News Surfing: Behold Beale beard! Armando Iannucci is everywhere! MORE!
Hello, and welcome to the second News Surfing column, in which I strike an uneasy balance: making fun of the latest TV developments whilst remaining enthusiastic and ultimately open-minded about them. To be honest, this also describes my relationship with most friends and family.
Anyway, another packed load of news this week, including not one but two mildly appalling photographs to look at. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I must only have a couple more sentences left to type.
ITEM! We don't often cover EastEnders and its soapy brethren, but every so often, a soap news story comes up that is so exciting, so meaningful, so downright hilarious, I have to give it a few words. Earlier in the week, Digital Spy unveiled a first look at Ian Beale's return to Albert Square as a tramp, after he managed to balls up yet another marriage. Because, I guess, he's been there since the very beginning, and what storylines are really left? Alien abduction next year?
In case you missed it, here's a preview. Note the beard, which must have taken actor Adam Woodyatt forever to grow, and is probably still better than his 90s moustache.
ITEM! Moving on to better TV (hard work but think I've managed it), AMC have unveiled a new trailer for the upcoming fifth season of Breaking Bad. I love this show, for reasons I've already outlined on this site, so it's exciting to see Walt and Jesse in action again, but also bittersweet because it's the last season.
Except not really, because they're slicing the "fifth" season into two eight episode chunks separated by a year, so the second may as well be a sixth season. ANYWAY. Here is the trailer.
ITEM! In last week's groundbreaking first column, I linked to the latest episode of Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, and I'm going to do it again, because this week has Graham Linehan (creator of Father Ted and The IT Crowd) and Armando Iannucci OBE (creator of The Thick Of It, Veep, others), which is a pretty hot line-up. So head over here to check it out.
Iannucci has gotten other play in the news this week, both for his new HBO series Veep starting on Sky Atlantic and after a junior minister's verbal dismemberment by Jeremy Paxman was observed to resemble a scene from his The Thick Of It, which is all the excuse I need to embed the relevant scene.
ITEM! And staying with Mr Iannucci (of OBE fame), a press release has been issued about his long awaited Alan Partridge film and its release in August 2013, in partnership with French filmmakers StudioCanal. Yes, maybe it is a movie, but Partridge comes from TV and the release features some great quotes from the man himself, so I've worked them in:
"I’m simultaneously gladdened and pleased to see a British film being co-funded by the French dudes at Studiocanal. This is without doubt the greatest Anglo-French co-operation since the Normandy landings. This time, the heroes aren’t Allied servicemen – they’re motion picture financiers, who are equally brave."
"I’d also like to add that ‘canal’ – or, in English, ‘canal’ – is a transportation system close to my heart. In the late 18th century, this new method of logistics halved the price of coal in many English cities. If Studiocanal’s investment can achieve even a fraction of that, I will be delighted."
ITEM! Last, and.... very possibly least, a photo has been released from the upcoming US version of The Inbetweeners, featuring the all-new all-American incarnations of our constantly masturbating heroes. This show comes to us from MTV, and we can only hope it is as successful as their US launch of Skins. How much will they change? Does "briefcase wanker" translate to "document-wallet douchebag" over there? We can only wait and see.
But for now, here it is, resembling a glimpse into a horrifying parallel universe.