Archive for the ‘Pilots’ Category

Holiday At Home: Day Two – Comedy

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

After pottering round the house all morning and some of the afternoon (spent watching Sea Devils emerge from the sea and squawk at landmines while The Doctor eats all the sandwiches) it was time to go to London. Again. This time was in the car and not on the tube, which was nice, and it didn’t take as much time too. Marvellous! After parking and buying a panini we wandered to The Drill Hall (yay!) to lurk around outside with other rebrobates before they opened the doors, or so we thought. As we were on the guest list because I have the necessary connections from my Mitchell And Webb fansite-ing (thank you James Bachman) we had guaranteed seats but still wanted to get there early to enjoy the Drill Hall Experience. We actually mean this, no sarcasm intended, and we love the slightly fizzy drinks, the rubbish music (Janet Jackson instead of the usual Five Star, still acceptable) and free gay papers. It beats the BBC Radio Theatre hands down for these special treats and Cheryl in particular was pleased to be there.
Cheryl in foyer

As we were on a list that wasn’t yet in the hands of the man who ticks the list off when the people on it appear we had to lurk in the foyer for a while and admire the posters, which I sneaked another look at on the way out and had to appear in a photo with. We lurked outside while the people with tickets all went in and Cheryl decided she needed a drink and sulked like a child, but only slightly so. We were eventually let in and relieved to find the place hadn’t changed all that much even though they had bought new tables and put nice pictures on the walls: It was still uncomfortably sweaty in there! Hurrah!

After a drink and a mooch about and finding the third of my ‘+3′ people we all went into the theatre and sat in the bit near the back, trying not to point at people we recognised and failing ever so slightly. David Mitchell looked like he was enjoying himself and Frank Skinner certainly did as he was very nearby and had a loud laugh. The show starred (and was written by) James Bachman and Mark Evans, with acting also done by David ‘David Soul’ Soul as their slightly mental but nice neighbour who knows too much about ways to kill people, Carla ‘My Parents Are Aliens’ Mendonca as their evil neighbour who has a phobia of oompah music, Nicholas Parsons as Nicholas Parsons From Just A Minute, and Jon ‘Spitting Image’ Glover as everybody else. The sound effects woman, whose name I forgot, was also bloody marvellous and a joy to watch in the corner with all her noisy props around her. The show itself was just the perfect amount of silliness and cleverness and readers of this here blog will knopw that I do like a nice bit of silly comedy. I could spoil the plot but I shall not, saying only that it is about a man named James and a man named Mark who share a flat and have strange neighbours who are warlike in different ways. With a bad joke about tactics/ Tic-Tacs. It’s highly recommended and bound to get a series commissioned by the powers-that-be at Radio 4 because it made lots of people laugh a lot and that is the best way to judge a comedy’s success in my eyes. And ears.
Dan in foyer
(Un)expected odd face from me as usual. Sorry.

So keep an ear out for Zoom. I’ll mention it again anyway, as I will mention Jamie having a chat with his comedy hero Nicholas Parsons at the bar and our brief hello and well done with the very nice James Bachman who got us tickets in the first place. Bonus mention for Emma’s enormous handbag. Just what was in there?

Return Of The Silent Majority…

Friday, April 4th, 2008

While at work I missed the oven going mental, making a loud bang and smoke going everywhere, due to a part going ‘whoops, broken!’ or something. I also missed the burglar alarm deciding to set itself off for no good reason. What fun, I am almost glad I was in the bookshop with a major sinus brain damage headache and lack of sleep due to an I.T malfunction waking me up at 4am. Life is funny like that.

I recovered-ish enough to tube it into London after work, went to That Shop (you know the one) and bought another giant hardback New Avengers, the second part of Ed Brubaker’s Criminal series and three Fables graphic novels for the Book Monkey, met up with The Adopted Internet Children That We Have Not Literally Adopted and trundled off to the BBC Radio Theatre, stoppong for sandwiches and biscuits and rubbish free newspaper vendor-dodging on the way.
Mmmm… Funny faces!
Behind us in these pictures was Creepy Greasy Haired Man who was a bit of a danger to women as he saw nothing wrong with standing way too close to them while staring in a mentalist way. I also spotted Strange Is It A Man Or A Woman Man who we saw at that Harry Hill recording. We moved further back in the queue, with a scowl, and eventually got to see the recording of John Finnemore‘s new Radio 4 pilot. As we were almost actually asleep we escaped at the interval but what we saw was good and will make a nice 30 minutes of radio comedy. No spoilers, it’s on soon and I shall mention it again.

I haven’t had time for Doctor Who excitement but tomorrow is another matter…

Some people…

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Being Human was one of those BBC Three drama pilots. Yeah I know, they look mostly poor, etc… but I liked this one. Maybe because it was about a flatshare between a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost. Maybe because it was written by a Doctor Who writer. Maybe because it had a bit of charm. It’s probably on That Bloody BBC iPlayer if you have a look. I would if I were you.
Being Human

Seventh Tree is finally out on CD. If you’re quick and geeky you can buy it as a rather fantastic musical disc, a DVD with a 10 minute film of talky bits about musical fings over images of Alison faffing about in woods in funny clothes plus the A&E video, a quaint little lyrics booklet, a poster you will never put on the wall and some little CD-sized pictures. Which is nice. The actual album is my favourite Goldfrapp project so far and as it’s been in my iPod since November due to naughty internetness I’ve listened to it enough times to know that I love it. You’ve probably heard the single A&E and that kind of vibe is what you’ll get here, plus some sparkly disco moments to contast with the more folky bits. Kind of like Ultimate Goldfrapp in musical form. I am not going to analyse each track as my chum XO has done that far better than I could, over at his blog. So instead I shall sum it up with some words:
Pastoral David Lynch.
Dressing-up box.
I hope that convinces you. If not, how about buying it for the opening song, Clowns, which appears to be a folk song about orange faced women with enormous fake bazoomas?


Losers / Lost

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

I love a new sitcom pilot so I thought I’d give Welcome To The Captain a try. It’s got Jeffrey Tambor from Arrested Development, Larry Sanders and tons of other good things in it after all… but oh dear oh no. The premise is as follows: Josh (Fran Kranz, from nothing I have ever seen) is a struggling screenwriter coming out of a failed relationship (meh) who just so happens to get the opportunity to move into his ‘wacky’ college friend Marty (Chris Klein from American Pie)’s apartment building (The Captain) which is supposed to be full of fun exciting people or something. So he does, and meets sexy accupuncturist Hope who is blonde, a bit scatty and makes him nervous (how original), failed lothario Saul (a role that wastes the talent of Jeffrey Tambor), a Mexican called Jesus and pronounced like the son of God (double meh), and Raquel Welch who plays an ageing glamourous ex-tv star (what a stretch) … and hilarity ensues, except it doesn’t. That’s pretty much it. I didn’t smile once although I was intrigued by the strangely plastic Chris Klein From American Pie’s hair length which kept changing back and forth throughout the episode (how hard is continuity, people? I assume there were reshoots but come on now) and looked decidedly like a Nicolas Cage hairline. i was baffled by the odd lead actor who has a girl’s name what sort of rhymes (Fran Kranz) but plays the role like a Bargain Range Jason Bateman / Ellen Degeneres Hybrid (which is about as fun as it sounds), and Raquel Welch’s teeth which seem to be far too white and numerous for her elderly mouth.
not very welcome
It’s as bad as those American sitcoms (“You don’t say!”) that are always trailed on E4, just before I turn the telly off. Avoid!

On the other hand, episode 2 of Lost series 4 was fantastic. We get to meet the new bunch of characters who have landed on the island who are, according to the flashback from a recently-deceased character, the headcase (Jeremy Davies from Spanking The Monkey and a hundred other fims) , the ghost buster (Ken Leung from loadsa indie stuff), the anthropologist (Rebecca Mader who actually is English like her character but not quite from Essex) and the drunk (Jeff Fahey from a thousand straight to video films of the 90s). Lines uttered include “there were no survivors of Oceanic flight 815″ and “what is the monster?” The episode was written by Drew Goddard (Buffy, Angel, Cloverfield, new Buffy comic) and Brian K Vaughan (Y:The Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways, new Buffy comic) so that explains why it was so good.
Lost season four is showing on ABC in America, Sky One in the UK and The Sneaky Internet for everyone else. It’s grrreat, like Frosties.

Not for all the Ambi Pur plug in room scents in the world

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

I haven’t had time to check how The Express followed up on its almost Madeleina-less week of Muslim hate, Pole hate and Romanian hate…

They weren’t ‘banned,’ just not able to attend some of the open days as they were women and ethnic minority targeting tings. The actual fire brigade job recruitment aspect was unaffected by this admittedly divisive positive discrimination trend so the headline is a lie. Meh. And so much Free Shit!

After Express Racism Week I assume they are taking the mick with the Sunday cover. Normally The Express give their DVDs away for free.

As there is not a lotta teevee coming out of America right now I’ll give most things a go. Breaking Bad seemed interesting as it stars Hal From Malcolm In The Middle as a chemistry teacher who discovers he has not long to live so teams up with an ex-pupil played by That Man Who Played Lily From Veronica Mars’ Odd Boyfriend In Big Love and they get into a whole load of scrapes with drug dealers and stuff. So nothing like Weeds at all then. It was alright but confusing in its unoriginality and its HBO-like premise marred by blatant edits for language (several “… damn!”s and other missing words) and some pixelated boobies. Not that I wanted to see the boobies in their full glory, of course, but it felt odd.
Breaking Bad
It’s on an American channel I had never heard of called AMC (who, it turns out, are the makers of Mad Men which looks good and is coming to BBC Four soon) and it popped up on the Bit Torrents last week. I’ll give it another go as you gotta give these things a chance. Or two.

Pointless thing of the day:
Shock horror! She didn’t get stabbed up! Tempting as it might have been.

Note to readers: This blog does not endorse stabbing of any kind. Even Stabby Alien Hand accidents as seen in teevee’s Torchwood.

Coming tomorrow…
Torchwood toons
Torchwood comic! Is Bill Bailey an alien? I am baffled.

Pizza the inaction

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

From this:
Jpod book
To this:
Jpod TV
Jpod by Douglas Coupland, aka That Book With The Special Edition Version With Action Figure In A Box That We Cannot Return To The Publisher is not a bad book. It’s just that there were loads of wanky interludes in the pages that were meant to be quirky but were just irritating. Endless pages devoted to listing pi numbers and pointless geeky word puzzles? No thanks. So imagine my non-dismay when I find episode 1 of the TV version of Jpod (made by CBC aka That Canadian Channel) is actually quite good. They’ve lost one of the characters but everything else is pretty book-y. Well it is co-written by that Coupland man and he’s a producer so that explains that then. Without all the annoying crap that bugged me about the book I quite enjoyed it but at the current rate of book plot usage we’ll be out of story by episode 4. Hmmm… I’ll give it a go and see how it develops. No idea if any UK channels have bought it yet. Meh.

I think it would maybe work better as a film but I’m going along for the ride. For now.

Talking (ish) of books, we had the Annual Bookshop Christmas Meal (In January) last night. I took some rubbish photos and looked rubbish in some photos.
In the pub before the restaurant. Gravity did not agree with our necks for some reason.
more pub
The obligatory silly poses continued.
Patience is a virtue except when waiting for pizza. Note the bad use of flash to make people look as rough as possible.
Evil pizza
The food took its time coming and taunted me with an evil cheesey grin. It tasted nice though and everyone left thoroughly stuffed. Which was good.

Bugging out?

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Non-News time!
The Diana Dark Forces are allegedly very dark and forceful indeed but why should we care? Even the priest (could be a random priest, it doesn’t say. Maybe it’s the Hollyoaks Improbable Plotline Priest?) is bored of the endlessness that is The McCanns. The weather is wild and windy (I never would have guessed). Hillary Clinton only exists in crazy wacky ‘special’-faced photos. Well there you go.

As there are no new drama shows left for American teevee due to that writers’ strike still being on, things are getting desperate and the networks are beginning to show things that would usually have been ditched after the pilot. So I am intrigued and thought I should check out something new. A show about a rich lawyer played as an American by that man from Trainspotting who isn’t in that other current season new show (playing an American) and isn’t one of the other men from Trainspotting who rides big bicycles around the world or once played a policeman with a little dog? A lawyer who has visions of George Michael (played by the tramp/singer George Michaels) singing Faith at inopportune times and discovers that he has a TV Brain Aneursym / is a prophet, gets maybe ditched by his fiancee (that blonde monster from the Species films), takes on a legal case about autism and vaccines for the woman who took his virginity to a George Michael tape and deals with some of his father issues in the process? Sounds good? No? Well you’re right. It reminded me of Ally McBeal and I have been trying to forget about that monstrosity, thank you. Parker from Veronica Mars is in the cast but wasn’t in it, while Jack Bristow from Alias is and was. Eli Stone (for that is what it is called) wouldn’t last more than a couple of episodes in normal circumstances but if it’s this or more slutty reality shows I guess the networks have little choice. Poor old Jonny Lee Miller (for it is he) , his show last year (Smith) got scrapped pretty quickly and now this.

Eli Stone

I have been obsessing about The Millioners for a few weeks on my iPod and couldn’t remember who had pointed me in their direction until last night when visiting Phil’s Worrapalava blog, where I remembered. Because they were there. Anyway, another of my Music 2008 acts, synthesizers, retro yet futuristic, a mix of lovely smooth synth pop with great lyrics (rhyming about wearing so much leather in such hot weather) and odd instrumental tracks. No video as I can’t find any anywhere but here’s a picture:
Here’s their MySpace where there are tunes (go to My Great Regret, it is their best one) and here’s an mp3. Love them. They’re from Finland, don’tcha know?

Taxing times…

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

I was shocked to see the crazy man on the bus reading his newspaper this morning…
Der Echspress
ZOMG! They moved Maddie up to the ‘free shit banner’ part of the front page! That’s mostly where free dancing lessons/ wine/ camper vans live or Princess Di (being dead / a saint / etc in various suspicious circumstances) when no free shit to give away! And what pushed the lost child out of the top spot? Only bloody inheritance tax! It seems that Der Echspress has been ‘campaigning’ against the ‘unfair’ tax and those Tories who invented it the first place have chosen something relating to that as one of their myriad of new policies. Except they’re not really hardcore policies as they have no power. Oh dear. Anyway, inheritance tax will be scrapped for everyone except millionares because anyone who doesn’t have a million quid is poor. At least “on paper” anyway. So rich old buggers can keep giving away their properties to young people they like and make them into rich young people with property and… you get the idea. The money lost from not having these taxes will be taken from that forest where money grows on trees of course. How very dull, I was hoping for something to have developed with yesterday’s ‘reliable Madeleine witness’ but maybe she was pushed down the stairs like that confusing headline may or may not have hinted at. I am so confused, I thought I could rely on The Express headline to be fiction but now it’s been upgraded to potential truth, admittedly only in one future timeline but, still, er…

Dirty Sexy Money
Dirty Sexy Money seemed interesting as its creator worked on Six Feet Under, as did the leading man. It’s an average drama about an uber-rich New York family that includes Jack Bauer’s real-life father, Jack Donaghy’s real-life brother and Gwen Stacy’s real-life husband, and their relationship with Nate From Six Feet Under whose Dad was their lawyer when he was a kid and how he becomes their new lawyer due to Dad being dead. So far so average, and very similar to Brothers And Sisters due to sharing some key creative types. The characters are mostly charmless but an injection of a mystery plot redeems it enough for me to ‘tune in’ next week and see what happens next.

In other news, I got another paper cut, answered the question “does WHSmiths sell that book?” a litle bit too honestly, had an embarrassing phone conversation where I really did not understand the person’s accent at all, and got a bit tired. More of the same tomorrow no doubt. I love it really.

"I can smell the past…"

Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Compare and contrast: Which one is the real newspaper from this weekend?

They both are. Allegedly. Meh. The world is a fucked-up place on many levels. But let’s not get too emo…

I finally sat through the pilot episode of Moonlight. The show is not Angel but it’s too similar in its aims to be anything but an inferior knock-off… which is a bad start. It’s Los Angeles like Angel, it’s detectivey vampire like Angel, it’s vampire in (I guess this bit will happen) unrequited thang with perky blonde like, oh you get the idea. It’s hard to get over the initial reluctance to love the show and the CBS-ness makes it cheesy and even more unessential. The lead vampire is called Mick and is a bit vague in his abilities (he can run really fast which is sometimes shot like he’s on a trolley, hear better than usual people but can also “hear the past” with crappy flashbacky bits and smell things, can recover from a stabbing rather quickly, etc) and I can’t believe Alex O’Loughlin left The Shield for this role! Every new show needs a British leading lady playing an American and Moonlight has Sophia Myles aka Doctor Who’s The Girl In The Fireplace as an investigative reporter who is taking the ‘human lady who crosses paths with vamp’ role previously seen on screen as Kate Lockley from the early days of Angel.

There’s a lame plot twist involving a flashback cliche which is somewhat similar in concept to her other recent role in a certain cult UK show but in no way as good. She has a colleague played by that short dude who was the computer geek in Alias as the ‘token Alias star in new season show’ person and Jason Dohring as a 400 year old slighly more immoral Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars vampire best friend. Meh. The investigation plot is a corny emo/vampire thing involving a college lecturer who thinks he is a vampire and has a thing for his young female students (zzz…) which is minus the quirkiness you would have got if it had been The Other Better Vampire Detective Show and it didn’t grab me at all. So I’m not going to watch further episodes and the show will probably last a few weeks on air. Not because I have that much power of course, it’s just not very good. Plus it has those ‘whooshy’ bits inbetween scenes just like Angel did. I never liked those.

Oh it’s so romantic. But he’s dead! Get a grip, people! How does he get a stiffy? it’ll never work!

I’m not a little teapot.

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

So we went to Essex this morning and drank a whole lotta tea. Got given a whole lotta Belgian food. Ate a whole lotta English food. Did a whole lotta shopping where I was disturbed by a leaflet about entering the Tesco Mother Of The Year as most of the women in that particular shop had aggressive hair and wide load rears. But they must have been entered by somebody as they mostly had unruly children with them who were misbehaving due to a diet of additives and a pattern of being screamed and sworn at by their lovely parents. I ain’t entering no Tesco lady, even if there is a cash prize! Sat in a whole lotta traffic. Got home at 7 after popping to The Husband’s office on his day off and going slow on the roads and got nudged by a white van but not in a sexy way. Not in a damage to the car way neither, which was nice, although another knock would just give it more character, to be honest. Bah. So that’s Saturday pretty much gone already.

I have no picture (yet) to illustrate Day 58 of the McCanns On The Express Front Page Bonanza but they woz there, I tell ya. Today it was something like ‘Madeleine taken by people traffickers’ but without the quotation marks so it read as fact. So that’s 58 days in a row of using random ideas that a person thought or random words that a person said and making that one of the most important things in the world. There may have been a Diana on there too but there were definitely ‘free dance lessons for every reader’ which is nice if you are disabled or have guilty feet that ain’t got no rhythm *cough*McCanns*cough*… It’s gonna take a nuclear war to move the young blonde and the old blonde off the front page… not that I am suggesting we have one just to test the theory.

Is it Starlight Express for chavs who are in fact rather posh? No. It’s some Mouthwash, innit?

How about that Moonlight ? Hmmm, I thought… It’s a new show about a good vampire who lives in Los Angeles and is a private detective. Sounds completely new and original to me! I should give it a go, shouldn’t I? So I did and found the cast somewhat familiar…

… and I’ll save that for tomorrow or I’ll have no blog then.