Every now and then we like to catch a virus just to mix things up a bit and remind our immune system that it still has a role to play in our continuing existence.
To keep things interesting, given that it is summer; we decided to go with the common cold. As males we know how devastating this can be, with days of unrelenting torment and an extra 15 minutes added to getting up rituals spent futilely pumping enough drugs and various homeopathic remedies into our bodies until we feel we can connect with the outside world.
We decided to hold on to this condition even for the duration of the maiden episode of Charlie Brooker‘s new vehicle which broadcasts tonight on Channel 4. That’s how brave we are.
For the dwindling percentage of you who are unaware of who this burgeoning legend is, we shall spoil you with a quick biography. Charlie began as a writer for PC Zone, the best (and possibly only) PC gaming mag at the time. Via various other endeavours including a website called TVGoHome he ended up as a columnist for The Guardian with a TV review section called Screen Burn.
This and his similarly named BBC4 show Screenwipe sees him scouring the airwaves for poor television and pulling it apart with his incisive and merciless wit. However, unlike us lowlifes, he precludes himself from the “oh it’s easy to criticise but not so easy to do” whiny bollocks because he does actually craft TV programmes too. He co-wrote Nathan Barley with Chris Morris, and was the creator of E4’s Big-Brother-zombie-horror-mini-series Dead Set.
His new show, You Have Been Watching, is somewhat of a departure from the norm for him then as it’s a quiz/panel type show. Not entirely. As the title might suggest, Charlie and his guests watch clips from current television programmes and critique them, and occasionally they might answer questions on them. Charlie provides his trademark polemic voiceovers during the clips which are very much in the style of Screenwipe, so you can rest assured that he hasn’t strayed too far from home.
His guests on tonight’s show are Richard Herring, Jamelia, and Rufus Hound. Funnily enough, the show was originally scheduled to be pre-watershed, but unfortunately the low cut of Jamelia’s top pushed it right back to 10pm. She may strike one as an odd choice for a panel otherwise occupied by comedians, but the girl done good (she did ok).
Tonight’s episode is worth watching for the clips of Deadliest Warrior if nothing else, that and so you can find out what a ‘one show face’ is.