A Seagalian Sidestep: When Justin Met Steve

Say what you will about Channel ‘owned-by-a-porn-baron’ Five, but they’re doing a good job of showing some of Seagal’s worst films on a dizzying rotation of almost two a week. I guess someone must have joined the dots in their weekend schedule and thought that human-labrador Justin Lee Collins would make for interesting ratings if matched with the mighty Steven Seagal. And so we have the aptly search engine optimised ‘Steven Seagal v Justin Lee Collins’.

For all my eye-rolling at seeing the ads for this, the sum-total of the thing is not that bad. All things considered. Honestly. The duo worked together on the pretty tiresome Friday Night Project which Seagal hosted a couple of years ago, so they aren’t complete strangers. Nor do they have the unbounded rapport that Collins insists on pointing out to the camera before every advert break. But considering Seagal’s a lumbering sphinx with not a blind bit of reason to be talking to any kind of press, Collins does an alright job in keeping him talking, and surprisingly laughing, albeit at the expense of some pretty forced wank gags.

Despite being the sort of show which furiously chops up 25 minutes of footage and elliptically repeats itself across twice the runtime, the show does throw out a few odd facts, and a couple of quirks that were news to me:

Steven’s allergic to ‘a lot of things’. Specifically gluten.

Steven’s made a lot of money. Probably double what you’ve imagined.

He’s got a samurai sword worth ‘about a million dollars.’ It’s pretty cool looking.

He’s got an iphone.

The most memorable gig on his last UK tour was in Llandudno.

He can just about pronounce Llandudno.

He likes his guns.

This may stem from his latent fear of home invasion.

His new home is in the middle of nowhere.

He’s surprised that a Brit would know the phrase ‘young, dumb and full of cum’.

He once gave a drunk man a flying punch out of his Tokyo dojo.

He’s good at keeping his belly covered whenever he’s sat down.

Considering my expectations were rock bottom going in, I must say I was pretty pleasantly surprised. The show won’t be of any real interest to anyone that isn’t much of a fan, but Seagal fan’s and their inherently low expectations can find the programme streaming on Channel 5’s Demand 5 site until 02:00 on the 5th of August, 2011.

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2 thoughts on “A Seagalian Sidestep: When Justin Met Steve

  1. Dewi H says:

    I must admit that I do enjoy a good bit of seagalery, plus whilst i’m watching parallel to your good self, I find a certain perverse pleasure in the almost academic critique flowing back and forth.

    Might I point out, though, that we also found out some things about JLC. The thing that stuck in my mind was that he’s not just awful at martial arts, he’s so inherently incapable that I almost injured myself as a result.

    • burntretina says:

      You’re not wrong. Put the man in a martial arts training montage and I think we may be on to a winner. But he’s a funny one is JLC, and not in the hur-hur way either. Crushingly sincere in being ‘The Biggest Fan’ of all these 80s stars, but equally self-demeaning with the sub-Jonathan Ross wanking jokes. A good way to break the ice with stiff interview subjects, but not exactly the greatest to watch. I guess it keeps him in work though.
      [and remembering from a market research ‘session’ I took part in once, the ladies absolutely love him. I’ve heard this contested, but apparently many would buy just about anything he put his face on. Make of that what you will.]

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