TV & Radio
TV Review: Veep is worth a watch but Geordie Shore is scraping the barrel
This week on TV there was a debut for sparkling scripted TV in Sky Atlantic's Veep and unscripted shenanigans as the Geordie Shore gang hit Cancun.
There was definitely going to be plenty of viewers tuning into this week’s debut of The Thick of It writer Armando Ianucci’s with a mixture of hope and hesitation. Could Ianucci transplant his wonderfully observed political satire to the US, even with a game star in the form of Seinfeld actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus?
Thankfully such fears were unwarranted, as Veep (Sky Atlantic, Monday 10pm) was a breezy and sharp watch that portrayed Dreyfus as thankfully not a Sarah Palin mimic in the vice-Presidential role but a gaffe-heavy politician at odds with her seemingly pointless role.
Throughout the episode her bumbling character of newly-elected “Veep” Selina Meyer was surrounded by a team of self-important lackeys who help organise and quickly modify every single aspect of her daily life, as she seeks to step out of the shadow of the US president amid office blunders, contrived meetings and a staff aide who hates his job so much that he has invented a fake pet dog to use as an excuse to leave the office.
The highlight of the opening episode was Meyer’s borrowed quip of “hoisted by my own retard”, which drew an appalled press response and caused the spin doctors to work overtime in crisis management. After being sent three episodes to view, we can inform you that it gets a lot more excruciating than that in the coming weeks.
If we have one complaint with Veep, however, is that despite its smart observations and amiable tone, we found that the first episode was perhaps not as rip-roaringly funny as we might have expected.
Sure, we raised a few smiles but if Veep wants to be in the running for comedy show of the year, it’ll need a couple of belly laughs along the way too.
Over on MTV, Geordie Shore is the TV equivalent of passing out in a fast food outlet at 3am with your face in a plate of curry chips. Sure, it may have seemed like a nice idea at the time but you emerge feeling dizzy and shameful afterwards.
In other words, it’s a pure guilty pleasure that provides three things that make irresistible viewing if there’s absolutely nothing else on TV at the time – sex, fights and booze-fuelled combinations of the two.
Despite its stars not having an ounce of the likability of the Jersey Shore’s cast members whose success inspired MTV UK, the channel is clearly onto a winner, with this week’s debut of Geordie Shore: Chaos in Cancun (MTV, Tuesday 10pm) the fourth series since the show debuted just 13 months ago. Now that’s exactly how to run a show into the ground – endless (genital?) warts and all repetition.
This time around the cast of pneumatic Oompa Loompas and pumped-up, penis-driven fist-pumpers set off for the "Spring Break" destination of Cancun, Mexico, their eyes wide at the prospect of “tashing off” and eventually finding “some Mexican muff”, as James charmingly put it.
At this stage, however, the show really needs to adapt or die, as the cast members - two of which are now in relationships and thus rendered completely pointless - clearly hate one another after too many boozy nights out in the past.
Instead, the drama from the new series appears to stem from whether Gaz and Charlotte will hook up once more or if Holly manages to date rape James again at some point. Sorry, but that's exactly what happened in the last series and I'm amazed nobody kicked up a fuss at the time.
My advice to MTV? Find a new cast, find a UK town with an actual shore (it’s not too much to ask) and then rinse and repeat. If all else fails, just call in Tallafornia’s Corminator to provide some TV gold.