Friday 17 February 1995
Exercise can damage your health
The saddest fate that can befall a street fashion must be being adopted as part of an exercise routine. Now even the pimp roll is unsafe from the scrawny Judi Sheppard Missett, she of the best-selling Jazzercise routine. Her latest video release, the Jazzercise Funk Workout, is "a combination," she claims, "of jazz dance and funky street moves." Judi (have you noticed how healthy people always spell their names oddly?) is joined by Shanna, Chere (pronounced Sher-eee), Ray and Eric, who bound around doing "Jazz hands" (imitations of Jolson singing "Mammy") and shouting things like "find that funky beat, lift those funky feet". As the warning at the beginning says, "exercising too hard increases your risk of injury". Wonder what watching exercise videos on a full stomach does?
Not in my back yard
Network First: The Yardies (Tue 10.40pm ITV) is a look at ghetto culture in Jamaica. In Britain and the US, the "Yardies" are gangs of expatriate Jamaicans who have been called "the new Mafia" by a knee-jerk media. But the term, deriving from "yard", meaning home, originally just meant a true Jamaican. The film follows the patrols of a new police force assigned to the Jamaican ghettos, headed by Detective Sgt Derrick Powell. "We have the bad guys under siege," he says. "They are running away from us, to England and America, and giving them trouble there." They deal with a lot of violence and theft, but the police's methods are suspect. One officer tells a group of men: "Everyone is guilty until proven otherwise. I regard you all as thieves." And we see Powell's men breaking up a dancehall party and arresting scores of men, who spend all next day in the police station, even though they say they just wanted to enter the talent contest. Powell makes them sing and dance to prove this "alibi". Most of those interviewed are struggling to make a living in appalling conditions, where no-one will employ someone who lives in the ghetto, and acid is the preferred weapon for resolving disputes. But Peter (below) works, videoing weddings and funerals for his friends, while Rosie, who used to work as a prostitute on visiting merchant ships, can now afford to buy a sewing machine and hopes to earn money making clothes. Crucially, the film reveals the fears of the rich, whose houses are constantly burgled. It's the same old story: Powell's police force has been set up to attack the symptoms of poverty, rather than its causes.
Familiarity breeds contempt
And if all this seems a bit too gritty for your taste, less chewy fare is on offer at a price on the Family Channel. As well as having cornered Dangermouse and saved terrestrial television from the horror of My Two Dads, these familial funsters have a host of wholesomeness on offer, including Christy, an "epic drama series" about life in the Tennessee backwoods, The Big Dish, a gameshow hosted by John Eccleston (right) in a giant satellite dish and By Way of the Stars, another "classic" adventure spanning the globe from Prussia to the good old USA. So if you feel your life is short on chintz, log cabins and quick-fire question rounds, you know where to go.
Compiled by Serena Mackesy
and Steven Poole
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