Existential Space Cadets

I love this guy’s mum’s comments:

“So they’re not really in space?” “No, mum, that wouldn’t be funny.”

“But they don’t know they’re not in space?” “No.”

“So which one is the actor?” “Charlie. That one there.”

“Does he know he’s an actor?”

There’s a whole world of Jean-Paul Sartre in there, struggling to get out.

News

Charlie from Space Cadets reveals his secret identity online (and gives us a drinking game)

Charlie Skelton, astronautI’ve not been watching Space Cadets much. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s rubbish. However, I’ve kept an occasional eye on it because of Charlie Skelton, one of the undercover moles sent to infiltrate the “space cadets”. Why? He runs a blog with my sister about cats.

Before he went in, Charlie left the world a Space Cadets drinking game. If you’re still actually watching the show by the final, I exhort you to try: it should relieve the pain.

Music

The quest for a decent breakfast radio station

Lauren Laverne

My wife likes Radio 1. We wake up every morning to the sound of Chris Moyles and his hired friends being professionally stupid and offensive. I used to find him bearable, amusing even, but when you have to be clever in your stupidity every day for years at a time, sooner or later you’re just going to cut corners and end up being stupid. But she likes him, so that is who we listen to. Even when (shudder) Scott Mills stands in for him.

So I’ve been trying to get to grips with Lauren Laverne. Now XFM is my preferred radio station, normally. This isn’t because I think it’s fantastic. With airwave polluters like Magic, Kiss FM, Capital and all the other tranquilliser stations occupying most of the available spectrum, XFM is the best of a poor bunch. Only Virgin comes close, but since I’m not a middle-aged guitar-based rock obsessive, I can only listen to that if I’m feeling retro.

No, XFM simply has a tolerably good selection of indie bands and reasonably unannoying DJs. They’re best in the evening, when most of the new bands get a play, but Lauren Laverne was still an acceptably entertaining afternoon DJ before she moved to the morning show.

It would be great if I could switch to her new breakfast show in the morning. Now, theoretically, I should like it. But I don’t. I’ve just had to listen to two Kaiser Chiefs tracks in a row, interspersed with The Farm hits and a Moby track from 2002. I don’t need to be put to sleep by a breakfast show and whenever I listen to the Kaiser Chiefs, I want to happy slap their stupid pretentious faces while simultaneously getting annoyed with them for making me quite like their music. They ruined it for me.

So up your game, Lauren. Listen to your station’s tag line: “the best for new music”. Hear that? That was new music.

Until she gets with the programme, I’m going to have to be breakfast-showless. Can anyone recommend any good Internet radio stations with good shows that air between 7am and 10am?

News

The Pooh story gets worse

Christopher RobinFurther to previous discussions about Christopher Robin being replaced in a new Winnie the Pooh series, Disney has released more details of their new, ‘improved’ Pooh tales. Here’s some more information that will cause a single, solitary tear to roll down your cheek:

The girl will be the star of the series as she moves next door to the beloved characters created by the English author about 80 years ago: Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kang (sic) and Roo, plus a new character, Lumpy, introduced in a recent Pooh movie.

Living together next door? No 100 Acre Wood? Kanga and Roo in their own little house? Where’s Owl/Wol? But wait. There’s worse

A 22-minute pilot was produced and tested worldwide in focus groups of preschoolers and parents, all to very positive feedback, the spokeswoman told Reuters.

Well, that’s all right then. Because the only important thing in the whole wide world is how well something tests in focus groups.

Coming soon from the Disney Channel:

  • Sherlock Holmes solves crimes with the help of his kick-ass niece, Skyler, when Dr Watson is forced to return to Afghanistan;
  • Macbeth and Banquo’s ghost reunite for 26×25 episodes of supernatural fun, aimed at the key 1-3 year old ABC1 demographic;
  • Voldemort’s Learning Zone – in which the dark Lord himself teaches Harry Potter valuable lessons about shopping (sponsored by Wal-Mart);
  • Swallows and Amazons: boating fun for kids, but this time updated for modern life, by setting it on Hawaii on jet-skis;
  • Wind in the Willows: all the animals you know and love, including that wacky Toad, but introducing some new friends, including Willy the Weasel, Badger’s cool kick-ass nephew Brad, and Missy, a girl who’s moved with her mom to the riverbank and who has a lot to teach them about life and friendship. A range of action figures will be available Fall 2008

All of these tested well with focus groups.

What to do? I’m inclined simply to let them make it. CGI isn’t cheap, so if it’s a flop, Disney will lose oodles of cash. After a series of commercial flops at the cinemas, they need revenue like they’ve never needed it before. Certainly, the originator of the idea – a soulless corporate drone without an ounce of poetry in them – will get the push. At the same time, animation studios in Korea will get big lumps of cash and South Korea’s general standard of living will improve (not that they’re totally strapped for cash of course), proving that globalisation has its benefits.

To ensure the failure of the show, not only must we refuse to watch it (not hard), we must make sure no one else watches it. But most important of all, we must write in protest to any broadcaster who picks it up. However, instead of complaining about the programme itself (thus getting ourselves a “crank” rating in the complaints department), far better to complain that it’s replacing another programme in the schedule: broadcasters appreciate ratings so if you say you’re a big fan of the dumped programme, they’re more likely to drop Pooh in favour of the programme you’re pretending to like.

The WB begins to regret its mistakes

Following the success of “Pretty Boy Ghosthunters” – sorry, Supernatural – The WB has decided it needs more hour-long shows about the supernatural.

What they really want is a show about vampires. Or even two shows: one about a vampire, and another about someone who kills vampires. You know, like Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Oh. Wait. They were both The WB shows and the network decided it didn’t want either of them, because it was going for a different demographic or something.

Well done, guys. Good bit of thinking there.