At the moment, there’s an advert on TV for Just Eat, and it freaks me out a little bit.
There’s one part of it where they talk about people “ordering their usual”, and doing so at a specific time – implying that it’s the same thing every week. And that just weirds me out, that there are people out there who do the same thing every week, who eat the same meals with little to no variety.
At the same time though, it’s odd in other ways. I’m just as bad at being uninspired when it comes to meals and so on – but that’s when I’m just cooking for myself. If I’m paying for it (i.e. a takeaway, a restaurant meal or whatever) then I’m going to go for random stuff that I fancy eating.
So I think it’s the combination – that there are people who are paying for their meal and still only having the same thing at the same time – rather than *just* that it’s the same thing every time.
Anyway, it weirds me out – even though in some ways I’m also a massive hypocrite about it, as I’m semi-guilty of the same thing, but only in the privacy of my own home…
Last week, I went to see Neil Gaiman at the Southbank Centre, as part of the promotional activities for the new series of Good Omens. (It got released on Friday on Amazon Prime, and will apparently be on BBC2 later in the year)
Good Omens (the book) was written by Neil and the late Terry Pratchett thirty years ago, and it was one of Pratchett’s dying wishes for Neil to write it again as a TV series. At the time, they thought he’d got plenty of time, but he went downhill rapidly, and so after Pratchett’s funeral, Neil wrote the series, and then insisted on being the showrunner in order to make sure that it got to screen in a way that both of them would’ve found acceptible.
Anyway, I’d managed to get tickets even before they announced that he’d be accompanied on stage by David Tennant and Michael Sheen (who play the two main characters of the series, Aziraphale and Crowley) which made it even better.
The entire evening was fun – there was a choir of Satanic Nuns (if you’ve read the book, you’ll understand) in the foyer of the Southbank Centre, singing Queen songs (again, book, understand, blah blah) which boded well for the rest of it.
Compered by Kirsty Wark (who also appears in the series), they talked about how the series came about (see above), the story of Neil and Michael meeting for a dinner where both of them couldn’t work out how to tell the other that they didn’t want to play Crowley (Michael had originally been cast, but realised as he read the script that he was far more Aziraphael) , Neil discovering that Michael could do a pitch-perfect impression of David Tennant, and many other tales.
From the sound of it, while there were problems along the way, the fact that Good Omens is loved by so many people (and has been for a long, long time) worked as a great leveller of those problems – another story being that Nick Offernan was brought in very late in the day to replace someone else, and told Neil that a) he’d have paid his own flights in order to take the role, and b) that when the director apologised to him for coming such a long way for so (comparatively) few lines, he said “I’d have come twice as far for half as many”
It was a really good evening, and when the series came out on Friday, I saw the entire thing in the space of an evening (not something I usually do, but this time it was worth it) and I can honestly say that they’ve all done a bloody good job of the entire thing. Utterly worthwhile.
Way back at the end of August, I wrote about Masterchef Australia starting again on UK TV. It’s still one of my favourite TV cooking/competition programmes, but man alive, it’s a commitment.
It runs for at least an hour every weekday. And it finished last night. That’s a long-ass stretch of TV by anyone’s standards.
All the same, I’ve enjoyed the series (as usual) but I’m also finding myself slightly relieved that we’re done for another few months.
Tonight, one of my favourite cooking shows is back on TV for another year.
No, not Great British BakeOff (although I may watch that as well) – but Masterchef Australia. It’s the only Masterchef version I still bother with, mainly because it’s just so different from all the others.
As the Guardian says in this article, Aussie Masterchef is a huge commitment – it’ll be something like 65-70 episodes all told – but it’s also a joy. (Other than the opening credits/intro, which is truly fucking awful) It’s utterly Australian, with a real focus on people pulling together and supporting each other rather than it being a cut-throat competition. The judges aren’t as aloof as in other versions, and generally are more friendly and supportive.
Hell, even the guest chefs come across better than they do in other things. I’ve gained more respect for people I previously couldn’t abide – Marco Pierre White is the primary example here, a man with a reputation for being an utter tosspot, who instead provides constructive feedback and help to the competitors. (However, even Aussie Masterchef can’t make Jamie Oliver into anything other than a lisping Mockney twat you’d never tire of punching)
So yeah, I’ll be watching again. It’ll mean other TV things take a bit of a back seat for the next few weeks, but I can catch up on them when Masterchef Australia is over and done with.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about sport, and how we seemed to be having a surfeit of it this summer.
Thankfully, We’ve finally finished with the Kickyball World Cup (although I believe it’s less than a month ’til the next season starts off, FFS), and the Wimbledon Smashyball stuff, and the British Grand Prix is over and done with too.
The Tour de France is still ongoing (thanks, Gordon, for reminding me that this was on too) although that’s a lot more tolerable than the others – if nothing else, I still find myself in awe of the people who can ride 100+km in a day up idiot mountains and so on, and still do a sprint finish…
Anyway, it’s nice to just have fewer sporty-ball things on TV for a few weeks, at least. Happy, happy day.
As well as doing less – or at least going out less – I’m taking the time to catch up on some of the TV programmes I haven’t been watching.
My TV Box is about half full, and I realised that in some cases I’ve got a complete half-season (I know, it’s an oxymoron) of something I want to see and catch up with. They’re all programmes I want to see and keep up on, it’s just that I haven’t been doing so this year so far. I’m actually pretty ruthless when it comes to things I’ve decided I can no longer be arsed with, so at least I’m being picky in that way – but there’s still a fair amount of stuff that I’ve kept.
So while I’m home more in the evenings and weekends, I’m taking the time to get through some of those things. These things will be on as background, allowing me to multitask and do the other things I’m working on over this quarter, and that works for me.
So not only do we have World Cup kickyball, cricket and rugby gubbins going on, but as of today we’ve got Wimble-bloody-don as well?!?
I give up.