Monday, 8 June 2015


Intro music: something sort of cool but not really. You think you recognise it from somewhere, wrack your brain for not very long but long enough to annoy and then you realise it's from when you caught the beginning of the same program a week ago.

New music. No better. Does little to distract from the display of white-teethed, hairless, overly preened, fake-tanned androgynes engaged in an activity they purportedly perform on a regular basis yet one which will never be seen or discussed again. Think cricket, softball, diving or bombing in a private pool. Following a minute of this - could be more, could be less but it's enough time to dig your middle nail into your palm in an effort to distract one pain with another - there will be some slow motion shots, all smiles and successful manoeuvres.

The music will end and we will join the unmanly male group sitting somewhere close to where they were excelling in this week's activity. Two will be topless,  one will be wearing a bath robe, one will be sporting a designer t-shirt with designer triangle of designer sweat. Two will hug. In jest. For a little too long.

Each will say one or two lines. One will be the subject of today's conversation and will be gently ridiculed. All will have posh names and one will be known by two initials. The discussion will fall into one of three categories:

Option A(i): someone fancied by one of the group.
Option A(ii): one of the group who fancies someone.
Option A(iii): how the others in the group feel about Option A(i) or A(ii).

Liberally sprinkle some unconvincing terms such as 'mate', 'brother' or 'wanna' and fill any embarrassing pauses with another topless manhug. Wait for the scene-ending music to fade in.

Cut to a new scene: boutique interior, empty wine bar or restaurant with all tables laid out for lunch. Nicotina and Pandorina discuss one of the Option As from a slightly different angle. One will like one of the parties. The other won't. Both will use words they believe are befitting of their assumed class; neither will sound quite comfortable saying them. This scene progresses the storyline not one jot. 

New scene. New boys sitting opposite each other. One will ask how the other feels about this week's quandary. One will reply with some inanity and ask how the other one feels. The first will explain his feelings about how the other feels without actually saying anything. The viewer sighs exasperatedly, realising eight minutes have passed with zero knowledge gain other than the realisation that the grave is eight minutes nearer.

Somebody who is so posh he has a first name and a surname as a first name says 'adorable' à propos of not very much a few times. His two lackeys titter poshly in their lace gloves.

We return from the adverts. The two protagonists from Options A(i) or A(ii) or both are having lunch and flirt whilst deciding whether to go on a date. Both giggle as they discuss their feelings without revealing anything.

The opening credits end.

The day is progressing inasmuch as we get some sunset shots across London, alluding to the progression of time, yet nothing else. We join most of the cast in a single location; might be a bar or a gallery or a gig. The same groups discuss the same things about the same people. One man has his arm leisurely draped over the shoulders of another. Each man expresses his and someone else's feelings.

We move to a quieter area of the same location. Two girls discuss whether they are this week's "besties" while one cries and the other judges she is not judgmental.

Jump to another corner of the bar which is clearly patronised by nobody other than the cast. Wine is consumed which adds little, other than lengthening the pauses, embarrassed by the presence of the cameras and production crew. Quality is maintained as once more, nothing is learned and the viewers' lives shorten further.

American boy visits his soon-to-be-former girlfriend. They hold even bigger wine glasses, declare their mutual love. Neither convinces the other. Thankfully, we cut to some more adverts and learn more in five forty second segments than we will during the whole hour of this reconstructed drivel.

Somewhere deep in the recesses and/or abscesses of the viewer's brain, a memory stirs that this once won a BAFTA. Two minutes Googling reveals this to be the case and a further three minutes ruing the lack of intelligent or intriguing fiction on today's television mercifully take us five minutes nearer to the end.

Returning to today's episode reveals that while the entire cast has moved to some super-posh tennis club and all have donned 1950s whites and wooden rackets, the conversations remain banale and nothing - NOTHING - has been missed. More people discuss feelings without saying anything.

The end credits arrive 60 minutes later than the whole world wants and with them a preview of next week's pain. Nothing will happen then, nor the next week and the entire viewing public clings to the belief that one day this series will end and eventually they'll stop recommissioning it.


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