Tag Archives: TV

A Miserabilist’s Guide To TV Property Shows

6 Aug

Kirstie Allsopp Phil Spencer

About the author: Jemima Lesser blogs for Cushion Couture, the home of cheap cushions online.

There is a terrible plague affecting modern society. I’m not talking about war, or famine or even global warming. This affliction began in the murky depths of daytime telly and has crawled, oozing, into the evening and weekend schedules like some monstrous new species. I am referring, of course, to the not-so-new breed of TV property programs.

As the economy continues to stumble and the housing market wheezes its way to recovery, it seems an inverse trend is taking place. Alongside the increasing inability for most decent and hardworking Britons to actually be able to buy or indeed build a place to live, there appears to be a growing propensity for TV toffs to tell us all about the joys of doing exactly that! The inner grump in me is compelled to combat this tide of insanity by taking hapless viewers on a bitter tour of the property program world, just to achieve some semblance of balance on the issue.

Kirstie & Phil’s Evil Empire

We’ll start with Kirstie and Phil. The undisputed tyrants of property programming, their empire spreads far across the land. Joining forces for Location, Location, Location, they occasionally take time off to boss people individually inside and outside the properties they already have, as well as the ones they want to buy, with shows like Phil Spencer: Secret Agent and the terrifying Kirstie’s Handmade Britain. (Personally, I suspect the latter could be some sort of smokescreen for Kirstie’s plans to open a full time orphan sweatshop with her ill-gotten millions). The duo’s brand of humour, emulating an arsey married couple who jibe constantly at one another in barely concealed contempt, is almost embarrassing to watch. The only respite these two get from bickering is in sniping at the optimism of would-be buyers for daring to hope for a two-bed terrace priced at less than half a million within the smoggy corridors of Greater London. Fat chance.

Kevin McCloud’s ASSpirationalism

Moving swiftly on to Kevin McCloud, the smug and airy face of TV’s middle-class-only-zone. Grand Designs is an hour of your life you will never get back as you marvel enviously at the seemingly effortless procurement of rural beauty spots for the purpose of erecting different shaped boxes made out of Swedish wood and Russian glass. Where else in real life can you find actual non-fictional people who like to have a bath in entirely transparent outbuildings powered by eucalyptus flavoured steam generators? And the apple-cheeked, braying Yuppies who wish such monstrosities upon our beloved countryside always say they’ve run out of money about three-quarters of the way through, yet somehow manage to finish the project. They haven’t run out of cash, this is a blatant lie to make you feel better about being poor and them seem more humanoid. It’s frankly ridiculous.

The Worst of the Rest

Homes Under the Hammer sells us the unlikely utopia of housing development when most of our own walls are falling down around us, Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare creates a window into the stately homes we’ll never own, let alone go to ruin. The Restoration Man, The Home Show and the everlasting A Place in the Sun: Home or Away. It’s a miracle there’s anything else on the box at all! All these programmes really do is show us what the haves have got and what the have-nots haven’t. Put down the remote, get yourself outside and pitch a tent for the weekend. It’s the only way to get out of the TV property plague for a breath of fresh air.

The post A Miserabilist’s Guide To TV Property Shows appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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Doctor Who: 6 Reasons It’s A Good Thing That The New Doctor Falls In Love

5 Aug

Doctor Who Doctor River

It’s a pretty common opinion among fans of Classic Who, and among the more impassioned section of the non-shipper fanbase, that the Doctor shouldn’t fall in love. That it doesn’t make sense for him to fall in love. That any romance is “forced,” or “fake,” or even “stupid.”

There’s some merit in this idea. An aesexual alien challenges a lot of the ideas we have about romance. An alien whose idea of love is purely platonic is an interesting concept.

Mind you, the first Doc was traveling with his granddaughter. Trying to find her a non-biologically-related role overlooks that basic fact. And he’s said on multiple occasions that he’s had kids. But never mind…

So, back to the Doctor being a romantic hero. There is a danger that, by being a romantic object, the Doctor could be turned into a standard packaged “handsome prince” type.

Actually, I take that back: he’s the Doctor. He’ll always be the Doctor. He can’t stop being the Doctor, he can only add to it.

Essentially-and correct me if I’m wrong, and I know you will-the argument about whether the Doctor should be in love is about whether the Doctor, the character we all know and love, is a person who could fall in love. Is he somehow above, or just sideways of romantic/sexual love? Is romantic love forcing him to be relatable, thus destroying his Doctorness?

For some people, their personal opinions say yes. Mine says no. Here’s why:

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Star Trek: Unproduced Stories That Were Never Filmed

4 Aug

Star Trek The Beginning

With Star Trek celebrating its 47th anniversary this month, now is the perfect time to reflect on what could have been. With 6 television incarnations, 12 movies and a seemingly never ending series of novels it could be argued that at somewhere or at sometime every story has been told in the Trek universe.

Au contraire gentle reader!

Today we take a look at stories that were envisioned, but never got past the conceptual stage…

Kongo

Screen Shot 2013 09 20 At 14 44 18

In Gene Rodenberry’s first draft proposal, “Star Trek is….” He proposed an episode called Kongo, where Uhura and Dr. McCoy encounter a planet where roles have been reversed and black people have enslaved whites. Star Trek writer David Gerrold said, “As a matter of fact, the idea was one that very definitely had been considered. A script version had even been written. And rewritten. And rewritten. The story involved a planet where blacks were the masters and whites were the slaves, but either the premise was too touchy for television or nobody could quite make it work..”

The post Star Trek: Unproduced Stories That Were Never Filmed appeared first on WhatCulture!.

Stephen Colbert Throws an All-Star Daft Punk Dance Party

24 Jul

What do you do when Daft Punk is a no-show? Throw an all-star dance party to their hit, “Get Lucky,” without them, of course.

That’s what Stephen Colbert did on Colbert Report Tuesday, calling on the likes of Hugh Laurie, Jeff Bridges, Bryan Cranston, Jimmy Fallon, Matt Damon, the Rockettes, Jon Stewart (via satellite), the entire production of America’s Got Talent and even (inexplicably) former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to groove to “Get Lucky” in what will go down as one of the show’s greatest music videos.

Daft Punk, the enigmatic electro-pop duo, had to skip their scheduled performance on Colbert‘s summer concert series, StePhest Colbchella – “the anti-establishment, convention-destroying rock and roll ethos brought to you by Hyundai” – due to contractual obligations with Comedy Central’s sister network, MTV (read: Daft Punk at Video Music Awards!).

“You see, we booked Click and Clack over here about a month ago,” Colbert explained. “Apparently – and this is a deeply guarded secret, so shhh! – Daft Punk are going to make a surprise appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards – spoiler alert. Don’t tell anybody, because fun fact: No one told me until two o’ clock yesterday.”

After “Get Lucky” was all danced and done, Robin Thickeperformed his Song of the Summer, “Blurred Lines,” in Daft Punk’s place.

Doctor Who: The 11th Doctor’s 6 Most Spine Tingling Moments

22 Jul

Doctor Who 11th Hour 1

I think it’s safe to say that Matt Smith’s portrayal of the Eleventh Doctor has been one of the most popular across the history of the show. While no one was sure what was coming back in 2010, here we are three years later at the end of his run and what a wild ride it has been.

We’ve had one of the most zany and alien doctors, a fresh change from the dark Ninth and more human Tenth Doctors. But it hasn’t been all fun and games with his dark side also appearing quite often in his four year run.

Now we’ve had every standard episode of what Doctor Who Matt will do I’m going to look back on the moments that affirmed his place as The Doctor for us, those times when we were literally gaping in awe at the screen and the times when Matt shined best in the role.

6. Shooting The Gravity Globe

11thgun1

It was the first two parter of Series 5 and boy did it leave us with a good cliffhanger. With River, Amy, The Clerics and The Doctor trapped by slowly reforming Weeping Angels it looked like they weren’t going to make it, but then Matt provided us with his first big “wow” moment of his run. This scene was much criticized in the promotional trailers as we see The Doctor handling a gun but really it was nothing to worry about, the main focus was his excellent yet short speech to Angel Bob before shooting the gravity globe.

Here we see The Doctor angry about the angels taunts so he decides to do something “incredibly stupid and dangerous” in order they survive. While the moment itself lasts for about 20 seconds his cold deliverance accompanied by Murray Gold’s epic score and the tension of the oncoming angels makes this speech feel so epic. We really feel like he is The Doctor, proved by the simple word “me” when asked what not to put in a trap.

Seeing as this was the first episode Matt filmed for the show he does amazing, showing us he is a force to be reckoned with, not just the strange man that eats fish custard.

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Breaking Bad: 5 Potential Outcomes From To’hajiilee

20 Jul

Breaking Bad3

*The following pages contain spoilers – spoilers everywhere.*

If you’ve been watching Breaking Bad, you’re likely of the same opinion that ABC’s hit show is just as addictive as the methamphetamine cooked by its protagonist/antagonist Walter White.

And, if you’re up to speed with season 5, the (tragically) final series of the compelling crime drama, you will also likely agree that the most recent episode, ‘To’hajiilee’, is one of the best in the show’s long run.

To’hajiilee saw Walter’s mask slip as his alter-ego Heisenberg succumbed to a devious trap by the DEA after leading them directly to his buried drug money, but, despite being cuffed and bundled into the back of brother-in-law Hank’s police car, there would be a further, killer twist to come.

With the game looking over for Walt, Todd and his Nazi family rolled on into the desert armed to the teeth before a frenetic gun fight with Hank and partner Gomie faded to black without us knowing what the hell happened next.

If you reacted like we did, staring wide-eyed at the screen screaming at the top of your lungs “You can’t end the episode like that!” then you too probably have one or two questions about the episode’s mother-of-all-cliffhangers.

And here, we put the microscope over 5 Potential Outcomes From To’hajiilee.

Click “Next” to begin.

The post Breaking Bad: 5 Potential Outcomes From To’hajiilee appeared first on WhatCulture!.

The Walking Dead: 10 Reasons Why Season 4 Will Be The Best Yet

20 Jul

The Walking Dead

It’s a little over a month until America’s biggest show (if you believe the ratings) crashes back onto the big screen, and I personally can’t wait. When it wants to, the Walking Dead can thrill like little else on television. Yet pessimists will always point out the first part of that sentence – ‘when it wants to be.’

Honestly, I see where they’re coming from. The Walking Dead’s dramatic problems are well-documented and after the positively glacial second season, we were all ready to simply down tools and leave Rick Grimes and his procrastinating friends to their procrastinating ball games and inattentive children watching (‘what do you mean, Carl isn’t in the house) and shack up with more exciting shows. But then, a funny thing happened – season three turned out to be awesome, restoring our faith that a frustrating show that could be good actually managed live up to the expectation.

Now, I grant you that it isn’t perfect, and I’ll be making that abundantly clear throughout this article. Along with some awesome strengths there were some glaring flaws, and they need to be addressed. Yet nonetheless, I’m extremely excited about season four. If the third season proved nothing else, it’s that the writers are capable of learning from their mistakes and know how to build on their strengths (namely, massive zombie murder). So if they can repeat the trick, I’ve every confidence the fourth season will kick all the ass, resurrect it and kick it again. Hell, if you’re not convinced,just look at the goddamned trailer.

With this in mind, I’ve drawn up 10 reasons why I believe The Walking Dead Season Four will be the best season yet. Beware that a SPOILER WARNING is in effect. If you’re fine with that, or just love to have things spoiled for you, then please, read on.

The post The Walking Dead: 10 Reasons Why Season 4 Will Be The Best Yet appeared first on WhatCulture!.

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