A highly parochial and judgemental TV review column
Aerial View by Patrick Cullen
Tanya Branning has a cunning plan. Obviously Aerial View’s alarm bells are deafening already. Tanya, yep that’ll be the one who wasn’t even a mite suspicious when Max took 3 hours to drive the babysitter home before waltzing home in the early hours with Stacey’s underwear hanging out of his pockets. But have no fear; she has Shaun for back-up. Everyone’s favourite slightly unhinged war vet, never happier than when he’s chewing scenery and making vague threats towards Bradley, is Tanya’s co-conspirator, what can possibly go wrong? Tanya is allowing Max along with his paunch and his ravaged hairline to move back in to the family home and get his feet back under the table (not before kicking the empty bottles of Mini-Mart red wine out of the way of course). This of course, is all part of her dastardly plot to take Max to the cleaners and squeeze every last penny out of him. This would be the same Max Branning who has been sleeping on his brother’s sofa, drinking all his brandy and cutting his toenails in the living room (well presumably anyway). He’s obviously just hiding it all in a Swiss bank account or Walford post office, either one really. The biggest hint about where it’s all heading came a few weeks ago when Max emotionally blackmailed Tanya into dueting with him on a karaoke version of ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow’ by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with Kylie Minogue. Yes dear reader, the song ends with Nick bashing Kylie over the head with a rock.
Over in Weatherfield, the gates of hell are preparing to open and Satan is getting ready to appear. As it turns out the Dark Lord isn’t 7 foot tall, red with horns, hooves and a dodgy goatee. He is actually about 5ft 6, with fake tan, a gold chain that’ll turn his neck a rather fetching shade of green and with slightly vacant, gormless gerbil like features it’s …………. David Platt. David has been suspiciously non satanic of late, he’s been smiling at old ladies, making his dear old mam cups of tea, he hasn’t even sabotaged any scaffolding with homicidal intent in ages. All this is about to change as David discovers the secret that his mum and girlfriend have been keeping from him. Tune in on Friday night as David rediscovers his dark side. Meanwhile across the road Kirk and Chesney’s attempt to live like a Lancastrian version of the Likely Lads has ended in malnutrition, rickets and with Chesney and Schmeical being taken into care. Ashley feels somehow responsible having had to lay Kirk off from the butchers during a particularly lean spell for the shop, without realising that it was his employee’s questionable personal hygiene that drove his customers away. Kirk and Chesney were sent on a gripping and gritty downward spiral that left them subsisting on a diet of out of date croissants and Bettabuys Cola. It was lucky Social Services turned up when they did, (or rather Claire tipped them off when she did) before Kirk sold Chesney for a bag of magic beans or even worse Schmeical became their next square meal.
Away from soapland, The Kill Point started with a bang on Wednesday night at 10pm on Bravo (Sky Channel 123). A real time hostage drama that gallops along at a breakneck pace, its pits Donnie Wahlberg as a police hostage negotiator against a team of US Marines turned bank robbers. When the robbery goes wrong and the gang end up holed up in the bank, Mr. Wolf and his band of photogenic brothers have to fight their way out or force the authorities to cede to their demands. Featuring what appears to be half the cast of FX’s The Wire and Wahlberg, the series is potentially gripping with 11 more episodes to come and finds time to make a serious point about the treatment of Iraq war veterans.
This week’s film choice has to be The Business, Film 4 Friday night. Nick Love’s 2005 follow up to sleeper hit The Football Factory is flawed but ultimately engrossing. Danny Dyer is unmissable as naïve, wide eyed Tommy who finds himself in 1980s Costa Del Crime being mentored by the excellent Tamer Hassan’s east end gangster made good. Well worth a look not least because of the 80s soundtrack and amazingly authentic sports casual gear. So this week get over to the Chatsworth for shameless as Stan becomes an accidental hero, endure at least 10 minutes of Sports Relief on BBC1 Friday night (go on its for charity!) and join The Fixer on ITV1 at 8pm on Monday night, if the first episode was anything to go by it will be the best new British drama this year, and hey Aerial View doesn’t say these things lightly. So join us next week for the full lowdown on The Fixer, why you need crime fighting serial killer Dexter in your life and check out the preview of C4’s hotly anticipated US import Dirty Sexy Money as well as the usual dose of reviews, previews and wholly unconstructive criticism.