Thursday, 30 December 2010

Getting On

Another year and we're all getting on, as it were.

I don't do new year resolutions because I never stick to them, but instead I vow to continue doing what I enjoyed in the year just gone, and for me that's writing.

I really enjoyed this year - everything seemed to pan out just nicely - and this is fortunate because 2009 was full of tragedy for my family. Excuse my trepidation as a new year begins then. I don't always know what it is we're supposed to be celebrating. A new year can go as badly as it can go well, but hopefully 2011 will be fine.

Anyway, as the dying days of 2010 draw to a sluggish end, I can't resist an excuse to write a quick (and somewhat hungover) summary of the highs of the tv year and so, here we go:

Getting On

I'll start with the best. I've been a bit disappointed that this hasn't been watched by more people. Tucked away on BBC4 this sitcom has been treated with trepidation. Not surprisingly, as it's daring tv but even so I hope it'll be snapped up by BBC2 next year. It's bleak, contains Jo Brand (which strangely puts people off but she's brilliant in it) and Vicki Pepperdine. Pepperdine is genius as the priggish consultant.

There are plentiful parodies of glitzier American shows like Mad Men and House, but it's done in such a British, understated way I just want to punch the air with pride. Stars Peter Capaldi but really it's the women - including The Thick of It's Terry, that makes this show the best comedy of the year - and how often do you hear that?

The Trip

A close second (a very close second) is Winterbottom's The Trip. I'm sure you've all seen it so I won't blather at length, but it was great to see Coogan back on TV again. I wonder if him and Brydon are still friends after that? The only off episode is the one where they entertain a couple of women. Possibly to show America they can include women too? Anyway, it didn't really work.

Grandma's House

Readers of this blog and my Twitter maunderings will know what a huge Amstell fan I am. A Buddhist beaver, as a recent appearance on Breakfast TV reveals, but bloody hell, he's as bright as a button. I always loved him on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and he was the only reason I watched that. If most comedians had an inch of his talent, tv would be a much better place.

The Apprentice

I bloody love The Apprentice and look forward to it all year. Sugar's not doing another hire an apprentice series, instead he's going to give the winner of the next show £250,000 to start their own business. Will this make for less desperate, weird people entering the show? I hope not, but we shall see. In any case, the Junior Apprentice was just as watchable, if not more so.

And a Happy New Year to you all. What can we look forward to next year on the box?