Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Shows I Watch That You Don't Watch #1

Welcome to the first in a series of posts designed to introduce you to tv shows that I enjoy, but which you may or may not be familiar with. I do this with the hope of introducing folks to some good entertainment that they may not otherwise trip over.

Y'see, I haven't had cable or satellite or anything else for a decade now. Odd, considering I have a degree in popular culture, but I found it a waste of my money. When I visit friends' houses and flip through their channels, I almost never find anything I would sit down and watch. And yet, just having all those channels was like heroin. In the dying days of my cable subscription, I would find myself just zoned out in front of the tv after work, spending hour after hour blindly flipping through the channels. So I quit cold turkey, and rarely regret the choice.

Instead, I buy dvd collections of old tv shows, watch stuff friends download for me on Torrent or that I get off Usenet, and I watch a lot of stuff on YouTube.

Today, we're looking at something I discovered on YouTube, via a connection with another favourite show of mine, QI. Two of the regulars on that latter show (Phill Jupitus and Bill Bailey) are the semipermanent team captains on a BBC quiz programme entitled Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Ostensibly, it's a battle of music trivia, as two teams of celebrities answer questions about bands and the music scene. The entertainment value, however, comes from the fact that nobody really takes it that seriously (well, almost nobody) and there's just a lot of sniping about. The guests are mostly C-list celebrities or big pop stars that have made tabloid headlines lately. The host, Simon Amstell, is hilarious, and a complete prick. He never hesitates to bring up a celebrities problems or shortcomings, and it's hilarious to see how people will take his needling, whether they'll get pissed off or just take it in stride. Jupitus and Bailey are both great comedians and think fast on their feet.

I have all of last season (thank to my buddy Jackson) and all of this season (via both EasyNews and YouTube. A good place to start is with the November 23, 2006 episode, which has some great guests and hilarious moments. The highlight is Doctor Who actor John Barrowman, who is ridiculously handsome, and takes barbs from Simon Amstell all through the show, taking it all quite well and playing along to great effect. The episode is available in three parts on YouTube. A list of guests appearing on the show throughout its run is available on Oh, how I'd love to get my hands on some pre-2006 shows!

So if you like bad British pop music, making fun of C-list celebrities, and sarcastic insults, check out Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

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