Archive for July, 2008

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World’s Greatest Dad

July 16, 2008


That’s the clothing decision! But what’s the occasion? Link

(via yesbutnobutyes)

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Freedom marches on

July 15, 2008


A 16 year-old ‘terrorist’ (he may have thrown a grenade that killed an American soldier) is questioned in this, the first video release from Guantanamo Bay. Link

I wonder what valuable security information he’s given up.

I am also reminded of a certain small room in this.

“They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery.”

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“I’d like to try that out in space.”

July 15, 2008

There’s so much to love in this pre-Buster Crabbe Buck Rogers short that I don’t know where to begin… Wilma’s entrance, Buck’s entrance, the ‘war arrow’, the many, many looks to camera… it’s the feel-good hit of the day!

(Thanks, Simon!)

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Never get tired of this kind of thing

July 14, 2008

(Thanks, Paddy!)

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The wankeur theory

July 14, 2008

David Cairns getting it bang on again in this hilarious little post on William Friedkin.

“How do I find my projects? They find me,” he smarms. That’s right, because he sits on his fat ass having heart attacks while skivvies run back and forth with screenplays. Bill’s films, apparently, can be inspired by anything, perhaps “an overheard conversation,” which would imply that Friedkin is some kind of WRITER, which he isn’t. Which of hisfilms was inspired by an overheard conversation? Maybe he heard somebody talking about their possessed child, or maybe he heard somebody saying that only a complete ass would attempt to remake Clouzot’s THE WAGES OF FEAR and he thought, “That’s me!

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iLaughed

July 13, 2008


Link

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More argy bargy…

July 13, 2008

Another bit of fallout from the piece in ‘The Stage’, and The Independent picked up on it too. This is why I got narked at the angle of the original piece. I knew all this stuff would start swirling around and I’d end up spending too much time explaining myself…

I don’t want to have it said I’m complaining about shows that I actually love, so I want to be clear: ‘Pulling’ is great, ‘Gavin and Stacy’ is great, and (on Channel 4) ‘Peep Show’ is great. The latter, especially, is one of the shows that other writers have to watch in order to raise their game. I don’t have it in for shows that tackle ‘adult’ themes. I have it in for shows that tackle adult themes when the writers actually have little or nothing to say about them (or when what they do have to say is a disgusting lie).

I do, however, have a problem with BBC3. I’ve had a problem with BBC3 ever since I was in their office and saw a poster that described the ideal BBC3 viewer. I can’t remember the full shameful list of demographic-chasing bullet points, but the one that stood out for me was “She smokes Marlboro Lights” (seriously).

Since then, most of the material that I call funography has originated from BBC3. Programs like ‘My Penis and Everyone Else’s’ (pictured) and titles like ‘Pram Face Mansion’ made me suspect that it was actually morons who were being courted, not young girls with a cough, and while there are a lot of comedy shows that use the freedom the channel provides to good effect, there are as many if not more that have entirely the wrong tone because the creative teams behind them are being encouraged to appeal to that demographic.

A few of my favourite shows have been, or are in the process of being, ruined by this way of thinking. And  it’s not an ethos that is unique to BBC3…the relentless push for outrage and cheap, nasty, easy laughs seems to be endemic. I swear, if I hear the words “This program contains strong language from the start” one more time…

None of this is news to anyone who has been reading this site for any length of time, so I don’t quite understand why it’s being touted as such now. Except, as I said before, journalists do love a bit of argy bargy.

By the way, Independent editors? Asking me for an interview, stating that if I refuse “We’re just going to run the Stage story” (which they did) and then asking me to write a piece for the newspaper, is not the best way to get me to write a piece for your newspaper. You know what that process needs? A rethink.

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Whip it good

July 10, 2008

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How to be a TV reviewer

July 10, 2008


(Part 1 of a series)
When reviewing a new sitcom, always remember to slag off the very first episode as brutally as you possibly can. Don’t worry that this introductory episode will probably be the least representative of the series, and forget about any notions of giving the show ‘time to develop’. Just watch the opening half hour of a six-week run, make your mind up there and then, dash off your sixty words about something that took someone a year to develop, and get some well-earned sleep!

(Fun fact: Twice in my career, I’ve had the experience of journalists actually apologising for their early bad reviews and retracting them–it happened with ‘Father Ted’ and ‘The IT Crowd’. I’m not saying that will necessarily happen with ‘Lab Rats’, but even the possibility should make anyone with a conscience pause before they lace up their hobnail boots.)

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I manage to bore myself

July 10, 2008

Just in case you all think I enjoy pissing in the wind about the state of TV comedy, I should say that my comments on BBC3 in the Stage piece were part of a much larger discussion about the writing process. Turns out the journalist was only interested in a bit of argy-bargy. Because, you know, God forbid there should be anything that might actually be useful to writers in ‘The Stage’.

(Update: Matthew Hemley of The Stage says they will be publishing the full interview later on. I appreciate him taking the time to clarify things.)

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