Tuesday, 29 July 2008

It seems CBBC is better than BBC3.

Is there any reason why a CBBC sketch show called I'm Sorry, I've Got No Head is smarter, cleverer and made me laugh more times than a BBC3 sketch show called Scallywagga.

This is YouTube's first clip if you search for I'm Sorry I've Got No Head:

That's pretty funny, albeit the punchline has been given away by the preview picture. But go on YouTube and search for more sketches from the show. Most of them are really good, with collaberations from great comedians such as Marcus Brigstocke and Mel from Mel and Sue.

Here is the top rated clip for Scallywagga:

Oh. I. I see. I understand why this is meant to be funny... they're making fun of sketch shows with pointless catchphrases within a sketch. But they're sort of repeating that Colin Hunt sketch. But they've turned the fake catchphrases into a catchphrase.

It's all very confusing and odd.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

"I Said to Beethoven 'I Can Rattle off a Tune', he said 'Pardon?'"

Despite it not technically being television, the BBC Proms this year showed a little mini-episode of Doctor Who as part of their Kids-Centric Proms. They showed this little episode...

It's quite funny, and I suppose it'd be greatly appreciated in the Albert Hall with lots of children talking to the Doctor. All in all, I loved it. It publicised the Doctor's love of music, it interacted well on a pantomimic scale (especially when listening to the Proms on Radio 3). The ending is a bit.. sappy, but it's all round fun entertainment.

But... I'm going to guess that a lot of people won't. In the comments section of this post, I would like you to find a link of every source you can find which complains about this little mini-adventure for the following reasons:

- It surely can't be canonical
- The Doctor breaks the fourth wall!
- They didn't credit Jimmy Vee!
- Pah! It's far too kids-centric now!

That's your task. Go.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Censor Sensibility

The Channel 4 franchise is rubbish. Well, that's a lie- it's excellent, but it's rubbish in one field. Why do they feel the need to censor programs at 2pm because they contain questionable words?

Let me explain further... the other day, they showed an episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel throw their daughter a 1st birthday party. They get her a novelty cake which is supposed to be shaped like a bunny. But it isn't. It's shaped like a penis. Hilarity ensues. However, if you're airing that episode on E4 at five in the afternoon and won't allow the word penis on air, the plot does lose a bit of sense.

The end scene is supposed to go like this:

(Rachel wipes away some tears.)

What's wrong? Are you okay?

Oh yeah, nothing! These are happy tears! This is just what I wanted.

(pointing at cake) Hey, you made it into a bunny.

(looking worried) What is wrong with me. It looked more delicious when it was a penis!

Here is E4's version of that scene:

(Rachel wipes away some tears.)

What's wrong? Are you okay?

Oh yeah, nothing! These are happy tears! This is just what I wanted.

(pointing at cake) Hey, you made it into a bunny.

(Looking worried) What is wrong with me. It looked more delicious when it was-

(Cut to bizarre audience laughter)

Making no sense at all, but at least the kids watching at home won't question what a penis is.

There seems to be something vulgar about the word "Penis" in the land of Channel 4. Watching The Nutty Professor the other day on Film4 (and being slightly freaked out at the fact it was made twelve years ago), they cut out the line after Professor Klump gets thin for the first time, looks down at his trousers and exclaimed "My penis! I can see my penis!". However, what they decided was perfectly acceptable for 1pm is the scene where the newly thin Klump goes to a comedy club and defends a comedian, claiming his date to "give the nigger a chance"- and then later calls a piano player Niggeraci. What are Channel 4 trying to do here... be too sensitive? Worry that if they edit that out, people will be more offended?

And despite cutting out jokes that end up creating an episode that makes no sense (seriously - try watching a Scrubs episode called "My Dirty Secret" on E4 in the evening. The episode is about Eliot accidentally giving a patient an orgasm during a pelvic exam and then focuses on her inability to say rude words - the edited episode is something like 12 minutes long), Channel 4 still continue this tradition- to the point that they're now airing Desperate Housewives at 2pm, which when recorded without the adverts is now 35 minutes long.

I just don't know who they're trying to protect with most of these bizarre edits. Are they worried that an unattended 8-year old is going to be watching Friends at 5pm and then ask his parents what a penis is? It's silly is what it is.

Shut Up, D. Fitzgerald

I do love people who write letters into magazines like TV Choice:

Why on earth does a backstreet boozer like Corrie's Rovers Return need so many staff? They've got Steve, his mother Liz, Michelle, Betty, Sean and Becky!
D Fitzgerald

Shall we look at this logically, D Fitzgerald? You've counted up six people there. Working in a pub. Now, let's say for argument's sake that pubs are usually open from 11am til 11pm - about twelve hours a day. That's 84 hours a week. Divided by the seven staff means everyone's working about 12 hours a week. However, most the time, there's usually two staff members working, so if people are sharing shifts, that makes on average that the usual working week for any one member of staff there can be 18-24 hours. When I worked at a pub, this was usually my regular amount - and we had a small pub in a village called Holdingham that was staffed by about nine people. Nine people. AND we served food as well, much like the Rovers Return.

I may be thinking about this too much, but I can't get over why stupid people write in to magazines complaining about this sort of thing.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Cotton Wool Brains

On More4 just now was a show called Cotton Wool Kids. It's about parents, and children of parents, who think that the world is so dangerous that they simply can't let the kids out of their sight for even a second.

There's a guy who will stalk his son in his car whenever he lets him go anywhere (although he's rubbish at it), a woman who has conversations with her daughter that start "see that man? He's a stranger, isn't he?", and a woman who is having her children "chipped", like... God, I don't even know -- we don't even treat animals that way. Anyway, she's having GPS things put in them so she'll always know where they are and how deep the nasty man has buried them.

Partly it's just gullible, tabloid-trusting paranoia, which on its own is stupidity in such massive amounts that it's frankly verging on becoming a punishable crime, but as well as that it's the most god-awful selfish hypocrisy -- they were perfectly happy to run around free when they were kids, and let's not pretend their parents weren't at all worried, but now it's them doing the worrying and their kids' freedom at stake, suddenly now they flip into overprotective mode and keep the kids locked up where they can be monitored at all times by their parents and thirty-two satellites. All this, and the kidnappings they fear (largely on the back of one case that was almost certainly just the parents drugging the girl to sleep, overdoing it, and hiding the evidence) haven't actually got any more common in 20 years. Apparently. They want it both ways, and it's just selfish and stupid and pathetic.

I'm convinced they're busily wrecking any chance their kids might have of growing into useful members of society. They have good intentions, certainly, but so do the anti-MMR-jab whack-jobs and and suicide bombers, and they're all going to ruin and shorten people's lives. These people need to be fucking told.

Is it just me, or is there some really horrible stuff on TV? That nobody notices?

Claire cut off her toe on Heroes, and that was done brilliantly, but it was underplayed, I think, presumably because it play it as it would be would have been horrific. Of course, that was nothing compared to what happened to Jack in Torchwood after that. He was buried. In a hole. For hundreds of years. And when he came out, had he gone mad? Had he even lost his accent a bit? No. On his own, unable to breathe or eat or talk, for centuries on end, and the moment he's dug up he's straight on the job again, without missing a beat. I'm not buying it.

We've all seen the reports of torture in Guantanamo. It's becoming pretty apparent that you don't need to go to anything like those lengths to break someone's mind, at least for a while. We all know now that an hour feeling like you can't breathe and you're going to die is spectacularly awful enough to render most people useless for at least the remainder of the day. Unless you're Captain Jack. Earlier in the same series, Toshiko was basically date-raped and nobody said a thing. Even Jeremy from Peep Show can spot date-rape when it happens. (I did like that Toshiko didn't think of it that way, as she still 'loved' him, but I'd have thought Owen would have said something.) And don't get me started on the incredible stunts Jack Bauer pulls shortly after undergoing literal physical torture or while recovering from a heroine addiction or something.

It's so inconsistent, too. Staying in series two of Torchwood, because I think that has a lot more scope to do horrid things to the principal characters than most shows, when Zombie Owen went a bit mad and started breaking his fingers at Toshiko, she all but broke down. I thought that was great TV, and the final scenes between those two were also fantastic. (I'm struggling to think of a reason to watch the show without those two.) And yet, that was the same episode that Jack was dug up after apparently failing to notice that he'd been buried for longer than anyone else lives.

I don't know. It always seems fine at the time -- it's usually only after the show that I think "hang on, that was actually pretty fucked up" -- but even so. Maybe it's just really, really hard to write good TV without this kind of thing happening once in a while. Or maybe it's just lazy.

Friday, 11 July 2008

I Actually Do Like This Show.

Dara O'Briain: Hello, and welcome to Mock the Week. I'm Dara O'Briain, and I'm not doing a stand-up bit, presumably because it used to give away all the answers. The first round is called "If This Is The Answer, What Is The Question?" Russell, pick a topic.

Russell Howard: Anything.

Dara O'Briain: Okay, the answer is "a ridiculously large number".

Russell Howard: Is it "how many times has this episode of Mock the Week been on Dave?"

Andy Parsons: EXTERMINATE!

Dara O'Briain: And I'm going to give the points to Frankie, Hugh and Easily Booked Guest #1. Okay, the next round is called "try to tenuously link an existing bit of your stand-up routine to a category I read out", so would everyone go and stand on the lowered bit of the set we used on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Okay, the first topic is "the congestion charge". Anyone?

Andy Parsons: So, the congestion charge, eh? George Bush is a bit thick. A joke about that.

Dara O'Briain: Well done, Andy, sit down. The next round is called "Between the Lines", where Frankie, you'll take the part of Gordon Brown making a speech, and Hugh, you say what he really means.

Frankie Boyle: Clever setup line for Hugh.

Hugh Dennis: I hate everyone.

Frankie Boyle: Clever setup line for Hugh.

Hugh Dennis: I hate everyone.

Frankie Boyle: Clever setup line for Hugh.

Hugh Dennis: I hate everyone.

Dara O'Briain: Well done both of you, sit down and I'll award one of you points for "winning" even though you're both on the same team. The last round is called "Scenes We'd Like To See", and the first topic is "Bad or Otherwise Unlikely Things for Someone with a Vaguely Newsy kind of Job to Say".

Hugh Dennis: Are you paying too much for your car insurance?

Frankie Boyle: Paedophiles.

Dara O'Briain: Okay, so this week's winners are whichever team I feel like. Well done to everyone. Goodnight!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Official Channel Flip Review For "Bonekickers"

It's crap.

It's like the commissioners thought "Yeah, let's make a TV show based on The Da Vinci Code. Only we can't for legal reasons." Then, they got some really terrible actors to run around about an age-old mystery using brushes and digging, and at the end nobody really gives a shit because the mystery happened 300 years ago and everyone back then is now dead.


Thursday, 3 July 2008

It's the Master, disguised as Davros, who is actually Adam, in a parallel Universe populated by Sontaran Cybermen

This post contains spoilers for last Saturday's Doctor Who. If you haven't seen it by now then, well, what's wrong with you?

Being the Doctor Who fan that I am, I tend to hang around on the Doctor Who Forum. There you'll find some of the most terrifying aspects of the fandom, from people who think that the show is rubbish based solely on the fact that the current series isn't called Season 30, to people who think that Davros is actually Adam from the revived show's first series, to people who start entire threads just to post "squee" at varying lengths over and over again. It's also a breeding ground for suspect speculation, convoluted conspiracies and idiotic ideas for what people think will happen in the current series.

There have been a couple of theories bubbling to the surface this year. The dramatic reveal in last week's "The Stolen Earth" (which you can still watch on the BBC iPlayer if you're fortunate enough to live in the UK) is marginally less dramatic when you consider that a large portion of the fanbase has known about it now for very close to a year.Much of the fanbase chose to ignore this info, of course, and flat out say with absolute certainty that Davros wasn't coming back. Even when his silhouette appeared in the mid-series trailer, even when leaked photos which clearly showed him on set with a red Dalek leaked, people were denying that he would return.

Didn't stop him though, did it? I mean, it'd make things much easier for the Doctor, certainly...

Davros: I have returned, Doctor!
Doctor: No you haven't.
Davros: ...Yes I have.
Doctor: No, you haven't.
Davros: Haven't I?
Doctor: No, you definitely haven't.
Davros: Oh. Er... this is... um, sort of awkward now, really.
Doctor: It is a bit.
Davros: I'll just, um... I'll be off then, shall I?
Doctor: Prob'ly a good idea, yeah.

...but returned he has. Suck it, Portion Of The Fanbase Who Choose To Ignore The Bloody Obvious.

The other popular fan-theory over at the Doctor Who Forum is that the Master will also make a Triumphant Return, aiding the Daleks in some manner. It's not going to happen, as already apparent to anyone who is a) a fan of the classic series, and/or b) in possession of something vaguely resembling a brain. Fans are even stretching this ridiculous idea as far as to speculate that the Master is actually inside that ruddy great big red Dalek.

The annoying thing is that you can't tell 'em it's not going to happen, either. Because they take the viewpoint of "If you're not part of the NuWho Production Team, you're not qualified to say it won't happen." Apparently this means that it is happening, which is the kind of Dave Hitt Logic that jes' dun't compute.

Next they'll be trying to tell us that Donna Noble is the Final Cylon. Tch.