Channel Hopping

My viewing this past week has been somewhat impaired by a slow but inexorable attack ofgreen. It started out as an occasional hazard: Terry in Brookstdc would flush a nasty spinach colour when enraged (which he‘s been a lot lately) and Manchester United supporters seemed to have been subtly infiltrated by a Hibernian horde.

‘lmagine the consternation were Ken to enterthe Rovers, head lorthe bar and say: ‘Give

us a hall of bitterJack, you

c-word, and the rest of you mi-words can i-word oil. That Mike Baldwin, what a cs-word.’

Adjusting the colour switch made no difference and gradually the green spread like a Percy Thrower fantasy until it became a permanent fixture. Serious drama takes on a'surreal, unsettling quality when all the characters resemble Dr Who—style Martians. and attempting to follow a snooker frame when the screen won‘t admit a glimmer of red becomes a nightmare. So any kindly reader with an intimate knowledge of the workings of the cathode ray tube please write in with remedies, so I can get back to normal. Alma Sedgwick‘s pea-green complexion just isn‘t sexy anymore.

BBCl thoughtfully introduced the second episode of Jute City with a resume of the story so far, delivered by an avuncular Englishman who sounds like he usually reads the stories on Play School. ‘Sammy‘s corpse has been pulled out of the river,’ he reminded us enthusiastically. Actually, given the myriad intricacies of the plot perhaps his role could be developed, and he could reappear every twenty minutes or so to explain what is going on. ‘This is Mr Anderson. He is a very bad man. He has sent his hoods to

Lkill John Sessions, and look, now he

is beating up his wife.” Clive Russell gets stuck into the role of Anderson with commendable relish, drawing on a long and inglorious televisual history of the Scottish hardman. ‘You whore,’ he shrieked at his unfaithful Thai bride. ‘I could’ve bought a decent set of clubs with what I paid for you.’ Speaking as a man who only owns one rather worse-for-wear left-handed putter, I could sympathise.

Jute City is far from being a load of balls, but you do get the impression that writer David Kane is trying to juggle too many elements at once. As the action switches rapidly from Dundee to Ullapool, from casino to lochside, it‘s difficult to get a fix on what‘s actually going on. It also suffers a little from overwriting. No line is spoken that isn’t loaded with menace or sardonic humour, and usually it‘s both. Take John Sessions for instance. If I was playing chess with a complete stranger (played by rock singer Fish) and the lunk tried to garotte me I‘d probably say ‘Shit‘ or ‘()uch‘ or ‘Gerroff‘ or something desperately un-Wildean like that. Not Mr Sessions though. With his dying breath he gasps ‘I never realised you took the game so seriously‘. Quite amusing, but you can‘t get away with sacrificing credibility for comedy too often.

Our nice man also warned us that Jute (7in contained strong language, although I was disappointed to note that none of the recently-published hardcore TV offence words featured. Perhaps this is something Granada should consider to revive the publicly-reviled reputation of Ken ‘Boring‘ Barlow in Coronation Street. Imagine the consternation were Ken to enter the Rovers, head for the bar and say: ‘Give us a halfof bitter Jack. you c-word, and the rest ofyou mf-words can f-word off. That Mike Baldwin, what a cs-word.’ It just might work, although possibly reviving Ken’s 60s fling with Joanna Lumley would be a better move.

Talking of dirty words, The Word (Channel 4) is back. How did we manage without its unique blend of amateurism, embarrassment and sheer stupidity? What do you mean you watched Challenge Anne/ca?

‘You whore,’ he shrieked at his unfaithful Thai bride, ‘I could’ve bought a decent set of clubs with what I paid loryou.’ Speaking as a man who only owns one rather worse-lor- wear left-handed putter, I could sympathise.

Terry and Mands are joined this time around by an American rejoicing in the name Katie Fuckwit (at least that’s what it sounds like) who puts heart, soul and her last shreds of self-esteem into every trivial little mission. After long months of painstaking search, they finally found her: someone who could make Amanda De Cadenet look reasonable. Even in glorious green. (Tom Lappin)


The List guide to what's new on the rental shelves and in the shops this fortnight.


I Nightbreed (18) (Warner)

I Hyper Sapien (U) (Warner)

I Sibling Rivalry ( 15) (First Independent)

I Dances With Wolves ( 15) Laden with Oscars. Kevin Costner‘s directorial debut is a visual treat, ifa narrative bore. Worthy in its treatment of Injuns (sorry, Native Americans) much ofthe dialogue is subtitled Lacotah. as

~ Costner‘s lone cavalry

soldier tries to strike up an understanding with the locals. They have considerately captured a white woman to provide the love interest. Predictably all the rest of the whiteys are baddies bent on genocide. and a painful ending is inevitable. Thankfully no Bryan Adams songs this time. (Guild)

I Guilty Dy Suspicion (15) (Warner)

I The Forgotten One (18) (Warner)

I Silence 01 The Lambs (18) Out in the rental shops, despite the fact that it’s still doing hefty business at the box office. The adaptation of Thomas Harris‘s bestseller didn’t quite match the hype. skating over the novel‘s complexities and tagging on a crudely humorous final scene, but it is still the film of 1991. with memorable performances from Jodie Foster as rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins as Dr Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lecter. Don‘t watch alone. (20:20 Vision)

I Graveyard Shitt(18) (20:20 Vision)

I American Friends(PG) Michael Palin’s gentle romantic comedy tells the tale of how his donnish great-grandfather fought off the rival attentions of swarthy, scheming Alfred Molina to win the heart of fair American maid. And er, that‘s it. Woefully slight. ifoccasionally engaging. (MCEG Virgin)

I Victim 01 Love (15) (Capital)

ITrust(15) A comedy from reliable director Hal Hartley. satirising suburban America. Adrienne Shelley plays a rebellious brat, pregnant by her footballer boyfriend and in constant conflict with her family. Funny. pointed and unpredictable. (Palace)

minim blue

I Paris Trout ( 18) Deep South-style passion and violence of a controversial nature. Dennis Hopper plays the psychotic bigot of the title. who kills a young black girl in the beliefthat he will never be convicted for the crime. A harsh and bitter thriller with plenty ofsexual undertones.(Palace)

Bestoisen through

I Pinocchio’s Christmas (U) (Warner)

I The Last Detail (18) (Castle £5.99)

I Thank God It’s Friday (15) (Castle £5.99)

I Home Alone (PG) A Christmas stocking-filler perhaps. although no sensible parent would want their offspring to adopt Macaulcy Culkin as a role model. This is one of the all-time smashes at the box-office. A sequel is on its way. (Fox£10.99) I The Verdict (PG) (Fox £10.99)

I Brubaiter( 15) (Fox £10.99)

ITallt Radio ( 18) (Fox £10.99)

I Cyrano De Bergerac (U) Gerald Depardieu isthe large~proboscissed one. available in a nicely-packaged form for discerning cinephiles. (Artificial Eye £15.99)

I California Suite(15) (Castle £5.99)

I The Troggs (Castle

1 £10.99)


I Dolly Dearest ( 15) (First Independent)

I Don Giovanni (PG) (Artificial Eye £15.99)

I Wild At Heart (18) David Lynch‘s ludicrous road movie has the usual sex and violence staples and irritating pretensions. but is almost saved by an endearingly loopy performance from Nicolas Cage. Almost. (Palace £10.99)

I England's Greatest Victories DverScotiand 'Nice timing. although I believe these are ofthe round ball variety. In which case. how come this isn‘t a five-cassette boxed set? (RCA/Columbia £10.99)

I Comedy Classics DlThe 608 (RCA/Columbia £10.99)

I Comedy Classics Di The 708 (RCA/Columbia £10.99)

I Comedy Classics ol The 808 (RCA/Columbia £10.99)

I Morecambe And Wise Volume 4 (RCA/Columbia £10.99)

I Morecambe And Wise Volume 5 (RCA/Columbia £10.99)

I Treasure Island (PG) (Warner)

I Gremlins 2 (15) (Warner)

I National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (PG) (Warner)

I Nuns On The Run ( 15) Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane star in the cross-dressing buddy comedy, short on laughs, high on old slapstick routines (Fox£10.99)

I Contessions From a Holiday Camp (18) Robin Askwith stars in a gormless 705 attempt at Carry On humour with ruder bits. A sad reminder of how repressed this nation was and is. (Castle £5.99)

I Confessions 01 A Driving Instructor (18) (Castle £5.99)

I Richard Pryor. Here And NDW(18) (Castle £5.99) I The Man From Laramie (U) (Castle £5.99)

I The Eyes 01 Laura Mars (15) (Castle £5.99)

I The Black Sabbath Story The everyday tale of four amateur satanists from Birmingham who wrote a song called Paranoid. and played it constantly for the next 25 years. (Castle £10.99)

72 The List 8 21 November 1991