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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Farm out Tara's Body

the body farm (bbc1) jersey shore (mtv)

THE Body Farm, a grisly new crime drama on BBC1, features a mouse autopsy.

"Finally," I said to myself. "People are taking mysterious rodent deaths seriously".

But the dead mouse was actually discovered at a human crime scene where it had eaten the remains of some human murder victims before their corpses were exploded all over the walls.

That's the kind of show new crime drama The Body Farm is: a disgusting one. Earlier, on seeing the exploded boys, chief corpse-obsessive/scientist Eve Lockhart (Tara Fitzgerald) gets very excited.

"Dense colony flesh flies established and hatching on a carpet of decomposing carrion that covers the entirety of the walls floor and ceiling," she says, as though singing with a metal band.

"You had me at 'decomposing carrion'," says a nation obsessed with grisly murder dramas.

Lockhart was, in fact, recounting the scene via state of the art technology to her team back at "the Body Farm", a sciencey place where sciencey people do sciencey things with corpses and investigate crimes ... horrible, disgusting crimes that, I suspect, will get horribler and disgustinger as the weeks go by.

So Lockhart, her team and their police handler DI Hale (Keith Allen, who doesn't really have much to do except stand around looking stubbly) collect loads of blood, flesh and semen from the crime scene (everyone needs a hobby), use some pet carrion flies to discover yet more blood, flesh and semen, and conduct the aforementioned mouse autopsy.

They soon discover a backstory involving a comatose girl, some possible rapists, and the girl's deaf ex-explosives expert father. Several flashbacks later DI Hale is implausibly letting Lockhart, a civilian consultant, confront the suspect all by herself in a derelict building with a shoulder mounted camera that makes her look a bit like Optimus Prime (why she's filming the interview is too convoluted to go into here).

Eventually the suspect breaks down, the case is closed and Lockhart does some cod-philosophising because being arm-deep in corpses all day gives her an interesting perspective.

"People confuse justice with revenge," she says, "But there is no revenge in justice and when justice comes it doesn't always come the way we want it to." I should imagine not, given that this week justice came by way of a shoulder-mounted camera, pet carrion flies, a bucket of guts, Lilly Allen's dad and a mouse autopsy.

Jersey Shore is a scripted reality programme which is basically about the fall of Western civilisation.

For the fourth series eight Italian American goons are sent to Florence, the birthplace of modern culture.

They're not there for a seminar on European history. "That's the Vatican," says muscle-bound Ronnie (he's basically a joint of ham with eyes), gesturing to the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. "Where Leonardo Da Vinci painted the roof with his hand."

Nor are they there for a seminar in linguistics. "What the hell is this? Nothing is in English!" says frizzy-haired Deena (a sexified Troll doll) as she wanders in shock through a supermarket.

No, these orange-skinned lumpy things are here to drunkenly rampage through the medieval streets, fist-pump on the dance floor, have drunken sex with one another and then have long in-depth discussions about it (they discuss each other's mating habits with an intensity only seen previously when zookeepers discussed pandas).

They have also forgotten how to wear clothes ("The Situation" like "The Incredible Hulk", refers to himself in the third person and has an aversion to shirts).

Anyway, the Indians and Chinese are churning out millions of PhD students and have economies that build things.

The Western World has "The Knowledge Economy" and Pauly D, Snooki and The Situation dry-humping and fist-pumping on a slow train to irrelevance.

Still, it looks like fun (Where's my fake tan?).



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