Bad Weather TV. Sport is a Non-Starter, Midsomer Is Murder but Bonds Have More Fun

Now I’m not a huge television watcher but, I must say, on a gloomy, grey, drizzly Autumn, Sunday afternoon, like yesterday, when I want to get into the garden but the garden is increasingly just not looking like the place to be, you may well find me reclined on my couch, wrapped in a Liberty fabric travel rug, steaming hot Green and Blacks in hand, trawling the murky depths of the Freeview channels in search of some cheery movie or jolly programme to warm, sustain and entertain the grey cells and put a smile on my well moisturised face.

It is more than a little interesting to see what the Television companies’ response is to the approaching Autumn and Winter, and in fact to Sunday afternoons in general. Mid afternoon, Channel 4 pretty much bathe you in wall to wall Simpsons episodes, fine if you like them, not so much if you don’t. E4 do the same with The Big Bang Theory which, well written and acted though it is, if you read between the lines consists of some very sad and lonely people being very horrible to each other – not my idea of a cheery afternoon’s viewing.

The BBC as usual tells us that what we want on the day of rest is antiques and sport. Sport? When I’m looking for fun and being lazy? Not for me, whereas ITV3 have decided what everyone wants on a Sunday is MURDER writ large. And not just the occasional murder but a whole riverbank, forest, back alley, parlour and creepy barn full of murder, mainly of the multiple variety.

The ITV3 afternoon is full of it. Starting with Agatha Christie’s  inimitable Miss Marple. After she has done her very best to bring a host of well-heeled and well dressed characters to justice, usually baffling and out-detecting the actual policeman in charge in the process – like Sherlock Holmes before her, we get Midsomer Murders.

Sports Day at Midsomer High School is always a bit rough

According to the Daily Telegraph, (easily the official newspaper to the Midsomer Murders)  Since the programme started in 1997, there have been more than 220 murders in this sleepy little area of leafy middle England (plus by the way, eleven suicides, eleven accidental deaths and deaths and a further seven from natural causes. Making it surely the most picturesque and nastiest slaughter hot-spot in the country.

Apparently no less a dignitary than Angela Merkel is a fan of Midsomer Murders, although goodness knows what she thinks of us if that’s her window into great Britain. Bear in mind this is a show about a place where someone is murdered in one episode with the skull of a sabre toothed tiger, in another by being drowned in a big pot of soup and in another by being tied down on their lawn and having their entire fine wine collection fired at them by a trebuchet? She must think we are barking.

Anyhow, cosy murder aside, what else did I find to potentially google at. Loads of ‘family’ films of course, by which I mean computer generated films about fairies, toys and hilarious flatulant animals which don’t ever really work for me unless I am watching with my friend’s children or nephews and nieces.

“Ah. Mr Bond. At last we meet”

And then there is Bond. Yes. My fidgety channel hopping usually stops when I come across a Bond film title. You can almost always find a Bond film, somewhere on the airwaves on a Sunday afternoon. They are  weirdly comforting and, of course, I love them. With all the crazy but ingenious gadgets, the ridiculous and almost wonderfully inappropriate Bond girl names, (“Ah. Bendy McSexkitten I presume”) to the superbly over the top action scenes and the either macabre or innuendo based one-liners, I love nearly all of them.

The best 007 is probably Daniel Craig, even though his Bond is very serious , gritty and slightly less flippant, but I still love the older ones, Roger Moore for his suave lack of acting effort and Sean Connery for his rugged charm and skinny suits, even Timothy Dalton’s deadly straight RSC influenced Bond has something to offer, while Pierce Brosnan was pretty much my Bond as I was the right age, and shall always have a place in my heart.

So many girls when I was at school were ambivalent about James Bond, but I grew up watching them with my father and brother who were huge fans and, I guess it rubbed off on me. Not many of my girlfriends are fans, but I love them, while also being aware of their massively sexist overtones, often ridiculous plots and fairly simple-minded establishment politics.

Still, when you are feeling indolent and relaxed on a Sunday afternoon, a little jaded from the night before perhaps, maybe full of roast lamb or just feeling dozy and the weather is being dull and prohibitive outside, who doesn’t want to switch off their brains and see a man career down an Austrian alp on one ski, take a tour at gunpoint round a personally customised underground volcano lair, drive a car that can shoot rockets and turn into a submarine or battle an eight foot giant with metal teeth biting through a steel cable? I know I do.   See ya.   Holly.

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