Pumpkins and Pompeii

I watched that crap TV show about the end of Pompeii last night.

Jeez, it was shit.

Took an hour to say what could have been said in 10 mins. Endless repeats, belaboured non-points, selling ancient news (Pompeiians killed by pyroclastic flow) as ‘new discoveries’ and breathy build-ups to rubbish ‘climaxes’.

Truly the BBC thinks we’re all fucking idiots these days.

pumpkin in pompeiiThe only bit I enjoyed – and I really, really enjoyed this – was one of the reconstruction scenes where a young Roman boy is seen carrying a pumpkin… a vegetable that would not be brought back to Europe from the New World until the early 16th century.

What makes it even juicier and funnier is the obvious care taken by the show researchers to get the right seasonal vegetable into the reconstruction. They knew Vesuvius erupted on August 24th, so they clearly chose something that they thought would be appropriate for an end of summer harvest.

You can imagine the conversation at the production company:

Young metrosexual researcher: “What vegetables get harvested in late August? Anyone know?”

(Slightly) older townee: “Er, dunno. French beans? Potatoes?”

Young metrosexual researcher: “Nah, don’t think so. Arthur off Eastenders dug his up in the autumn. I remember cos it was pissing with rain in the show.”

(Slightly) older townee: “All right, then: Pumpkins. I know that’s right cos they’re always eating them in autumn in America. Had some pumpkin pie on holiday in Boston once.”

Young metrosexual researcher: “Thanks. At least if we use the right vegetable we won’t get tons of pedantic crap about the wrong season from reactionary cocks in Tunbridge Wells.”

[If you have access to BBC iPlayer and want to see it for yourself, it’s at 05:35 mins here]

7 Responses to “Pumpkins and Pompeii”

  1. Celia Says:

    Thanks, a brilliant observation.

    Embarrassed that I failed to notice it, but I was crocheting at the time… mainly crocheting and only 10% watching. And yes it was a yawningly crap programme.


  2. Simon Says:

    Well spotted

  3. Andy Says:

    “GET. ON. WITH. IT. MARGARET.” I shouted in a pyroclastic rant from my sofa.

    I thought MY brain was going to bloody explode with how unbelievably drawn out and tedious this prog was. I reckon Aunty is pimping it stateside.

    Old Mags looked a bit unsteady on her pins on those Herculanean cobbles. If Vesuvius coughed up again I doubt she would have made the boathouse.

    When they did the second reveal I was sure Lord Pubey Chops was going to be under the blanket. Instead we got the fat porker from Masterchef – disappointing.

    Margaret, you’re fired !

    Btw Soilman, top spotting on that pumpkin.

  4. Carrie Says:

    Love it Soilman – that programme stole some of my life I hated it. RRrrrraahhhh

  5. kath Says:

    Hasn’t been shown over the pond yet, but I’m sure it will be on BBC America with much hype. Thanks for the tip as I’ll give it a miss…although I hardly watch BBC America any longer. Who wants 24 hours of Top Gear? We have crap TV here too…Cops & Robbers, Medical Disaster and DIY shows….bleck. Nice spotting on the pumpkin….

  6. Emma Says:

    I couldn’t agree more! It sounded so promising yet was completely rubbish!

    Love the pumpkin spot too!

  7. Emma Says:

    I didn’t notice either, I was too mesmerized by the endless repetition aimed at making the programme make sense once it had been sliced up with ad breaks when it’s syndicated all over the world.