Last night we got back from the pub and were tucking in medium rare steaks wondering what to watch on the TV. This is just the way we live, don’t judge us. Predictably there wasn’t much on, so we turned on the Playstation and clicked on the BBC iPlayer. Annoyingly it wasn’t there instantly, there was a download for new features. I swore and paced and lamented that technology wasn’t yet instantaneous for the 20 seconds it took to download the upgrade and install it.
The first thing I noticed was the change in layout. It wasn’t too bad though and I soon found my way to something worth watching. Frozen Planet
by Sir David Attenborough. This is what I pay my licence fee for, not shite reality awfulness. The BBC, David Attenborough, and documentary, are all words guaranteed to combine into a TV show of epic awesomeness. So I clicked on it and we settled back to be awestruck. Then I noticed an option that was new. You can watch it in HD! I wasn’t sure if my internet connection was up to it but thankfully it was. Obviously it was only 720p, not the full 1080p as no one actually broadcasts in 1080p. Trust me, I work in TV broadcast.
But the picture was still astounding and so was the show. With Attenborough and the BBC you know you are going to see some incredible images and learn stuff you didn’t know. I wasn’t disappointed. Some of the images were so amazing it made me want to weep. You could freeze the show almost at random, print out the picture and could win a photography competition with it. Frozen Planet shows incredible almost alien landscapes and worlds. In this one they go deep under the ice in both the sea and under a volcano at the South Pole. You also see killer whales working together by swimming in formation and suddenly thrashing the water in unison to shatter a small iceberg so they can eat the seal on it. And, well, lots more stuff. I have run out of superlatives.
So IF you live in the UK and IF you have fast broadband and IF you have a playstation (or similar device) and IF you have a Hi Def TV, then you should check it out. Otherwise, I suggest you change your life and buy some new kit and move country. Because you’re missing out. Just watch the trailer below and try and tell me it doesn’t look amazing. You can even watch it in HD.
Apologies for not having written for so long but I worked like a demon for a week, then it was my wife’s birthday and the accompanying hangover. In addition to this, I have become mildly obsessed with 30 Rock.
The series is written by and starring Tina Fey and is based on her behind-the-scenes experiences of when she worked as head writer for Saturday Night Live on NBC. Fey plays Liz Lemon, the head writer for a live comedy sketch show on NBC. So it’s probably based on a lot of truth and is very, very funny.
I was going to say that where it truly shines is in the characters and the dialogue, but then that pretty much goes for every sitcom. I was trying to think of my favourite character. They are all fairly stereotypical but therein lies the fun. The writers are all geeky and make lots of SciFi references and Star Wars jokes (which actually makes them cool), the main actress is appearance obsessed, the main star is mental and on medication, and the big boss is a Republican who thinks of nothing but money and power.
The big boss is played by Alec Baldwin and is just superb. His character also has some of the best lines. Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) is the main anchor of the show and is awesome. She is neurotic but intelligent, funny and likeable. There are a lot of other memorable characters such as the religious but keen page, ex-boyfriends, and so on.
I had heard good things about 30 Rock and am glad I finally got round to watching it. It just pisses me off that Tina Fey is the same age as me and actually pulled her finger out and wrote some brilliant stuff as opposed to get drunk, going travelling and meaning to write.
I feel a sitcom penned by me coming on. 10 Camden, or something. The story of a struggling writer with an annoyingly successful career in TV that takes up all his time. It will be brilliant.
A simple lad unaware of his destiny lives out his life in the middle of nowhere. While he’s popped out his family are killed by an evil ruler’s henchmen. He is led by destiny and a hot chick in white to flee to safety. He meets an old wizard guy who gives him a magic sword and informs him that his family weren’t actually his family and that he has special powers and a role in life where he’s destined to fight for good.
Oh hang on, that’s the plot of Star Wars – let me consult my notes. Nope, my mistake, it’s also Legend of the Seeker’s plot.
Actually I’m being unfair here. It’s also the plot of a million things.
Legend of the Seeker is an epic new fantasy series that incongruously appears on the Sci Fi channel. (It isn’t Sci Fi!) That doesn’t really matter. While watching the pilot I spent the whole time thinking “Wow, it’s like everything I’ve seen before”. Being a fair-minded chap, however, I thought I’d give it a chance and watch a few other episodes. And I have to say, it got pretty good. It even gets quite dark at times. I’ve only seen the pilot and a few episodes but if you are into fantasy (and in this post LOTR world, that’s a lot of people) you will like this.
The series is based on a series of books called The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. This obviously means some saddoes are lamenting the slightest change from the worshipped text but as the author has been heavily involved in the script, it has shut a lot of them up. It also means some of the narrative is pretty compelling.
The cast, (as all good TV casts are,) are all pretty attractive. Except for the wizard fellow. The lead character, Richard Cypher, looks permanently baffled and angry but is pretty watchable. The lead lady, who’s a kind of magic nun called Kahlan, is very watchable in her tight white dress. The wizard fellow is played by a guy I have always liked and seen in a million movies and shows but always remember as the mental guy with the flying machine in the Mad Max movies.
The bad guy sounds vaguely English and the whole thing is filmed in New Zealand, so it really has all the necessary elements for success. New Zealand’s countryside must be riddled with attractive fantasy actors wandering around in the same way the Canada’s woods are full of rubberized humanoids.
The action isn’t quite up to Lord of the Rings standards but is watchable and fairly exciting. A little too much of the theatrical sword-clearly-missing the-body-and-sticking-out-the-other-side fighting style but there are some enjoyable enough sequences. He can even split arrows with his lightsaber. I mean sword.
In all, stick through the hackneyed plot of the pilot and you are in for an enjoyable series. Of course, I’ve only seen three episodes and it could be dire later but so far each episode has improved. If you like fantasy, I really can’t think of anything better on TV. I actually find myself looking forward to the next episode, which for someone whose job consists of watching TV for 12 hour stints, means it’s pretty damn watchable.
Knight Rider 2.0 man! New car, new cast, new rocking theme tune. The original was a fun, if somewhat shallow, series following the adventures of a smooth talking, hard hitting ladies’ man (played by the Hoff), and a futuristic talking car called Kitt. While it could never be described as brilliant, it was fun.
The new series is much the same, except there is a bigger cast and they are all better looking. Including the car. I actually quite liked this new version although I doubt I’ll ever go out of my way to watch it but if it was on, its very watchable.
The main guy is actually pretty likeable this time. Which is an improvement. He’s supposed to be the Hoff’s son, so he has some pretty big shoes to fill! The main person in charge (after a few episodes) is a hot chick who may or may not get it on with him at some point. But obviously will. There is also a hot Chinese chick who shows her stomach a lot and a geeky guy who plays a geeky guy who played the geeky assistant to the president guy in Battlestar Galactica.
KITT is predictably quite cool and can do all sorts of modern type stuff with computers and head-up displays and nanites and EMP weaponry and so on. Plus it impresses women.
I’ve only seen a couple of episodes and it was fun. Consequently I think it may be cancelled by now. Why do modern networks never give shows a chance? I watched this on Sci Fi Uk and it is considerably better than the shite on what’s going out right now on my Russian channels – season nine of Walker Texas Ranger (yes nine seasons of this Chuck Norris crap) and season six of Hercules (which is quite good fun too, but hardly superior).
They cancelled Firefly too and are now on my list. This being cancelled is a shame but that was a crime.
If you can catch it, it’s worth a watch. Especially if you like men or women or cars or action. The Hoff even appears in the pilot.