16 10 2014





As one of HP’s resident horror fiends, it will probably come as no surprise for you all to learn that for the last few weeks I’ve been glued to Cilla, a biographical mini-series about the life of Liverpool’s own mistress of the dark. Joking aside, this story about Ms Black’s life isn’t nearly as diabolically bad as I had assumed and truth be told, I’m actually enjoying this swingin’ ’60s set tale.

Starring Sheridan Smith as the titular singer (and, lest we forget, host of Blind Date) the actress plays the role with just the right amount of sweetness and innocence. Essentially a love story between Cilla and her late husband Bobby Willis,the mini-series revolves around the rock ‘n’ roll scene in Liverpool, Black’s quest for chart supremacy and her boyfriend’s battles with his family for having the cheek to go out with a catholic girl (the horror…!). Both charming and slightly cheesy, the show is great fun for a music historian like myself and so far I’ve enjoyed spotting the likes of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Martin and more.

Smith also performs all of the songs live herself and has a fine set of pipes and while admittedly the strong Scouse accents occasionally do my head in, Cilla is a great piece of Monday night fluff and by the time the show ends you feel as warm and fuzzy as the residents of Sesame Street.

Recently, I’ve also been enjoying horror/mystery show Resurrection. Airing on Watch, a channel which ironically I rarely ever look at, this American drama is based on the book The Returned by James Mott and, as you might expect from the title, is about people coming back from the dead. Now first off-I was extremely dubious about this Brad Pitt-produced show. Mostly because I’ve been reading a comic by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton called Revival which has the same/similar concept and pre-dates both the novel and programme….

However, casting my reservations about any potential rip-off/imitation aside, I watched the first episode and have been hooked since. What’s most interesting about the show is the reactions of the characters whose loved ones have been resurrected. As they’ve returned exactly as they were before they croaked and don’t look like traditional zombies/Mickey Rourke, it’s thrown people off a little and the residents of Arcadia, Missouri are generally split into two camps. Those who welcome the deceased back with open arms and see it as an opportunity to make up for lost time and those that are completely freaked out and see these creatures as the work of the evil one from down below (that would be Satan rather than Nick Cave, obviously….).

I’m only three episodes in so it’s early days, but I’ve loved by the twists and turns thus far and the presence of Samaire Armstrong certainly spices up proceedings. As for the reason why the dead are coming back to life? Personally I’m going to avoid the tried and tested “aliens are doing it” route and blame the government instead. It’s got to be either those bullshit politicians or Miley Cyrus. One of the other, like.

Staying with all things unnerving and sinister-talent show The X Factor is back on our screens for another serving of tears and tantrums (*bah-dum-tish*). While I’m aware that the programme has a veritable shed-load of detractors, personally I’m a pop culture fan and once you realise that it’s a scripted, pre-determined entity where the producers attempt to force on you who they love/loathe (yes, just like professional wrestling) I find it both enlightening (when the fuck did dungarees become cool?) and enjoyable (I’m convinced they’ve replaced Louis Walsh with one of those dolls that only speaks when you pull its string). So there.

However, I will admit that the ever-plunging shirts of the button-phobic Simon Cowell is a sight that’s far too frightening for this horror fan…