Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Watch With Mothers: Watching TV In Our Pants

Swineshead and Napoleon. Would you trust two names like this to advise you on the highs and lows of television? You should, they’ve been writing about it for long enough.

Watch With Mothers is primarily a blog-cum-community discussing the many intricacies and nuances of that glowing box in the corner of our living rooms (unless your Amish). Their jump from the page to the ears makes an excellent “free gift” for the readers. In short, if Watch With Mothers was the Beano, the Podcast would be a free lollipop taped to the front cover.

In their mostly-weekly address to the online nation, soft-spoken Londoner Swineshead and Sheffield’s broad-and-brash Napoleon pick a theme from the television world and share their thoughts, memories and exaggerations. The subjects are as broad as your options from the box itself; from sci-fi to game shows to the incomparable Paul Daniels, nothing is off the radar for these two regardless of their knowledge gaps (for best proof of this, check out their discussion on science fiction which probably tells you as much about the genre as a lemon sponge cake tells you about the iPhone). The discussion that follows, regardless of accuracy, is always entertaining for one reason or another; whether it is Napoleon making it up as he goes along or shouting one point over and over, or Swineshead lighting up a cigarette and exasperatedly trying to just get it done, the ramblings of two men who clearly love their TV seem to always produce small pieces of comedy gold.

Whilst the show may not deliver on what some of the sweepers promise – weekly informative discussion on current television – the fact that it doesn’t makes it all the more entertaining. Both men try their very hardest to keep the show on track but have a tendency to wonder off mentally to a world of floating breasts and Gary Glitter. It seems that Swineshead gets more flustered with the brain meandering than Napoleon, who’s happy to spend the afternoon talking about his bad guts and arguments with his missus. It’s this kind of chemistry that really makes the show work...if both men willingly went off on one, there would be anarchy and not necessarily entertainment. Because of this conflict in direction, the scribes have achieved a sense of Podcast Babylon: the sense of a topic, discussion, ramble, laughter and moving on.

In what I believe to be a slump in the Podcast world, Watch With Mothers is a happy surprise. With so much clogging up the drains of iTunes, Napoleon and Swineshead have floated to the surface and should be a part of your RSS realm today. In case you want another reason why Swineshead and Napoleon are two names you can trust with TV and comedy blogging, then go see what they do on WatchWithMother.net...unless you’re getting that diarrhoea seen to.