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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


September 10, 2009

Review: The Fixer 2x1-2x2

Posted on September 10, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Fixer

In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, ITV1 (except Scotland)

Good drama - good anything - is hard to find on ITV1 these days (even harder in Scotland, where STV is failing to carry almost any of ITV1's programmes). Yet there are a few standouts, usually in the crime genre. The Fixer is one such standout. It features Andrew Buchan as a former SAS soldier, recruited by a shadowy branch of the police to do its very, very dirty work, usually involving murder but also resorting to other unpleasantries that are in no way legal. With a chav idiot sidekick and a hard as nails, unmovable boss, The Fixer is basically Callan for the 21st century.

Series one of The Fixer was properly classed as very good, rather than excellent. It came perilously close to excellent at times, but despite being an action show, it had very little action, it exhibited quite phenomenal amounts of misogyny at times, it veered towards the cliché and the occasionally silly, and Tamzin Outhwaite was pretty much there as a name to draw in an audience, rather than because she had anything to do.

Series two, which opened with a two-part story, seems to have spotted these problems and done its level best to fix them, because despite a slightly flat and occasionally bizarre opening episode, the second episode managed to pile on the suspense and action in bucketloads.

At last!

Here's a promo - and yes, that is Mr Darcy from Lost in Austen as an evil member of the security services - followed by the first 10 minutes of the first episode of series one, just so you have an idea of what's going on if you missed it: you can watch the rest on YouTube or DVD if you want.

Continue reading "Review: The Fixer 2x1-2x2"

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September 10, 2009

Season finale: 10 Things I Hate About You

Posted on September 10, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

10 Things I Hate About You

Just in time for the news that it's just been acquired to air on Fiver in the UK comes the season finale of 10 Things I Hate About You. As mentioned in previous reviews, this isn't really much like the movie, with just a few plot elements and characters the same, but it's not bad in and of itself. Nothing too remarkable, but still reasonably funny with some interesting quirks and characters.

However, things have perked up in the last three episodes, making it a much more appealing show altogether.

Continue reading "Season finale: 10 Things I Hate About You"

September 8, 2009

Weird old title sequences: Project UFO

Posted on September 8, 2009 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Project UFO

UFOs. What the hell are they? Well, as Chris Moyles recently pointed out to Robbie Williams, they're Unidentified Flying Objects. That's right, by definition, if we knew what they were, they wouldn't be UFOs, so stop pretending you, like, know anything about them, right.

Back in the distant past (the 50s, 60s, and 70s), when everyone who looked up into the sky and saw something they didn't recognise (eg a planet, a star, a plane, another plane, yet another plane) and seemed to think

  1. They'd seen a flying saucer
  2. We'd want to know they'd seen a flying saucer

the US air force decided to investigate the reports everyone filed - at great cost to the US taxpayer. The investigation was called Project Bluebook and after years of work, found absolutely nothing to prove that UFOs=flying saucers from beyond the seventh galaxy.

Presumably to reassure the US taxpayer that all the effort and money spent on looking for aliens during those heady days of gas crises and stagflation wasn't wasted, the USAF agreed to help produce a TV series dramatising some of these investigations. It was called Project UFO.

The basic format was as follows:

  1. Some dweeb out in the backwoods somewhere sees something that looks like a spaceship
  2. He or she reports it to USAF
  3. Two USAF officers (different depending on the show's season) turn up at the scene of the sighting
  4. They find strange stuff
  5. They ask around town to find out what kind of dweeb they're dealing with
  6. An entirely plausible rational explanation for the sighting presents itself
  7. They go back to their base and report their inconclusive results
  8. In a major sop by the producers to wacko UFO believers, the USAF officers suddenly realise they'd overlooked something and it was probably a flying saucer from beyond the seventh galaxy after all

And that's basically every episode for two seasons. Nevertheless, to impressionable people like seven-year old MediumRob, it was absolutely terrifying and convincing since it was "based on real events". Now? Not so much.

Anyway, the show, to give itself an air of verisimilitude, had a lengthy, wordy intro title sequence explaining its 'truthful' origins. But the titles were creepy arsed construction diagrams of UFOs that people HAD DEFINITELY SEEN. DEFINITELY. OH YES. YES, THE ALIENS DID HAVE THE FACES OF HORSES. IT'S TRUE.

Behold then, the weird old title sequence for Project UFO. Don't have nightmares.

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