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cheap as chips

It's been a fairly crappy and stressful week, so last night I thought I'd distract myself with some telly. And having been on an Elizabeth Peters binge for some time now, I was delighted to see that there was a programme about the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb and the supposed "Pharaoh's curse". But I was sorely disappointed. The programme was about Lord Carnavon's great-grandson Lord Porchester making his first visit to the Valley of the Kings, where his ancestor had funded Howard Carter's excavation of the tomb. This might possibly have been interesting if this chap, known as Jordy, had been a vaguely interesting person. But he just seemed like an aristocratic dullard with no personality. However, there was nothing particularly objectionable about him, unlike his minion (oh, all right, the manager of the family estate), a repellent posh philistine who kept sneering at the hard-working archaeologists who were attempting to discover a priest's tomb by saying things like "there seems to be a lot of dust and very little work. I'm sure it's a nice little past time but there doesn't seem to be any point in it." The idea of archaeology for the sake of knowledge rather than treasure hunting didn't seem to cross his mind. He also obviously thought he was terribly funny and drily witty, instead of being an enormous prick, which he was.

What made the programme even worse was the fact that the narration treated the ridiculous story of the Pharaoh's supposed curse as if it were accepted fact, and kept making preposterous remarks like "now Jordy faces the most dangerous challenge - a visit to the Valley of the Kings whose curse claimed the life of his ancestors". Well, his invalid great-granddad died of blood poisoning, but that hardly signifies a curse, which if it had existed might have done something to rid the family of their vast wealth (and let's not forget that Carter himself lived to be about seventy). But everytime the gormless toff went anywhere near the excavations, ominous music started playing. Gah!

To make matters worse, I then watched the first proper episode of Big Brother, which this year features some truly incredible morons (is Lesley actually a bit...special?). I was out on Friday night so didn't have a chance to see the launch, and in any case, I had vowed not to watch this year. Of course, I do that every year, and yet sometimes I give in (I watched last year, though not for the previous two. I have to confess that I, and my entire household, were so totally and utterly addicted to BB2 that we actually voted in the final - for Brian). This year's housemates, anyway, didn't appeal much, and I don't think I'll be sucked in. But what made last night's episode almost unwatchable was when Makosi was told that she had to get the most nominations from the housemates, and therefore had to make people dislike her. Initially she had been very friendly and pleasant, but after she was given her task she started being snotty and obnoxious, and I literally couldn't watch it. Why? Because it reminded me of those stories in girls' comics like Mandy and Bunty in which girls pretended to be horrible for some noble purpose (except Makosi's purpose wasn't noble, but whatever), and so everyone hated them and didn't realise that they weren't really so mean and nasty. I could never actually read those stories, and apparently I can't watch them happening on telly either.

Thank heaven, then, for Coronation Street, which featured some fantastic comedy over the last few episodes. I can't pinpoint my favourite bit, but two scenes made me laugh loudly. In one, which I saw on the omnibus this afternoon, shopkeeper Dev is giving out to his business rival Diggory, who has been stealing Dev's staff.

Dev: What were you in a previous life, a gang master?
Diggory (very seriously): No, a horse.
Dev: WHAT?!
Diggory: At least, that's what that buddhist priest in Barnsley told me. Anyway....

And the argument continued as if nothing particularly demented had been said. Magnificent! But it got even better. In tonight's episode, Les complained that he's fed up eating nothing but the produce of the chipper's where his lovely lady Cilla (Ju Ju's lookalike) works and cried, "I never thought I'd say this, but I'm sick of chips!" Whereupon, to my delight, Cilla paraphrased Dr Johnson and said "when a man is sick of chips, Les, he's sick of life." Seriously, could any "proper" comedy be so eccentrically brilliant?

Right, now I'm going to curl up on the couch reading yet another Amelia Peabody mystery. And if you want to know if I was geeky enough to get my own copy of Elizabeth Peter's book about Egyptology at the time of the Emersons, Amelia Peabody's Egypt, I have to confess that I am, and I don't care, because it's very interesting and informative - and, unusually for a book about archaeology and Victorian attitudes to feminism and colonised people, very funny. Amazing illustrations too!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
slemslempike
May. 29th, 2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
i thought that about bunytt! ecpet not very nob,e but like in expelledfrom School where she is stupid, and it's all very misunderstood girls school but with less clothering. i dio't like big borhter in the first weeks because i fee l that there are too many eople.
stellanova
May. 30th, 2005 08:33 am (UTC)
Hee! Best drunk comment ever!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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