Small Boo's been getting well into semi-illicit TV downloads, unearthing old favourites (anyone remember The Changes?) and more current stuff (Torchwood, a show for anyone who quivers with delight at the notion of gay, Welsh Buffy).
But two things have got me stroking my chin in particular in recent days. One is The River Cottage Treatment, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's latest attempt to acquaint us with the gruesome reality of food production.
Ah, that word, "reality". Because yes, much as I like HFW, the vegetarian's favourite carnivore, this is reality TV. Sure, it's the OK end of reality TV, in the guise of Faking It (which James Blue Cat lauded recently), rather than such grotesque efforts as Myleene Klass's new vehicle, I'm A Celebrity, Have I Got Fantastic Tits Or What? But under the perfectly sound idea (Hugh tries to persuade people not to eat shite food), there's the same undercurrent of class-based bullying that taints Jamie Oliver (who, Cockernee mannerisms aside, is as resolutely middle-class as I am, if a few rungs down the ladder from Old Etonian Hugh) and his otherwise noble school meals campaign.
This dirty little secret of British society (we all know class differences are hugely important, but nobody wants to talk about it) threatened to bubble up, like the juice of home-grown damsons through a crumble topping, when Hugh was attempting to get his guests to vow never to buy factory-farmed chickens again. One of his guinea pigs held out, explaining that she had to feed several kids on a tight budget, and free-range chicken was just a luxury too far. "The real world, where I live," she said,"We haven't got chickens running around the farm that we can just kill when we want." She also admitted that she was unswayed by welfare arguments, because she thought chickens were horrible, as opposed to ducks, which are "really, really cute".
Which was the fulcrum for her choice to begrudge an extra quid for a free-range chicken, but to splurge over 15 quid on an organic duck.
And then I realised that this wasn't just a nasty, voyeuristic attempt by Eton 'n' Oxford Fearnley-Whittingstall to give the Essex pleb a holier-than thou thrashing, which he plainly didn't want to do. It was just showing us that the woman was an idiot.
Also on the list was another one of my pet hates, the documentary with dramatised reconstructions. These are OK when the reconstruction actually tells you something (say, how the pyramids were built), but when it just reinforces the script for the slowies at the back, it quickly becomes tiresome. So in Simon Schama's The Power Of Art, it's not enough for the quasi-beatnik don to tell us that Bernini had a cute mistress - we had to see her in the flesh (or at least an actress playing her). The effect was especially pointless, because we then saw the bust that Bernini made of her, which looked nothing like the actress. Most of the show seemed devoted to the soap opera aspect of the sculptor's life, with SS as one point describing him - partly condemning, partly in wistful admiration - as "a complete bastard".
But Schama redeemed himself when he got to the meat of the show, Bernini's Ecstasy of St Theresa. His main point was that Bernini was the first sculptor who was able to render life, in all its fleshly wonder, in marble - even with religious subjects. The Carmelite's face seems to synthesise religious and sexual ecstasy, and Schama was pretty convinced that she was enjoying a shuddering orgasm. And I suddenly realised that Bernini was one of the first artists to depict the creative tension between God and sex, between divine and erotic love, the dialectic that informs the work of Marvin Gaye and Al Green and Aretha Franklin and the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi and so much more. Gian Lorenzo Bernini and St Theresa of Avila as Soul Brother and Sister Number One? As James Brown so elegantly put it, "I feel good!"