JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
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After Halloween and following on from Bonfire night everything feels a little flat this weekend. With no commercial overkill insight until the big one-which has been haunting us in shops in ads and especially in the Dome on George St. for months already- it may actually impossible to enjoy a night out for being simply that and not the product of weeks of overkill. Personally I am not sure what my plans are for this weekend but at least I will not spend my evenings trying to avoid whatever overworked theme is masquerading as fun.
It may also be an opportunity to have a quiet weekend in and chill out by watching a bit of quality television. However there is a fatal flaw in that plan as quality television barely exists in this country at the moment. In fact the weekend schedules especially seem to favour quite the opposite by playing to the lowest common denominator by continuing to churn out talent shows for untalented people and celebrities in shiny frocks and/or bare-chested trotting their way around a dance-floor whilst pretending to find Bruce Forsyth funny when really he is just cringeable.
There is ‘Homeland’ on a Sunday night but it seems to have lost the plot or maybe it is simply trying to find one. I am unsure which but if the new series doesn’t pull itself together in a more cohesive fashion and stop trying too hard then it is doomed to losing its audience as interest tapers away. In fact the only bit of sunshine in the weekend schedules as far as I can see is the Inspector Montalbano mysteries on BBC4 on Saturday evenings.
Yet another import-what does this say about the state of British drama? – these dramas are about the only worthwhile thing in weekend viewing. Forget Downton Snoozeville- which is another thing which should be placed in the same field as Brucie and his dancing sequins and put out to pasture- and its plotlines which seem to revolve around Maggie Smith’s supposedly acerbic and witty one liners but in actuality are little more than predictable panto-dame clichés . It is all very sad that this is the state of British television in the 21st century; a set of irrelevant cardboard cut outs from the dim and distant past with nothing to worry about other than how to hang onto their money.
If the weekend schedules are bad then the weekdays fare little better. I am unsure what happened to Channel 4 but for a beginning which promised so much for an alternative audience it seems to have lost its way completely. Now content to languish in the world of reality TV it really plumbs the depths by setting up cameras in places such as nightclub toilets and fried chicken shops or looking at embarrassing bodies. This is still better than the all time low which was ‘The Man with Ten Stone Testicles’ they showed a few months back. A programme which was so sensationalist in its objectives should never have made it past the ideas stage but somehow it did. Get a grip Channel 4!
If this weekend is quiet on the going out front then the next two weekends more than compensate. Next Saturday –November 16th- sees the return of Rammed the live music/ clubnight experience in the Speakeasy in the Voodoo Rooms. This time around the live act is the wonderful Teen Canteen who are making big waves on the scene at the moment with their debut single ‘Honey’ –the limited edition of which sold out within days- and their storming live performances. A full write up of the band appeared on these pages within the last few days and can be found here.
The following weekend sees the return of Edinburgh favourite Joy for a one off night at Studio 24. Definitely a must for anyone over a certain age who has fond memories of the halcyon days of clubbing it is also essential for a younger crowd who-from what I have seen- need a few lessons in how to enjoy themselves.
So beginneth my quiet weekend in then although I have just received a message from someone not known for their quiet nature-more of a foghorn than a siren- calling that they are docking in my neighbourhood harbour tomorrow evening so my plans may go awry. In fact news is just filtering in about a mini-Rammed showing at a crew 2000 event in Cockburn Street tomorrow afternoon between 3 and 5 which also sounds appealing and sees my plans shifting yet again. Don’t you just hate when that happens?
At least I can always use Sunday to watch Inspector Montalbano on catch up so my quiet Saturday night in will not be cancelled, simply postponed!

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