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September 22, 2007

Questions and realisations from television last week: Burn Notice

Posted on September 22, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's back, but it's mutated. “Things I learned from watching television last week”/“Things I learned from television last week”/“Things I learnt from last week's television” (style guide? What style guide?) has returned - but in a different guise (as promised). After a brief experiment last week, it has now emerged from the pupa of my brain into something hopefully more butterfly-like than the original caterpillars.

Here goes: this week's question(s) - which I throw open to the floor to answer, whether you've seen the show or not - and realisation(s) - for which I also invite comment - come from having watched the rather good finale of Burn Notice on Friday.

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September 21, 2007

Review: Commando - On The Front Line

Posted on September 21, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Commandos in the mud

In the UK: Thursdays, 9pm, ITV1

Bit of a yin-yang choice for me here: it was either this or Gossip Girl. I went for this.

Now, time was, ITV used to be able to do a documentary. Think World in Action. Think Survival. They were cracking.

Then they pretty much stopped doing them. Good ones, that is.

Commando: On the Front Line represents a true return to form and production values. Watching it, you'd think it was still the 80s, bar a switch to video from film. And that's a good thing.

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September 21, 2007

Review: Kitchen Nightmares 1x1

Posted on September 21, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

KitchenNightmaresUS.jpg

In the US: Wednesdays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Not yet acquired, but you know E4 or More4 are going to poach it, sooner or later. Tee hee. Poach.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Sorry.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Sorry again. Couldn't help myself.

Remember Strike!, that episode of The Comic Strip Presents in which Hollywood decides to make a film of the 1980s miners strike and casts Al Pacino as Arthur Scargill and Meryl Streep as his wife?

Well, we haven't gone to quite the extent of recasting Gordon Ramsay here, but we have a US version of Channel 4's Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares – in which top chef and MAN WITH BOLLOCKS! YES! BOLLOCKS! NOW WHERE ARE YOURS? YOU HEARD ME! NOW GET THE F*CK OUT OF MY RESTAURANT!, Gordon Ramsay, goes to various failing eating establishments and tries to re-engineer them back into life – that does a similar sort of thing to what was quite a low-key sort of show in Britain.

From a new title sequence where Ramsay catches knives thrown at him accompanied by the theme from Pulp Fiction, through the emphasis on soap opera histrionics instead of business management all the way, to the make-over show style additions in which Gordon buys a new kitchen for the restaurant, it's all just so much more... American than the original series.

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