Two top stories dominiated the tv news this week and they were impossible to escape; a possible murderer on awful BBC tea time quiz show Eggheads and Channel 4 killing off The Great British Bake Off before it’s even started – death by a thousand fuck ups, which should be very familiar to the BBC as its how they managed post-Clarkson Top Gear.
So, in amongst this human misery, let’s hunt around and find some good news. We deserve it.
- Excellent news from Netflix – the junior team from Mythbusters are getting their own show. For some bizarre and not really properly explained reason Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara were told to take a hike in 2014 as the show was going in a new direction. How new could it possibly be with Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman still at the helm, doing the same-old same-old they’ve been doing for a decade I don’t know. The new show is called White Rabbit Project and it’s coming very soon – set to premiere globally on Netflix December 9. Deadline.com says “the three head down the rabbit hole to investigate weird and wonderful events from pop culture, science and history. Under their microscope are topics as diverse as jailbreaks, superpower technology, heists and crazy world war two weapons. In each episode the hosts immerse themselves in experiments, builds and tests as they sleuth the truth behind these and other well googled themes.” So not myths then, but not exactly not-myths either.
- In comedy news Citizen Khan is out and about filming in Birmingham for series 5. It’s one of those sitcoms that divides opinion, much like Mrs Brown’s Boys and I imagine for much the same reason (it’s an old-fashioned and traditional style sitcom, gentle and with very few laughs). But I’m very happy for little-loved Birmingham to be on-screen and the fact that it’s filmed here, not just set here like Peaky Blinders deserves respect. And even though I don’t love it, it’s so important to show the lives of British Asian people on tv. We’re a more accepting and happier society if people can see someone who looks like them on-screen and in public life.
- Spike Jonze’s Viceland channel started broadcasting in the UK this week, with quite a few technical difficulties on opening night according to Buzzfeed. Vice was a magazine, is now a vast online media empire and takes on the challenge of television in the same year that BBC3 switches to online only, a channel that shares a high percentage of their audience. Viceland is a channel with millenials in mind (good God I hate that term) offering programming on music, food, sex, fashion, tech and “character-driven documentaries” with a strong personal point of view. The show that’s caught my eye is one about clubbing in Ukraine. How do youngsters party in a war zone under curfew? I’ll watch it and report back.
- Now this is an odd one. A lot of tv shows do spin-offs and some do live shows too. Very exciting, bringing the fans closer to the stars. One show I never expected to join this rosta is Netflix mega-hit and the epitome of the binge watch Making a Murderer. Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, the unlikely heroes of the piece are in the UK over the next few months on a speaking tour (Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham dates announced!) These two defense attorneys for Steven Avery were clever, thoughtful and doing a bang-up job, worlds away from the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department who were cast (or cast themselves) as hopeless incompetent villains. Tickets are not cheap, but if you’re a massive fan of the show (and who amongst us isn’t?) then you should buy yourself a very early Christmas treat and go. At the time of writing Brendan Dassey‘s trip to Wrestlemania is on hold as Wisconsin courts are deliberating his release despite the fact that his murder conviction has been overturned. The wheels of justice are rusted and extremely difficult to push.