Posts Tagged ‘tv’

Not a very special episode of ‘Wizards and Aliens’, “it just is”

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Dear CBBC, dear Russell T Davis, dear everyone involved… this:

(via Pink News).

Why do writers who hate a topic get assigned that topic in the mainstream media?

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Toby Hadoke addresses some issues he has with the media’s coverage of television, actors, terminology, and ultimately about the lack of respect for the profession and the art:

Revelling in ignorance about the medium you write about seems bizarre – especially when such ignorance is used to recommend somebody but, with a little implicit criticism, keep them in their place at the same time (and to what end – apart from to make the journalist look clever?).

Looking clever feels terrific when you’re reviewing something, and it’s fantastic if you can enliven your prose with a witty barb or sparkly turn of phrase … but these things now seem to have replaced the real reasons someone should be writing about their specialist subject. And what reasons are those? Because they love it! Because they are entertained by entertainers, thrilled by popular culture – inspired to put pen to paper and to place bum on seat.

All of the above examples simply wouldn’t happen in other industries… You wouldn’t pay a food writer who described an aubergine as a “sort of rubbish sausage” so why is popular culture often chronicled and scrutinised by the ill-informed and condescending?

If I replace ‘cult TV’ in this article with ‘Eurovision’, this is exactly how I feel every May with the coverage that comes out of the UK’s media about the Song Contest. With so many smart writers who know their topic online, surely theres a solution to be found that rewards the writers, the publications, and the readers?

Celebrate! The TV credits are going to grow again on the BBC

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Tony Hall, the BBC Director General on ‘credit squeezing’, where television programs reduce the size of the end credits to shoehorn in a trailer for the next program:

Yes. Well, we’re changing it. It’s the curtain call. You want to make sure that the creative team get their proper bow. So we have got a new way of doing it, starting right away.”

Now to deal with the voiceover interrupting the middle 8 of the Doctor Who theme.

Second screening The Masters, and the slow death of television

Monday, April 15th, 2013

If there’s one area that TV should have the high ground on, it’s live sporting events of national prominence. Yet…

The second screen experience slowly replaced the first — I barely looked up at the television. CBS’s reverent, almost whispered coverage took a back seat as I programmed my version of the Masters. The function that would have allowed me to throw the Internet coverage to my big-screen television was not enabled, but that’s only a matter of time. Change often comes very slowly, but then happens all at once.

I await once more with keen interest what this year’s Eurovision Song Contest will bring the connected experience, be it from the EBU, another company, or something hacked together to try something cool.

The legions of staff employed by NBC to stop piracy speak out

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

In 2009, Mr. Skinner’s unit sent out 427,000 takedown notices. But last year, as illicit videos became more prevalent, that number grew to 3.9 million. For “Suits,” the unit has sent out more than 40,000 notices.

Strike that, they’ve only got twenty employees and lots of automation to try and stem their share of “$58 billion of losses” (a number made up by the MPAA). But the WSJ article shows a huge amount of ‘reaction’ to the issues, and no proactive reasons to try and provide a better solution for people who want to watch NBC’s content.

Never name a comet after Ian McShane

Friday, December 16th, 2011

It’s all wonderful that we can watch a comet do a death dive into the sun, and it might be seen by the naked eye as it approached the nuclear furnace… but did they have to call it Lovejoy?

Dear movie industry, have you learned from Napster?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Bill Wyman (no, of NPR, not the Stones) lays it al out in depth over on Slate.

The trouble facing the movie industry right now is the same one the music industry had to confront 10 years ago. This is the summing-up sentence I referred to above.The easiest and most convenient way to see the movies or TV shows you want is to get them illegally… Again, to belabor the obvious: The illegal version isn’t just free. It’s better.

Update: This is really a "blog post to which the answer is no", but Tom Sizemore points out on Twitter the new coalition called Creative America. I think I can bold that "no" with that link.

Mad Men Crashes To Low TV Figures – Does It Matter With Bittorrent Out There?

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

Mad Men has returned to UK screens, with a heavily trailed start to Season Two on BBC4. And the results were 240,000 (ish) viewers. That holds up pretty well to the Season One premiere that caught 270,000, A drop of 9% year on year is pretty respectable.

Whether the number of viewers is worth what the BBC paid for, I don’t know. But what I would love to know is how many people in the UK have caught Mad Men via ‘the dark corners of the internet.’ That’s a hard number to calculate (if only the TV industry had a central site they could get numbers from, like the original napster offered the music industry), but with episodes of Lost and Heroes reaching 1.5 million computers, then the problems of a smaller cable station or minority channel is clear.

I think that in the next three years we’re going to see a show break free from the networks and embrace online; sell a season pass for the fans, and finance the show that way. Maybe VC money from the bay needs to look in this direction. The season pass concept has been proven by Apple, the delights of Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog showed the concept of Hollywood writers doing an online show, now we just need (a) a spark to ignite everything and (b) enough fans to pre-buy a series so any piracy will have a minimal effect on production.

After all, the pilots are already going down the online route before terrestrial airing!

Top Ten Things To Watch For on Sky’s Blake’s 7 Revivial

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Hmm, Blake’s 7 is coming back to Sky, is it? Right then, time for a Top Ten things I’m going to be watching out for in the new series…

Blake's Junction 7

1. Avon, strapped into some diabolical torture device, keeping him on the edge of death (yet in horrible pain) for the 25 years since the shoot-out where all his friends were killed. I think this would look lovely on Servalan’s wall (this opening scenario from Matthew ‘Life on Mars’ Graham).

2. In all seriousness, the decision to do a reboot (a la Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica) or a continuation (the current Cardiff Doctor Who) is going to be a key decision. Personally I’m hoping for a continuation, with Avon and Blake elevated to Che Guvera levels of sainthood – spring the aforementioned Avon from torture as your pilot episode, give him a thirst for revenge against a President of the Galaxy Servalan, and away you go!

3. …although given the huge recognition of the curling tong lasers, the Liberator (cough DSV-1) and the wibbly wobbly tellport, plus modern day audiences wondering just where Blake is in a continuation, my money is on a reboot, and the first four original episodes re-jigged into two 60 minute episodes.

4. Stunt casting. This is Sky after all, so there are shivers of David Jason as Gan and Ross Kemp as Blake, although frankly after the delight of Blake’s Junction 7 I’m all for Johnny Vegas to get the lead role.

5. Speaking of stunning cast members, I confidently expect some gender switching in the roles, and Avon to become female. At least it would explain the love affair between Blake and Avon in a way Sky can confidently portray on the advertising material – Russell T Davis can keep the Gay Agenda in the Tardis.

6. Please, please, please have Chris Boucher involved.

7. May I suggest that an updated Orac is not portrayed by a fish tank full of lights that looks like someone trying to build their own stylish Apple Mac, but by Carey Mulligan (below) in a clingy red dress (hat tip to whoever brought up Orac on Twitter today)

Carey 'Sally Sparrow' Mulligan

8. If you are going to ask an original cast members to come back and do a dark shadowy political role a million miles from their first appearance, then please go for Michael Keating – after all he’s got the record of being the only cast member to be in all 52 original episodes, and he’s been dining out on that one for years. Do you really want to deprive him of a good after dinner story?

9. If they are staying true to the original, then there’s no way for the rebels to actually win – the Federation is all powerful, totalitarian, and can even fight off the invasion of the Andromedan’s from another galaxy. There’s no way a bunch of rebels, even in a fast ship, can do enough damage to even make it twitch.

10. Travis is the final Cylon, okay?

11. Remember Blake’s 7 is a story about five people (er 6 and a computer, or 6 and a computer and Orac, or 5 people and Orac and a computer…), none of whom are called Blake. Arithmetic is not the script’s strong point. Neither, it seems, is mine…