65. Homicidal

Tapehead no 65

As one of the hoods in True Romance would say, “Hey boss. Get ready to be happy.” 

Homicide: Life On The Street is back, and from scene one right on form, starting with a TV Sex scene and an audacious squad-room chat about gratuitous sex and violence in shows like… Homicide: Life On The Street.

“It’s television, Stan. It’s not supposed to be real.”

It falls to Detective Munch to present Tapehead’s way of looking at the issue. 

“There’s no such thing as gratuitous sex,” he argues, sensibly.

Given that the networks nearly pulled the plug on Homicide, they throw in a decidedly cute dig at them too. 

“The networks make the writers and the producers add sex,” argues Stan.

“No, no, no,” explains the detective in Homicide, who looks like Mick from Brookside, “the network takes out nudity, but adds sex.”

Stand has the final word: “I wish they would bring back Hawaii 5-0.”

All this before the credits… Yes, it doesn’t get much better than Homicide.

Since they’ve been gone, Munch and Mick from Brookside have been trying to buy a bar; Giradello’s hair has got very weird; Pembleton is losing his cool and Daniel Baldwin is having exciting, decidedly sweaty, marital difficulties. Better yet, Tony Todd (the Candyman!) as joined as a TV reporter chasing story about the murder of the local Samaritan of Year.

“Death is supposed to be an eternity in heaven,” says the man in the bulletproof vest.

There is always some homicide in Wildlife On One but not, you might think, when it’s about the humble budgerigar.

Tapehead is glad to say there is also some rather gratuitous sex as Attenborough sensibly heads out to Australia for budgies in the wild.

Once again, Attenborough proves himself a master in the art of the wind-up, claiming that when budgies first started talking, the language they first spoke was Aborigine. Good one Dave !

He describes budgies as “tough desert parrots” whose pursuit of water in the drought-ravaged outback takes them to Lake Gregory, which he reckons is “the size of Greater London” and, until 10 years ago, an arid plain. An outrageously outlandish ruse, but then Attenborough knows that no one else knows half as much about all this as he does, so he can say what he likes.

When they do finally find water, he says, the budgies “just gulp-and-go”, referring either to their thirst for water or their sexual proclivities. When budgies see water, they immediately think of watersports, and go into “a breeding frenzy”, eventually giving birth to babies that look just like pieces of Turkish Delight.

Mating, DA maintains, involves “lots of regurgitating and head bobbing beforehand” – an unusual sequence of events. As in Tapehead’s experience, t’s usually the other way round. 

The budgies are beset by predators and try to baffle the hawks and eagles by flying around in the shifting patterns of the shimmering BBC2 logo.

One baby budgie makes his debut flight out of the nest looking like are reluctant bungee jumper, and two anxious parents can only look on as a hungry snake gobbles up their new-born. A homicide that would appal even Munch.

This week’s EastEnders is, of course, about death of love as Sharon plots to destroy Weetabix-lookalike, Grant.

“It’s no worse than what he did to me,” she puts, conveniently forgetting she was sleeping with Grant’ “bruvver” at the time.

In one scene, as she puts on her make-up, she looks in the mirror and quite rightly bursts into tears.

The build-up is paced like a public execution, with Pauline and Michelle in at the kill like Macbeth’s witches.

Mind you, quite how difficult it is to bamboozle Grant – who has the appearance and IQ of a pitbull puppy or a stuffed teddy bear – is open to debate.

“What do you mean, it wasn’t real ?” he fumbles, looking like a child who has for years been duped into believing in Santa Claus.

Let’s face it it’s not exactly Machiavelli.


Homicide: Life On The Street: Mon, 10pm-11pm, C4

WildlifeOn One: Thurs, 8pm-8.30pm, BBC1

EastEnders Omnibus: Sun, 1.30pm-2.55pm, BBC1