SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY TETRIS: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE
8804, Mon 9 Feb, 9pm 0”
The infamous falling blocks are ingrained in our collective consciousness: Tetri's is one of the most successful computer/ video games of all time. The story of how Nintendo gained the rights is w0rthy of any espionage thriller; we get the KGB. media moguls. pressure from the Kremlin and crazed video game developers all at work. Computer scientist Alexey Pajitnov invented Tetris while the Cold War still raged in Russia and with no concept of copyrighting in the East then, the game was copied from user to user.
The West. as per usual, saw the potential for making huge amounts of money from a simple, yet addictive game and Japanese giants Atari and Nintendo became quickly involved. Kevin Maxwell (son of Bob) personally went to Russia to clinch the deal but he never expected a
challenge from young buck software developer
Henk Rogers. This
intriguing stOry is a complex conundrum
; wonhy of Tetr/‘s itself. (Henry Northmore)
COMEDY SKETCH DEMETRI MARTIN: 12.21 Channel 4, Tue 10 Feb,
Let the Channel 4 battle of the Perrier winners commence. And frankly.
even though this is a
representation of the
comedic powers of
; NYC's thick-topped
T Demetri Martin's 72.21
far outstrips Garth Marenghi's appalling excuse for a ‘show'. Darkp/ace indeed. Anyway. the man who taught himself to
- illustrate. play the guitar
and ride a shoogly bike solely to launch himself into the stand-up world
wields those talents here
as we get inside the
which propel a hairy. geeky. non-heroic New
Yorker through the most
difficult of days.
And on this particular day. he's getting on his bike. late for an important meeting while getting extremely broody
over the loss of a
ladyfriend. Charming, attractive and gently amusing (like the man himself), this introduction to a new batch of the Comedy Lab is just about an experiment worth staying up for. (Brian Donaldson)
Demetri’s geek and mild
SCI-Fl THRILLER JAKE 2.0
Sky One, Thu 12 Feb, 8pm .00
Jeepers creepers! We've been down this road so many times I‘d already begun fishing in my pocket for my house keys by the end of the opening credits. It's the hoary tale of Federal tech support geek Jake Foley. working for the clandestine National Security Agency. who comes over all superhuman after being caught in the path of an exploding test tube. Naturally the shadowy hierarchy at his place of business is keen to exploit Jake‘s new found strength. agility and supersonic hearing for its own ends.
Sounds like a cue for a merciless tidal wave of comic book cliches as Jake attempts to outwit and evade the NSA and a pair of sinister hoods (including identikit Oirish rake). Benny Hill would have been proud of the hi-tech speeded-up chase sequences and much of the acting is of the mannered Dawson's Creek variety. Although the cast don't even have the excuse of playing gauche teenagers. (Allan Radcliffe)
CELEB DOCUMENTARY ALEX BEST: MY LIFE WITH GEORGE
Channel 4, Thu 12 Feb, 9pm 00
This is depressing on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. The drunken, washed-up old sop that is a sad excuse for someone once known as George Best stumbling about in the background; his mother- in-law uttering empty platitudes; the long- suffering Alex telling her sorry tale that all started one fateful night when she met George at
Tramp night club. Actually. there isn't much of a story to follow apart from the sordid and boring details that accompany alcoholism: but the most depressing thing of all is that Channel 4 wanted to make this. Alex's 'video diary' has interviews with her agent. aka the Fox. and her ‘friends' in the Sunday tabloids. In one particularly nasty episode a hack revels in the memory of a lover of Best's (while he was with Alex) handing in an envelope of toenail clipping and bed sheets as evidence. They should all join Alex in that ITV jungle and never get out of there. (Ruth Hedges)
OM 1 5 STOREYS HIGH
THE CATHERINE TATE SHOW BBCZ, Mon 16 Feb, 10pm 000
Funny woman Catherine Tate has been kicking around for a while in the shadows of other mirth- monkeys. most notably in dark sitcom Wild West where she acted Dawn French off the screen. Now it's her time in the spotlight. She adopts the sketch show format with plenty of confidence and enthusiasm. and while there are quite a few laughs scattered about. there is a thinness to some of the material that lets the show down overall.
Tate is a very likeable presence on screen and
BBC3, Thu 12 Feb, 11pm O...
she certainly does a good job of getting inside her characters. Having said that. there's a distinctly old school feel to some of the sketches when you compare it with rivals in the format such as Little Brita/n. While The Catherine Tate Show might not have the bleak thrills of that gem. there is enough of an edge here to suggest a rosy future for Tate.
A dancing and pyrotechnics-free zone
We at The List set great store by, well, lists. But it’s easy to ignore such drawn-up compilations when they’re so darned irritating. Take Britain’s Best Sitcom for example. Aside from the monstrosity that is Vicar of Dibley bustling into the top ten, the fact that there was no place in the 100 for 15 Storeys High makes a mockery of justice. Allo Allo at 13? The Thin Blue Line in the 34 slot? Duty Free number 71? It would be hilarious were it not so
A second series of Sean Lock’s sitcom (quirky, offbeat, surreal: all those labels which mean ‘not Dinner/adies’) won’t have Jonny Ross hurriedly rewriting the record books, but it does make for a refreshing injection into a sterile world still infiltrated by the Doctors and Nurses and Mad About Alices of this TV comedy world. If you saw any of the first series, you’ll recognise the pairing of Vince (Lock) and Errol (Benedict Wong) as a contemporary odd couple. Not so much Love Thy Neighbour as ‘Tolerate My Tenant’, this coupling is Morecambe and Wise without the dancing (or bed-sharing), a pyrotechnics-free Rik’n’Ade or Steptoe and Son minus the generation gap.
The opener of series two merrily kicks off in the exact same vein of the first batch. Little really happens but it does so in a ‘quirky, offbeat, surreal’ way. That said, not too many half hours go from a scene of a big lady doing hearty step aerobics to a man who can’t say ‘no’ trapped in his room by a friend’s cacti. In a telly universe revolving around bad comedy, 15 Storeys High should give you a lift. (Brian Donaldson)
W.) l (fl) 2003. THE LIST 1 1 1