Television

Since the welcome return of one of the best television programs on earth, the addictive and riveting Letters and Numbers* (SBS 5.30 weeknights R) Jack’s scheduled walk has had to be changed.

We have a late option walk, which entails setting off into the dimming light and, fearing bogey men, take rapid steps on the verge of jogging (what? Me? Ha!) Or there is the earlier option which is the preferable one, as it allows us to relax and be able to pay full attention to the word/letter options and mumble, bumble and stumble our way through the maze for answers.

The show has everything; a genial, jovial, Dad-humoured host by the name of Richard Morecroft, whose precise diction rivals his name for sounding posh. A scary word man called David Astle (make sure you get the spelling right) and high priestess of maths Lily Serna.

Lily is my personal favourite. While David negotiates the word mixes with agile mind and his Macquarie dictionary with dexterous phalanges (two nine letter words there!) it is an accepted truth that most people can kinda, like, you know, speak in words and don’t resort to using dubious words like the fantastical ‘tnetennba’ as used by Moss in the IT Crowd (ah, where is that show now?) But not everyone can add (think cashiers, Joe Hockey etc.)

Lily is devilishly brilliant at finding solutions in the maths component of the show. Defying Einstein’s Law of Relativity (a theory she explained to her mother when she was three and a half) she transcends the space time continuum to arrive at the right answer at the speed of light. Goddamn she’s good!

After Letters and Numbers a flick, flick with the remote control finds the news. This is bad and is quickly abandoned for Antiques Roadshow. It makes me think that I should frequent more garage sales in the hope of picking up a weathered, sepia sketch for Portrait of young woman in wolf jacket by Rembrandt for twenty cents, amid the k-tel aubergine slicer and sparkling unused exercise bike overpriced at two dollars fifty.

Mondays would be unbearable if it were not for another great show. Q & A hosted by the capable Tony Jones is vibrant, educational and a stimulating program for the learned person. I am not one. I quickly turn to a show that I watch with close to obsession – the narratively flummoxing classic Revenge. Am I educationally and emotionally challenged? Yes. Am I a disturbed individual? Possibly. It’s nasty and mean and makes Louie the Fly look like the Sugar Plum Fairy… in miniature.

There are no other good shows on television. You can flick/flash/flick with the remote control to create a montage of all shows into one that may be palatable. If you desire heart rending tragedy, linger on My Kitchen Rules as male stars sob disconsolately because Meat Pete and Manu haven’t taken to the creation of braised beef brulee. Or if hi jinx and hilarity are more your style, catch a glimpse of Leigh Sales skewer that funny man Greg Hunt the Minister for the Environment on the 7.30 Report.

Failing that, get yourself a box set of anything to do with Tudor treacheries or anything resembling that, seventy five year old BBC comedies, or anything to do with dogs says Jack.

But whatever you do, don’t watch the news.

Jack in gratuitous  self promotion of his TV series Game of Bones
Jack in gratuitous self promotion of his TV series Game of Bones
Lily Serna
Lily Serna
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