That’s Some Catch – By Duncan Harley

As our country teeters on the brink of old-Etonian Boris I have found a bit of light relief on Channel 4. 
Unlike the somewhat Glasgow-centric offerings available from the new Scottish Channel - read Tutti Frutti, Paisley-Punk-land or some hoary old history of Glasgow’s Central Station – 4 occasionally leads the pack.

We are talking Catch-22 here. Yes, I know that there was a book then a 20th Century film and some kind of abandoned prime-time mini-TV series. But hey, the new take on Heller isn’t that bad really. The uniforms are right and even the CGI is kind of passable if you ignore the neatly choreographed flying formations – daytime B-25 bomber pilots tended to jiggle about a bit in the face of groundfire rather than just steer right through it. But hey, this is Heller’s masterpiece so a bit of black-humoured in-flight management is kind of in order. If only someone had taken the time to sort out the overall colour masking. This pumped-up Clooney series jumps back and forward to the original 1970’s tones, then loses it and goes hell-for-leather into some randomly imagined CGI WW2 Movie-tone.

Clooney of course directs, produces, associate-produces and stars and to be completely honest, this is a huge problem. Bottom-line is that he just doesn’t cut it as a Scheisskopfe. Big parades are obviously not his thing and his forte is more likely the cool-headed assassin rather than the madly obsessed mission commander.

As for Yossarian? In the original film, and in the book, he was very much the centre of attention. ‘Help him, help who, help the bombardier – I’m the bombardier, then help him’ kind of says it all. Stabbed in the back by a vindictive Italian lady of the night in the opening scenes of the 1970 film, he fails to make much of a mark in this new made for the small screen series. Even Milo Minderbinder comes across a weedy-wimp unlikely to head the board of the local biscuit factory. I kid you not.

On first watching I was appalled at the carnage – not of the war, but of this oddly flat rendering of the Heller novel. I decided to watch again in the hope. Let’s hope episode two lives up to the expectation. It can only get better.

As for Boris, well I am guessing that alongside the various gaffes about fingering dykes, flag-waving piccaninnies, Muslim letterboxes, wallowing Liverpudlians, dead taxi-drivers, Ken Livingstone, veganism, icing-sugar, Breaking Bad and of course ‘Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase you chances of owning a BMW M3’ – he will be true to his word and be reincarnated as an olive …


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