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How low did 2005 go? (Clue: very)

Oh, it wasn't such a bad year after all, was it? There was some great stuff on telly too – here's our STEVE and PAUL with their top 10 moments of the year.

Chrissie Watts – Muuuuuuuuuurderer!

When Chrissie Watts took her scissors of vengeance to Kate’s barnet, it became clear she was more than just another soap hairdresser. The leap from scalping to murder was an obvious one, and gave us one of the best storylines of the year -– the murder of Dirty Den.

The plot was a slow-burner, only cranking up into top gear with the return of the Mitchell clan. However fantastic Chrissie was, there could only be one victor in a battle between her and Peggy – and she wasn’t going to have curly hair.

We knew the tide was about to turn for Chrissie when we saw Peggy thundering towards the graveyard to crash Den’s funeral, and what followed was one of the greatest graveside bust-ups in the history of soap. Peggy hollered, Sharon winced, Dot tutted, Chrissie flailed and then went crashing into the hole to join her dead husband for one last time.

It makes us a bit sad that the magnificent Chrissie will not be gracing our screens any more – not least because she was the only character who could be evil on so many nights of the week and always have fantastic hair. But we’ll always have our memories of the day she fell into an open grave and still managed to keep her hat on. Now that’s class.


America’s Next Top Presenter

The road to getting your own talk show is paved with good intentions. For supermodel Tyra Banks, this meant changing the format of AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL in cycles three and four so that the contestants received regular pep talks and lifestyle coaching from Tyra and, of course, Tyra's beloved momma. Tyra cares, y'all! Tyra takes time out from her busy schedule to make you feel good, and Lord, you'd better appreciate it, because this year we saw what happens when you don't.

Midway through cycle four, Tyra and her judges decided to eliminate Rebecca and Tiffany in the same episode to give the other contestants some inspiration to try harder. Rebecca tearfully accepted her fate, and hugged the other girls goodbye. Tyra likes tears; tears show you care. Tiffany smiled and put on a brave face, and cracked some jokes in the face of adversity. This lack of visible emotion made Tyra angry. So, as any understanding and sympathetic agony aunt would do, Tyra called the two of them back to the judging circle and promptly tore Tiffany a new one, barely concealing her anger. When Tiffany tried to argue her own case, Tyra lost it totally. "Be quiet, Tiffany. Be quiet. What is wrong with you? STOP IT!!! I HAVE NEVER IN MY LIFE YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS! WHEN MY MOTHER YELLS LIKE THIS IT'S BECAUSE SHE LOVES ME! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU, WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, HOW DARE YOU?!!"

And so it continued at that volume for several minutes, with Tyra's bingo wings flapping alarmingly in the wind. There are those who say that reality television is a cruel and cynical genre. We agree, but when it produces TV that good, we don't care.


Not quite blue enough – yet!

Our TV hero of the year was BLUE PETER's new boy Gethin Jones. We warmed to him instantly, largely because he's extremely pretty and we're extremely shallow. However, the moment that we knew we truly adored him was the programme when, in anticipation of a subsequent feature on body painting, he volunteered to let Konnie and Liz wax his chest. Which they did. Extremely inexpertly. And fuck us, it looked like it hurt. A lot. Gethin, we salute your bravery. Please continue to remove your shirt on a regular basis.


Wisteria hysteria

As DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES arrived in the New Year, we welcomed the women of Wisteria Lane into our homes and our hearts. An early lowculture favourite was Stepford-esque Bree Van De Kamp, eerily perfect ice maiden who doesn't break into a sweat whether she's reupholstering her own furniture or covering up her own son's involvement in a hit-and-run accident that killed a neighbour's elderly mother. Best of all though was the dinner party she threw for her friends in episode three: having desperately tried to keep up appearances by claiming that she and husband Rex were having tennis lessons when they were really having marriage counselling, Rex blew her cover in front of everyone. The other neighbours tried to make light of the situation by recounting their own shortcomings: Susan locked herself out of the house naked, Gabrielle and Carlos once broke a waterbed with energetic sex. Upon hearing all these stories, Bree smiled serenely at her guests before announcing "Rex cries when he ejaculates". Jaws across the nation slammed into the floor with one simultaneous clunk. Awesome.



Favourite new comedy creation? LITTLE BRITAIN tried hard with its new characters this year, but our favourite was CATHERINE TATE's queeny geriatric Derek Faye. "How VERY dare you" stands an excellent chance of ousting "am I bovvered?" as Tate's most oft-repeated catchphrase.


No, WE killed Fenner

2005 will be remembered as the year when BAD GIRLS reached new levels of utter loopiness, and nothing was more gloriously ridiculous than the demise of Jim Fenner.

In classic “whodunit?” style, Fenner spent several episodes going around being a total bastard to absolutely everyone, to ensure that the whole of Larkhall had a motive for doing him in. But, Bad Girls being Bad Girls, they went one step further and showed each and every character in the series actually try to murder him.

His final demise, at the business end of a home-made ice dagger, was suitably bloody and dramatic, and it was appropriate that he breathed his evil last in the hanging cell where he had himself murdered Yvonne Atkins. The best bit of all, though, was the cliffhanger where all the girls stood up and confessed. “I killed Fenner”. “No, I killed Fenner”. “No, it was me – I killed Fenner”. And, of course, it didn’t matter who killed Fenner in the end, because he was back the following week as a ghost. Hurrah!


Taking out the trash

Some women would crumble after being dumped by their greatest love, but Susan from NEIGHBOURS has only become stronger. The terrifyingly cool anger she vents in every pavement smackdown with Izzy is captivating to watch, and has helped restore the Ramsay Street saga to its former glory after several rubbish years.

The episode where Issy’s evil schemes finally unraveled was a classic slice of Neighbours that will one day be remembered alongside such greats as Scott and Charlene’s wedding, Clive Gibbons performing an emergency tracheotomy on Jim’s kitchen table, and that one where Daphne slipped on a fried egg and nearly lost the baby.

Perhaps the most satisfying thing about it was the joy of seeing Susan enjoy every second of the downfall of her nemesis. She was there to see Karl toss his lying lover to one side outside Lassiters. And she was there to see Issy crying in the middle of Ramsay Street after finding herself turned away from every door. For one terrible moment it looked like Susan might soften and invite her biggest enemy into her home. We cheered when her expression hardened as she put out the rubbish, dusted off her hands and walked away.


Good enough for this competition

Louis Walsh discovered this year that making uninspired catty remarks and having a generally obnoxious personality doesn't automatically make you the next Simon Cowell. Louis constantly strives for national treasure status, and it continues to elude him. This year he outdid himself, and according to an independent survey conducted in our office, 100% of viewers of THE X FACTOR wanted to punch his lights out, and even that was before we remembered that he's responsible for Westlife. We may not always agree with this woman, but on one occasion Sharon Osbourne spoke for the nation when she berated Louis for being unnecessarily cruel to a young auditionee and reducing the contestant to tears. Louis, with his usual charm, refused to admit that he'd crossed the line, so Sharon threw a glass of water over him and his fugly shirt. Which, coincidentally, earned her national treasure status of her own instantly.


Definitely not just anybody

When the UK EUROVISION MAKING YOUR MIND UP heats come around each year, there’s always fevered speculation about which pop has-beens will line up to do battle for the honour of representing their nation. The BBC did us extra-proud this year, with a selection of no-hopers and never-weres that would make Malta blush. A Scott-Lee! A Gina G! Some other people we can’t remember! But, best of all, we had the “singing” debut of a heavily-pregnant Katie Price, better known as Jordan. Her performance of I’m Not Just Anybody would have brought a tear to a glass eye -– and not because it was so moving. We were heartbroken when Javine won and our girl with the tits was left behind, not least because it would have been a joy to see La Price, eight months gone, waddling around on the Eurovision stage.


Woo-ooooooo, etc

And finally – DOCTOR WHO. You were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So were we!


By Paul :: Post link :: ::  
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*ahem* "So we we"?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:21 pm  

It's called a joke.

By Blogger Paul, at 9:48 am  

Mm, okay. I was just pointing out your typo; I got the joke. Unless I'm being really stupid and it's supposed to say that. Sorry.

Great site, by the way.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:20 pm  

Fuck me, I'm stupid. Sorry.

By Blogger Paul, at 4:52 pm  

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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