Thursday, March 22, 2007
Welcome to The Hits Half Hour, a brand new feature here on TiaPL where we, umm, watch The Hits for half an hour and then tell you what we saw. As ideas go we fully realise that it's not exactly groundbreaking. Indeed, we're not convinced it even merits being called a thought, let alone an idea, but it does fill the gap that's been needing filled ever since Top of the Pops ceased broadcasting, so join us as we take in our first Hits Half Hour, between 17.47 and 18.17, Thursday 22nd March, 2007:-
- We join The Hits at the tail end of their daily Most Selected countdown and midway through number three, The Fray and How to Save a Life. In it lots of people cry, scream and generally look pretty upset. Well, you would too if you were forced to appear in the video for this sort of cod emotional tripe. The OC has a lot to answer for. The video also features a number of slogans: "18. Talk to somebody", "9. Love", "22. Cry", etc. Presumably this is the band attempting to save a live by offering a number of suggestions of some more pleasurable things to do instead of listening to this godforsaken song, an act which is likely to lead the viewer's thoughts turning to suicide if they make it through the whole three minutes. By the end of the vid all the people in it have started to cheer up. Well, having got through all that, you would, wouldn't you? We even allowed ourselves a wry smile, and we didn't even watch the whole thing.
- Some adverts. During this we learnt that Pete Waterman is hosting the 100 greatest pop songs on Saturday, that according to a massively representative sample of 200 people, women don't snack as much when they gorge themselves on yoghurt, that you can get some free manky sweatshirts if you buy some manky perfume, that the Dove adverts really are the most annoying on television, that Hilary Duff's new single will command us to the dancefloor and that the made up science of shampoo commercials has now come up with te concept of'pearl protein'. Whatever will they think of next?
- The second most requested record of the day is Gwen Stefani's The Sweet Escape. In it Gwen is trapped in a jail and, judging by the amount of gold and jewels which adorn her prison, it's clearly the sort of jail which exists only in the imagination of Daily Mail readers who firmly believe that prison is nothing more than a holiday camp. She has also stolen her look from Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice. As videos set in female prisons go, it's not exactly up there with Rachel Steven's I Said Never Again (But Here We Are), but bless her for trying.
- Surprisingly, number one is Girls Aloud versus Sugababes' cover of Walk This Way. If we were in a pitched battle with a rival gang we're not sure we'd want Heidi to be on our side. She doesn't look like she'd be very handy in a ruck.
- Next up on The Hits is the Best Duets Ever! Although they seem reluctant to actually go into detail about what criteria they're using to judge this, and given that first up is Westlife and Diana Ross doing When You Tell Me That You Love Me, we find it hard to imagine any set of circumstances where that track could have the word 'best' associated with it. It's probably worth pointing out here that Diana Ross is older than all of Westlife combined, and given that Westlife are not exactly spring chickens, that's one hell of an age to be. The set for this video features a stormy backdrop that wouldn't look out of place at an am-dram production of Sinbad the Sailor. With the amount of money that they've made you think they'd spend a bit more cash on their videos. Mind you, given the eagerness of their fanbase to lap up any old dross that they release, you can perhaps forgive them for not bothering to try too hard.
- The next pairing to entertain us are Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack with Tonight I Celebrate My Love. Peabo is sporting the eighties half moustache, a look which serves mainly to give the impression that the wearer isn't actually old enough to shave yet, while Roberta is dressed in a manner which seems to imply she was in the middle of doing some baking when the call for the video shoot came in. The song itself is a weak, sloppy slice of sentimental nonsense. Mushy Peabo, if you will. Arf!
- More adverts. This time we learnt, thanks to the "1+1=3" campaign to encourage people to get involved with Social Work, that becoming a social worker gives you the opportunity to train disabled people to do tricks, although the grounding it offers in mathematics leaves a lot to be desired.
- Finally, we have David Grant and Jakki Graham with Could It Be I'm Falling in Love. Given that David now has the vitaly important cultural role of working in the Fame Academy, the sort of educational establishment which makes even the City Academies look like a good idea, it's fortunate that he no longer has quite as stupid a hairstyle. Ahem.