Entertainment

Shame sniggering Sara Pascoe can’t see Cuban trip’s a fiasco: CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews weekend TV

Shame sniggering Sara Pascoe can’t see her Cuban trip’s a fiasco: CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews weekend TV

Last Woman On Earth 

Rating:

Back To The 80s

Rating:

Sara Pascoe on the pull is an experience to turn Casanova celibate.

Clamping an arm across the shoulder blades of her intended, she fixes an air hostess grin and declares brightly: ‘You have a fine moustache. Do you like true crime podcasts?’

The victim, a Cuban gentleman of advancing years, wears the uncertain look of an amorous male praying mantis who thinks he has just got lucky and yet, somehow, has a nagging suspicion all is not well.

Sara Pascoe (pictured) on the pull is an experience to turn Casanova celibate in her travelogue Last Woman On Earth (BBC2)

Sara Pascoe (pictured) on the pull is an experience to turn Casanova celibate in her travelogue Last Woman On Earth (BBC2)

Senor Moustachio was ready to teach Sara the art of Danzon, Cuba’s stately answer to the tango, in her travelogue Last Woman On Earth (BBC2). 

The lady’s role is to cling close and ‘polish the gentleman’s belt buckle’. Sara looked more likely to throttle him with his own braces, if he so much as thought of trying anything on.

The comedienne was exploring the Caribbean’s Communist timewarp, where the newest cars were imported in the Fifties and the houses have been falling down since World War I.

She’s a regular on the Beeb’s Left-wing comedy panel shows such as Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, where she rolls her eyes at Britain’s obstinate reluctance to elect St Corbyn of Islington North.

Now she had an opportunity to discover what happens to ordinary people in a socialist economy. 

Sara clucked with distaste at the post-Soviet poverty, where nothing however rotted was thrown away because it could never be replaced.

Her guide Jorge tried to make her understand that all American culture is outlawed. 

Without WiFi, Cubans who want to watch a U.S. television show have to risk imprisonment by paying to borrow a pirated recording.

Sara had a snigger and pretended to give Jorge an update on events in EastEnders. 

She didn’t seem to grasp that it isn’t some cosmic accident or fluke of history that condemned Cuba to chaos, disease, misery and starvation. It’s the result of half a century of Communism.

That’s what Sara and Frankie have been touting on their BBC2 series, to a cheering audience of Guardian readers — yet she doesn’t make the simple, stark connection. 

It’s easier to keep sneering at capitalism for lazy laughs and the pretence of moral superiority.

A dash of capitalism could do no end of good for Maria, whose family scrapes a living on the beach selling honey and coconut sweets. 

Lenny Henry's gallop through the early days of Channel Four in Back To The 80s (C4) was like a cascade of shiny goodies, brought in on a tidal wave (pictured)

Lenny Henry’s gallop through the early days of Channel Four in Back To The 80s (C4) was like a cascade of shiny goodies, brought in on a tidal wave (pictured) 

Mountains of plastic waste wash up daily on the tide, and Maria’s hobby is crafting it into colourful tropical blooms, as decorations for her shanty. 

If she could forget the sweets and sell her beautiful handiwork, her family might be able to eat better.

Lenny Henry’s gallop through the early days of Channel Four in Back To The 80s (C4) was like a cascade of shiny goodies, brought in on a tidal wave. 

In a two-hour cluster of clips, we got reminders of Brookside, Cheers and The Snowman, among dozens of others. 

Perhaps we could have done without being reminded of Tony Robinson starkers in an Emperor’s New Clothes sketch on Who Dares Wins. 

But we also had Peter Cook and John Sessions trading quips on Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the wonderful Norman Beaton in his barbershop sitcom, Desmond’s.

Harry Enfield was Loadsamoney on Friday Night Live, Anneka Rice charged around in a jumpsuit on Treasure Hunt, Oliver Reed was blind drunk on After Dark and Carol Vorderman got the giggles on Countdown.

My favourite moment saw a youthful Jonathan Ross on The Last Resort, dashing into a pub to interview George Harrison.

George gave him a deadpan stare and asked: ‘Yer not Eamonn Andrews, are yer?’

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