TV Review: London Calling provides inspiration, while Psychic Readings Live offers hilarity
This week we watched the fantastic opening episode of RTE's London Calling series on Ireland's hopeful Olympians, while we also became entranced by Psychic Readings Live.
If you thought that TV3 had scraped the barrel with Tallafornia or flogged a dead, botoxed horse with Dublin Housewives, you clearly could not have foreseen their latest TV travesty, Psychic Readings Live (TV3, Mon-Fri Midnight).
Plenty, however, had already foreseen this incredibly awful yet somehow compelling monstrosity, namely the show’s €2.44 per minute psychics Spirit, Mistique, Starella, Ldyfi, Thunder and eh... Wayne.
As we live in a world in which phone-shaking scantily clad Babestation Oompa Loompa lookalikes pounce upon drunken men returning from the chipper at 3am, there’s clearly also a market for lonely, lonely women after midnight.
As it turns out, there’s enough scope for Boards.ie users to troll the aforementioned psychics as much as possible, with a message board thread devoted to the show having received over 2,700 replies in six days as of this writing. No wonder we’re getting people ringing up and quoting the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme tune on-air.
In other words, Psychic Readings Live has already become an Irish pop culture phenomenon in record time, yet does a show that shamelessly preys on ladies who live with at least six cats deserve such success?
I stayed up late on Thursday night to find out, fully expecting to be appalled and hopefully amused by the show’s collection of over-confident oddballs. Then something happened – Flathan happened.
Perhaps the most flamboyant clairvoyant that ever lived, Flathan bundled his way into Irish TV viewers' lives and instantly became the greatest thing on the box since the Corminator got drunk on a bottle of water that used to be Grey Goose vodka.
Making his first but hopefully not last appearance, Flathan looked like a Little Britain character that would’ve been rejected for blatant homophobia, with a glitter hoody and look that could only be described as a really, really camp Germanic version of ex-Liverpool defender Steve Nicol.
“I am a Eunuch psychic”, announced Flathan, though he may have been saying “unique” at the time, before promising to open a new chapter from the “Book of your Life" - a message that was scrawled above the TV screen during his entire appearance, above the tiny text revealing the exorbitant phone charges.
So yes, Psychic Readings Live is just as reprehensible, exploitative and disgusting as you can imagine but will we be recording it every Friday night for when trollied viewers return home to make prank calls? We absolutely foresee that in our future.
Over on RTE, however, our TV licence fee was actually well served for a change in the first of a six-part series devoted to Ireland’s hopeful Olympians in London Calling (RTE Two, Tuesday 10:35pm).
Essentially a reality TV-like look at something other than a family of giant-arsed Armenians, the series' first episode highlight was married couple Robert and Marian Heffernan. Robert is a 20km and 50km race walker and his wife is a 400m sprinter, so to see such an extraordinary couple made for gripping television that had us counting down the days until next Tuesday's follow-up.
Finally, a special mention must also go to Robert for his incredulous and side-splitting reaction when wide Marian appeared to be on her way to setting a new personal best at an indoor event - turning to his tiny children and shouting: "F**king hell?!"