long running quiz show Mastermind. It make Jeopardy look like a kids show. Contestants are grilled for two minutes by the host in two rounds. The first round is a subject the contestant chooses, the second on general knowledge. The questions, be they about Scottish lighthouses or Italy's role in World War One are tough, and the contestants can be visibly terrified. The show is based on the creator's experience during World War Two, when he was interrogated, while sitting in a chair under a single spotlight, by the gestapo.

So there was a great tension in the air when Clive Dunning of Stockton chose the life and poetry of Philip Larkin and won the Mastermind title. Dunning looked like he was about to vomit at the end of the program.

And what does the winner get, nothing but a lovely glass bowl, bragging rights, and the people's ovation and fame forever. Well done!

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