Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Must... post... on blog

So... what's on my mind? Indira Varman, the woman who played Susie Costello in Torchwood, managing to only appear in the crap episodes. Susie got kind of mentioned on Facebook and it took me a long time to remember who it was. I also remembered that Indira Varman was on the cast of Broken News, which in spite of most reviews I thought was significantly better than most UK sketch shows now of keeping one joke going for an interminable amount of episodes. I believe she played Melanie Bellamy, who presenting the 'standing' news in which she endlessly walked up and down a ramp containing two small sets of stairs at one end of the studio, reciting odd headlines.

No, it wasn't terribly funny.

But what's the competition? Armstrong and Miller? I found it incredible that reviewers focused on the WWII pilots who talked like fifteen year old boys as the joke wearing thin. Really? THAT was the clever one! What about the coach and owner of a never-named football league that's clearly meant to be Chelsea, where the coach is trying endlessly to bring to the owners attention issues with the players but the sinister Russian is continually disposing of bodies in a rather blatant manner? Or the bit where it's a country dance from a Jane Austen story where they end up saying something like "I would dearly like to roger your buttocks" after a minute of dancing? That may have nearly been funny the first time, if that...

I was quite sickened by the defense I read online, that the 'expectation is on comedians to write', so they can't come up with 6 episodes of material. WHY THE FUCK NOT? Is it rocket science to type 'mad woman vomits on Kerr Avon'? Or 'Simon Pegg plays a smug man who is unable to open doors'? Okay, I guess rehearsals and other commitments may occupy them, but come on, is it asking the moon? Dudley Moore and Peter Cook wrote their own material. How many hundreds of Goon Shows did Spike Milligan write AND perform?

I do seem to have to look back that far, unfortunately. I was trying to think of modern examples, such as The Chaser, but there's at least one writer who has just about never been on the show (Dominic Knight, incidentally the member of the Chaser most likely to punch me out when we met - but then the others were Julian and Chas) and Smith & Jones doubtless had additional writers, so too have Flight of the Conchords and Rick Dee, the Lead Balloon guy. How irritating. Even The Comic Strip Presents had the cameo-only writer Pete Richens.

Damn it, I have a sinking feeling that prick on the forums had a point, even though I think comedians may be lazy. If nothing else I can take solace from the fact that one Martin Lock lost his job in this field. (AIR PUNCH!)

What the FUCK? Just read Angelina Jolie opted out of Wanted 2. Maybe because her character is dead, perhaps? Also... that movie did well enough to warrant a sequel? I mean, I loved it as I think I espoused here but... well, nobody else seemed to and more than one person speculated it could 'ruin Morgan Freeman's career'. Which, I have to say, felt slightly outlandish.

...and John Cleese, his daughter Camilla, and Bill Bailley are writing a musical version of A Fish Called Wanda? Man, all my obscure movie news is coming at once for some reason...

In other not-quite-news, a while back I've taken to listening to the podcast of cult director Kevin Smith, known best as Silent Bob, and his producer best friend Scott Mosier - it's SMODcast. They are very, very funny but also often disgustingly dirty. I only recommend them to a couple of people, and generally just listen to them on my own. They aren't all solid-platinum releases or anything, though - all are quite funny but there are entire episodes where they talk about Wayne Gretzky or how beef is processed for an hour. Kev Smith does them stoned, that could be a factor.

Anyway, comin in late as I have has been a bit awkward, because I listened to the new ones then went backwards downloading past releases - this means travelling backwards, chronologically, through the life of Kev Smith, which is a little weird in general but becomes terrible when it comes to details of Zak and Miri Make a Porno his latest film which was a box office disaster. Actually.. not quite. It was actually his highest-grossing film, nobody lost any money from it and DVD sales will doubtless turn it into a profit. BUT it was predicted as having a massive opening and brining in over 60 million.

Faced with the massive disparity between what everybody had told Smith would happen and what actually occured, he suffered a Heroic Blue Screen of Death, and retreated into what he called a 'weed coccoon'. Interestingly, this is actually what made me interested in SMODcast in the first place, as I looked up Kevin Smith on Wikipedia and it detailed his ZMMAP-related breakdown... but nothing about him recovering. So I wanted to find out if he actually still had a career.

He did, and it transpired was working on a film named A Couple of Dicks, since cunningly retitled Cop-Out when it became clear the censors like their entendres singular or not-at-all, and exceedingly happy with it over the course of several SMODcasts...

Then I see, on the day I started writing this post... that Cop-Out has done just as badly as Zak and Miri Make a Porno. Damn.

You know what they say, always end on a down note.


Youth of Australia said...

Incredible coincidence - just the other day I found a tape with the first episode of Broken News from its SBS broadcast, at the exact scene of Suzie on the stairs. I paused only to note that President Winters and Ivanova from Babylon 5 were manning the American news desk before deciding the whole thing was crap and taped over it.

I quite like Armstrong and Miller, and for some reason I always break up when Armstrong goes "KILL THEM!" into the microphone. Or when they're the music hall act who are too offensive for British television. But maybe it's just hearing Mr. Smith be evil. Maybe I'd react the same if Peter Tuddenham had been in Big Train, I dunno.

Much better than Harry Enfield and that other guy though. They were SHIT.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

President Winters gets around - he was also in on the conspiracy in The Bourne Ultimatum. I did actually watch Broken News for all 6 episodes but there was the sinking feeling that you'd seen all there was to see before ep 3 was even over. I liked the sports reporter who endlessly used clumsy visual metaphor and the cockney bloke on the business channel.

Maybe I'd react the same if Peter Tuddenham had been in Big Train, I dunno.

Lol, I did really like Big Train.

The music hall act, my parents informed me, was them playing Flanders and Swan, two blokes who apparently ruled British comedy briefly in the 50s. They tell me that the dirtiness of their songs wasn't ratcheting up that much for the parody, fascinatingly..

I enjoyed the show as well, but there were just a few too many recurring jokes.

Much better than Harry Enfield and that other guy though. They were SHIT.

Never saw that. I think the ads might have convinced me to stay away... I barely even remember the show being on..

Youth of Australia said...

President Winters gets around - he was also in on the conspiracy in The Bourne Ultimatum.
What blew my mind was him playing the American president in that TV Movie with Robert Linsdey as Tony Blair put on trial for war crimes...

Lol, I did really like Big Train.
I loved it from Jesus working with the Devil in an office - 'I'll give him a reference, sure, but he just doesn't fit in...'

Never saw that.
When it comes to variety, they made Little Britain look like Newstopia. The same bloody jokes EVERY episode. I mean, I began to wonder if they were just repeating the same episode over and over again.

Most irritating was a sketch about two builders who are fey-spoken intellectuals praising Alan Yentob when no one is looking and then hurling sexist abuse at passers by.


And it wasn't funny the first time, like them blacking up to play Nelson Mandela selling drugs to children.