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Thursdays are grumpy (but funny)



CHEEKY! Never Mind the Buzzcocks, BBC2, 9pm

DOUR! Lead Balloon, BBC2, 9:30pm

WEIRD! The Mighty Boosh, BBC3, 10:30pm


From time to time it has been insinuated that we are curmudgeonly old misanthropes. Or even misanthropic old curmudgeons. That we like nothing more than to sit back and cynically comment on the crapness of the world, or at least the crapness of popular culture.


Well, tonight is for people like us. If Wednesday is 'feelgood' night, with The Secret Millionaire, How to Look Good Naked and Love Trap, then surely Thursday is 'feel bad' night with that programme about terminally ill mums on C4 and the return of two of the most curmudgeonly old misanthropic comedy programmes of all: Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Lead Balloon (quite why BBC2 are screening repeats of Charlie 'God' Brooker's Screenwipe on a Wednesday is beyond us, clearly its spiritual home is right here to complete a triumviate of funny grumpy buggers).


After the mixed response to the last double bill of Vivienne Vyle and Peter Serafinowicz, this new Thursday night double bill sees BBC2 on somewhat safer ground.


Simon Amstell is now well installed as the host of Buzzcocks, and most of his jokes hit the spot, although like Mark Lamarr before him, he sometimes thinks he is funnier than he actually is. And he is the same age as us, but with several years of a hit telly career behind him, so we kind of hate him a bit. We don't know who the guests are during this series, but with last series containing Preston's storm-out and the amazing appearance of MADGE FROM NEIGHBOURS, we are suitably excited about the thrills that await us. And anticipating feeling slightly guilty about the inevitable Britney jokes.


Following at 9:30, newly 'promoted' (or 'robbed') from BBC4, it's the second series of Jack Dee's Lead Balloon. For those of you that haven't seen it, he plays a cynical, misanthropic, curmudgeonly comedian called Rick Spleen. Our kind of guy, then. Each individual epiosde has its own little plots, some of which are incredibly farcical, most of which involve some sort of mishap Rick gets into, which makes it sound shit, but it's actually brilliant. It also stars the wonderful Raquel Cassidy (famous for being the ace Susan from Teachers, amongst other things) and some other people whose names we don't know, two of whom play Rick's great stoner daughter and her great stoner boyfriend.


Our enjoyment of bleak comic thrills could only be improved by the announcement of the second series of Pulling. (Note to BBC: where is the second series of Pulling?)


(Oh, and for those of you who are a bit more cheerful or at least a bit more weird, a new series of The Mighty Boosh starts tonight at 10:30 on BBC3. We know several members of the messageboard go gibbery at the sight of Noel Fielding - and even a few at Julian Barratt, so this is your friendly reminder.)

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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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