Monday, April 19, 2010

Review Show zinger

BBC2 live cultural discussion programme The Review Show (formerly Newsnight Review, formerly The Late Review) has of course declined significantly from the golden era of the mid 1990s when the regular dream team of Tony Parsons (cocky), Tom Paulin (preposterous) and either Julie Myerson Alison Pearson (head-girlish) or Germaine Greer (even more preposterous than Paulin) waffled away under the expert stewardship of Mark Lawson.

The presenters on today’s roster, including Malty’s favourite Kirsty Wark, aren’t a patch on Lawson, and, though the likes of Michael Gove (soon to be wasted on Government) and Joe Queenan provide some relief, too often the pundit-sofas are stuffed with interchangeable Guardian columnists who insist on mentioning the ‘illegal war in Iraq’ in every sentence and all talk over each other in their haste to do it, with Sarah Churchwell the rudest and most breathless talk-overer. The show doesn't need to be broadcast live; I’m convinced the whole thing would be much better if it were pre-recorded over a few hours and then edited down, to reduce the sense of hurry.

That said, Friday’s episode was a good one, with the usual political ratio reversed and some Scottish bloke called Pat Kane the only left-leaning conspiracy theorist. Most socialists have a contemptuous, impatient hatred of the People and must put the enduring popularity of conservativism amongst them down to ignorance or brainwashing by a sinister elite. Quite probably it does not occur to Kane - it is not even a possibility in his universe - that people can be decent, sentient and broadly right-wing all at the same time. It was warming to watch his fellow guests poke fun at him, and David Aaranovitch got off a real zinger right at the end with this exchange:

Kane: The Republicans are quite explicit about the fact that the reason they have had an American hegemony is because they tapped into psychologically-based marketing techniques to be able to manufacture certain kinds of consent to certain kinds of agenda...

Aaranovitch: Or to put it another way, people agreed with them.

21 comments:

malty said...

Personally I think the choice of Sarah Churchwell gives some balance to the pretendy interelectrical hour, we need the odd transvestite in there and Sarah fills the bill nicely.
Kirsty of course, exactly the right choice being as she is the darling of the libery wibbeley's

Brit said...

Ooh that's harsh, Malty. I think Churchwell looks like Darryl Hannah, or possibly Andie McDowell in a blonde wig. Perhaps they're all the same man.

The Old Batsman said...

I think Pat Kane used to be in Hue and Cry, didn't he? Still looking for Linda amongst the psychologically based marketing techniques of the American hegemony, no doubt.

Gaw said...

I'm sure the 90s dream team featured Alison Pearson (certainly head girly) rather than Julie Myerson (devil mother).

I'm impressed you can stay up late enough to watch the programme. Despite enjoying it I haven't seen it since about the last week of October, 2005.

TOB: it is indeed the same PK. Didn't he and his brother also have a group called cheesily punningly the Kane Gang? Or did I merely imagine (wrongly) that this would be a great name if they decided to make a go of it as a twosome?

Brit said...

Quite right, Gaw, was getting my head girls mixed up.

Neverstoppalookin, neverstoppalookin, for Leenda. Always reminds me of hotel bars and mid-range clothing outlets, that song.

Brit said...

PS. I Virgin-Plus it and watch it on Sunday morning, of course.

Willard said...

What a thing to think about on a Monday morning. Thoughts of Ekow Eshun and I feel my blood pressuring rising. Him and Gove on the same show: I think I'd erupt ash into the upper atmosphere.

Brit said...

I like Gove. He does enunciate a lot and makes a little thumb-and-forefinger gesture on every other syllable - is it this that makes you despise him so?

Talking of which, like most viewers I do a good impression of everyone who's ever been on Review, but Ekow Eshun is the best one to do.

Gaw said...

I like the way EE has an almost permanent air of incredulity - it's as if even he can't believe he's coming out with this stuff.

Brit said...

Ekow starts every speech in a state of high-pitched, hysterical intensity and then ramps it up from there. By the end of each snippet he is virtually on all-fours, eyes screwed shut, and only dogs can hear him. I love him.

Willard said...

My reasons for disliking Gove are many and varied but the way he has been made over by image consultants is a good place to start. Those little thumb gestures really annoy me. It presumes that we, the audience, are too thick to understand why he's doing that.

I can't listen to EE for more than a few seconds without screaming vulgarities at the screen and turning off. He is precious about so damn much and usually wrong about everything.

Brit said...

Perhaps I just have a high tolerance for opinionated loons. Now where's Sean got to...?

The Old Batsman said...

You know that bit on the show when one of them hasn't been able to speak for a while and then finally gets the chance and comes out with a point pertaining to a part of the discussion that is long gone? Well Gaw, I just looked up the Kane Gang and they did exist, but didn't have either of the Kane brothers in it.

Should everyone now name their fantasy review show line-up?

Brit said...

Steve Bruce, obviously, to host. Then Chris Hitchens (of whom more soon on TofE, watch this space), Germaine Greer, Auberon Waugh, AA Gill and Malty.

Gaw said...

I volunteer the MotD panel who would be forced to offer detailed opinions even if the topic was experimental theatre.

The Old Batsman said...

Paulin. Greer. Eshun. Amis. An unintelligible intellectual, potentially religious. Chair: Richard and Judy.

Stephen said...

Michael Grove reminds me, for some reason, of Rick Moranis, star of Honey I Shrunk The Kids. I have trouble taking him seriously.

I do like it when Paul Morley shows up, he's the media intellectual par excellence as far as I'm concerned.

malty said...

The current recruitment drive by the BBC consists of hiring one bod only, for everything. So expect Chris Evans to host the show in the near future.
Chiledish behaviour methinks.

No Good Boyo said...

He was Hue and Cry indeed, and specialised in fast angry songs with a piano. I quite liked them, but that paragraph you reproduced is like something out of a Chomskybot Generator.

Aaro is the man. Just finished his Voodoo Histories. Quality, revealing.

Brit said...

Just so, NGB. I have in fact had a brief email correspondence with Aaro re: the above post and he seems a decent cove.

I'm fairly confident Pat has also been on here via the Kingsnorth/Mary Beard self-googling method; such is the modern world. No comment from him, sadly.

Vern said...

Pat Kane started spouting pish in the Glasgow Herald way over a decade ago. Really embarrassing adolescent stuff. I am sorry for the English that he has made his way south.

I last watched NR 2 years ago and spotted an entity called only 'Bidisha', who I have since discovered is a cult figure at David Thompson's blog. For talking utter poop, of course.