Back to Business

23 Jul

Good guy done...good.

I know, I know, I went a bit AWOL again. Call it having a life, once the pressures and workload of a Masters degree have been stripped away or call it plain laziness, but I haven’t exactly been on top blogging form for a while, but I am actually going to try and make an effort with this again.

Unfortunately, this decision seems to have come at a time when TV is bad. All the best series are over (and gone with them are my TV crushes Jason Isaacs and Tom Pellereau), so I need some fresh televisual meat to sink my teeth into.

Of course, you can always catch me blathering away on Twitter if you prefer. If not, stay tuned and I will soon be splattering my verdicts all over this here telly blog.

First up,  Torchwood: Miracle Day.


Watch this spac.e



19 Jun

I tweeted about this yesterday, but in case you missed it, Accessorize are now selling the above necklace. C’est un peu fantastique, non? Perfect wear for me, Miss Telly and Tea.

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 7

19 Jun

See, cos it's replacing what's hip! Geddit?

The Apprentice is the gift that keeps on giving. The past couple of weeks have been gems, with enough hilarity and stupidity to last My Family (the sitcom, not to be confused with, you know, my actual relatives) a lifetime.

Now, I must admit to perhaps finding this week’s task – creating and pitching a ‘freemium’ magazine to advertisers – so excruciating because I have just come to the end of studying for a Masters degree in Magazine Journalism. Not only have I worked in the trade and studied the business, but also had to (for an assessment earlier in the year) create and pitch a magazine to a panel of professionals in the industry. It was so Apprentice-y, we used to commandeer ‘the boardroom’ in the journalism department and would put our phones on speaker to talk to each other. C’mon, we had to make the most of a potentially terrifying situation.

My point is, this is only the second time I have watched the show with any kind of insider knowledge that would help me on my task (the other was when they had to make skincare products – I used to work at smelly emporium Lush). Armed with this insight, I had even more reason to smirk and guffaw as the doofuses made error after error.

But never mind that. Is Natasha the most irritating woman in Britain? Yeah? Because, you know, yeah, she’s like, yeah, really annoying. Yeah? And the way she talks, yeah, she’s quite bullying, yeah, and a bit of an arse, yeah? It’s a shame her team won because she could do with taking down a peg or two – not least because she was an AWFUL PM who didn’t listen to her team.

Hip Replacement should have won with little effort. Apart from a hideous name and absurd execution, the basic concept was spot on. Brands would be able to target their market, who have lots of lovely disposable income, and help launch what could be a potentially goldmine in brand extensions such as events and book clubs, etc. But no. Creepy Jim got it all oh-so-wrong. There is absolutely no doubt that he should have got the chop – especially after his appalling behaviour in the boardroom. Not that Glenn would have been around much longer, but his firing did stink of unfair dismissal under the circumstances.

Next week is the annual Apprentices Abroad episode, and again I have a personal connection as I lived in Paris for 9 months as part of my (undergraduate) degree in French and English. I can’t WAIT to see how the assembled fools make a right bordel de merde out of the task.


Scott & Bailey – Episode 3

13 Jun

This week’s S&B  was fantastic. The story has cranked up a notch, it’s faster paced and had a strong message. Yes, I might have been a bit slow in taking three episodes to get it, but this show is resolutely feminist. It might have been a bit heavy-handed this week (but apparently some of us – me – need that to truly get it) but in the same week as Slutwalks in London, culturally ingrained misogyny is still a BIG issue.

Suranne Jones continues to deliver with her deftly-arched-eyebrow acting and I was pleased to see a bit of fire from Scott this week too. Plus, who knew philandering Nick was such a nasty bastard?

This series is swiftly become a favourite and -dare I say it – preferable to a messy Case Histories. In fact, the only thing wrong with S&B is not enough topless Jason Isaacs. But you can’t have everything.

Scott & Bailey

12 Jun

The new Sugababes line up also performed at funerals

A grower, this. The first episode was a bit slow and obvious, but once the premise had been introduced, characters explored and central plot set up, this series began to hit its stride.

Frankly, there’s nothing for me not to love about Suranne Jones and a Manchester setting (although she also did spiffingly in outer space), so I had high hopes, but they are gradually being met.

Here, as in the best detective dramas, the crimes and crims take a backseat to the emotional arcs of the protagonists and serve to push forward plot points. Plus, the writing is pretty good – graphic descriptions of abortion are not friendly fodder for cosy Sunday evening drama, but are crucial in making the characters seem like real people.

I’m looking forward to this week’s episode and hoping they keep up the good work. What are your thoughts?

Case Histories – Episodes One and Two

12 Jun

Who knew THAT'S what the blond wig was hiding?

I’ve noticed a lot of previews, reviews and criticism of the new detective drama has focused on the eye-candy of Mr Jason Isaacs (above). So let’s get it out the way.


I’ve been a fan of Kate Atkinson for a logn while now, so treated news of this dramatisation with some trepidation. Could anyone portray Jackson Brodie perfecty? Would the stories be as complex and nuanced as in the books? In short, would it be done right?

So far the answer is both yes and no. Isaacs has managed to be both exactly as I imagined Jackson and nothing like him at the same time – but in a good way. The books are far too complex to adapt for a two hour telly stint, but I think they have done well to condense them so far. The emotional feel of the books and use of humour has not been lost, which greatly pleases me. But I don’t love it. I want to love it, but I’m not there yet.

Perhaps this week’s installment will convince me otherwise. And if not, at least it’s something pretty to look at.

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 6

12 Jun

What you gonna do with all that junk?

I had my misgivings about this week’s Apprentice, but it turned into a classic. Susan misunderstanding the task, Melody getting all uppity, Tom and Jim’s (useless) double act and a near-tie in the boardroom…. Excellent. Just a short post this week as I am dissertating for my MA but I will be back!

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episode 5

2 Jun

Image courtesy of Jasminejennyjen via Flickr

Oooh look at that light there. Up there. The light. Ahhhhhh. See the light? They’re light? THERE LIGHT?Yup, it made no sense: CatSIZE: See Their Light. Right you are then.

I knew I was in for a cracking episode when I accidentally stumbled across a headline mentioning the SURPRISE DOUBLE FIRING this morning (I missed the episode last night as I was busy indulging in my newest crush Bradley Cooper at the cinema. And if you don’t see the attraction, watch this. Seriously. Gird your loins and watch it). But I wasn’t to know quite how entertaining it would be. From the trained actor imitating a cat with a Margot complex to top totty Tom baring his chest in the name of advertising, it was full of classic moments.

Even if I hadn’t spoiled things for myself, it was pretty clear that Vincent was on the way out when he flagrantly ignored the vet’s advice and stormed though with the Everydog idea. There was a *bit* of  competition though. The flimsy teamwork on Glenn’s team seemed destined for a boardroom showdown – there but for the grace of ad execs, I say.

Both Ellie and Vincent deserved the chop: she, for the lack of chutzpah and, well, anything; he, for being a lily-livered PM. It seems Jim’s card is marked – too much of a smartarse for Lord Sugar. Tom and Melody are still two of my tips for the top at this point. Everyone else is showing their weaknesses – or nothing much at all.

Who do you reckon has made an impression? And who should get the finger next?

UPDATE: I just remembered the genius of the Boleg Bros, who upload Lego-type animations of The Apprentice. Check them out here.

Do you watch Twelly?

26 May

Yeah, so Twelly isn’t going to happen, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth talking about.

Sarah Smith and Disney Roller Girl have recently written about tweeting while watching telly, specifically the Royal Wedding. Although I was absent from my laptop on the 29th (too busy preparing Pimms and patriotic Red Velvet cupcakes for a party), I do tweet along for a number of shows.

The habit began in earnest last year with The X-Factor. Suddenly it was all my friends and I could talk about on and offline. We weren’t the only ones. Caitlin Moran, Grace Dent and many many more would tweet about every little detail, whether it be Katie Waissel’s crazy eyes, Rebecca Ferguson’s absence of a personality, Cher Lloyd’s street-cred or Wagner’s…well, anything to do with Wagner.

Since then, I’ve tweeted (twat?) along to a load of programmes. I ‘gleet’ along to Glee on a regular basis and the first episode of Made In Chelsea was only made bearable by joining the conversation online.

However, there has – so far – been one massive exception. I don’t tweet along to The Apprentice. Why? Because I can’t concentrate properly on either thing when I’m watching both. Afraid to miss any witty retorts, I stay glued to Tweetdeck. And then someone mentions something that happened on screen which I didn’t see because I was scrolling through the hashtags and it’s suddenly not worth it.

What about you? Is two-screening really the new thing?


I’m @HellyStuart on Twitter and you can find some of my fellow telly-tweeters here.

The Apprentice – Series 7, Episodes Three and Four

26 May


A joint recap this week – I could claim I was too busy last week, but we all know that would be an exaggeration so let’s just get on with it, eh?

Last week’s sourcing task is always a goodie and this year was no exception. Cloches, physalises (physali?) and rich tea were all on the shopping list for teams Logic and Venture and provided some of the funniest moments of the series yet. That being said, Gavin’s Top Hat Cleaner’s clanger – and Karren’s reaction to it – will surely go down in Apprentice history as what not to do.

Despite the moments of doltish hilarity and memorable mistakes, it was a slightly flat episode. Partly because it came after the double-whammy the week before and partly because it was obvious who was heading for a finger-pointing from the get-go.

Last night’s episode was a little better. It wasn’t quite so obvious which team would lose, and even less so who would be fired. I would have bet on Tom being given the push, although I was glad he wasn’t – I’m fostering quite the crush on the gorgeous geek (it might be because I know he’d make sure I keep my finances in check; I have a crippling – sometimes quite literally- shoe addiction).

ANYWAY, moving on. I was surprised the hair ‘treatments’ didn’t earn more money. Anything that doesn’t involve stripping off in front of a stranger on what is meant to be a relaxing shopping trip would float my boat, although that being said, anything that doesn’t involve heated plastic shells being rubbed on me would float my boat if given those options.

There are still some quiet Quentins and silent Susans (thanks for inspiring me Lord Sugar) floating about, but we are getting to know some people a bit better. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Edna ‘The Gloves’ Agbarha and, after the boardroom last night, Ellie  seems like she’s a force to be reckoned with. Jim continues to stealthily sway me as well, but I have a feeling he is too solid and dependable – there’s a nasty person inside who’ll surely break out before long.

What did you think of this (and last) week’s Apprentice? Do you have any favourites yet?