TV Eye: Cat lady lacking crazy

By Michele Hewitson

2 comments
Joanna Lumley meets a cheetah in the next episode of her show about cats. Photo / Supplied
Joanna Lumley meets a cheetah in the next episode of her show about cats. Photo / Supplied

When you like cats, people assume you like all cats. I like (some) cats, but not all. Some are fiends. I once lived in a house with a cat whose real name nobody can now remember; it became known as The Packrat. This cat got on benches, in the rubbish, could and did open the fridge to forage, and couldn't clean its bottom. Nobody could have liked that cat, you would think. The woman who claimed to own it did.

Which is by way of saying I can talk about Cats I Have Known for quite some time. So I should have liked the first episode of Joanna Lumley Catwoman. I like Joanna Lumley. Or I thought I did. After having watched her recent celeb travelogue, Joanna Lumley's Nile I realise that I like Joanna Lumley sometimes, and that it's probably not Joanna Lumley that I really like, but that dotty slutty dipso Patsy she played in Ab Fab. This, I know, is most unfair, but what can you do?

In Joanna Lumley's Nile (well, it's not really her Nile now, is it?) she went up the Nile in search of the source (a tiny trickle).

This involved much popping in on other cultures while wearing vaguely suitably ethnic outfits or vaguely ye olde English great explorer outfits while always looking coolly, beautifully, like Joanna Lumley.

This also involved speaking in whispery, reverential, ways and repeating the local word of greeting, many times, in whispery reverential ways to show that you may be a famous English lady from the telly, but you are culturally sensitive.

This was all a bit irritating, and there were few laughs. There was what promised to be a Patsy moment when she went on the local grog, but, nope, just more whispery reverence. She had fragrant smoke blown up her nether regions (some rite for married ladies) which was so mad it ought to have been a laugh. But, no. It was lovely and wonderful and so on.

But to cats and Catwoman, in which she is in search of why people either love or hate cats. This involves finding mad cat people across the world (does the woman ever stay home?) and asking them about cats. There was a cat expert. He said that the cat "doesn't like being told what to do". I must be a cat expert because I could have told you that.

There was a cat tailor in Tokyo, of course, who ought to be locked up. The cat tailor makes mad outfits for cats including a bonnet made to resemble a mouse head. Lumley had said, earlier, "for years we've been truly cruel to cats". Cats were once planted, alive, in gardens to keep down the weeds. That may or may not be as cruel as making a cat wear a bonnet in the shape of a mouse head.

The cat woman went in search of a jaguar in the wild and didn't find one. You'd think this would be a good thing because if you find a jaguar in the wild it will likely be the one dropping from a tree on to your head, but, no, this was disappointing, and also boring. So she went to see a couple of jaguars at an education centre. What do you say when you see a jaguar? How about: "Look at that! Look at that great black creature. Look at that. Ooh, look!" There probably isn't much else to be said about a jaguar, which might be the problem. Never mind. Just make sure you say "Ooh, look" in a whispery, reverential way. Next time Joanna Lumley gets licked by a cheetah. How much you want to see this will depend on your tolerance for cat stories, and Joanna Lumley.

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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