Published  12/03/2002

From Goya to Bean

From Goya to Bean

UK television viewers on the first Saturday evening in March will be able to combine uniquely two cultural ‘must sees’. In the first case, BBC2 is hosting BBC4 (Digital)’s launch evening schedule, fronted up by Bob Hughe’s deeply personal ‘Goya Crazy like a Genius’: this assessment of Goya is both insightful and raunchy. For female viewers who take offence to the undeniable chauvinism of the celebrated commentator (and survivor of a cataclysmic car accident and subsequent Goyaesque dreams) it was possible to switch across channels on ‘ole steam TV’ and pick up on Rowan Atkinson’s crazier and almost a genius, ‘Mr Bean’ (ITV) at a suitable midpoint interval, in Mel Smith’s ‘Bean’. Cut from anguished scenes with Hughes in the Prado, (‘prefer it if there was a bit more pink on the right nipple’) to Curator Bean’s mishap with Whistler’s mother, as ‘delivered’ to (what appears to be) the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Bean skilfully replaces the original painting which he has damaged irreparably in hanging with a skilfully patinated poster as forgery (and as have other forgers) gets away with it, avoiding apprehension by the Getty, the law and transfer in hood and chains to a penitentiary in the process. Bean, a genius of a curator, like crazy too, perhaps succeeds in luring art viewers more. The preview of both filmic ventures suggests that ITV will have secured the higher ratings by this cunning juxtaposition of Bean. But, you gotta switch over midway to get it in time.

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