TV Review: Something for Nothing, Channel 4 | The independent
“I’ve had treatments worth £ 5,000,” said Jenny Townsend, one of Harry’s heroes in Something for nothing. You become one of Harry’s heroes not by saving a comrade under Taliban fire or helping orphans in a developing country, but by blaming things for free. Jenny had managed to get countless beauty treatments for nothing in exchange for donating her face and body as a beginner’s training material. And already the central concept of Something for nothing was starting to tire a little.
First, there was the question of “value”. These treatments weren’t “worth” that much, Jenny, it was just the inflated price people are willing to pay. Then there was the notion of “free”. Among the non-cash bills Jenny ended up paying were several weeks of acute social embarrassment after a haircut did not go as she expected. No matter. She seemed happy and fearless: “I hope I do a chemical peel next,” she said, beaming widely. Oh yes, this is exactly the kind of procedure you would want a novice to perform, Jenny. Have someone apply acid to your face.
Harry, for whom Jenny was a hero, was presenter Harry Wallop, who challenged himself to see what he can get for free and pass the tips on to us. And not all of them were absurd. If you’re willing to treat yourself as a guinea pig to apprentices, you can have your hair cut for free, for example, and he’s also explored a new craze called “swishing,” which has proven to be considerably less exciting than it is. Looks like it, but offered a way to realize the dead capital locked in all that unworn clothes in your closets (that’s clothes barter, basically). Other tricks were the kind of gifts that are only truly accessible if a limited number of people know about them, an exclusivity that Harry seemed determined to undermine. You might be able to get on the list for a restaurant’s smooth opening, for example, but if even one percent of Something for Nothing viewers act on the information it contains, seats are going to be scarce. .
You also couldn’t help wondering how useful it is to have a film crew in tow, an expensive prop that has a positive magical effect when a Chancellor shows up asking for pizza and beer. free, like Harry did when he left. to organize a completely free evening. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get,” he said happily after another local vendor graciously attended. And if you try the same thing without the backing of a TV commission, I guess more often than not you don’t get it either. My hero, by the way – summing up the weird agency abandonment that accompanies the something for nothing philosophy – was Jane Willis, an obsessive gossip who seemed to enter contests whether she wanted the prize or not. Among her booty were a condom holder and remote controlled vibrating panties. Jane didn’t seem to have much time for either.
The Route Masters: traveling the roads of London was a profile of the systems that keep London’s traffic flowing. It had a few issues as an hour-long movie, as watching people try to sort through traffic jams turns out to be barely more interesting than actually sitting in it. Even the Vauxhall helicopter crash, perhaps the most dramatic growl in recent years, was reduced to men anxiously watching traffic jams and saying things like, “Yeah, but if we do this it will come back.” to Camberwell New Route. “
But he was saved by his characters, including Indra, a former Gurkha member of the Incident Response Team whose commitment to keeping London moving was to give pedestrians a piggyback ride through an underpass. flooded, and Sean, who watches that sclerotic artery of the Blackwall Tunnel from a nearby cell-like Portakabin. My kind of hero.