Friday, March 23, 2007

"Sir! Theres Been A Murder At Firhill..............."


"...........Ach, theres murder at Firhill every second saturday" Chief Inspector Jim Taggart.


So there I am, making dinner and trying to bend my neck round the fridge to catch the scintillating action going down in................Taggart. Ok, I felt I ought to make the effort I suppose, see if it would surprise me, see if there were any interesting plot twists etc.

Nah, fuck that, this is an STV production we're talking about. Taggart used to be a bit of a "must see" show back in the day you know. Mark McManus was the eponymous detective who took dourness and monosyllabic truculence to new levels (the man didn't act, he just 'was'). The story lines were grisly and hard boiled and were usually spread over two or three parts to allow character development, red herrings, plot twists etc....

The new incarnation is, quite frankly, a load of old shite! The acting was never hot, sure, but it's godawful now. Blyth Duff in particular has all the emotional range of a lobotomised supply teacher, though Alex Norton does a good job of stopping the whole thing from imploding under the weight of it's own awfulness. The plot lines, such as they are, seem to be so flimsy and cliche ridden that they always fail to hold the attention and more often than not invoke gasps of disbelief. The 'Silence Of The Lambs' scene near the end of the particular episode I was watching had to be seen to be believed. Norton and Duff go to interview some loon in prison. Enter a shaven headed psychokillerbloke who starts with the riddles and Lecter-isms as soon as he opens his mouth. He even throws in a bit of Ted Bundy("I get marriage proposals" etc) for good measure. Had he ordered a nice Chianti and a side order of fava beans before making odd sucking noises with his teeth at the female officer, I wouldn't have been the slightest bit surprised.
If Taggart is to get even close to it's glory days anytime soon, it'll need to go back to the 2-3 episode routine and re-think the cast list. An hour is fine for a 'Police Procedural' like CSI or a semi-soap opera format like The Bill or Hill Street Blues. A 'whodunit', unless written by a genius needs to give itself a bit of room to Manoeuvre. Needless to say, I had the culprit figured with about half an hour to go. Given that there were only about half a dozen characters in all, I'm actually disappointed I didn't get it sooner. As I said, I was making the tea at the time.........

Anyway, it's Friday, it's twenty to eleven and I'm getting drunk, which means it's YouTube time..................This weeks offering features The Dead Kennedy's and singer Jello Biafra's deeply bizarre interpretative mimes. What's with the green hands Jello?




..........Anyway, fuck that, just enjoy the muzak.

3 comments:

alan said...

nobody move

iLL Man said...

".....Thers been a Murdurr!"

I think it's time they did a Scottish CSI. It would kick arse on a monumental scale........

margin walker said...

They should have let it die with the late, great Mark McManus.

I saw a few old episodes recently and they should be repeated on ITV1 primetime. Truly superb stuff.