Netflix should hit the delete button on Too Hot To Handle if they're banishing Little Britain for being 'offensive'
IN a week of dumb, cowardly, empty political gestures the emptiest of the lot may have been Netflix’s decision to banish The League Of Gentlemen, Little Britain and The Mighty Boosh to PC hell on grounds of racism.
A knee-jerk move that told us one of two things.
Either Netflix thinks its subscribers are so dangerously stupid they could be turned fascist by a Bubbles DeVere sketch, or there’s nothing the streaming service won’t do for publicity.
Neither reflects well on Netflix, obviously.
If it’s the latter explanation though, and Netflix needs to purge itself some more, I’ve got a better suggestion for the delete button.
It’s Too Hot To Handle, a characteristically soulless, eight-episode Love Island rip-off narrated by Desiree Burch, who hits the wrong note from her very first question: “If you were in paradise with these people and had to resist sex . . . could you?”
Well, lovely of you to ask, but it’s not an option, is it, Desiree?
The real question is, if you were stuck in paradise with these people, could you resist burying them up to their necks in sand and waiting for the tide to come in?
I think you’d be severely tested by the likes of Harry, David, “different woman every night” Bryce and Sharron (a bloke), who describes himself as “a feminist” and to back up those credentials says his todger’s the same size as a can of deodorant.
The 35ml sort you buy in an airport departure terminal, presumably.
Sharron also describes Hayley as “Vanilla bean, ’cos she’s white”, which doesn’t seem to bother the cultural revolutionaries at Netflix, but if you’re starting to feel sorry for the girls, don’t.
They’re bowled over by these numbskulls, particularly Francesca (“I just make eye contact, it’s game over”) who, like a lot of genuinely beautiful women, is instantly attracted to the biggest moron in the postcode, Harry.
The trick of Love Island, of course, was to choose likeable contestants and add a funny, self-mocking commentary from Iain Stirling.
Desiree Burch just doesn’t have that gift in her locker, not even when Francesca asks: “What’s the number for 911?”
It means the whole show stands or falls on the twist of a priggish spy-bot in the corner of the retreat called Lana, who enforces a sex ban on day one.
She films some of them at it as well and knocks money off the $100,000 prize fund every time they flout the rules.
It’s all suspiciously reminiscent of a 2008 MTV “masterpiece” called The Best Is Yet To Come, involving Calum of that ilk, who abided by the series’ sex ban for 40 days.
This lot don’t though.
By episode seven Francesca and Harry and Sharron and Rhonda have humped, snogged and groped the prize fund down to $43,000.
Even the Too Hot To Handle production team realise this looks as cheap as the show is tawdry and dull, so they contrive a way of ending the series with ten contestants all sharing a $75,000 prize fund equally.
And yes, by dropping in this last bit of information, I do realise I’ve ruined the ending for as many as, ooh, three of you.
But it’s born out of frustration with the host network and every other TV channel who tried trashing our comedy heritage last week.
None of it will have helped the cause of anti-racism, because the only thing actually guaranteed, when you ban anything funny from the past, is that you’ll never make anything funny in the future.
Spoiler alerts are the last thing Netflix deserves. Contempt is the first.
Awakening of the week
SOME mornings you know what Piers Morgan’s going to say even before the words leave his mouth.
GMB, Tuesday: “I took a weird French sleeping tablet last night. I had a good eight hours and now I feel like that film, you know . . . ?”
Fat Kid Rules The World.
Tuesday wasn’t one of them.
Unexpected morons in the bagging area
TIPPING Point, Ben Shephard: “Which continent is thought to be named after the Greek mythological Princess Europa?”
Ben Shephard: “Which American composer wrote the music and lyrics to the stage musical Follies?”
The Chase, Bradley Walsh: “Dundonians are natives of which Scottish city?”
(All contributions, including repeats, gratefully received)
Lookalikes of the week
THIS week’s winner is Dominic Cummings and that great actor Brian Wilde, from Porridge/Last Of The Summer Wine.
- Emailed in by David Millar.
- Picture research: Amy Reading.
Off the Skripal script
BBC1 has managed to turn The Salisbury Poisonings into an episode of Casualty.
A relatively good and very dark episode, admittedly, but an episode of Casualty nonetheless.
Quite a feat given the incident involved Vladimir Putin, the Royal Marines, Boris Johnson, the World Cup and those two Russian secret service agents who, as innocently as meerkats, were just visiting the local cathedral and Stonehenge.
The three-part BBC drama ignored all of these tantalising possibilities though, in favour of the health and safety angle.
So there’s no sign of the agents, any politicians or even former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, the targets of the attack, once they’ve chucked their guts up on a park bench.
The focus instead is on Wiltshire’s Director of Public Health, Tracy Daszkiewicz, played by the excellent Anne-Marie Duff, who, wouldn’t you know it, is struggling to juggle work with her domestic life.
There’s a cracking turn as well from Rafe Spall, groaning and vomiting away in the gloom, as poisoned policeman Nick Bailey, but an utterly baffling one from Mark Addy as the Skripals’ next-door neighbour, Ross, which takes the drama nowhere.
There are also lots of meetings, civil servants, hazmat suits, ICU wards, oxygen masks and other stuff we’ve already got covered at the moment, thanks very much, but no prospect of any light relief until near the start of tonight’s episode, when Tracy settles a holiday destination argument (Florida or Cornwall) by making a deal with her son, Toby.
“I tell you what, Tobes, if England win the World Cup, we’ll go to Disneyland. How’s that?”
Brilliant. See you at the Eden Project, Tobes.
WHILE I’m on a Springwatch theme, what is Chris Packham referring to here: “Ellie Harrison is down in Gloucestershire and she’s going to be looking at an animal with very big eyes, very big whiskers and she’s probably going to use the C-word.”
B) House mice?
C) Bill Oddie?
Random TV irritations
SURLY 90s throwback Liam Gallagher skulking on to Peter Crouch’s Save Our Summer set like a shoplifter in Heaton Park Garden Centre.
Every member of The Salisbury Poisoning’s public speaking regulation BBC yokel.
The repetitive insanity of the Filippo Berio olive oil advert.
NHS cultist presenters who always compare it with the US health system, but never the 23 per cent privatised, insurance-based German model.
And GMB’s ever-expanding host Piers Morgan asking Britt Ekland: “If I lose a couple of stone, have I got a chance of playing James Bond?”
No. Not even Oddjob.
Great sporting insights
PAUL Merson: “Spurs are literally a bag of Revels.”
Gary Neville: “Inevitably I think it’s inevitable.”
Phil Thompson: “Dele Alli can play anywhere but he’s not a striker.”
- (Compiled by Graham Wray)
SCORTLAND'S Knoydart peninsula at its most heartbreakingly beautiful, on Springwatch.
BBC1’s incredibly touching Big Night At The Bingo. Barbara Windsor’s devoted and inspirational husband Scott Mitchell, on Ross Kemp: Living With Dementia (ITV).
And Channel 4’s gripping four-part Murder In The Outback, which very nearly took the Best Show On TV title from McMillion$, thanks partly to a rogues’ gallery that looked like a Merv Hughes convention and the introduction of some great new Australian phrases to the wider world.
Not least: “Mate, the country’s as flat as a s**t carter’s hat.”
Great TV lies and delusions of the week
GOOD Morning Britain, Ben Shephard: “Sadly we’ve lost the link to Labour MP John Ashworth.” Sadly?
Redknapp’s Home Fixture, Jamie Redknapp: “We’ll see you next week.” Optimistic.
And Too Hot To Handle’s Ian Rush lookalike Kori: “I can’t help being beautiful, having a banging personality and being funny.”
None of the above.
WHERE was the following said, last week?: “This is false copulation. The birds aren’t actually mating, they’re cementing that pair bond.”
A) Chris Packham’s back garden?
B) Kyle Walker’s kitchen?
It’s what you avoid
RYLAN’S You Are What You Wear is a mix of Snog Marry Avoid? and What Not To Wear.
It’s what you avoid.
If show is stuck in a jam
FOLLOWING a fairly disastrous first episode of Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer I assumed there were only two available options for BBC1, on Saturday night.
Rejig the format completely or can the show entirely.
So I was quite gobsmacked that they managed to come up with an option:
C) Shove co-host Maya Jama in an incredibly small dress and hope for the best.
Not that, under the strict laws of political correctness, I’m meant to draw attention to these things, let alone hint at any cynicism in the wardrobe process.
As last desperate acts of desperate shows go, though, the dress certainly grabbed your attention and it could’ve been a quite effective stop-gap measure as well.
Just so long as Peter’s interview technique improved a little and first guest, Liam Gallagher, had responded to his opening question like something other than a spoiled, 14-year-old schoolboy.
“So, Liam, all good?”
Oh well. Worth a try.
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