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Tube Talk: Diary Of An Easter TV Addict

Tube Talk With John T. Forde

Diary Of An Easter TV Addict

For some, the Easter break is a chance to celebrate the history of your people being liberated from slavery; for others, it’s a chance to have a party about someone being nailed to a tree. But for most of us, it’s a chance to not go to work and sit on our arses watching really crappy television while overdosing on Easter eggs stolen from smaller family members.

In the good-old bad-old days, Easter TV consisted of wall-to-wall documentaries about the Royal Family and re-runs of kitschy Hollywood biblical classics like The Ten Commandments. This year, the TV line-up consisted of… wall-to-wall documentaries about the Royal Family and re-runs of kitschy Hollywood classics like The Sound of Music.

Somehow, the mixture of nuns, Nazis, lederhosen and curtain-wearing blond children breaking into song-and-dance numbers in the Austrian countryside was the perfect, politically inoffensive fare for an increasingly meaningless religious holiday. No sex, no swearing and (crucially) no crucifixions – although I was a little concerned by the strange sexual undertones of Christopher Plummer waving his bullwhip at the Baroness and Uncle Max’s overfondness for the younger Von Trapp children.

Still, just when you thought things were getting too vanilla, the TV programmers came through with some spectacularly tacky counterpoints to Julie Andrews. An all-weekend “100 Years of Hookers” special featured Audrey Hepburn as an improbably optimistic call girl in Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Julia Roberts as an improbably optimistic streetwalker in Pretty Woman: The Director’s Cut. (Hang on – Pretty Woman: The Director’s Cut? What’s next? The never-before-released arthouse cut of other great 80s classics like Revenge of the Nerds?)

Meanwhile, Jeff Goldblum swung on trapezes and crawled up walls in The Fly, and Antonio Banderas crawled up Catherine Zeta-Jones in The Mask of Zorro. At the other end of the evolutionary scale, Dawn French put on a bunny suit and bounced around a tedious Vicar of Dibley Easter episode, and Kylie Minogue bounced around wiggling her overrated behind at a tedious Brit Awards, ripping off New Order’s Blue Monday in the process.

Only Sky came through with an Easter Sunday screening of Jesus Christ Superstar. As fun as the blue-wigged go-go dancers and polyester flares were, it was a little hard to accept the Son of God sang in rhyming couplets and wore Armani terry towelling.

Desperate for some religious guidance after an all-afternoon chocolate egg and defrosted hot cross bun binge, I tuned into The Son of God, a solemn three-part BBC documentary that promised to reveal what Jesus really looked like. Intriguingly, the Big J.C. turned out to be a dark-skinned curly-haired Jew, not the blond, blue-eyed Californian surfer guy of countless religious paintings from my Catholic childhood. (Do you think someone should tell the Pope and George Bush?)

Forty-eight hours of bad TV later, with rampantly high blood sugar levels and chocolate stains on my face, I passed out in front of part one of Steven Spielberg’s 289-part series on alien abduction. If Easter is this boring, bring on the Apocalypse.


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