Sunday 30 September 2012

Flavours of the Month: September 2012...


All Star Celebrity Bowling - as-seen on the Nerdist YouTube Channel. I did a second run through of these episodes, and while I'm pretty crap at bowling, I rather enjoy it. The best episode would have to be the one where Team Breaking Bad went up against Team Nerdist, with the episodes featuring The Walking Dead and Mad Men also being decided favourites.

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - a recent discovery on YouTube. Jerry Seinfeld picks up comedian friends and takes them out for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat in a different car every episode. It's just two comedians chit-chatting, but it's a bloody good laugh. The season finale even brings a touch of melancholy, regret, and ever-lasting friendship to the table.

The Paralympics - Channel 4's coverage was a bit iffy from time-to-time (such as the last three minutes of a wheelchair rugby match getting lost because they simply had to run off to an advert break and, despite saying it would, it didn't appear on the Interactive Red Button menu), but on the other hand I quite enjoyed the daily round-up show "The Last Leg". I wasn't madly into it, similar to the Olympics, but I dipped into it frequently and kept an eye on the medal count. The opening ceremony was perhaps a bit too earnest, but it was a stronger vision than the Olympics closing ceremony which was a bit naff, and then the closing ceremony was pretty strong with it's Mad Max visuals and so forth.

Touch of Cloth (Sky 1) - co-written by Charlie Brooker, this two-part spoof of British police dramas was bloody hilarious. Crammed full of sight gags, cliches were meddled with playfully - properly good fun.

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Jaws (Blu-Ray) - a significant upgrade to my existing copy on VHS, the film looks absolutely gorgeous on Blu-Ray after an extensive and meticulous remastering. Chock-full of extra content too, it's a must-buy for any Jaws fan.

Beaver Falls Series 2 - like the first series, a mere six episodes feels a bit short, whereas a couple more would allow for extra screen time for several side characters (the 'chunk bunk' generally had little to do this series), as well as fewer leaps in plotting. That said, it's still as enjoyable as it was last year, Barry still gets the best lines, and it's just ruddy good fun to watch. Hopefully we'll get a third series next summer.

Screamers - the sequel was the second-worst movie I've seen all year, but the original flick still holds up to this day.

Married With Children Season 6 - the continued (mis)adventures of the family Bundy. I used to watch this show years ago as repeats on the Paramount Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central), and season six brings me up-to-date with where I previously got up to in the show. Season 7 and beyond is all stuff that I've not seen yet.

Boardwalk Empire Season 3 - the return of this brilliant and richly textured 1920s-set gangster drama should prove to be an interesting venture after the shocking events of season two's closer.

Battle Royale (Blu-Ray) - it's been as long as a decade since I saw Kinji Fukasaku's superb film about a class of Japanese school children pitted against each other in a violent battle-to-the-death, and swinging back around to it all these years later brings even more appreciation for it.

Clegg-apology Viral Video - fellow Brits might have seen this spoof 'autotune' song (which even entered the iTunes charts) doing the rounds online or via numerous news items on TV/in the papers, and it certainly made quite a splash. It was all-the-weirder in that I've been friends with the guy who made it since high school - suffice to say, we were all rather chuffed to see his viral video work get so much attention so quickly and so broadly.

The Sopranos - since early 2011 I've been catching up with HBO's quality drama that redefined television by watching it on Sky Atlantic one episode every week. Well, this month we finally reached the last ever episode, bringing to a close an excellent show. In earlier seasons I did struggle to truly care about the characters - even though I found the show entertaining - however season six, with the inclusion of Matthew "Mad Men" Weiner, really did a lot to examine the character's motivations and sympathies under a microscope. I dug the ending too - "Don't stop..."

American Pie Reunion (Blu-Ray)

The Raid (Blu-Ray)

The Innkeepers (DVD)


Foo Fighters - a retrospective tour through their discography from their self-titled debut to the present day. Their third album There Is Nothing Left To Lose remains the high watermark in my opinion.

Green Day "Oh Love"

M83 "Hurry Up, We're Dreaming"

Alice Cooper "Along Came A Spider"

Kari Kimmel "Black"

Foo Fighters "In Your Honour"

The Duhks "Annabel"

Sebastien Tellier "Slow Lynch"


The Walking Dead: Episode 3 - I enjoyed this part more than the second. The plot was less predictable and the story entered true Walking Dead territory with numerous shocks and chills. The experience was also a little more streamlined compared to the first two episodes with, so it seemed anyway, more save points and a swifter pace. I'm rather looking forward to the penultimate episode next, although it has to be said that the 'how you play it determines your journey' promise isn't as far reaching as you initially might have imagined - rather it feels more like alternate paths to reach pre-defined fixed points. I can understand that a truly wide open game full of disparate threads would be a logistical nightmare (not to mention a real headache for a writer), but right now it doesn't feel quite so 'open' as it was initially boasted.

The Walking Dead Season 3 Anticipation - at the time of writing it's a mere couple of weeks away from the premiere of season three of AMC's glorious zombie-slaying drama, and we zed-heads have been chomping at the bit with a spree of behind-the-scenes pictures and video clips. Set anticipation to overflowing.

Eyes In Your Window - as mentioned in a previous post, I've started work on a new screenplay, this time for a 3-part drama serial designed for post-watershed television drama. I'll be doing a series of blog posts as the writing process gets underway, so keep an eye out for those.

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