PREVIEW Wonderful You
Scottish, starts Tue 9 Mar, 10pm. Those approaching the landmark age of 30 tend to take two different tacks. Ride it out like its any old number and just deal with it. Alternatively, you could carry on as if the whole world and its heaviest burdens are about to collapse on your weary shoulders. The latter is pretty much the reaction of Henry, the lead character in lTV's new seven-part drama/comedy series Wonderful You (which takes a midweek 10pm slot formerly held by some news programme or other).
As 1999 kicks off, Henry — single, working as a bicycle courier and surrounded by loving couples in wonderful jobs - is open to the realisation that this is the year when his twenties come to an end and he has to find meaning in his life. 'You only have to look at all those hideous magazine articles that tell you what you should have achieved by then,’ notes Richard Lumsden, who plays Henry and, along with Chris Niel, scripted the series. ’It ranges from the number of people you should have slept with, the sort of salary you should
Wonderful You: late expectations
be earning and whether you should be thinking about having your first or third child. We found all of those pressures fascinating to explore.’
Among those aiding in that exploration are Greg Wise (Sense & Sensibility and Emma Thompson's bloke) and Lucy Akhurst (The Vanishing Man and owner of a dog called Harvey). Wise plays Marshall, a slightly pompous but basically decent chap living in a way too beautiful flat with the equally sumptuous Clare, played by Akhurst. When Henry starts trying to get his life in order before its too late, he makes a move on Clare, whom he previously appreciated from afar at university. He clearly hasn't a hope. Or does he?
30$ angst? Relationship dilemmas? Beautiful people? It all sounds a little too close to Cold Feet for comfort.
’Our's is probably more drama-orientated than Cold Feet,‘ insists Akhurst, herself just a couple of years away from the big three-oh. 'I thought the pilot was superb, but I don't think the series quite lived up to it - everyone in it was superb and the writing was great but I just didn’t think it gelled. Being so closely involved in something, it‘s very hard to be objective and say "yes they‘re going to call us the new Cold Feet or the new thirtysomething" or whatever, but people always like to pigeonhole.’
Perhaps we should just concentrate on whether something is any good or not. Wonderful You will satisfy anyone on the search for drama laced with humour and heartbreak. And you don't have to be 30 to appreciate that. (Brian Donaldson)
Michael Moore: Dr Truth
100 THE LIST -1 18?.‘ar i999
Michael Moore: The Awful Truth
Channel 4, Wed 3 Mar, 10.30pm
h w w if '5! Michael Moore's new series rs scheduled directly against The X-Fr/es Both shows prtch the heroic lrttle guy against the forces of power, both exceed the wrldest paranord fantasies and clarrrr to offer the truth Tune rn for Mulder and Sc'ully, but set your vrdeo for The Awful Truth This show rs that rarest of creatures Important televrsron to be kept for posterrty
Say what you irke about Michael Moore, he's no Davrd Duchovny An unlrkely rebel rn crap cap and sloppy Jeans, With a stomach that's seen more than one doughnut, thrs not-so-quret American practrses a pragmatic satire Hrs enemres are corporations and polrtrc‘rans who act agarnst the public good, hrs weapon rs teleVrsron
lhrs lrr'st eprsode saw Moore 'lrve' on stage rn Chicago delrverrng polrtrcally pointed stand-up betwec‘n vrdeo footage of stunts Outraged that Ken Starr spent $50 mrllron dollars of taxpayers' money on provrng that mrddle-aged men have affarrs wrth younger women, Moore stages hrs own wrtch-hunt rn Washington. On leavrrg hrs house, Starr rs confronted by a flock of 17th century Puritans who accuse hrm of berng a pornographer and chase hrs car down the street Let's hope Arthur Mrller gets a snrff of the r'oyaltres
But the real meat of the eprsode came when Moore takes on rttt.‘dl(dl insurers who refuse to pay for a vrtal pancreas transplant. The confrontational scenes demonstrate Moore's commrtment and rrghteous anger m a way that Angus Deayton Orlrng hrs way through Havel Got News For You \Vlll never match (Peter Ross)
Celebrity sofa surfing. This issue: Ciara'n McMenamin.
Favourite show? Match Of The Day. 100% entertarnment and drama wrth a different cast every week. Plus there’s Des Lynam — what more can I say? What's your first TV memory? Adam Ant’s ’Prrnc‘e Charmrng’ vrdeo on Top Of The Pops.
When did you last cover your eyes at the telly? The other night during Births, Marriages And Deaths when the camera revealed the rottrng corpse of the old lady.
When did you last shout at the telly? Celtrc vs Rangers, begrnnrng of January Come on, we all know rt was a penalty. What do you think Mr Kancthelskrs?
Which TV personality makes you physically sick? Oprah Wrnfrey this answer must speak for rtself.
Who was the first person on telly you had a crush on? Caron Keatrng when she presented Blue Peter. Phwoar. What do you have on top of your television? Probably last quarter’s unpard phone brll.
Favourite/most hated advert? Favourrte: I love the short and sweet new Levr ad wrth the puppet rn the car. Hated: The Flash ads wrth the bloke from Brush Strokes or that faVOurrte filth, The Daz Doorstep Challenge. Greatest TV moment of all time Del Boy leanrng on the bar that drdn’t exrst.
Favourite cartoon character? Wylie Coyote evrl but crap.
If you could be on any show, past or present, what would it be? Grange Hi” In the Gripper perrod or Father Ted. Favourite TV theme tune Starsky And Hutch or The Prisoner.
Which South Parker are you? When I'm tired and hungover, I'm Cartman on a bad day.
I A Rap At The Door, BBCZ, Sun 7 Mar, 70. 70pm.
* a s i a. unmissable
a at )i’ it Very good
it t * Worth a shot
* * Below average
* You’ve been warned