Saturday Night Telly

(Or Jaz v Jazz)

One of the things I do a lot more of as a parent than I ever did before is watch Saturday night television. Saturday used to be my night out but now it is, almost unchangingly, spent indoors, kids upstairs, telly on downstairs. This was not a change I was looking forward to for when I was a lad Saturday night television was unremittingly dreadful. Here’s what you got:

• White men boot polished up to look like black men singing Al Jolson un-ironically
• Relatives who always looked a little too much like lovers dressing in Swiss national costume and yodelling in order that they could win a teddy bear off a conveyor belt
• Contestants trying to work out the world most difficult riddles ever in order to win a car rather than a dustbin (that one even came with impossible hand signals).
• Contestants trying to work out the most obvious clues ever while being told ‘say what you see’
• Jim Davidson – after Hitler perhaps the most loathsome man to have regularly appeared in the media – doing a snooker / “comedy” crossover show
• Noel Edmuds killing people

And my Dad sat through every minute of every episode, can of Websters Yorkshire Bitter in hand, the fucking rotter*
Now I’m the Dad and I’m stuck in on a Saturday and it still drives me up the wall. There is such a lack of originality, shows that barely even bother to conceal the fact they’re ripping off the last big success. Dance shows. Dancing shows. Dancing on Ice shows. Shows talking about dancing and dancing on ice. And then on ITV there’s the smug wankathon that is Simon Cowell taking over the world. Smugger than Billy ‘Billionairre’ McSmug at a Smug convention in L.A. Not my cup of tea.

This weekend however I did get to choose for myself and that mean the front room was No Cowell Zone. The wife was out with her NCT chums and the telly was MINE! Bruce Springsteen used to sing about 57 Channels and Nothing On. Well this was more like 250 channels and nothing on. The football didn’t start for an hour or more and the porn doesn’t get good till after 10pm BBC4 schedule wasn’t to my taste.

Eventually I found a man making a chorizo (which I am addicted to) and egg pie on a cookery channel and then by chance stumbled across a Jazz legends documentary on PBS. Bird. Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman. Great soundtrack, interesting documentary. Then the wife came back early and we put on Million Pound Drop instead for she hates pretentious documentaries like I hate Crystal Palace.

And so to my actual point *takes actual point and embraces it like an old friend much to the relief of my reader*
Her being out meant we had Sky Plused The Voice. The Voice started life as A Program I Was Never Going To Watch mainly because of it’s elements of ripping off the X Factor which is a program I Will Never Watch Again. However she has been watching it with Boy and I have started to slowly pay attention. I still don’t find the idea of a talent show on a Saturday night that original but at least judging the contestants purely on voice gives it a slightly more interesting dimension. I also like the fact that there’s no ‘laughing at chavvy mental patients’ element that so cloud the Cowell shows.

So we watched The Voice off the Sky box and I paid attention. Boy made it more entertaining by facing away from the telly and using Gymbo The Clown as a buzzer to turn himself round and it was all mildly entertaining till the end. At that point there was one place left and 2 singers fighting for it. Now, cynical me thinks this could have been staged, certainly it was cleverly edited but it turned out that penultimate bloke had a pretty OK voice but was not chosen.

The last bloke was called Jaz. Jaz had a voice like honey and treacle and heaven and soul and long days out at the seaside and nights in sweaty clubs and Gospel Choirs and sunshine and medium rare steak. He was pretty fucking good in other words. And Jessie J asked him to sing again just for the hell of it. So he did. A-Cappella. Then the band joined in, taking their time from him, improvising and it was a magical musical moment, as pure jazz as Miles and Ornette the night before.

Damn it. I think I’m a convert.

*he’s not really a rotter. Merely doing what I am now before the age of digital tellys and taste.


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  1. #1 by Expat Mammy on April 16, 2012 - 7:03 pm

    Have heard lots about this, we have BBC so may give it a go

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