Call it car-crash television - viewing so bad you can't look away. Last week it was the Grey's Anatomy musical episode. It appeared to be cashing in on the Glee phenomenon, only without the glee. It was hard to know what was worse - all that blood and trauma or the doctors taking turns to sing Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars (isn't that how you have a car crash?) while wielding scalpels. There was an actual car crash, too. Perhaps the writers were trying
to warn us.
The carnage continued on Tuesday (and again on Sunday) with the screening of the 60th annual Miss Universe Pageant on Vibe. The little girl in me still enjoys watching nature's most fortunate-looking specimens parade in their garish gowns, even if - with the exception of winner Miss Angola - they all looked very similar. But it was the commentary that was most riveting. "You know what?" said one of the hosts as Miss Ukraine strutted down the stairs.
"It may be a sarong but it's so right." This was not long after the same host suggested Miss Australia was practically in the running to become Miss Mensa. "She holds a special interest in holistic health. In fact, health is the first section she reads in the newspaper. First of all, the fact that she's even picking up a newspaper? Smart and beautiful."
It was with some relief then to find The Jonathan Ross Show back on air on TV One on Friday night. Ross (pictured) has at least a modicum of intelligence, although it wasn't so long ago his career crashed in spectacular fashion, after he was caught chuckling down the phone with his mate Russell Brand, saying stupid things about Andrew Sachs' granddaughter. He left the BBC, joined iTV and judging by his flash new set, all is forgiven, if not forgotten.
He opened the show by talking about the 74-year-old man who'd just swum the English channel, wondering if he came out the other end resembling Sir Alan Sugar's scrotum. "That's right," Ross giggled. "I've learned nothing". He later pretended to glug a bottle of whiskey and referred to Gordon Ramsay as a "punched bulldog". It's just a shame the line-up was a tad lacklustre for the first show of the season.
Ross' best guest star, Adele, reminded him, when she wasn't laughing like a hyena, that he was meant to be behaving himself. Thank goodness he had Adele, because Sarah Jessica Parker turned out to be a wreck. She limped on stage wearing a dress so tight she had to unzip it before she sat down. Then she rambled on about her new movie, sounding as uptight as her outfit. Ross always lets his guests plug their latest venture, but he made it pretty clear he had no intention of ever seeing SJP's film. He had to check with her what it was called before they talked about Sex and the City (snore). Likewise, F1 driver Lewis Hamilton wasn't the most exciting guest star to ever share Ross' couch. He wouldn't spill about crashing his car.
Hopefully the talent will improve because Ross has had some absolute gems. He has a knack for putting his guests at ease while simultaneously taking the piss (he called Hamilton out on his love life). Look up his interview with Ricky Gervais on YouTube - on the same excellent episode he had Sarah Silverman and the punched bulldog.
He needs more talent like that, although it's good to see this week he's got Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes), the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alan Carr.
Another crash is surely imminent.