Doggy Styling, Channel 4 - TV review
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Tuesday 31 December 2013
We got an introduction to the competitive world of extreme creative dog grooming in the documentary Doggy Styling on Channel 4 last night.
It was the underdog (sorry) tale of Sue Eld-Weaver from Northamptonshire, a mum of 14 – poodles, that is. She also had four human sons who dreamed of winning the world championships held every year in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately for Sue, the field was dominated by Americans, who, thanks to their more advanced reality TV culture, spoke in fully formed quotable soundbites. There was Kevin, the only male competitor, who wanted us to appreciated his creativity: "I'm not afraid to step out of a box. If you put me in a box and tell me not to step out of it, I will step out of it."
Then there was Adrienne Pope from Conway, South Carolina, who said things like, "Picasso used a white sheet of blank paper. I use a white dog and this is my canvas." As part of her Disney-themed masterpiece, Adrienne forced her husband, a middle-aged man called Darryl, to wear a Mickey Mouse suit and twerk like Miley Cyrus.
Most of the humiliation was reserved for the poodles who, to their credit, managed to maintain an air of placid dignity while their eyebrows were dyed purple and their toenails were painted with glitter. There were poodles who looked like lions, poodles who looked like pandas and one poodle who looked like Yoda from Star Wars.
If these whimsical get-ups and Simon Callow's derisive voiceover gave the impression this was all a bit of fun, there were also regular reminders to the contrary. You can't know the true meaning of competitive spirit, until you've seen a woman apply lipstick to a dog's arse. On second thoughts, maybe dog grooming isn't such a wholesome hobby, after all.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Christian blogger says she will not wear leggings in public because they entice men and cause them to look at her 'lustfully'
- 5 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after that Wembley Stadium rant
Blink-182 split: Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful' say Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus
Emma Watson to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia