The eagerly awaited John Lewis Christmas advert has hit the small screens and I, for one, am totally underwhelmed ... again. In fact, if I may be so bold as to go against a national belief, I’m positing that the John Lewis ads no longer deserve their ‘most anticipated’ status, and haven’t for a while.
This year’s offering features a dragon. And I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – even though book covers are designed for precisely that: judgment – but this dragon looks pretty rubbish.
It is as if it has been transported from a dodgy 1980s cartoon and planted straight into a plate of nostalgia.
I have some sympathy as the dragon erupts with fire inappropriately, melting a snowman and an ice lake on which children are skating.
Luckily we’re not treated to a nightmare sequence of kids then being swept under the ice by a tide – though the dragon could have been handy and cunningly saved the day with a few choice breaths.
And we’ve all had inappropriate outbursts, right? A few swears here and there?
This dragon suffers constantly, even burning down the Christmas decorations – a handy reminder of the flammability of all things glittery, take note.
Finally his power and ability to be fantastically useful is discovered, and he lights a Christmas pudding.
How utterly lame.
Perhaps there’s some psycho-babble nonsense about inclusivity running underneath it all.
But, from where I’m sitting, it’s a story about a girl who spends most of her time baking and trying to find ways to contain her friend’s behaviour instead of setting him free in a power plant to bring down the heating bills of the country's elderly, or manage a fire break with some judiciously controlled early burning.
Maybe he could be employed to forge an iron bridge for those people to step out of nostalgia into the reality of the day to day, where actually it’s quite a nuisance to have someone turn up with a flaming pudding while you’re still working your way through a plate piled high with sprouts.
No-holds-barred view of teenage sex is just grim
I’ve been watching Sky Atlantic’s Euphoria. It’s terrifying as it explores the worlds of teenage sex and drug taking.
It’s set in the US and appears to be a no-holds-barred series filmed with a surprising amount of penis on show. What else is surprising is the twists and the turns of the narrative which caught me off-guard in so many places as tired old tropes are ignored for more real, and startling, situations.
But the worst of it was putting the effects of mobile phones under the spotlight and the damage that sending nudes and taking videos can do. It’s fascinatingly grim viewing. Be warned, if you have children, you won’t want to let them out to play, ever.
Theft of Banksy sculpture is going to be hard to swallow
It’s always a curious situation when Banksy the street artist is involved.
The latest intrigue surrounds The Drinker, a sculpture he left in a square in London, based on Rodin’s Thinker. It was taken home by a member of the public who let the police know he’d cleaned it up, so to speak, and contacted Banksy too.
It sat in his garden for three years until it was removed from his property without his knowledge (aka stolen) and is now being sold by Sotheby’s.
Half the delight in Banksy’s work is the story which unfolds around it, but imagine how cross the man who claimed and housed the sculpture is, given the estimated sale value is £750,000.