Here we go. This weeks, delights…
Series23 Ep3 Sun 12th 8pm BBC1
Every TV reviewer at every review publication across the land has been queueing up to slate the new Top Gear. Finally it’s my turn, and? I’m not going to kill it. The most notable feature about the relaunch of the British cult classic is that it’s…different, compared to former series. That’s what I, being this ‘nice guy’, attribute to the sheer tsunami of vitriol thrown at the show in the last few weeks. It’s not Clarkson, Hammond and May anymore, let’s get over it and try look at the new show for its standalone merits.
In episode 3 Evans tested the new Audi R8, a new presenter (God knows who he was) tested out the latest line of hatchbacks to be produced. Another new presenter (God knows who he was) took the new Ferrari tdf out for a spin. Evans welcomed heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and movie star Kevin Hart as the ‘stars in the rally cross car’, and Matt Le Blanc was taken on a tour of London in a hybrid Mustang- in the feature that contained the infamous incident when the papers kicked up a storm because Top Gear was doing wheelies outside the Mall on Remembrance Day.
The good things? It’s still a sharply produced show, with quality features and great shots of the cars. Evans seemed a little more composed. And Le Blanc, is still, (considering he was Joey, now he’s on Top Gear, who saw that coming!?) surprisingly good. Top Gear’s still a high standard of entertainment compared to most of the trash commissioned for TV these days. The only real change is there isn’t three old farts from the old boy’s club on it anymore guffawing their way through childish pranks performed on each other.
The Great British Sewing Bee
Series4 Ep5 13th 9pm BBC2
Why? Or more to the point, how? How is this passed off as a show? And not only has it passed off as a show, it’s past off as a show that has a fan base who are more passionate about the quality of the stitching round the end of a zip, than other fan bases who care about say…England’s chances in the Euros, or the results of the EU referendum.
If you haven’t seen Sewing Bee before, the concept is ten women (huh! Sexist!) Ten PEOPLE, are locked in a warehouse each with a sewing machine, a brief and a time limit in which to produce clothes that are judged on quality, with the producer of the worst garment going home each week. Swap an oven and cake tins from the British Bake Off and replace them with a sewing machine and a tape measure and you get the Sewing Bee.
This week the contestants were given a 60s theme. They had to produce a dress, a garment out of shower curtain material, and a coat. For the fans- Angeline went out and Jade got garment of the week (I can’t believe it!) For those of you you haven’t yet seen Sewing Bee, and you’ve finally found time after finishing dusting in between the rungs at the back of the radiator, you now find yourself in the perfect place to start watching.
Series1 Ep3 Wed 15th 9pm BBC1
King Louis XIV has been King of France since he was four, with his mother running the country on his behalf in Paris. Now Louis’s mother is dead he must rest sovereign control from the ruling nobility in the capitol, wanting to move it to the new powerbase he’s building in Versailles.
Good premise, horrendous execution. If I was thinking we don’t get a lot out of our licence fee when watching Sewing Bee, I think we got thoroughly ripped off with Versailles. It cost 20 odd million pounds to make, and all they’ve produced is something I feel I’ve seen in all the other historical dramas that came before it.
In episode three, as Louis continues to build his new palace, materials are being held up and stolen on the King’s Road into Versailles. Also, the royal family are broke, so Louis has invited the king of the Ivory Coast to his work-in-progress court to convince him (the King of Ivory? I don’t know his name and I don’t want to go back and find out) to open up trade deals. I write ‘I don’t want to go back and find out’ the ‘King of Ivory’s’ name because it would mean opening iPlayer again then selecting Versailles and pressing on the time bar at roughly the place I thought the bit I’m reporting happened. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just if I click a millimetre to the right or the left of the point I want to get to, I’ll most probably stumble on one of the awful sex scenes which are crammed into every crevice of this overstuffed tasteless pig of a programme.