Tag Archives: tv

Saturday Potluck : Late To The Luminite Party

I may be incredibly late to the party, but when you work every evening you miss all the good TV, which is why iPlayer, YouTube and 4od are my friends.

These guys have progressed through the auditions and semi finals of the UK’s Saturday night manufactured monolith, Britain’s Got Talent, and will aim to beat some shadow dancers who exploit everyone’s natural emotions this Saturday in the final. Even if they don’t win, which is likely as everyone seems to be enamoured by Attraction, the aforementioned silhouette people, Luminites appear to have a successful career ahead of them. I’m borderline obsessed with their audition rendition of Millie Jackson/Susan Cadogan’s song ‘Hurts So Good’, to the point where I need to force myself to step away from YouTube. The beautifully harmonised vocals and skilled beat boxing aside, it is the group’s pure charisma instantly that makes me want to buy their album. So if Simon Cowell could snap them up quickly after their 2nd place finish and get on that, that would be great. Dancing silhouettes will entertain the Queen, but Luminites are destined for far greater things.

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Fame On A Friday : Further Proof That Will Smith Is A Gift To Interviews

Will Smith never fails to deliver memorable and entertaining interviews, while some people trot out the same anecdotes in a desperate attempt to seem interesting, he seems to have the natural knack for making a person feel that they have experienced something unique. This week was no exception, as he joined Graham Norton with his son, Jaden, and reunited with his ‘Fresh Prince’ cohorts to create a TV moment that is enough to make a pop culture buff’s head explode.

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Telly Tuesdays : The Ice Cream Girls

Last week I looked forward to the conclusion of ITV’s 3-part drama, ‘The Ice Cream Girls’. In previous episodes, we were introduced to Poppy, a quiet woman just released from prison after serving a long sentence for the murder of a teacher when she was a teenager. She had been tried alongside her friend, Selena, whose lawyer mother ensured that she was found not guilty. The episodes use flashbacks to explore the question of who was really to blame for the murder of a man revealed to be a manipulative abuser of young girls, as well as the impact of the event on the girls’ lives as they have grown up. Selena has since achieved a good education, married and had a child, while Poppy’s fractious relationship with her stepfather and feckless mother leaves her isolated upon her release.

Throughout the series it is impossible not to feel sorry for Poppy, both of the excellent actors portraying her at different ages left in doubt that she was innocent from the beginning. Her desire for affection clear from the first scene involving her mother, who betrays the cardinal rule of parenting by choosing her husband over her child. I found her the most irritating character in all this, she displays no hint of backbone while her husband remains hostile towards Poppy and it becomes easy to see why the teenager was so open to manipulation by a man willing to give her attention. Like mother like daughter I suppose. Yet the lack of a resolution once (spoiler alert!) Poppy’s innocence has been proven is incredibly frustrating. The much loved younger siblings whom Poppy has repeatedly asked for return, and yet there is no comeuppance for the man who has always believed in her guilt, or for the woman who excluded her eldest child from a family meal.

For Selena, her sense of guilt worsens as the story progresses, though it is unclear until the conclusion whether this is due to lies in the courtroom or the lies told to her new family, who know nothing of her past. Again the young actress portraying her teenage self shines in the scenes involving her abuse by a teacher.

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Wednesday’s Got Issues : Coachella Hipsters Are a Nice Distraction

There are a lot of unsettling stories floating around this week and there’s not much that I can add to make a full blog post worthwhile, so instead I’m going to refer back to a fail safe coping mechanism for bad news : funny YouTube videos! In between reading about unemployment, collapsed buildings and the after effects of terrorism, it’s nice to know that one can always rely on a hipster to provide some comic relief. See below for a segment on Jimmy Kimmel in which Coachella attendees are asked for their opinions on non-existent bands

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Telly Tuesdays : Broadchurch

I’ve decided to make a change to my categories, as writing about travelling just made it more clear to me that I’m not going on holiday anytime soon. So instead I’ve decided to switch to another major interest of mine, television. Yes, the majority of the programmes that I watch are via iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube or Sidereel, but it still counts as TV, plus I work unsociable hours so the only other option is to turn off my brain and make do with Jeremy Kyle.

For the past 8 weeks I’ve been ever so slightly obsessed with an ITV crime thriller called Broadchurch, a detective series in which Olivia Colman and David Tennant investigate a small community after a young boy is murdered. The best elements of it were the dual allegiance of Colman’s character, who is an active member of the community and mother of the dead child’s best friend. At first she refuses to believe that anyone within her community could commit a murder, yet over the course of the series she begins to doubt herself. I have loved watching Olivia Colman since I saw her playing the scatterbrained mother Harriet Schulenburg, and I still don’t feel like I’ve recovered from Tyrannosaur – arguably the best film I’ve ever seen that I never want to see again. She is perfection, so I knew I wanted to watch Broadchurch as soon as I saw that she was in it.
Then there’s David Tennant as the distant and blunt detective with the failures of a previous case and as well as a serious illness weighing heavily on his mind. Plus he’s my favourite Doctor Who, so enough said really.

But the series did have its problems. At times it felt like I was watching some sort of sequel to Hot Fuzz, complete with comedy accents, a token outsider and Colman back in the police station. And by the end it seemed that the writers were fixated on creating every character into a paedophile (not so much like Hot Fuzz). But either way I love a good puzzle, so was immensely proud that I correctly guessed the killer from the first episode, even if everyone else did too.

That was the main failing of the programme, in such a small community there are only a certain number of people that you can paint as a suspect before the one person that no one suspects becomes glaringly obvious. I won’t spoil the reveal for anyone who has yet to watch, but the reasons behind the child’s murder are equally dubious, and many elements of the investigation are left unresolved (WHY was Danny arguing with the postman!?). However it has been announced that there will be a series 2, so it will be interesting to see how the writers work around the complete lack of serious crime in rural Dorset coastal towns, unless the people of Broadchurch are just very, very unlucky. The closing moments of the series seem to suggest that the two detectives, who were the only three dimensional characters anyway, will move on to pastures new to escape the demons that Danny Latimer’s murder unearthed.

It wasn’t perfect, but it kept me hooked.

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Saturday Pot Luck: Miriam Margolyes should be on TV every day

Today has been a lazy sort of Saturday, and in the absence of any decent weekend television I have had quite a lengthy YouTube session almost entirely made up of clips from The Graham Norton Show. I remember watching him in the V and So days, turning the volume right down and straining to hear both the TV and for any sign that i was about to be caught up way past my bedtime. I have always loved his quick and slightly cruel humour, but it has been through him that I have been introduced to the comic enigma – Miriam Margolyes. She is so refreshingly without a filter, her comic timing and frequent risque topics of conversation have left me utterly helpless with laughter. So I am requiring anyone who reads this post to watch the three videos below, so that more people may know of her brilliance. This way, we might be able to get her back on GNS a few more times, so that we may hear a few more of her salacious anecdotes.

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Happy new year to one and all

2011 was a year of death, destruction and unemployment. But it was also the year that those without a voice fought to be heard. Let’s hope that changes continue to be made for the better throughout 2012.

From the looks of social media pages this morning, everyone had a pretty good night from what they can remember, and I imagine that there may be something of a bacon shortage as people try to correct their delicate state.

My New Year’s Eve probably sounds like a PSA about the benefits of online dating – I was alone (with my dogs), eating Ben & Jerrys and watching Alan Carr et al getting steadily more trollied on Channel 4. To some that might sound like a cry for help, but it has become my personal NYE tradition to avoid generally everyone, take control of the TV remote and shamelessly eat/drink myself into a stupor while dancing around the living room with a bewildered Springer Spaniel. Bridget Jones I may be, but lonely I am not.

From my experiences of previous years, NYE is impossible to enjoy if you’re with other people in a social setting. I have sat in a busy Sydney park for 13 hours waiting for a few pretty lights, I have attended house parties full of people I’ve never met, and I’ve ventured into the festering, overcrowded meat markets known as “NYE club nights”. Believe me, I have tried to be normal and decided against it.

So this time next year, I would like all of the usual: less weight, more money, a job and somewhere new to live. So not much. There’s nothing like being an unemployed 23 year old, forced to move back into the family home after graduation, to bring home just how much of a failure you have become. So in the next year a new flat please. Oh, and a job in TV would be nice. And maybe someone with whom I could share my end of year ritual, there’s more than enough Ben & Jerrys for two.

Happy New Year all x

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My Transsexual Summer Episode 1

In the first episode of this cutting edge documentary series, we dealt with which stage everyone was at in their transition, and were introduced to each individual’s story. This week we were given a taste of how it feels to be a transgendered person in an often unforgiving society.

I’m already so invested in the people involved that it’s almost unbearable to watch the discrimination that they face. Both Drew and Sarah form part of the more emotional crux of this episode, Drew in her search for a job and Sarah in her ‘coming out’ to her family. Both women express their vulnerability so clearly, and the programme makers present their stories in such a sensitive way, that only the most bigoted of people would fail to be moved. It is a special kind of prejudice that befalls transgender people, as explored this week, one that makes those perpetuating it feel as if they are justified in their beliefs. Take the women in the bridal shop who rejected Drew on the grounds that she would make customers feel uncomfortable. Just to be clear, they rejected her because she is transgender. Equal opportunities anyone? It seems like I’m forever filling out those forms in job applications, and I clearly remember the part about how the information will have no bearing on my application. So while they seemed nice but uninformed, those women were actually breaking the law. And I’m quite sure that they are not the first and will not be the last. Couple this with the fact that they discussed the masculine features of Drew’s appearance while she was sat 2 feet away, and we begin to get an idea of the world from a transgender perspective.

Sarah’s journey so far shows the difficulties that a trans faces in the initial phase of their transition. Throughout the episode, her upcoming visit to her family become a central focus, but it ended in a simple conversation. It appeared that her mother, while shocked, seemed to accept her decision to live as a woman, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit deflated. I wouldn’t have wished for an explosive encounter – Sarah is too sweet and vulnerable a figure for anyone to ever wish hurt on her – but a few minutes of conversation in a car seemed less than the event deserved. Hopefully the aftermath of Sarah’s visit will be more of an explored topic in next week’s episode.

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