I do hope the telly's going to get better this year. People think I'm dedicated to I like, but sometimes I only write so much because I get restless and there's nothing on the box. During the dark winter nights I come home and just want to belong. I turn on the telly (about 8.30-9ish) and want to watch something but it's totally dire. Last week I thought "I'll go back to Grand Designs" (an old favourite which I went off) but after one episode I remembered how irritating the people on it are. I don't ever watch that much telly so it must be bad if I'm noticing it.

My 2007 viewing habits:

  • Watched religiously: Flight of the Conchords, The Mighty Boosh, Californication, Lead Balloon, Ugly Betty, Outnumbered, Harry Hill's TV Burp, Doctor Who, The American Office, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, The IT Crowd, Still Game, Kath & Kim, Armstrong & Miller, Dragon's Den, Gavin & Stacey, Nigella Express, The Sopranos, Drake and Josh, Spongebob Squarepants, 30 Rock.
  • Watched semi-religiously if there was nothing better to do: X Factor, Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QI - anything else from the "men in chairs" genre.
  • Started but didn't finish: Shameless, Heroes, ER, The Peter Serafinowicz Show (dear god, how bad was that programme?), Saxondale, Big Brother, My Name is Earl, The Sarah Silverman Show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Cranford, The Culture Show, Coast, Wife Swap.
  • Don't watch: Lost, 24, Life on Mars. soaps, daytime TV, anything mildly depressing, loads of other stuff probably.

Am I missing something? Is there some great programme that I might like? Does all the great telly start in February? So many questions. I'm ready to commit. What are you guys watching? What's going to be big in 2008?

curb. tonight. more4.

Not on telly anymore, but I just discovered the brilliant 15 Storeys High.

If you like the Sopranos you should watch "The Wire" which is only on some obscure satellite channel (C4 have missed a trick) but it's absolutely brilliant, better even than the mighty Sopranos. It really is worth getting it on DVD (cheap on Amazon) and watching it all. Like a Dostoevsky novel on the telly .......

I've tried and tried but I can't really get into Curb. I know you're not supposed to really, but I find it too uncomfortable to watch.

I've heard good things about 15 Storeys High too. Wish they'd put it back on somewhere.

Another vote for 15 Storeys High. You need to get into the style of it and from then on, comedy genius. It was good on the radio too. Consider internet DVD rental - I've found it a great way to catch up on TV series I've missed first time round. Adding The Wire to my list now!

15 Stories is fab. You can probably still find the series (and the radio series it was based upon) on the ever wonderful UKnova

They have a lot of great old and new British TV. And are taking care to avoid allow any copyright infringement with commercially available films and TV shows. Although obviously the legality of allowing broadcast shows to be download is debatable.

Some of the old 1980's shows, like old Horizons, Equinox and especially the 'One day in the life of television' are a fantastic document how Britain has changed over the years.

It can take a while to sign up however as places are limited.

Also, while I'm at it. Try a bit of podcast radio with This American Life.

Have you been watching Picture This on Channel 4? Apparently Martin Parr is one of the judges, and there is quite a lively discussion at the Parr group on Flickr right now.

Anticipating Secret Diary of a Call Girl (don't know if it's considered a good show or not in the Uk haha) since Showtime here in the states recently picked it up, but won't show it for months.
Showtime usually has good shows so I'm eager to watch.

Also enjoying the 4 new Jane Austen adaptations on Masterpiece theater here (I believed they aired last year UK-side)

"Don't watch...soaps" Quite right; far too depressing; but have you tried Moving Wallpaper? It's making me laugh.

Other than that, all we're watching is charity shop-bought Thunderbirds videos. Tried the new(ish) film on your kind of recommendation and you're right, as a kids film it's fun.

Found "Blue Peter makes Tracey Island" on YouTube. Have got as far as painting the island brown (coat number 1).

Paul - You're right, I *should* try The Wire. Everyone raves about it.
Thanks for the tip.

Nancy - I keep forgetting that photography thing is on, ggrrrr. I read some of the discussion but it didn't make much sense without having seen the programme.

Michelle - the Call Girl thing has been on but I missed it. Not sure what the critics thought, though Billie Piper is usually good.

Richard, I missed the start of that Moving Wallpaper thing. It looked potentially ropey but I wish I'd given it a go now. Do you need any more Thunderbirds (or Stingray) videos. Our local Oxfam seems to have a stockpile. Let me know if you're looking for anything.


Why not abandon the TV completely and fill your house with Waxwork heads from Great Yarmouth . . . re-live your Norfolk holiday and frighten your visiting friends !



Simon James x

For me, at the moment, 30 Rock makes up for everything else. Otherwise it really is slim pickins at the mo.

The only shows I can think of that you haven't listed that I like:

Family Guy. Give it a chance even if you didn't like it at first.

One Foot In the Grave. They're re-broadcasting them on BBC1.

Peep Show? The best comedy I've ever seen. Series 5 is rumoured to be coming to Channel 4 in March. Can't wait.

Peep Show! Of course, how could I forget? That last series was magnificent. Thank heavens it's coming back.

Forgot about The Thick of It as well. And Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe.

I'm another one for the Wire, which is really suited for DVDs maybe more than watching one per week. Dexter is good too. There are a few good films out the now.

If they've still got any Stingray (in Charity Shops anything can happen in the next five minutes!) I'd be interested in a couple...ahem...er...what I mean is...er...Noah (aged 4) would be interested. I imagine they're not much so just let me know what I owe you (if that's OK).

They've been there for a while, but you're right, sod's law etc. I'll snap them up if poss.

Curb your enthusiasm and Soprano...

do you do radio/podcasts ? Adam and Joe on 6music would be my addition to your already great list:

i've been enjoying last of the summer wineJam and Jerusalem in a turn-off-brain type of way.

I know I'm repeating other people, but do do do do do do try and catch The Wire.

Also, if they show the documentary about the fire at Sellafield again, then see it. I only tuned in for five minutes and was gripped.

The Wire....see if you can get the first 4 seasons on DVD. I strongly suggest that you start at the beginning because it's so hard to follow. It's one of those "everyone shut up, you have to catch every detail, keep a notepad by the telly" kind of shows but worth it.

I came back to this post as I forgot what regular tellie I watch.

I'm caught up in Masterchef despite everyone being really precocious. Monty Don's worldwide gardens is quite good. Stephen Fry's Kingdom is easy Sunday watching.

ps If you can wait a month I can lend you the first two seasons of the wire. I've lent them to someone on parternity leave.

Merson - what was the Sellafield thing on? It doesn't ring any bells.

Wil - I'd love a loan of the DVD and can wait. By the sound of things I'll need to be mentally prepared for it.


I found the info on the BBC website:

'Windscale: Britain's biggest nuclear disaster was broadcast on Monday, 8 October, 2007, at 2100 BST on BBC Two.'

It was broadcast virtually 50 years to the day since the fire. The program documented Britain's attempt to become a nuclear superpower and the role Windscale played in achieving that, together with the risks taken in the process. It was part history lesson, part thriller, whilst guiding you to infer parallells with today's events. Absolutely brilliant stuff.

Another vote for 15 Storeys High. I got it from Lovefilm, so rent it if you can't find it for sale. Also really getting into the BBCiplayer - which means I can watch BBC4 programmes without having cable. I saw The Art of Spain and a great doc about Ella Fitzgerald this weekend.

Mistresses is good, but the laast episode is next week.

I'm going to have go with Curb and The Wire too, although we've been watching Deadwood on DVD as well which has been very watchable (and I don't normally like westerns). And for just plain hilariousness and occasional awesomeness I recommend "So you think you can dance". TV is so awful at the moment, I'm so glad we've got a hard drive to record all the good bits so we never have to watch any ol' rubbish...

If you watched Lead Balloon you can definitely watch Curb, I had to stop watching Lead Balloon as I thought It was such a poor rip-off of Curb. Larry David kicks Jack Dee's arse. Easily.

hey, does anyone know where i'd get a copy of the radio show of 15 storeys high? tried uknova but no joy

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