Posts Tagged ‘Television’

Game of Thrones… 1995 style

March 18, 2013

 

Just. Stellar.

Not looking forward quite so much to March 31st anymore, are you?

BPM

Poor Mindy McCready…

February 19, 2013

1361153207_mindy-mccready-reported-suicide_1

You know, I’d rather be repeatedly punched in my monkey parts than watch a minute of ‘Celebrity Rehab’… but seriously —

THIS headline:

‘MINDY MCCREADY MARKS FIFTH ‘CELEBRITY REHAB’ DEATH’

Fifth. Out of about 50.

Strange… it’s almost like Dr. Drew and Co. were more concerned with exploiting people with emotional problems purely for entertainment purposes, rather than helping them or something???

I’ll say it again – day by day, inch by inch, we struggle closer and closer to television finally giving up and just embracing the dystopian future of ‘The Running Man‘…

I'd seek help from Richard Dawson circa '87 before I'd speak to Dr. Drew, any day o' the week

I’d seek help from Richard Dawson circa ’87 before I’d speak to Dr. Drew, any day o’ the week

Which does not work for me. At all. I for one still look shitty in a lycra bodysuit, and cannot effectively wield a chainsaw whilst in hand-to-hand combat.

Not whilst on camera anyways.

Rest in Peace, Mindy.

BPM

Writing for (Reality) Television 101

February 17, 2013

“Your story is only ever as strong as it’s antagonist”

                                                     – Old Jungle Saying

It’s been simultaneously fascinating and disheartening to see ‘My Kitchen Rules’ once again become an Australian TV ratings behemoth over the past few weeks, based primarily on some of the oldest character stereotypes in the book.

Every ‘reality’ show needs a villain (of course). Enter the ‘Spice Girls’, Jessie & Biswa from New South Wales…

412868-jessie-khan-and-biswa-kamila

Who, in a matter of weeks, used their unparalleled charm and sophistication to become seemingly the most hated duo in the country (sorry Tony & Julia). They tick every single ‘HAAAAAAATE-watch’ box for a Channel 7 audience. Lets count ’em off:

  • Gen Y? Tick.
  • Female? Tick.
  • Horribly entitled? Tick.
  • Dumb as a post? Tick.
  • And most importantly, an ethnicity just ‘brown’ enough to offend white Australia? Indian and Bangladeshi MEGA TICK!

Observe:

You wouldn’t have guessed, but the judges and their fellow contestants voted these clowns off of a cooking show for the piddling offense of being unable to cook. Terrible, I know. Goodbye Spice Girls! Goodbye guaranteed ratings draw!

What are we to do now, MKR???

If your answer was  to introduce a new group of muckraking, gatecrashing contestants for no real reason other than to create conflict less than a month into the show, then you win… uhh… well… not much.

They haven’t even come up with something as clever as the SPICE GIRLS this time for fucks sake!!! ‘Gatecrashers’?!?!

* smacks head *

And yes, our most notable team of Gatecrashers are…

389755-girls

  • Gen Y? Tick.
  • Female? Tick.
  • Horribly entitled? Tick.
  • Dumb as a post? Tick.
  • And most importantly, an ethnicity just ‘Asian’ enough to offend white Australia? SUPER MEGA HAPPY TICK!

From the network that brought you ‘Border Patrol’… ladies and gentlemen, ‘MY KITCHEN RULES’!!!!!!!!!!

It’s made me pause more than once in the writers room of the TV show I work on to wonder why the hell we’re bothering to try to create boring shit like ‘well-rounded antagonists’,  ‘in depth backstories’, or ‘character arcs’. All that work, when really all we need to do is make our villain each and every week a spoiled stupid Gen-Y ditz with a complete lack of self-awareness.

The Hannibal Lector era of villainy is over, people. Long live Jessie & Biswa, the new breed of supervillain, soon to be enshrined in the Richard Hatch Hall of Infamy.

Take the tour.

It’s frigging horrible, sure, but it’ll only take 15 minutes.

BPM

Wrong Place, Wrong Time – A Vignette

September 21, 2012

An approximation of the villain in question

As I’ve mentioned previously, I work (when work is to be had) in the television industry, in and around production offices mostly. One thing you may not have known about the entertainment industry? There’s a HUGE proliferation of dog people.

By which I mean people who luuurrrvvveee their dogs. Not… you know…

Ugh… the 2nd Assistant Director has fleas again…

Anyhow, it’s not at all unusual for the office to contain the odd dog or two, as peeps bring their pets to work. Generally these furry new employees will be your smaller breed of dog, your Pomeranian, your Pug, your Chihuahua.

Not at the moment though.

One of the other staff here has bravely put her hand up to train a labrador pup on its way to becoming a seeing eye dog. A big responsibility, made even more difficult than you’d imagine by her canine ward, whom for the purposes of this blog we shall call ‘Spice’*.

* Not Spice’s real name

Because Spice is proving to be more problematic to train than almost any other puppy you’ve ever seen. Which is troubling considering that he will soon be responsible for not killing his owner on a regular basis. Even now that he’s a few months old, Spice stays when he should be coming. Stands when it’s time to sit. Has some bizarre aversion to going outside. Doesn’t carry the one when he does basic multiplication. That kind of thing.

Every day I watch my co-worker drag Spice towards the exit door to do his business, usually cheerfully exhorting ‘Spice! Come on Spice! Let’s go! Outside! Outside!’, as she drags this dog across the carpet, him resisting every inch of the way.

Except yesterday, as I was getting something from the photocopier, I heard her racing towards the exit, and flinging open the door, chanting encouragement which went something like ‘SpiceComeonSpiceOutsideHoldonOutsideWaitSpiceNOOOOO!!!’

A beat.

‘Monkey? Help!

I’m the closest person she can see. So I walk to the door, which she’s deftly holding with one hand, half inside and half out. She yells ‘Watch out!’, pointing at the carpet.

Yup. Spice didn’t quite make it. RIGHT in front of the door.

And to make matters worse, this agoraphobic dog, the bane of her existence, has taken advantage of this momentary distraction and decided ‘I’d actually quite like to go outside, just not with you’. Spice has bolted, she’s lost her grip on his lead, and he has charged outside onto the road.

Sure, he LOOKS cute… but he’s actually a calculating, ruthless monster. Trust me.

‘Please… help?!’

Of course I do my best, and hold the door as she dashes out into the street to save this dog from traffic. Presumably so that she can kill him herself.

But even as I’m playing Good Samaritan, I’m shrinking inside. And it’s not the dog poo I’m straddling that bothers me. It’s the knowledge that this door at my workplace is alarmed. And for SOME reason, if it’s held open for any longer than… say… 12-15 seconds? It starts beeping.

By beeping, I mean it BEEPS! It SCREECHES! It WAILS! It is an ear-piercing, headache inducing SIREN!

And I know it’s about to —

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Close the door!’, comes the helpful suggestion from the other end of the office, those lucky souls who remain oblivious to this ridiculous chain of events.

From outside: ‘Spice! Come here!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Shut the door!’

‘Spice! Come! Coooommmme!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘Who’s keeping the bloody door open?!?!’

Here I stand. Between a rock and a turd place. I can’t even temporarily close the door, then re-open it, because Spice’s well-placed leavings are positioned just so, so that if I tried to do this, I would end up smearing the carpet with a perfect, fragrant, racing stripe of shit.

Well played, Spice.

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

‘WOULD SOMEONE CLOSE THE DOOR!’

Thankfully, my co-worker, on the verge of a breakdown, wrests this idiot pup from the street, and dashes back to the door. Holding on to this animal as it spastically flails with one hand, she plastic baggies her other hand, reaches down whilst I stand frozen, like a moron caught in the world’s most high stakes games of Twister. Right foot, Brown.

‘I’m soooo sorry!’

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE —

She deftly grabs one turd, two turds, three… dashes out the door… and I finally close it.

— EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.

Silence.

And now I am left with no dog, no stressed out co-worker… not even any evidence to prove any of this ever happened. Just an office full of disgruntled staff looking for someone to blame for their brand spanking new 10am headaches.

I wander up to half a dozen of them, their desks circling me, my teeth gritted.

‘Why didn’t you close the door?’

‘Spice. Didn’t. Quite. Make. It’.

With this, I turn, and trudge back to my desk.

And that was Thursday.

BPM

Amuhr-ica! F*%# Yeah!

September 12, 2012

HAD to re-post this genius piece of editing, originally from the New York Magazine website:

If there’s a better two minute encapsulation of how out of control our culture of celebrity worship has become… well, I haven’t seen it.

Jesus wept…

Because apparently if we didn’t spend the anniversary of September 11 talking about Kris Jenner’s fake tits, then the terrorists truly have already won. 

BPM

Sorkinisms

June 28, 2012

Alt title: ‘Charlie Wilson’s War on A Few Good Bulworth’s Malice watching Sports Night’s Social Network on The West Wing at Studio 60’.

Ladies and gentlemen, Aaron Sorkin:

Because if something is worth saying, it’s worth saying at least two or three times, verrrrry very quickly.

Fantastic cut by @KevinTPorter.

BPM

‘The Voice’ KNOWS hyperbole!

May 8, 2012

I call the guy on the left ‘Urban Warfare’

A quick note on the Australian television juggernaut that IS ‘The Voice’, and in particular this week’s Battle round, where contestants will battle one another in a series of head-to-head battles in a battle to see who can use the word battle more in their allotted 8-10 minute segment.

 

bat·tle

Noun   A sustained fight between large, organized armed forces.

 

Waterloo. Gettysburg. Normandy. Gallipoli. Thermopylae. Helm’s Deep. These were battles. Two back up singer’s doing shitty covers of Rihanna songs I don’t even want to hear Rihanna sing? Meh… notsomuch.

I have to assume that the whole ‘battle’ concept is the red-headed stepchild of what ‘The Voice’s producer’s think a ‘rap battle’ is.

“I got the moves like Jagger, I got the moooooooooooves like Jagger… OK, now your turn!”

But… rap battles (as far as I, the whitest man in Melbourne, am aware) stereotypically consist of 2 angry young men dropping tasty rhymes about their own incredible sexual prowess and penis size whilst simultaneously denigrating the prowess/penosity of their opponent. There’s an innate sense of aggression and conflict there. Two middle-aged guys over-singing the shit out of Coldplay? Where’s the conflict in that?

For the record, Chris Martin ranks a zero on the Penosity Scale

As part of my job I’m privy to the primetime ratings of Australian free-to-air TV every morning, and ‘The Voice’ is managing to sustain a huuuugggeeee audience night after night. Basic rule of thumb is that if any show in the evening time slot has a million viewers, then it’s doing well.

‘The Voice’ is doing more than double that. Every. Single. Episode.

And once again, I don’t get it, and I wonder how much longer it can continue to draw such a large audience. Because once the novelty has worn off (Spinny chairs! Seal! Maybe Delta Goodrem’s a robot!), aren’t you left with the same Achilles heel every show of its ilk has?

That essentially you’re just watching amateur musicians sing adequate live cover versions of songs you can watch the original artist sing much better anytime you feel like it on Youtube?

But what about the human drama of it all, Monkey?

Ughhh… all just so much artifice. When ‘human drama’ consists almost exclusively for every contestant of either:

  1. i) They’re chasing their dream, one they’d almost given up on before kids / marriage / a serious accident,
  2. ii) They, or a close relative (ideally a parent), are dealing with Cancer, and they’re doing it for them, or
  3. iii) They need to learn to believe… (wait for it) in themselves…

Then you can count me out.

If I’m going to force myself to watch any reality television show at the moment, it’ll probably be ‘The Block’, purely because it’s managing to combine the perils and everyday nightmare of home renovation with a degree of cruelty and Phillip Zimbardo-esque psychological trauma that you just don’t find in scripted drama these days.

Sure you have to rebuild this entire house in 5 days with your bare hands and go 60 hours with no sleep, but it could be worse… you could have to compete in a ‘battle’ with the couple next door and sing “Lady Marmalade”…

Side note: As I’ve said before, I work in and around the periphery of television drama. And you have no idea how much the viewing habits of most of the people responsible for scripted drama in this country seems to exclusively revolve around shows like ‘The Voice’, rather than ‘Mad Men’, or ‘Breaking Bad’, or ‘Game of Thrones’.

I guess if I really want to be able to discuss whether Stannis Baratheon is the man for the Iron Throne, or the sense of morality of a Don Draper, I’m going to have to try to finagle my way into working on a reality television show instead.

God help me…

BPM

Another reason why Patton Oswalt rules

November 23, 2011

Because yes, you CAN make me stand in the background of the opening scene of this ep of ‘The King of Queens’, AND give me absolutely nothing to do…

Just don’t be surprised if when you do, I stand there like a motionless cypher, tripping balls through a parallel galaxy that’s allll in my mind.

Check out from 0:34 to about 1:26 of that clip.

Genius.

For a slightly better representation of Patton’s comedy stylings, maybe give this clip a whirl:

Ahhh, the ol’ sky cake dodge…

BPM

But… but… 6 seasons and a movie?!

November 18, 2011

And to think there are moments when I actually wonder why it is that I feel so disenfranchised from the rest of da humans.

Over in the States NBC made it official this week at the release of their mid-season TV schedule – ‘Community’ has been temporarily pulled from its lineup (it’s been replaced by the new season of ’30 Rock’).

So ‘Community’ gets yanked after two and a half seasons, but ‘Two and a Half Men’ is currently sailing through season number 9???

You made Donald Glover cry... I hope you're happy!

I’d say not to panic, that this is nothing to worry about… but we ‘Arrested Development’ fans have been through all of this before.

For those of you who may have missed ‘Community’, and gauging by its ratings that’s more than a few of you, this is great television comedy. Well acted, scripted, directed, cast and performed, it’s that rarest of beasts – a smart network sitcom.

So what chance did it have?

There are online petitions, poster campaigns, twitter handles… but lets face facts – if any of that shit actually counted for anything we’d currently be enjoying season 9 of ‘Firefly’ right now.

So until the death-blow is struck, let us cling to whatever hope remains. And remember folks, they may cancel our favourite television programs…

But they can’t take away our Troy and Abed in the morrrrr-ning…

One of the greatest tongue-in-cheek montages of ALL TIME…

Or our completely healthy and totally understandable crush on Alison Brie…

Lord... where was I?

It’s enough to make a guy up and quit on television… AND I WORK IN THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY!!!

What does that tell ya?

Sigh… if you need me I’ll be in one of Abed’s alternate timelines, 

BPM

Game of Game of Thrones

November 11, 2011

Because the only problem with this clip…

… is the fact that I can’t play this game RIGHT NOW!

BPM