Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Further reading: Yet more breezy Michael Moran piffle to read

I can't pretend that Transformers: Dark Of The Moon is a great film. But I had a lot of fun writing about it.

Green Lantern got a pretty rough ride from a number of critics. I think that may be in part because it was being judged by the wrong standards. It's a cracking kids movie. Here's what I said about it on Bleeding Cool.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Who cares how bad TV gets, when it's this buttery?

Swede Mason reduces all the Masterchefs there ever were into this piquant video jus.

And just in case you thought this was a one off....

Elsewhere on the web: Stevyn Colgan on the state of TV

The 'baby food diet' is currently exciting the imaginations of slimming faddists across magazine land. Imagine if we only ate pre-chewed mush all the time. Evolution is economical. If there were no advantage to having teeth we'd lose them.

There's a baby food diet for your mind too. It's called television. Here's Stevyn Colgan talking about it. He's funny, he's clever, he's right and he makes me afraid.

TED, if you've not found it yet, is an organisation dedicated to encourage us all to think. They hold conferences and shows and invite a staggeringly diverse range of people to deliver short 20 minute talks on their area of expertise. All of these videos are then posted to the TED website for us to watch for free. And they are watched. Over 100 million viewers per year. Staggering. But guess what? TED offered their talks to the BBC and they turned them down as being 'too intellectual'. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Glastonbury 2011: Alcopopalypse Now

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Glastonbury festival was a great national celebration, given the near-blanket coverage that the BBC provides. You might well think that everyone in Britain would be heading to Glastonbury or one of its numerous imitators, given the almost daily ‘festival essentials’ features running in the broadsheets for the past month or so.

The establishing crowd shots of a sea of shining faces give that assumption the lie, however. As the scene changes to a closer shot, it’s even more apparent that Glastonbury is an almost exclusively Caucasian event. 

As the camera zoomed in even further  on the front of every roiling crowd it seemed to find those same four pretty blonde girls that are apparently under contract to The Daily Telegraph to illustrate every Summer’s record-breaking A-Level results.

Despite The Guardian’s unstinting approbation for multiculturalism, and The Daily Mail’s unbridled fear, Glastonbury demonstrates that the great influx from Asia and Africa really hasn't penetrated our society all that deeply.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Camelot: Looking for King Arthur's iPod

Sword and sauciness really does seem to be the televisual flavour of the moment. In the last few years we’ve had Rome, two series of Spartacus, The Tudors and the towering majesty that was Game Of Thrones.

All have featured – to a greater or lesser extent – swordplay, intrigue and no small amount of nudity in a pseudo-historical context.

Michael Hirst, the creator and writer of The Tudors has rebooted or reimagined or rehashed the legend of King Arthur for us, the easily-pleased 21st Century television audience.


You can make a grown-up sexy King Arthur. Just ask John Boorman. You can make a family-friendly Camelot story for tea-time audiences too. It’s called Merlin, and it’s doing fairly well thank you.

But I don’t think you can do both.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The two exciting futures of television

A little while back I had a job interview at ‘a major national newspaper’. One of the interview questions was “what would you do with our TV listings?”. My answer was “scrap them and use the space for something worthwhile”

I didn’t get the job.

My point was that IP-enabled televisions are becoming so common, and IP enabled devices such as games consoles and minicomputers are attached to so many more TVs, that access to on-demand services such as the BBC’s iPlayer are edging towards universality.

My friend Steve who knows about these things assures me that the number of IP-enabled IPTV ready 3D TVs in the wild will, according to figures from iSuppli, reach 23.4m by the end of 2011, hitting nearly 160 million in 2015