Friday, November 26, 2010

Alone Again So

Overheard in Sainsbury's: two, ahem, chavs were buying some bread and the first one picks up a fresh loaf and looks at it puzzled and then turns to his mate and says, "'Ere, this bread is warm. Why is this bread warm?"
"It's probably just come out of the oven," says his mate.
"Really?"

***

Mitchell and Webb have a sketch on their TV programme called The Quiz Broadcast. This is: is a post-apocalyptic television show broadcasting on the British Emergency Broadcasting Service sometime in the year 2013. The country has been destroyed by "The Event" ...
There is, during this sketch a sign that appears on screen whenever 'The Event' is mentioned - REMAIN INDOORS.

Now, in the great tradition of Lost, there is a new mystery SF series on telly at the moment called The Event. For starters, I can't help but refer to it as either The Quiz Broadcast or Remain Indoors. I just wish it was as enthralling as Mitchell & Webb's comedy sketch.

The problem with The Event is it is a bit of a construct. It's like TV execs thought, "Lost was popular; 24 was popular, science fiction is in - lets do a hybrid and rake the cash in..." Except it is getting to the stage where like that wonderful piece of crap TV Flash Forward it is going to get cancelled.

We've watched the series and it has potential; the problem with shows like this is if you're going to constantly pile mystery upon mystery you need to give the dog a bone; you need to apply your mystery with a soup├žon of answer or reveal. Think of it as Burlesque - its nice to have all that titillation, but every so often you have to see a nipple otherwise it's just a constant prick tease.

The Event doesn't do that. It just plies one enigma after another to the point where you start not to give a shit - not that you gave much of one anyhow. I think that Fringe was in danger of doing this until someone realised that the best policy is to actually show the viewer what the big picture is and build a series around it. JJ Abrams did it in reverse with Lost and it worked, because it was the first of its kind. American viewers are easily bored and if Abrams wanted Fringe to work, he had to something different. The makers of The Event don't have that foresight or guts and it will fade into the same limbo as Flash Forward and no one will care.

Of course, the other problem is it's a bit shit and there are a heap better programs out there at the moment.

***

Talking TV; the wife and I have been very impressed with No Ordinary Family. It's a kind of post-modern Fantastic Four and the first 8 episodes were an enjoyable romp. The brother-in-law and his lovely girlfriend are visiting and we talked up the show to the point where they wanted to see the latest episode I've downloaded. This has happened before to our regret and guess what? Episode 9 of No Ordinary Family was mawkish, overly far-fetched and so poor, I felt embarrassed by it...

***

Hey, while we're on the subject of TV, lets stay there: Stargate Universe is depressing. Not as depressing as say Battlestar Galactica, but still one of the most downbeat TV series for a while. yes, it still suffers from Deus Ex Machina fever at times, but this week's episode turned that Stargate quirk on its head in a really downbeat and ultimately sad way. This is a series that has massive flaws, but they're done in such a miserable and desperate way you can forgive it.

The Trip is British; it stars Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan and is directed by Michael Winterbottom. It's fictionally semi-autobiographical and it has become the funniest thing on telly at the moment. The opening 5 minutes of Monday's fourth episode will be remembered for a long time.

The Walking Egg as its become known already in Chez Hall has all the hallmarks of being a supremely brilliant TV show and you get the impression that like Robert Kirkman's comic - reviewed here last week - only a handful of people are going to be exempt from being eaten, killed, maimed or in some way driven insane by apocalyptic abuse. It does have one thing the comic doesn't have - a degree of levity.

***

Apparently, despite having been to the dentist about as many times in the last 30 years as George Michael gets convicted for drugs and driving offences, my dentist thinks I have remarkably good teeth and gums. He is delighted that I've stopped smoking and even the wife has noticed that me old gnashers appear to be cleaner than a brand new Royal Doulton bog.

I was looking at the some of the pictures of me; including many on Facebook, and I was very self conscious of the fact that I looked like I took no care of my teeth at all. Now, I'll gladly grin like a fool just to show off me pearly whites!

***

Someone suggested to me today that I'm only saying the Aussies are going to win the Ashes because I'm trying some kind of reverse psychology; a bit like doctors giving a patient the worst possibly scenario only to come out smelling of roses if the person on the receiving end of the potentially bad news makes a full recovery.

No. I think we will lose. Plain and simple. The only thing that will prevent us from losing this 1st test is the weather.

***

I managed to find out what those mystery songs were thanks to K and his useful suggestion. I really should have remembered what they were without help.

***

A (not so) short mention about my health... Back slowly improving, but the sciatica is literally a pain in the arse (and leg). I seem to have developed really dry skin - which is weird considering I've stopped smoking. My hair seems to have rediscovered grease, which isn't very pleasant and I'm not talking about Olivia Newton-John or John Travolta. I cut my leg on some brambles today and thought it was never going to stop bleeding. I'm still getting this bizarre intermittent itching and my eyes are still as sore as a bastard. oh and I really am getting very lardy. If I carry on the way I'm going I'll need a mirror to see my penis...

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