Elf has never done it for me, I think its my aversion towards Will Ferrell. It’s also for that reason I am not fussed about Anchorman or it’s sequel. The only time I have been able to stand him in a movie is when he played it straight in Stranger than Fiction. The same applies to Jim Carey, I don’t find him funny but thought he was brilliant in The Truman Show. This means that for me Christmas isn’t impending when I see this movie.
The real countdown to Christmas begins with a TV show that concludes in the last weekend before the big day. It puts the sparkle into the holidays and, while not being the most manly of programmes, is full of fun and cheer. That’s right ladies and gents, tonight is the first episode of the camp-as-Butlins Strictly Come Dancing.
For those outside these shores you may know it as Dancing with the Stars, or for those who haven’t been exposed to the dangerous amounts of sequins and fake tan it’s a show where people who once did something dance with professional dancers for the platitudes of the proles. They are then thrown to the lions of the judges and the public vote. It is, as Craig Revel Horwood would say, a-maz-ing.
For a start there is the most awful trophy up for grabs.
I think the budget for the first series was so low that why had to scrape something together from bits and pieces from behind the dancefloor. Maybe the amount of crystals they go through in a year means that they can ill afford something in gold, because I doubt they would be worried it would look tacky.
It is a quintessentially British show, from the eccentricity of the dancers and judges to the level of camp that borders on the obscene. It is a creation that could only come from the nation that brought panto and the Carry on movies to the world. The other important part of this show is the complete lack of cynicism it has. Unlike other “talent” shows where snide remarks are de rigueur here they are delivered with tongues firmly in cheek.
In fact the whole shebang is so firmly in cheek that it’s barely able to talk. Of course there is all the talk of journeys and changed lives, but that is just to add drama and narrative. What really comes across is the sheer fun and joy that people are having. It makes me want to dance, I sit and discuss the finer points of a Paso Doble and how glamorous the American Smooth is but I really want to get famous just so I can be on Strictly.
What makes this series even more special is that Bruce ‘National Treasure’ Forsyth is now sitting it out after one too many cha-cha-chas. I’m not saying he was terrible, after all I would fast forward over his segments so I can’t really comment.