small screen

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Turn it up, turn it on...

Damon Albarn (below), eh? Just who does he think he is? One minute he's selling a million copies of Parklife, the next he's duetting with living god Ray Davies on "Waterloo Sunset", courtesy of C4's marvellous The White Room, and next week he's presenting a television programme. It's called Britpop Now (Wed 6.45pm BBC2), and is a 45-minute extravaganza of the aforementioned musical style, with specially recorded live performances from all manner of cool bands. Blur themselves (Blur!) will be doing the triffic "Country House", Pulp will be rocking out with "Common People", and there's stuff from Supergrass, Sleeper, Gene, The Boo Radleys, PJ Harvey (surely some mistake? The screeching glam vampiress, part of Britpop?), Marion, Powder and Echobelly. What's more, as Damon's doing the programme, he's got his girlfriend's band, Elastica, a little slot on it, the cunning nepotist, and you also get Elastica copyists Menswear doing "Daydreamer". Elastica copyists? This is getting silly...

Disgusting porn

Small screen often heaves a wistful sigh of nostalgia for those golden, bygone days when there were no sex educational videos and youngsters embarking on carnal relations for the first time would be entering a brave new world of happy mutual experimentation unencumbered by invidious half-remembered images of oily, bleach-haired exhibitionists copulating grimly on a television screen. But let us brace ourselves against the depravities of the present, anyhow, and try to find a reason to rejoice at the impending release of Real Lives... Real Sex Lives (Astrion pounds 12.99 from Monday). The ubiquitous Dr Andrew Stanway explains how four "real-life" couples enriched their tired sex lives by: acting out their fantasies; making a "sexy" video; going away for a dirty weekend; and, er, getting in some serious ejaculation training. Now, boys, that's not like, say, javelin training; the idea is apparently to delay the event for more than the nanosecond that "Ken" manages at the start of the film. Good. The other selling point of these twin coils of sprocketed plastic is filmed underwater sex. Of course, that sort of thing is par for the course if you're a beautiful little fishy (left), and in fact we have it on good authority that videos for fish (Sex School, not available to humans) feature two of our scaly friends shagging on dry land, the added excitement of possible asphyxiation being a bonus, before they slip back beneath the waves for a fag. A Lucky Pike, naturally.

Murder a la mode

It's time to light a solitary mourning candle, drape yourself in black and wail inconsolably to the four walls of your hovel: Sky One's fabulous drama of fashion and passion, Models Inc, is zipping up its dress and flouncing haughtily off your screens. The series, fantastically, has not been renewed by the US networks, so swoon at the special two-part, four- hour finale next week (Tue & Wed 8pm). Emma Samms (the evil, scheming Grayson Louder) is furious that her ex-husband Adam has won custody of their son, so she hires a hitman to scuttle Adam's wedding. But just as the sniper is pulling the trigger on the ex, the little kid dashes forward into the speeding bullet's path. Oh Lordy.

War and a pizza

Oh, your VCR is a hungry little devil, and, like a spoilt cat, it's bored with its regular food. So you'll have to trip down to a video emporium for some new tasty titbits for its all-enveloping maw. Video Gems, for example, are releasing the remaining five episodes of the most classy Crime Story (pounds 10.99 each from Monday). The titles are The Mafia War, Blood Feud, The Vegas Connection, Luca's Fall and The Final Chapter (above right), making up a vast chronicle of, um, the Mafia War. Lots of shooting and men in rather well-cut Italian suits - rather like an evening down the Bar Italia. With added shooting.

Compiled by Steven Poole