LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
28 April 2014
The Deluded

The celebrity royals, brandishing the brand, have left down under to waving,
raving crowds of celebrity followers. They thanked them for their unwavering
support: ‘Thank...hmmm...you so...much...for the...ssssupport you...ummm...
have given us....’ So heartfelt both of the crowned celebs had to read how they
felt. Is it a matter of dumb and dumber? Even a few sentences memorised – no?

Not that anyone noticed as women everywhere were thrilled to bits with their
purchases of Ex-Waity’s homage to middle-class-middle-aged dressing.

7...6...5...4...3...2...1. Done. Now I own another of her generally boring outfits
just like everybody else. Just kidding. Her dresses sold out in 5 – 8 minutes, in
every size. No mention of extension sales to get the hair-look. Possibly cheaper
than paying thousands to achieve that ‘look-at-my-hair-look’. Let’s not forget the
shoes.  Five-inch Stuart Weitzman espadrille cork wedges (£235) for running
on the beach, as you do. Really. Not bourgeois at all.

It’s said that Charles pays for her frocks, but is that Duchy money or ours?

I don’t get it. What could possess women to spend money they possibly don’t
have to spend to make a silly attempt to ‘be’ Ex-Waity. Why? Do these women
seriously assume they will marry into the Royal family if they dress the part?
Only if they share the Middleton’s Machiavellian methodology. Why would you
want to dress exactly like someone else? Fashion isn’t about self-expression?
Clearly not. I must be the deluded one here.

                                      
***

Forgo Fargo? Brilliant! Fantastic! Superb! American! Come on. The critics
always see any US import as the best, most clever, creative, innovative, thrilling
show ever produced on the planet.

I have only watched the first episode and I thought it was an attempt at cinéma
vérité.

Whenever Billy Bob Thornton or Martin Freeman aren’t in the scene, it’s an
opportunity to make a cup of tea, check email, feed the dog. Every character is
so boring and yet simultaneously repulsive you thrill at their imminent demise.
Jeez.

I’m going to watch the second episode out of sheer perversity, but I don’t know
how long I’ll last. The original Coen brothers’
Fargo was so good, particularly
because of Frances McDormand. The film has been used as ‘inspiration’ for
the initial premise so how much better is the series going to get really?

So go to the cinema instead. Critics have not been exactly complimentary in
their reviews of
The Grand Budapest Hotel. Nearly scathing even. Wrong. So
wrong.

It’s brilliant, exciting, entertaining, fun, fast, very funny. It’s visually stunning.
OK. Perhaps too many 2 minute American cameos which undermines the
overall atmosphere and is rather jarring actually, but Ralph Fiennes is first-
class, first-rate, fabulous.
                                    
 ***

Good Morning America.  Woops I mean Good Morning Britain. Or do I? Clearly
it’s the former: all chatty, cheery, cheerful. Aughhh!

Mugs at the ready, but do we really want all that cheerfulness when we first
wake up? Bright and breezy before the first sip of the first cup of coffee?
Apparently not according the ratings. Only 800,000 bothered on the first day.

Is it morning television or is it an ad? Hard to tell. The ads are as annoying as
the revamp.

Susanna Reid told us to get ready for Britain’s biggest family and their
breakfasts – but hold on – first we have to get serious about another family who
are all dead in a house fire and loads on George Clooney’s ‘engagement’. So
wrong.

Next day it was homage to America. The second story was 21 dead after
tornados in the American Midwest. Isn’t it called tornado alley for a specific
reason....

So many comments on not enough ‘leg’; Susanna Reid’s legs. Huh? Are we
looking at the same legs attached to the 4 day a week £1m a year smug self-
satisfied Susanna? Look again. They are not, so not lovely legs: solid, short,
stocky. Oh dear. And really, why do we want to look at SR’s legs or any other
part of her.

“If you cut me open I would bleed BBC” Reid came in 96th in FHM’s 2013
sexiest women list. Doesn’t quite explain the AM audience obsession with her
legs – or her own for that matter.

For those willing to suffer through the new and (not) improved ITV attempt to
steal BBC viewers, at least they will no longer be blinded by the bilious orange
set that made everyone and everything orange, literally orange.

Not that the designers (a term to be used lightly) removed all trace. To assuage
any suffering from orange-glow-withdrawal they left several panels, dressed
their star, Reid, in orange, sat their star in an orange chair so that viewers
would have no choice but to notice her.

No problem there. She apparently is the only of the chatty group who is
permitted to do ‘major’ interviews. She adds empathy and caring to her
repertoire which had consisted mainly of flirting with herself and her guests,
and chin-up superiority. If pursing her lips and creasing her forehead are an
indication of ‘I feel your pain’.

Adding insult to injury – and yes, watching this faux-friends literal line-up longer
than 10 minutes can result in irrational acts of self harm to make it all stop – it’s
game time! ‘Winning with some spinning’. No! Up to £1000! Or an ITV umbrella.

It was so repetitive I thought
Ground Hog Day’s Bill Murray would suddenly
appear from behind the sofa with his alarm clock.

Blinding, plastic, tacky, gauche, garish set...embarrassing, inane, vacuous,
contrived, dumbed down, pathetic banter and the ultimate offence...interminably
borrrrrrrrrrrrring. Plus ça change.

Following the team of new best friends, ITV is sure we want to watch another
unwatchable, Lorraine Kelly, who has been given her own show in her house.
OK. Not her actual house as it’s in Scotland, but clearly homely was the
intention. LK has had a revamp as well: an 80’s helmet hair.

This was a surreal experience I never want to re-experience. I thought I had
died and gone to TV hell.
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