In the last week, I have spent a lot of time binge-watching TV shows.
A woman at work has leant me the first series (not season) of Game of Thrones, as she couldn’t believe I’d never seen it. Game of Thrones is only aired on Sky Atlantic here in the UK, and so it lands firmly in the “never knowingly give money to Murdoch” category for me.
But being loaned a free copy means I haven’t given the wrinkly Aussie a pennyny of my money, so what the hell.
But, the problem with everyone raving about something as much as they have about Game of Thrones, in my experience, is that when you’re late to the party and finally get round to watching it you’re generally underwhelmed by what you see.
So, I’ve watched the first two episodes, and…it’s okay. I have a problem remembering all the names, and find myself identifying all the main characters as “Sean Bean”, or “That bloke from the Tesco adverts”, or “That bloke from that ITV thing Anna Friel was in” (which I watched because Anna Friel was in it).
When the box set was handed to me, knowing the reputation the show has, I commented that it was very kind of her to help me increase the amount of tits I get to see. My disciplinary hearing is on Tuesday.
The other thing I’ve been gorging on is the second series (not season) of “Narcos” on Netflix. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it tells the story of the rise and fall of Pablo Escabar, the Columbian drug baron. If you don’t like sub-titles, then steer clear, but it’s definitely worth a watch. Wagner Moura, who plays Escobar, is astonishing; he plays it brilliantly and you get the feeling that this is an utterly cold-hearted terrorist, his eyes wide but with no emotion behind them, as he orders each atrocity.
There will be no spoilers here, but there’s a quite brilliant moment when someone meets a rather sticky end – most of them do in Narcos – and as he does, someone in the room turns the radio up and it’s playing this:
That came out in the UK in 1988, by which time (Peterborough’s finest) Andy Bell (no, not that one) and Depeche Mode/The Assembly/Yazoo stalwart Vince Clarke were well established on the singles scene. By singles, I mean records, of course.
The song got a somewhat unexpected boost in 2001 when American nerd-surf-power-pop-purveyors Wheatus, six months after beguiling us all with their tale of being a Teenage Dirtbag, and just as we thought we’d never hear from them again, released a cover of the song which was a smash, peaking at No 3 in the UK, one place higher than Erasure had managed with the original version.
Whenever I hear that version, I’m immediately transported to a Saturday night in Sam’s Bar in Cardiff, with me and my partner in crime Colin the only two people dancing (by which I mean staggering) round the dancefloor, singing our heads off and wondering why no women were coming anywhere near us.
The benefit of hindsight is a wonderful thing….