Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Honking Box Review: Lily Allen & Friends

We’ve never been able to make a definite evaluation as to whether we like or dislike Lily Allen. At least a good three-quarters of her songs are likeable; she’s definitely got a personality on her; and she’s a far better candidate for flying the Union Jack in the US than, say, Natasha frickin’ Bedingfield. But there’s one thing we don’t like about Lily Allen.

When not ratting out her siblings via the medium of song, Lily’s favourite pastime is shooting her mouth off about anyone and everyone, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in itself (hell, it’s the very foundations of our existence). However, whenever anyone bites back – as was the case with Dame Cheryl Tweedy – she decides to play the injured puppy, hammering out an immediate blog entry dripping with sanctimonious self-pity.

Sadly for Lily, such paradoxical hogwash is carried over into her new BBC Three show, Lily Allen and Friends, a programme that supposedly celebrates social networking yet, ironically, displays a complete lack of social skills. Lily looks like a Russ Troll in headlights whenever the banter deviates slightly from her appalling questions, which themselves are seemingly plucked straight from press releases and Wikipedia biogs.

Any scripted links are delivered with an aggravating up-down intonation, as is displayed by many a model, Big Brother contestant or low-rate sportsperson when attempting to tackle a jammily-landed presenting role, who seem to think it’s an adequate substitute for actual charisma.

And while we’d be reluctant to have the tiniest iota of faith in anything reported in a scabloid, it’s not difficult to believe that a chunk of the audience legged it halfway through recording. Sycophantically whooping and applauding at every single noun uttered must be entirely exhausting.

Oh, and look! It’s ‘internet sensation’ Chris Crocker! Seriously, for a show that was only filmed several days ago, this was the best they could come up with? Next week, Lily performs a duet version of Badger Badger Badger with the Dancing Baby, followed by a rendition of the Hamster Dance song by Lonelygirl15.

All in all, not a great way to relaunch BBC Three. Perhaps it’ll pick up a bit as the series continues, like The Charlotte Church Show did… oh hang on – that sucked hairy dog arse as well. And we’re no closer to figuring out whether we love or hate Lily Allen, although Lily Allen & Friends has confirmed that there are definitely now two things we don’t like about her.

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