First Dates gets the Masked Singer treatment in Netflix’s new high concept, but low brain cell, series Sexy Beasts.
If ever there was a show that’s a one-trick pony, it’s this.
While the silly concept will probably make you want to hit play – men and women don elaborate prosthetics to go out on dates – the execution is so dull and uninvolving and the participants so one-note, there’s not much to keep you watching.
The moral of the show – if you can call it that – is about how people shouldn’t judge others on looks alone and that personality is just as important.
As narrator Rob Delaney explains: “In this show, everyone looks as weird as possible. Could you fall in love with someone based on personality alone?”
That’s a noble idea, but it’s somewhat undermined when all participants look like models when they take their makeup off.
The joy of that show is that it features folk of all shapes and sizes and tries to make the audience care about them.”
The first dater, Emma from New York, is literally a model, so the fact she’s done up with a bright red devil’s face seemed rather pointless.
While the make-up effects are undoubtedly top of the line, all of that effort seems to be for nothing.
Eavesdropping on daters’ awkward conversations is nothing new and Channel 4’s First Dates does it much better – and without the need for silly gimmicks.
The joy of that show is that it features folk of all shapes and sizes and tries to make the audience care about them.
How many times have you watched First Dates and held your breath waiting to see if they’ll agree to see each other again? That’s because the programme-makers go to the effort of making them relatable.
Sexy Beasts has no time for that.
Once you’ve stopped giggling at the silly prosthetics, there’s nothing else beneath the surface.
We’ve all been doing a lot more walking lately and who wouldn’t want Chris Packham by your side to identify and explain all the sights and sounds along the way?
Chris Packham: The Walk That Made Me (BBC2) was delightful in its simplicity – it’s just him (and a camera) strolling along the River Itchen in Hampshire observing nature.
Of course, it was great to have his encyclopaedic knowledge of every tweet and flutter along the riverbank, but the best bits of the programme came when he was waxing nostalgic about what the area meant to him during his childhood and also when he candidly spoke about nature saved him from his own mental health struggles.
Fortune favours the bold
Even though all the twists and turns were probably discovered by researchers months before presenters Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould started filming, I do still enjoy the drama and mystery of Fake Or Fortune?
This is an art history show at its roots, but doesn’t feel like stodgy homework in the slightest because it smuggles all that under the veneer of a detective drama.
Although Fiona and Philip somewhat pompously look like they’re rolling their sleeves and making the lion’s share of discoveries on screen, the small army of art historians and researchers that did the legwork to bring these fascinating stories to life deserve all the credit.
TV’s lost history
Morecambe and Wise: The Lost Episode (ITV) was watched by 14 million people when it first aired on BBC One in 1970 but still wasn’t archived.
If Eric and Ernie’s legendary shows weren’t considered important enough to preserve, how much of our TV history has been lost in time?
Thankfully that no longer happens – although it still seems wrong that every single episode of Homes Under The Hammer is saved for all eternity.
Movie of the week: The Man With Two Brains (Monday, 11.40PM, on TCM)
Although made early in his career, this demented Steve Martin sci-fi comedy from 1983 takes some beating.
He plays brilliant brain surgeon Michael Hfuhruhurr (pronounced as it looks), who falls in love with the disembodied brain of murder victim Anne Uumellmahaye (also pronounced as it looks), much to the chagrin of his devious gold-digger of a wife Dolores (played in full-on femme fatale mode by Kathleen Turner).
Like Martin’s previous smash hit The Jerk (also co-written and directed by Carl Reiner) The Man With Two Brains is grade-A silliness from start to finish and nothing in his subsequent career really reached this level of inspired lunacy.
Movie acting may have taken the back seat to music and art collecting for Steve Martin these days, but we’ll always Dr Hfuhruhurr.