Bring Back Fame Review: Actually, Don’t

December 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Reviews

BRING BACK…FAME, Channel 4, Saturday 27th December, 9:00pm Alert me

It’s probably my age, but watching ‘Bring Back… Fame’ felt like throwing up Friday night’s Kebab on Saturday morning.

I don’t have any real, coherent recollection of experiencing it the first time around, but its stomach-turning reappearance is oddly familiar. And while there may be a rather large degree of discomfort and shame-spiralling embarrassment seeing it again, you’re brain gradually begins to pick up the odd flicker of why you enjoyed it in the first place.

Yep, Justin Lee Collins is back on the Reunion track again. While Fame didn’t really hold a sacred place in my childhood (age again, methinks), it’s never-ending legacy (High School Musical, Britannia High) is still lingering around today like the smell of your Nan’s wet-fart at the Christmas Dinner table, and JLC embarks on yet another round of arguably litigious ways to hunt down the stars of TV and Movie Past.

Every ‘Where Are They Now?’ programme contains a certain splash of schadenfreude, and it’s morbidly gratifying to hear that the majority of Fame’s bright-eyed, sparky little energergiser bunnies were either drunk, coked off their faces or just running wild bloody rampant during the filming of the show.

Nobody should be able to smile that wide for an hour straight. It gives me hope for a High School Musical expose that eventually reveals Zac Efron to be a drag-wearing, smack-dealing rent boy. That’d be a Festive Treat.

It’s only when they try to position it as some kind of paradigm shifting societal satire that everything grinds to a rather embarrassing halt. JLC’s repetitive monologue on ‘Fame’s’ claim to Fame soon gets a little tiring, and boldly declaring that the show was the catalyst for the likes of today’s X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent is not something to boast about.

When it focuses on the leg warmers and perms-on-steroids though, it’s great fun. Whether you’re a fan or not, you won’t be able to stop yourself humming and singing along to the title track. And JLC’s manic, stalker-like dedication always brings out a smile – especially when he’s undaunted by the hilarious LA stereotypes that he comes up against.

And if that isn’t enough to get you interested, let’s just say that the sight of JLC in tight, awkwardly fitting lycra is probably the sexiest application I’ve seen of the fabric since Eric Prydz’s ‘Call On Me’ video.

Matt Risley