The new term has now started. For some of us, we will be reunited with friends whom we have not seen for as long as four months. For others, namely freshers, you will be meeting more new faces in the space of a few weeks than you have ever met before in your lives. After the polite exchanges of summer stories or summaries of your life respectively, there is only so much more that you can talk about before conversations run dry and those dreaded awkward silences creep in.
Therefore, to avoid the aforementioned uncomfortable fractures in our daily chitchats, which usually happens directly after a weird comment is made by those who are socially unskilled and where all threads of conversations die because all parties feel that someone else should be talking, yet no one does, here are the essential updates on what has been happening on our shiny silver screens which will undoubtedly save any social situation.
Although the summer has come and gone, a lot can happen in four months in the TV world: characters come and go; TV shows can begin and end. So sit back and inform your out-of-touch brains with the current affairs of the skin-deep world of television, in no particular order.
For those of you lucky enough to have stayed in sunny England over the summer, you may be familiar with a certain Sophie Reade. About five of you will have watched her walk through some double doors and emerge £71,320 richer, 93 days later. This is a globally familiar concept which is adopted in almost 70 countries. Unfortunately, it was announced last month that due to declining ratings, Big Brother 2010 (UK) will be the last. What a shame.
Now let’s move on.
We welcome back good old Saturday night TV with the return of Strictly Come Dancing and The X-Factor. Now, these two shows really are conversation starters, sparking random debates amongst total strangers on buses to being topics of countless Facebook groups and Twitter statuses. It is totally up to you whether you think that the creepy twins should have gone through to the live shows or whether they deserve to have their heads slapped together numerous times for being obnoxious twits. The reality of it is, that with 10 million viewers every Saturday night for the next 4 months, X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, arguably to a lesser extent, are here to stay. So having an opinion on these shows, even if negative, will stand you in good stead every Monday morning, equipping you with useless knowledge to handle even the most socially inept and awkward counter person.
I really don’t care about soaps but if you really want to know, Eastenders won ‘Best British Soap’ at the British Soap Awards, although that’s not really too hard as only two soaps have ever won this title since its inception in 1999, with the other being Coronation Street.
Crossing over the Atlantic, Fall (Autumn) always marks the return of many of our favourite American guilty pleasures. The start of season 4 saw Claire Bennett go to college and Peter Petrelli return to being a nurse, abandoning their ‘Heroes’ lifestyles. Although it is still only the beginning of the season, fans are advised that they should not be holding their breath for another one as despite the good-intentioned attempts at jazzing up the now preposterous storylines, for example, the weird Nathan/Sylar plot along with Hiro Nakamura’s on/off powers, it appears to have fallen from the dizzy heights of grace and tossed aside by viewers to make way for television’s equivalent of shiny new toys.
Moving on, the beginning of season 6 saw Dr Gregory House waking up in a psychiatric hospital in solitary confinement due to Vicodin withdrawal. Although House fans will get to enjoy another 22 episodes of medical Sherlock Holmes, it was recently hinted that this season may be the last from Hugh Laurie, and naturally, House, since stepping into the character of the infamous limping doctor has actually given him a limp in real life, possibly forcing him to stop filming.
As pointed out last week, one of the most anticipated returns to our plasma screens was that of Serena and her shallow, egotistical gang in the Upper East Side, where the start of the new term at NYU saw Queen B being pushed aside to make way for the evil that is Georgina. These Gossip Girls and boys have returned with a bang and will undoubtedly be keeping their legions of loyal fans happy each week by strutting in front of our eyes with quirky and eccentric, designer-clad wardrobes. However, someone needs to tell Gossip Girl, whoever she is, to write something bad and get rid of Vanessa.
I have often been told that no one would be interested if I wrote about The Hills but I want to, so if you are indifferent or you don’t care, just skip this paragraph and move on. The last time we visited the Hollywood Hills, we saw the official union of Speidi. The Urban Dictionary defines a ‘prat’ as ‘basically someone who is a major idiot’. I have always wanted to point this out: does anyone else think that Spencer Pratt could not have been more aptly named? Anyway, every Hills fan should be sad that we will no longer be able to follow Lauren Conrad to FIDM or People’s Revolution. Her departure will probably lead to the premature decline of MTV’s biggest ever series since her shockingly foul and unpleasant replacement, Kristin Cavallari, will without question single-handedly kill the show. We should, however, be to some extent excited at the return of the City, although Olivia is in desperate need of a slap.
Hand in hand with seasoned favourites, also come brand spanking new pilots and premieres of new shows based on recycled themes and ideas. Whilst Season 2 of True Blood has come and gone, last month saw the emergence of The Vampire Diaries, exploiting our currently post-Twilight, vampire-obsessed state. I was also introduced to a new High-School- Musical-type series called Glee which has fast become my favourite shiny new toy (thanks Kay).
Meanwhile, in line with the saying of out with the old and in with the new, the past few months also saw a few tragedies. Dirty Sexy Money and Privileged have been shelved as well as the much publicised The Beautiful Life which was supposed to mark the return of Mischa Barton since her OC heyday. Unfortunately the Life was just not that Beautiful with only about 1 million viewers tuning in for the pilot resulting in it becoming this autumn’s first cancelled show after just 2 episodes.
Anyway, now that we have filled and updated our brains with mindless plots, storylines and other similarly useless knowledge from the superficial world of our small screens, we can safely go out into our equally superficial LSE world equipped with many a conversation starter and filler to remedy any uneasy tongue-tied moment.