Classic TV

Lost Gems: Look Around You – Series One

Look Around You

If you grew up during the 80s (or even the 70s) in the UK, like me, you were probably subjected to some pretty rubbish teaching programmes during science classes – they were usually narrated by Chris Tarrant, if that helps jog your memory. Joe has just reminded me of the marvellous first series of Look Around You, in which Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz mercilessly and very surreally sent up “television for schools and colleges”.

I won’t say too much about it, since it really does speak for itself. Here’s a scary clip of the ‘Helvetica Scenario’ from the pilot episode, Calcium, for those that just want a sample.

For those with more time and who liked that taster, here’s the entire pilot episode. Be warned, you will feel a palpable sensation of nostalgia within about five seconds if you are over 30 and British.

And here’s the Sulphur episode, which is one of my favourites:

If you’re in the US, you can watch all the episodes (with a few adverts) on Adult Swim‘s web site,  since it’s currently airing on Sunday nights. If you’re in the UK, if you loved it, you can buy the whole series, including pilot episode, on DVD.

There was also a second series that sent up Tomorrow’s World and Micro Live, but it wasn’t as good IMHO – although it was still pretty hilarious at times. Here’s a sample – you can get it on DVD, too.

PS: At no point should you rely on Look Around You for accurate scientific information.

Today's Joanna Page

Today’s Joanna Page: Love Soup (again)

Today’s Joanna Page is Love Soup again, from her guest appearance last series. Yes, I know I’ve already done it, but this time, you can see her in action, since her collected scenes from that episode are now on YouTube.

The series is by David “Jonathan Creek” Renwick, so you can guess that all is not what it seems: can you crack the mystery before the end of the video? What surprises Mark Heap so much when he visits Heather’s home? The clues are there – can you spot them? Don’t read the original entry before you’ve had a chance to guess though, since I gave the whole game away back then.


YA Heroes promo – Superbowl

Heroes superbowl

NBC is going all out this year to get people watching Heroes again, after volumes two and three put everyone off it. It’s even making a special ad to run during the Superbowl to advertise the show, the theme of the commercial being “what if the Heroes used their superpowers to cheat in a game of football?” Looks like everyone – even Ali and Haydn – gets to play, although Jack Coleman will be sitting on the sidelines as the team’s coach.

I’ve put together a playlist of behind-the-scenes interviews, as well as some footage of the ad being filmed (you’ll have to wait until the Superbowl to see the final version) over at YouTube, but none of the vids are embeddable so you’ll have to go there to watch them. Sorry.

Thursday’s parenting news

Doctor Who



British TV


Potentially useful widget things

They’ve been pestering me for a while, so just in case you’re interested:

123WebTV, the search engine for watching TV and movies, has released a number of free online gadgets which will make searching for and watching the best TV shows, sports highlights, movies and user-generated videos online a whole lot easier.

Users can visit where they can install the applications including a Facebook app, iGoogle gadget, Mac Dashboard widget and Vista gadget.

The widgets allows users access to a wide range of TV shows, videos and channels available to UK audience. Channels include BBC, ITV and Channel 4, with the ability to browse by genre (e.g. sports, entertainment, music and news) and themes or search for specific content. Much of the content is free whilst other content is available by subscription or pay per download.

All applications can be found at:

1. Facebook Application With the 123WebTV Facebook App
You can search and find TV shows, sports highlights, Film, and User Generated video direct from your Facebook profile or Facebook Page. You can also share the application with your friends. You need to be on Facebook to use this application.

2. iGoogle Gadget
Use the iGoogle Gadget to search and find TV shows, sports highlights, Film, and User Generated video direct from your Google home.

3. Mac Dashboard Widget
With the Mac Dashboard widget you can search and find TV shows, sports highlights, Film, and User Generated video direct from your Dashboard.

4. Windows Vista sidebar gadget
With the Windows Vista sidebar gadget you can search and find TV shows, sports highlights, Film, and User Generated video direct from your Sidebar.

5. Widget for your website or blog
Include the 123WebTV search widget on your website or blog for your users to easily search TV shows, sports highlights, Film, and User Generated video direct from your site.

I’ve not found the searching that good, but your mileage may vary.