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Arguments are to be avoided: they are always vulgar and often convincing

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I've tried with Orange Is The New Black. I started watching a month or so back, galvanised by the hype (and a free trial of Netflix), but it's just not working for me. And I love prison shows. I've watched Oz from start to finish (several times over), and I'm still making my way through cult classic Prisoner (Bea Smith is everything). But OITNB - with its tepid lead Piper (who has the charisma of a limp lettuce leaf), and weird tone (sometimes it's like watching Saved By The Bell) - leaves me bored and confused. There might be some truth there, but the telling is self-indulgent and hamfisted. I'll stick with early '80s Wentworth Detention Centre, and return visits to Oswald State Penitentiary.
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Last week I wrote about being won over by streaming. But in this era of peak TV, is it a case of too much of a good thing? All those shows we've been told are the best TV show of the year/decade/ever are instantly available, with hundreds, if not thousands, of episodes. That's another reason I'm bailing on OITNB - why waste time with a show that's only barely lukewarm? Another show I'm struggling with is Wayward Pines, so brilliant in its first season, but whose sophomore effort has turned to shit - despite the presence of Djimon Hounsou (I spelt his name without having to resort to Google!) - and the delicious Christopher Meyer (left). In fact, Wayward Pines' second season, tragically, is a textbook example of flogging a dead horse.
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Outrage and controversy. The keyboard activists love it. First of all we had infamous bigot Bette Midler's "transphobic" Tweet (it wasn't. It was a Caityawn Jenner-phobic comment. I'm with her, and I don't mean the Rethuglican), and now Coronation Street has been tried and convicted (by social media) of racism. Here's the incriminating evidence: Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, visits Audrey’s hair salon, where she remarks: “I have more roots than Kunta Kinte. No idea who that is, by the way, just something my mum used to say.” Let's set aside the obvious, that is, that it's not an attack on Kunta Kinte, but a knowing wink at half the audience about the dizzy blonde character, and the other half (I'm being generous) who actually don't know who Kunta Kinte is. You can hear the cry go up from living rooms up and down the land, "What the 'eck's a Coonder Kinder?" "I think he was on The X Factor." I'd like to see some actual casual racism from characters in our soaps, because guess what, that's what happens in real life. Let's see that. Let's be real.

But Bette apologised for her supposed trans-gression, and a Coronation Street spokesperson has said, “We apologise if this dialogue has caused offence.” No apology necessary, guys. Professing outrage doesn't mean they're entitled to an apology. However hard it is, tell them to go f**k themselves. Now, Ellen's Bolt meme... That's another story.
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What's the point of ubiquitous gay porn star Johnny Rapid (right)? I get there's a market for everything, and he's kind of cute, in a "walk-on drug dealer in an episode of Law & Order" kind of way, but he hasn't ever seen the inside of a gym, or the rays of the sun. He isn't even a halfway decent performer. And by all accounts, he's a pretty revolting human being, too. Make America great again: get rid.
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Do you ever watch The Golden Girls, or its mid-2000s tribute act Noah's Arc, and wish you were Rose/Noah, Blanche/Ricky, Dorothy/Chance, or Sophia/Alex? Not exactly that you were them, as such, but that you had what they had. I have some amazing friends, but they don't knit together like The Golden Girls. I wish they did; I'd love a close gay family, not one that's scattered and disparate. One is in the thrall of a sort of Primark RuPaul. Two others are frenemies, locked in a competition over men (Brandon steals Kris's boyfriends, or vice versa, depending on who's telling the tale). And recently, I arranged a nocturnal adventure with my two nearest and dearest, which ended in a meltdown so epic it stopped traffic. Literally. Another friend won't speak to me when he's in a relationship ("Ray", who you may remember from this post)... As Elaine once said in Seinfeld, "I gotta get some new friends."



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