Wednesday, June 23, 2004
We've not updated this site for a very long time, and we're very sorry. We plead moving house and a lack of access to broadband for the time being. We're making a special effort to update today because one of our favourite episodes of The Fairly Odd Parents is on next week and we couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't remind you all to watch it.
Tune in to BBC Two on Saturday at 8.05am to see the double bill of 'Cosmo Con' and 'Wanda's Day Off'. 'Cosmo Con' features Cosmo's attempts to organise the annual fairy convention. Obviously it's a prerequisite that it should be held in a top secret location that will not endanger the secret existence of fairy godparents. So where better to hold it than in Timmy's bathroom? Well, Timmy's bathroom on the night that Mr Crocker is coming for dinner, obviously. This episode is notable for an early appearance from teen singing sensation Britney Britney, although we can't remember if it's the first ever time she appears. 'Wanda's Day Off' is fairly self-explanatory; Wanda is grouchy and tired so Timmy wishes her to the Fairy World Spa for a well-earned day off. Wanda is concerned about leaving Timmy and Cosmo alone with no one to clear up the mess, but Cosmo assures her he can cope. Wanda's day off does not go according to plan, as having been wished to the Spa makes her considerably lower status than the people who paid to go (it's political and everything!), and Cosmo somehow manages to create a super-intelligent race of cockroaches who want to invade Earth while trying to help Timmy with his science project. Well, it's the sort of thing that could happen to anyone, isn't it?
Perhaps we haven't sold it in the best possible way here, but there are far more quickfire, bitingly witty gags in this episode than we could ever hope to do justice to on a two-bit blog like this, so we will just beg you to tune in (or set the video if you plan to be hungover at that precise moment in time) and enjoy.
Friday, June 04, 2004
HOOLIE AND JUMP (DECEASED)
Kids' TV these days - so much more daring that it used to be. Parents shed a tear and fondly remember the days when children's television was presented by a smart gentleman in a crisp suit who spoke the Queen's English (as opposed to a queen's English, the language favoured by modern children's television presenters) and all the programmes featured puppets with visible strings learning valuable lessons about morality. It couldn't stay that way for long, of course, and eventually reality invaded the world of children's television: vandals attacked the Blue Peter garden, Byker Grove screened the legendary gay sort-of kiss between Noddy and Gary, Richard Bacon got sacked for snorting gak and Tracy Beaker stomped around a children's home looking angry and wondering why no one would adopt someone so evidently loveable.
Now that the real world and children's TV are companiable bedfellows, you wouldn't think that there were many taboos left to be broken. Death certainly wouldn't count amongst them, we've all sat by and watched countless televised funerals of the likes of Geoff from Byker. Whether you can broach these taboos with the under-fives, however, is another matter.
According to a charming story we found in BBC in-house newsletter Ariel, death has come to Balamory. No, it's not a hard-hitting storyline from the third series where Edie McCredie has too many shandies and runs over Miss Hoolie in a thrill-seeking joyride, it's a true-life story. It's no great secret that the popularity of Balamory has led to a huge increase in tourism around Tobermory where the show is filmed. Naturally you can't always expect pre-schoolers to understand the difference between reality and fiction, so imagine the distress of a small child to be told by the real-life owner of Josie Jump's yellow house (pictured above, the Harbour Heights Hotel in reality) that he had killed Josie and buried her under the patio. Balamory meets Brookside, that's one plot twist we weren't expecting. Props to Balamory producer Helen Doherty for being so understanding, though: "He only said it to one family and I can't believe he meant to upset their children. He said at the time that he was separating from his wife at the time [sic] and was stressed."
An ideal chance to break another taboo with a divorce storyline in the third series of Balamory, then? Perhaps Penny Pocket divorces Suzie Sweet. We've long suspected all is not sunshine and roses with those two.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
THE YOUNG AND THE SPEECHLESS
It is a truth universally acknowledged that children's television presenters are always far older than you would at first suspect. In this era of affordable botox and flattering lighting, we'd always come to think of it as much the norm. "See them outside the studio", we used to think, "and then you'll see the wrinkles".
Once again, however, our beliefs have been called into question. Doing some highly savoury and in no way pornographic research on the interweb last night, we paid one of our regular visits to the lovely folks at Famous Males, home of shirtless celebs. Obviously, the banner at the top of the page advising us of new galleries containing "CBBC's Andrew Hayden Smith" caught our attention, and we clicked like the drooling homosexual click-monkeys that we are.
We were greeted with the usual selection of slighty grainy magazine scans and oh-so-cute pictures from Byker Grove a couple of years back. And then we happened to cast our eyes over to the left-hand side of the screen (which we almost never do, because there are no shirtless pictures on that side) to read: "Date of birth: 5 November 1983".
Speechless, we were. This birthdate would make him a sprightly 20 years old (if our maths is correct), and more importantly, this would make The Broomcupboard a cradlesnatcher. It's not that we don't think Andrew looks youthful (because we do, and we certainly wouldn't kick him out of bed, except possibly to shag him on the floor), but 20 years old we're finding a little hard to credit.
Of course, this means we'll have to carry out extensive AHS research to confirm his date of birth, and if we happen to come across (fnar) some more shirtless pictures in the process, well, it's a tough job, but someone has to do it.