What are you watching? What’s on TV in Australia (and why you should stream Taskmaster on SBS on Demand)

By Bobi

Okay. Good news, people. 

I have found “stuff” on television, and when I say television, I mean SBS. It’s not a lot but beggars can’t be choosers. 

But sometimes they can, and we are off to a flying start. 
I have stumbled across Taskmaster (SBS). So much lighthearted fun. It is my go-to when I just want to wind down at the end of the day and even better, because it was undiscovered, I have two seasons to look forward to.  (Juz’s note: Here, here. I binge watched Taskmaster during the pandemic. I don’t know why Channel 10 has not made a version.)

As I can feel everyone flinching as I end my sentence with a preposition – and where on earth should that comma go? Clearly, not where I put it – I will let you know that I was going to write this chat on grammar but, obviously, not now.  Nevertheless, I will share some of the jokes so as they are not wasted. 

This one is for BDD. 

This one is for the rest of us. 

And this one is just for me.

It is my favourite. 
I am enjoying Why Women Kill (SBS). It is a bit jumpy between timeframes but I am getting used to it. The best thing about it is that it is twisty – I like a twist – and the second best thing is that the whole season is available. 
I am also watching Untold Australia (SBS). It is a feel good series. I’ve only watched a couple of episodes but they left me warm and fuzzy and thinking that all is right with the world. 

I am going to recommend a movie just to shake things up: Return of the Hero (SBS). I am only half way through but I am enjoying it enough to put it on the list. 

Lastly, a book (yes, I know that is not a sentence). I am stretching things here but there is a television connection. It is The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, he of Pointless fame. It is everything I like about a murder/mystery: a bit funny, many characters to either like or dislike, a bit twisty but with the clues there, and all wrapped up satisfactorily in the end. I am expecting a tv series to come out of this. 

I leave you with an unrelated thought:



Almost-Christmas chat: Are we there yet? (And there’s nothing on TV)

By Bobi

Hellooo. Long time, no see. 

Virtual hugs to everyone. I’ve missed you. 

So ….. crisis over …? Okay, I know it’s not completely all over yet but it feels like it is. Maybe there will be a few bumps along the way but look at us. We’re back. 

So proud. 

Well, almost back. I have a few residual hang ups that may take me a decade or so to overcome. 

I’ve never been a great hugger so this was always going to be a difficult time for me. What is it with SiLs who hug every time they see you? Like, I saw you yesterday. You haven’t been away for 12 months and I’m not dying. 

Now, finally, to television. There is none. NoTHinG! Fftt. 

Fingers crossed for next year. Of course it will be better.


Chat with Bobi

By Bobi

It’s been an odd year. Quietly whispering *unprecedented times*. 

The whole year feels like a pause and re-stock year. I’m not complaining because that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My house is clean, junk has been thrown out, I have narrowed my hobbies down to five, and the dog thinks that routine household chores should only be done to maximise his comfort. And I oblige. I have my priorities right. 

Lately, I have taken to looking to the future. I am eternally optimistic and hopeful, more often than not. Mostly. Sometimes. When I can.

Right. Preamble done. Excuses made and you have been softened up. Forgiveness assumed. 

We went shopping for Christmas decorations. I know. I know. Too much.

I had a blast. My tree is a glass cylinder, 2 feet tall, battery operated and glows in the dark, and my shelves are covered in gnomes and elves. The doggo tells me that they are rabbits, and he reminds me that he is very patient and very tall. I suspect the gnomes will have a short life.  

And now I slide away from the topic so cleverly that you barely notice. The best thing about the lead up to Christmas is all-things-British-on-TV. 

I love black and white movies. I watched The Ghost of St Michael’s on the weekend – a little bit of fun – and it is just going to get better from here. I love this time of year.

I am in the middle of Staged (ABC iview) with Michael Sheen and David Tennant. I haven’t tuned in to something that is such easy watching since The Good Place (which I am rewatching on Netflix). I am against anything that makes me think too much. 

The new series of Grantchester (again iview) fits all my criterion for a murder/mystery: limited number of suspects, clues and red herrings sprinkled liberally throughout, pretty villages, good actors and I feel so smart when I see the obvious. 

Slightly off topic, I am also watching The Rise of The Murdoch Dynasty. I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t something that I thought would appeal to me, and I am not a Rupert fan, but I could not change the channel. There’s a man who screwed up his kids right royally, so let me finish with what I imagine would be the Murdoch Christmas tree. 

Ten weeks until Christmas, guys. 


Cat chat with Bobi

By Bobi

My brother has a new kitten. 

Y’all think that kittens are adorable. I can tell. 

Apparently I should have been happy to provide amusement to my family. I know that we all need a laugh in these unprecedented times but a dad joke would have sufficed. 

My brother has a fondness for black cats. He says they are stealth bombers.

And he does acknowledge that they are evil but excuses that on the basis that he speaks cat. 

I am guessing that it says something about my brother but I agree with him that films with, and about, cats are much more entertaining than those with dogs. One of my favourite scenes ever is that one with the Siamese cats in The Lady and the Tramp. Now there’s an ear worm. 🎼

I know someone is going to mention The Lion King. I haven’t seen it. It optimises something about children’s movies that I hate with a passion: the tired cliche of the death of a parent. Why do we think it’s okay to reduce children to tears with a trauma at the beginning of a movie? There should be an equivalent of the Bechdel test.

Still, I can’t wait for Cats to come to Netflix. I love a B-grade movie. Unintentional laughs are just the best. 


Doggone it chat

By Bobi

So, dogs, hey. Am I right? 

You’ve all seen my baby – an elegant, graceful, wonderful companion. 

Still, I have been wondering what we would do without them during the lockdown. Well, sleep in … obviously. 

But he does give me purpose and exercise.

I have a faint suspicion that I would turn into something round(er) and more unappealing if I didn’t have something that demands that I rise from this couch at regular intervals: food, walks, treats, letting him in and out every minute or so because he couldn’t be bothered using his own dog door. 

I am a fan of all dogs and love seeing everyone’s pics but I am an absolute fan of greyhounds. It came as a bit of a shock really. I thought I was doing something nice by rescuing one but it turns out he rescued me. If anyone is thinking of another dog, I can recommend one of these. Just be aware that food costs are high, but there you go. Small downside.

Which is a long lead (🤣🤣) up to my five favourite dog movies.

1. Anything titled Wallace and Gromit.
2. Most movies with Scooby-Doo in the header.
3. Best in Show. Seriously. 
4. Lassie. I used to cry every time. 
5. The Shaggy Dog. Oldy but a goody. 

The trouble with most dog movies is that there is a tendency for the dog to die. Hence, the leaning towards animated features. 

And so as not to end on a sad not, let me add, this is not a dog. 


Nostalgia chat

By Bobi
Daisy’s last post had me reminiscing about the good old days. 

A time of children playing outdoors until dusk: where there were enough of us to field entire touch football teams but not enough to play AFL; of cricket matches where hitting the fence was a four and over the fence was a six; where what mattered was turning up rather than your skill set or gender. 

I also have very fond but vague memories of watching a black and white television but a better memories of “someone” having to get up every time we wanted to change the station – not that it mattered particularly as there were only three channels. For some reason, I was the designated rabbit ear mover and there was perpetual snow on the screen during my favourite shows. 

This is not a photo of my family but, trust me, no one I’m related to can tell the difference, right down to the home grown hair cuts. 

I used to rush home to get to my favourite TV shows before the boys. Mostly I failed. There were more of them and it was a losing battle. 

I was a huge fan of soaps. I never missed an episode of Bellbird right up until the death of one of the characters who fell off a silo. I was shattered and the vision haunted me for years.
Still, that will never be as tragic as the death of Patrick on Offspring to me. I will never forgive them for that. 

But my overall love of soaps remains cemented in my psyche. My niece (that’s a nibling) and I bonded over The Bold and the Beautiful.

I have no idea why it was Bold when, initially, I was obsessed with Days of Our Lives – especially after watching an interview with an actress (call me old fashioned) talking about being pregnant for 14 months on the show and how her son on the show was only four years younger than her in real life. She had a lovely sense of humour and I was enamoured with the tongue in cheek of it all. Where has that show gone? 

And who cannot forget that lovely movie, Soap, with Sally Field. I’ve loved Sally since I first saw her in Gidget.

It is all so far from real life that it is almost comedic. In the current horribleness of 2020, this stuff is like having a warm bubble bath. 


General chat: Cooking at home with Bobi

By Bobi

There is still a self-imposed lockdown at my house. 

The grandkids are back at school and I have a visitor. My br… the visitor is an essential services person who is doing additional training. It is nice to have company, like in human form. 

I am doing my part for the cause by cooking. Sadly, even the dog has been known to turn his nose up at some of my offerings and I rely heavily on cook books and the internet to avoid poisoning guests. 

Still, it is fun to cook for a captive audience and I had this fabulous idea that I would be incredibly productive by combining my current obsession with spring cleaning with trialling recipes. Any cookbook that didn’t produce a good recipe immediately was going to be donated the Lifeline Book Fair. Delightfully, I didn’t get past the first book. 

And here’s why I am posting. The book I picked up was by Matt Preston – The Simple Secrets. First thought to self: this is going to be a no-brainer. After all, he’s no chef and this book is just a money making publicity gimmick. I am so happy to had been proved wrong. This is now rated the second-best cookbook I own. 

The first meal I cooked was the shredded chicken with miso dressing because, you know ….. salad. It was delicious. 

So I followed it up with meatloaf. Ta da!

I see what you are thinking there. I know. It looks like a hot mess but it was worthy. It was crunchy and salty and sweet. It was also oozy with cheese. No wonder Young Matt is on the hefty side. 

On the downside, it is the beginnings of a sodium-induced heart attack in anyone that comes within 1.5 metres of its deliciousness. 

Never one to get overly excited, I decided to have another go and try the quiche. I should have known I was in trouble when I read the instructions and then heard myself say, out loud, “I’m not going to do that”. Instant karma. 

I’m an idiot. You just can’t tell some people. 

Apparently I was supposed to put the base back in the oven and then pour in the mixture. As someone-who-should-know-better said, we got two meals: quiche and baked eggs. I spent most of the next day cleaning every nook in the kitchen and my oven is never going to be completely clean again. 

But here’s the takeaway (heh heh).  It was extremely edible and has been serving up a number of lunches ever since. 

I do have one gripe: People who put these types of books together need to be clearer. I cooked the eggplant and paneer curry. Ingredients specified two eggplants. Surely size matters? How many does that feed? And cook the onion for 15 minutes, add the spices and then cook for 20 minutes. Wait. What? Another 20? Or another 5? Seriously? I spent those “5 to 10” minutes giving an imitation of a toddler learning how to throw a tantrum. 

The most important thing is that it fed the dinner party of less than 10 people, and it was a huge hit. It has to be one of the best curries I have ever made. Given my track record, that may not a great measuring stick but my reputation for being a good cook is now looking much more gold and glittery. 

I am pretty enamoured of Matt Preston. I just wish he was slightly less enamoured of cheese. I swear I have put on two kilos in five days. 

Just casually, I am also a bit done with this cooking and baking lark for a while. I much prefer watching cooking shows, and imagining that I can do better without actually having to put in any effort. Bring on the antipasto.


May general chat with Bobi

By Bobi

Thank you to Juz for putting up a thread for LEGO Masters. This show is warm and comfortable, just the thing for times like now. That’s mostly what I am drawn to at the moment. I am studiously avoiding anything political, violent, or dystopian. It’s surprising how much on television is all about the end of the world – even comedies and kids shows. 

So, on a warm and fuzzy scale, here are a couple of recommendations.

Mary Berry’s Foolproof Cooking (ABC). This woman is a soothing as a cup of tea. Today she was making a sponge cake with buckets of cream. I’m not a huge cake eater but I have always loved a sponge. It’s like an edible plate for lovely fruit. 

I’m not saying that I am ever going to make this cake, but Mary makes me think that I could. If LEGO Master is 10/10 then this is an 8/10

The Willoughby’s is an animation movie on Netflix. I know it’s for children but I found it absolutely charming. It’s a very pleasant and not-too-smaltzy hour and a half of smiling but not laugh out loud humour. Four kiddies are raised on neglect and decide to become orphans. I’m guessing that some younger children may not love this so much so 6/10

And speaking of not-too-smaltzy, I am looking forward to the return of How to Stay Married On Channel 10 on Tuesday. It’s about a seven on the daggymeter but it should be an eight on congenialIty. I enjoyed Season 1. It wasn’t so good that I remember the story line but good enough that, since seeing the ads, I am all on board.  

Just quietly and in passing, I need to mention that I am also watching Mystery Road (ABC). I know it doesn’t fit with the theme but fabulous doesn’t come around too often. 

Warm thoughts from me to you.


Are we there yet? (general chat with Bobi)

By Bobi

There are some good things to come out of this lockdown. 

Firstly, I’m not going to pretend that I am not going a little bit crazy. I don’t think I’m crazy for talking to my home appliances, but I might just be a little bit crazy for expecting them to laugh at all my jokes? Or maybe not. As I we have established before, I am, after all, hilarious. 

Look. It’s tough to talk to the fridge – she tends to give me the cold shoulder – but the toaster sees both sides of every argument and the dryer can put a happy spin on the every situation. Yes, as I told you, I am absolutely hilarious. 

No, wait, don’t go. As promised, here are just a couple of the good things. 

I found a saucepan. I know. I KNOW. I really wanted to share the news. 

Seriously, look at this thing. 

How could I have possibly lost this monster in the back of my cupboard …. for five years? It is HUGE! Finding this gave me so much joy. And I used to laugh at all those people who swore by Marie Kondo. Fftt to me in my past life. 

I am also loving Jamie Oliver going back to basics. As you read this, on my telly, he is cooking a pizza in a fry pan. I am so hungry. No more pretending I can cook dishes with ingredients sourced from the speciality aisle: just bread dough, sausage mince, bacon and onions. It looks like the best of my world and I could eat it all. 

I am loving the stuff that is now available on the internet: tours of art galleries, live feeds from zoos, and slow TV through factories, down rivers and the hillside. I realise that a lot of this is directed at children being home schooled but my attention span is short and I respond to these simple messages. 

Just on this, here is a picture of a baby Morpork. 

They are rare. There are fewer than 50 left in the world, and scientists have found two babies on Norfolk Island. I love scientists. 

Having a great day. Wishing the same to you all. 

Love Bobi. Mwah. 


Isolation chat with Bobi

From Juz: Many thanks to Bobi and Daisy, who keep me so well supplied with chat threads. Apologies for not publishing your last lot. It’s been a madhouse here with Mr Juz and I working from home, my hours being cut due to media industry changes and trying to home school Mr 8.

Our suburb is in the local government area that has the highest percentage of Coronavirus cases (damn those Ruby Princess people).

But now school holidays are here so hopefully that takes the pressure off a bit. And we are lucky to have a lovely backyard with a swing and mini ninja course for Mr 8 to burn off energy. I even bought myself rollerblades today to encourage myself to exercise more.
Tonight Mr 8 taught his grandparents interstate how to use Zoom for video meetings and did a great job, until they were slow to click something and he typed “you have 0% brain power” and sent it to them.
And Mr Juz scored toilet paper by chance at Big W, so he is now the richest man in Adelaide.

Hope you are all coping with the new world order. Over to Bobi

Juz xo


Now that Survivor is over, (and how good was this season? Although I still reckon Boston Rob would have beaten the GG), I am choosing to watch calming meditative shows. 

Truthfully, I can’t wait for MasterChef. I take back everything I said when I heard that they were going to do a reboot. I am so excited to see the best of the best, after some experience and training, competing against each other. 

But apart from that, I am being calmed by watching reruns of my favourite shows.

The ABC (I use iView) have started reruns of The IT Crowd from the beginning. This is the best of shows. This is just everything all at once, mainly it is based on truth. A bit like The Office (the English version) but less painful. 

IQ is, of course, every one’s go to, except for the episodes that star Jeremy Clarkson. That man is unbearable. I asked someone once why he watched Top Gear and he said it was because old Jeremy was so funny. No. No. He just isn’t. 

Have I mentioned Tiger King on Netflix. I cannot even begin to describe. If you have Netflix, you just must. There are no words. Did you know that there are more tigers in captivity in American backyards than in the wild? The whole American culture is weird. 

And lastly, because I spend a lot of time on my own at the moment, I go for shows that speak just to me, while kind of keep me company. I especially like the company of Bob Ross. Although you can find him on Netflix, he is also all over YouTube. This man is hypnotic. His painting are beyond dull but it is meditation. 

Okay, not last because it never is. I listen to music – 1970s. Only the best.