Friday, 23 April 2010

Why I am very trying to watch television with.

Imagine you're watching something you particularly like on television. A cliffhangingly suspenseful thriller, perhaps. A lyrical pastoral idyll in period costume. A comedy. Here is a piece of advice I will give you: do not ever watch it with me. A few examples follow, and imagine they're being uttered during the moments where someone on screen is saying something vital to the plot:

Sense & Sensibility/Emma/Cranford : "Ooh! Loooovely wisteria! I'd love a dress that draped like that. Seriously, would you ever consider wearing a tailcoat? Those white breeches didn't do a lot for men, did they?"...

Ashes To Ashes/ Life On Mars : "THE CLASH! Yay I love this song! Pause it, pause it, I'm just going to find the CD... OK don't. What is it about Gene Hunt, honestly? I don't remotely fancy Philip actual Glenister. I think the graffiti represents death. I think he's actually Sam Tyler. Oh I love her boots. I think I had a pair of those in 1983, or maybe Kate did..."

Our Mutual Friend/Bleak House: "Ooh! Looooovely candelabra! God imagine not washing your hair for weeks. My scalp feels itchy. Why is Dickens always so foggy and greasy? Where's Jack The Ripper? Wouldn't this benefit from a bit of Jack The Ripper?"

Desperate Housewives: "That's me. I do exactly that. That's exactly me. No, she is. No, maybe her. You're a man, is she attractive? Is she too skinny? Could we get that shrubbery?"

Glee: (in floods of sentimental Disney tears) "I love this song. I love that song. Oh God, Lionel Ritchie, how lame. Oh they have to do Don't Rain On My Parade again"...

And so forth. I actually never talk through Mr Fishwife's chosen television moments (rugby, The Pacific, occasional orgies of grainy B&W tank footage on what we call the Hitler Death Channel) because what would I say? "Oooh! Loooovely scrum cap. Was their last kit pink? Did he really just shoot that Japanese POW? That's outrageous. Is that a Panzer? Did Albert Speer design those tents? Why are we in Melbourne all of a sudden?" etc. Apart, obviously, from my absolute jawdrop moment last week with the schmancy pink Stade Francais kit, I usually read. You may well imagine he gets a better deal than I do, and I would have to agree with you.

17 comments:

libby said...

oh we must be related.....I am given a verbal warning by my family as the programme starts usually.....but in my defence I hate programmes being so awful/lame that the culprit/plot is screamingly obvious from the get go and I am the only one to see it...

Vicus Scurra said...

He has my sympathy. Anyone who actually says "Ooh!" at the beginning of an utterance is intolerable.

Fran said...

Yes, I think you and I would have to have televisions in separate rooms. Or perhaps a separate house. In a separate street.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Libby - I always know who did it (or speculate loudly and at length) - in fact I totally ruined "The Sixth Sense" for my friends in the cinema by spotting that Bruce Willis was dead, rather early on in the action. If I could learn to keep my big smartypants show-off gob shut I would probably have more friends.

Vicus - The poor man deserves sympathy for most things in life involving me. In my defence I only say "Ooh!" about wisteria (or is it wistaria?) and candelabras (or is it candelabrae?)

Fran - I know, it's not one of my finer points. I am capable of shutting up if glared at firmly.

Sgt Pepper said...

It's candelabra, because it's already a plural. A single 'candle stick' (as we would call it) is, in fact, a candelabrum.

I have some thoughts on talking through TV programmes, but they are not yet fully formed so I'll wait a bit before sharing them.

Lucy Fishwife said...

Sarge - Thank you, I understand your desire to be tactful - it is, after all, one of my least appealing character flaws. But I try to take criticism constructively, as long as you pour me a drink first.

Diana said...

And this is why I have a Tivo -- so I don't kill my husband...and so he doesn't kill me. :)

Rose said...

No I would have to be elsewhere when watching TV- BUT am also obsessed with Gene Hunt and not actual Philip- I just melt completely and I know it spoils the chemistry but as the series is finishing could he and Alex not just have a big snog?

Interesting about graffiti/ death- what are you thoughts on the reason for life on mars playing when certain characters have done well? are they dead? Surely Gene can't be Sam? I think Sam may have done something bad in the 70s that wouldn't be bad now and Gene might have covered for him as a last thing he could do for a friend? I want there to be a way he and Alex could be together in 2010 because am hopeless, silly romantic.

Sgt Pepper said...

Actually, I'm quite a fan of talking all the way through TV programmes. Indeed it would never occur to me to put on the telly for anything other than news if I were on my own. Family evenings in the Pepper household are, in fact, notable for the more-or-less constant commentary - rather in the manner of a French salon - with Mrs Pepper playing Marie Anne de Vichy-Chamrond, marquise du Deffand to my Voltaire, perhaps.

Oddly enough, though, if anyone so much as clears their throat in a cinema, they get the death stare from me before they've even drawn breath. This, of course, explains why the last film I went to see was back in the days when a reassuring silvery blue cloud of cigarette smoke hung over the audience, and you could blow smoke rings into the beam of light coming out of the projection room.

E-Lizzy said...

If you nattered thro' Ashes 2 Ashes, I would not be responsible for my actions! You would be gagged & locked in a broom cupboard!

Gene is unbelievably sexy. Think it cos he's a bit more brooding than Phil Glenister himself.

Grafitti is probably metacommentary - the writers playing with us. They're probably already in a kind of postmodern afterlife, having their issues resolved before moving on across the Styx. Think Keats is Charon.

mantua maker said...

Charlemagne says that he is actually Frederick Barbarossa and that he thinks he would probably kill you if you chatted through his Kurasawa movie, (funny topknots and twin swords but I *love* the yukata).

pilgrimchick said...

I am at least thinking the same thing when I watch Emma-like films and series. I'm not sure I've spoken the thoughts aloud, though.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I think you sound incredibly entertaining myself, but I might have to tape your mouth shut every now and then.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Cor blimey - you're a secret gay man! ;-)

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

I love your blog Lucy. It cheers up my day. Wish you'd post more often! I have left a blog tag over at mine for you xx

http://www.fashionsmostwanted.blogspot.com

Material Girl said...

dear lucy fishwife,

i just happened upon your blog as you are the one and only remotely cool-sounding person on blogger who shares my liking of elinor lipman. the other 23 of them have interests like "mary engelbright," vomit.

lo and behold, you are fabulous and funny. and behave just like me during movies.

cheers!

Grump said...

I have a similar problem, except that I'm must less sophisticated. Usually I'll be watching a scene with my lady where two people are having a deeply emotional conversation, and if it's anywhere near a road I'll exclaim how funny it would be if they were hit by a bus.