Wednesday, November 07, 2007
'Tis already the Season to be jolly, apparently
PHILANTHROPY! The Secret Millionaire, C4, 9pm
HARPERY! The adverts, Coronation Street, ITV1, 7:30pm
Halloween and Bonfire Night are over, Starbucks’ gingerbread lattes are on sale and Argos is peddling some advert nonsense about shopping on the internet making Christmas more Christmassy (?). But tonight is when the festive ante is well and truly upped.
The Christmas schedules are always full of heartwarming/tear jerking programmes to make you emote all over the place and this year Channel 4 is getting in there early. Tomorrow night sees a tear-jerking programme about terminally ill mothers preparing their kids for their deaths (by giving them X Factor audition forms, no doubt). And tonight sees the start of the the second series of The Secret Millionaire.
Now for those of you that didn’t see the first, it involves a (usually initially somewhat smug) self-made millionaire going to visit some run-down asbo-ridden part of Britain, acting as a volunteer for a month until they reveal that ZOMG! I IZ RICH!!111!! and then dispense loads of money to the locals - although some of last year’s ‘secret’ millionaires had already been on TV before the series filmed, and with a series of this having already gone out, it remains to be seen how ‘secret’ this new lot will manage to remain.
Think of it as like a cross between Faking It, Challenge Anneka and Noel’s Christmas Presents - ie very Christmassy indeed. It just about manages to avoid being too mawkish, and most of the millionaires manage to go on enough of a ‘journey’ (© every reality show ever) that the hand-out part at the end doesn’t feel too patronising. In fact, this cynical old reviewer found it quite emotional last time round.
But however much The Secret Millionaire might speak of giving selflessly, goodwill to all men and all that, tonight also sees a more proper reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, this year’s festive M&S ad makes its debut in the ads during Corrie. It is rumoured that the usual band of old harpies will this time be flirting for the attentions of Antonio Banderas. Who will be victorious? Underwear harpy? Old harpy? Smug harpy? Anonymous blonde harpy? One thing’s for sure, they’ll all be an improvement on Melanie Griffith.
Not-quite-the-Season’s Greetings, everyone!
(Thanks to new girl Rad for writing this bit!)