So, whilst I was off work this week, I found myself watching/snoozing through an awful lot of TV. Here’s a short list:
- Storyville: Death on The Staircase on the BBC iPlayer. A courtroom documentary along the lines of Netflix’ Making of a Murderer that, at the risk of a spoiler, had me reaching for Google the moment the eighth and final part finished.
- Homes Under The Hammer. I cannot top Dave Gorman’s summation of this:
3. Atypical on Netflix. The story of an American teenager on the autism spectrum who decides it’s time he gets himself a girlfriend. Take home message: Jennifer Jason Leigh has still got it going on.
4. Gameshows Impossible and Tenable. Take home message: a lot of people are idiots.
5. Flog It! I mention this only because I am 99.9% sure that in one episode, filmed in Swansea’s Margam Park, Gruff Rhys from the ever wondrous Super Furry Animals wanders into the crowd watching an evaluation of a porcelain pig. I’ll be revisiting it on the iPlayer later and trying to upload it to Twitter at some point to see if anyone else agrees.
5. Love & Mercy on Netflix. This is a film which attempts to chart the recording of The Beach Boys’ seminal Pet Sounds album, Brian Wilson’s subsequent nervous breakdown (all shown in flashback), which is juxtaposed with the 1980s, when Wilson is under the guardianship of Dr Eugene Landy.
Generally, it works. Paul Dano, who plays the 60s Brian is phenomenal, as is Paul Giamatti as Landy.
But there’s a problem, and it pains me to say it. For the problem is John Cusack.
Now, I love Cusack, and I would say that 99.8% of the time, he can do no wrong (the 00.2% is deducted for his pronunciation of The Beta Band in “High Fidelity“). However, in Love & Mercy he plays the 80s Brian Wilson, and great as he is, I couldn’t get past the fact that this was Cusack, playing Brian Wilson, who he looks absolutely sod-all like.
Maybe you can suspend disbelief better than I can. If so, good on you. Fill your boots.
What I was totally on board with, however, was the Beach Boys songs which got an airing, not least this, probably my favourite song of theirs, and since it’s a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, with what appears to rather nice weather ahead of us, I think we can blow the dust off one more time:
I wish I could post (again) Adam Buxton’s shredding of The Beach Boys’ performance of “Barbara Ann” on Later…. here, but alas it has been taken down from all platforms. If you ever stumble across it, brace yourself: I went to see Adam earlier this year and he showed it in its entirety; I laughed so hard at it that I nearly slid out of my chair (which is no mean feat for a fat old git like me).