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my last summer was spent streaming nature documentaries. for i lead a riveting life.

my favourite series was stephen fry and mark carwardine’s brilliant bbc show called last chance to see, which i can only say is very very good. the premise is that fry and carwardine (a zoologist, writer, photographer and other things as well) seek out animals at the brink of extinction. a follow up to a similar thing carwardine and douglas adams had done about twenty years earlier for a bbc radio thing and a book with the same title.

when i found out about that, i wanted to read it, naturally. but i didn’t really bother looking for it, naturally. but then about a month later, what do i find left behind by someone who moved out of my building? this:

it was, as stephen fry would say, most serendipitous. or my exact words, “awesomesauce!”.

i read the book. twice. like the show, it is very very good. sure it’s about how delicate a balance our world is in and how people have been exceptionally short sighted when it comes to respecting bio-diversity. all downers. but the incredible hard work of the conservationists that adams and carwardine (and fry in the documentary) meet is the real eye-opener for me. clearly they’re off their rockers if they think they can achieve something with so little support or time, and for that i’m thankful.

another reason to be thankful…it introduced me to the kakapo, king of crazy birds:

salt1come on BBC. i get that they’re really similar accidents that happened on the same day. but they happened in two different counties to two seperate people. if they’re so insignificant, why even mention it at all?

i feel especially bad for the guy whose accident happened meanwhile like he’s the sideshow or something:

Two men die in separate crashes

Two men have been killed in separate road accidents in counties Antrim and Donegal.
In the first incident, a man died after his motorbike was in collision with a van on the Glenravel Road, between Ballymena and Cargan on Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, a man in his 30s from Londonderry died after the car he was driving crashed into a fence on the Muff to Molville Road [….]

i’m on a roll today. finding things, when of course i should be working.

i remember watching a video on bbc of little boots performing with a nifty gadget. she was singing, playing the piano and using that japanese pokey light machine, which i now know is called the tenori-on. well this other smart person has created something similar online. because what good is the twenty first century if you can’t access everything from on your bed. it’s awesomely enjoyable.

luton loses to a couch and gets kicked out of football itself. justice is served bitches!

i don’t know why i hate luton so much but i do. luton and milton keynes. below is a picture of luton from google to perhaps justify a part of this irrational grudge against the town.

luton

char_lg_henry i’ve seen about a million adaptations of jane austen’s works and while it is a truth universally acknowledged that the BBC version of pride and prejudice with colinfirthdarcy is the best and definitive version of the book, my favourite austen adaptation is the new BBC northanger abbey.

nahenrytilney07w

another truth universally ackowledged (by women everywhere) is that it’s the leading men who make or break the show. even though most of these stories are about the lives of women and seen through the leading ladies’ eyes, really, it’s all about the men.

and because northanger abbey is my favourite of austen’s novels, mr. tilney would have to walk that line between charming tease and condescending creep. jj feild is perfect.

if not because he’s really cute, just for the goldie looking top hat then.

I sense a pattern in the way BBC produces new shows. There’s the Cardiff gang of Doctor Who and Torchwood sharing similar sets and canon crossovers (the best kind of crossovers). They may not have the exact audiences but they do share the clutch-at-any-lame-straw-resembing-Whoniverse crowd (of what I’m clearly part of).

Then there’s Merlin, which came out of nowhere and is now the replacement until the makers of Robin Hood get back from rehab or wherever it is they’re getting help from because frankly, crack addiction or insanity are the only excuses that I’m prepared to accept for that shitty story arc last season. Well, Merlin seems to have been born of the same mold of geniuses whose formula for success is as follows:

1) pick a british myth

2) make ’em younger, hotter, slightly flawed with uncannily modern values and morals *coughsaracenlovecough*

3) colour-blind casting (for female or minor male roles)

4) introduce famous characters regardless of when they appear or what their story is in the canon and use them/get rid of them whenever convenient *coughlancelotcough*

5) get women into battle mode. It’s getting embarrassing. Now, I don’t want to see them be completely meek or subordinate but a strong female character doesn’t necessarily have to mean combat-ready medieval lara crofts. There are otherways of being kick-ass while not literally kicking ass.

6) Have ridiculously different writers for every episode so the language fluctuates from highly formal to “okay” and “yeah” sometimes even in the same episode.

Say it with me writers, ana-chro-nism.

This week’s Merlin went that one step further and literally seemed to set the episode in Locksley. The peasants being bullied by what would be the emo-ancestor of Guy of Gisbourne who was finally thwarted by the return of the prodigal son. I bow down to thee, writer whose idea it was to pick up the Robin Hood pilot and replace all proper nouns to refer to Merlin-land characters, added one poxy gust of wind and got paid for it all over again…luxury.

One thing I do love about the show is the Camelot castle which is very impressive and beatiful and pretty much the only thing that sets it apart in costume and set design. And that’s only because Robin Hood’s from the gritty dark ages while Merlin is set historically in the period known as fakityfake. I especially liked how peasants from 6th century fake-britain look exactly the same as in 15th century fake-britain. Gunny sack brown was the new black for 1400 years apparently.

But all that said, I will continue to watch it…and look forward to the disaster that is the next season of Robin Hood. Because really, if I’m pathetic enough to spend my saturday evening analysing shows broadcasted about 3500 miles away and aimed at teenage girls, clearly I don’t have much else on my plate. Mainly because about 99% of the shows on other channels suck like ducks. Never will I be caught dead watching do you think you’re smarter than a model in Machu Pichu and who wants to swap nannies or no deal: the celebrity edition (unless of course I die watching tv and my ghost cannot master moving earthly objects like the remote control in time to switch the channel). What I really should be doing, if I want to watch anything at all is supporting amazing shows like Pushing Daisies (a plague on all the houses that brought its demise) and 30 Rock (which survives solely by the collective wills of Tina Fey and Lorne Michael) by watching them on actual TV no matter how much ads suck. Curses.

Reading the news this morning, I came across a feature on BBC that seemed mildly interesting. The end of the world is coming soon and most of us had no idea. Apparently, it’s a Wednesday, during tea time (in some part of the world surely).

I’ve never paid any attention to Wednesday. Wednesday is the plain Jane of the week, which for some inexplicable reason is generally hated by most everyone. Not sharp enough to be Monday or Tuesday and certainly not cool enough to end the week on.

Perhaps not anymore. Perhaps, Wednesday, having grown tired of its lacklustre reputation has hired a PR rep to sort out its sorry situation. “I need an image makeover,” it said walking into the glass-walled loft-converted offices of Big Bang PR. “Awesome, shitty, hip, annoying – I want to be anything but average”.

And so the PR guys put all their fuzzy heads together and came up with the idea for the most definitive and the wackiest of PR stunt in the history of the planet. Either this Wednesday will join the ranks of the great disappointment or we’ll all be wiped out of the map of the universe by giant spinny thing and it won’t matter that everyone f%#$& hates Wednesday. Its a win-win sitch.

I’m pretty sure that‘s all there is to it.