Archive for the ‘ Entertainment ’ Category

Netflix: the good,the bad and the downright ugly

After a treacherous journey across the Atlantic Netflix has finally reached our shores with a few casualties along the way.  Launched in January this year Netflix is an online site allowing customers unlimited access to their film and television show catalogue for a small enough monthly fee.  Starting in America in 1999 Netflix became a massive hit and has now launched its European counterpart.  Seems all great in theory, your favourite film or sitcom at any time of the day, streamed in HD with no limits but there is a catch..

According to reports Ireland’s version of the site has only a small percentage of what the American version does.  The content just doesn’t seem to be there yet. Lots and lots of straight to D.V.D movies containing actors you’ve never heard of before.  But don’t be fooled, if you look hard enough there are plenty of gems found amongst the stones. Take for instance the brilliant sitcom Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  Apart from a small run on 3e a few years ago the show has not had much publicity in Ireland, which is such a shame. Set in Philadelphia, it centres around a group of friends who own an Irish Bar. Starring Danny DeVito and the always funny Charlie Day, its crude and stupid while still managing to retain a sense of intelligence.  Probably one of the most underrated comedy shows running currently and with Netflix all seven seasons are available for the subscribers pleasure.

Other great listings on the site include  the beautiful if not slightly depressing Into The Wild, directed by Sean Penn.  The American version of The Office, widely regarded as better than its source material. The Ben Affleck directed Gone Baby Gone and the George Clooney directed Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.  These all nearly make the site worth paying for. Nearly being the operative word. At times a slow internet connection can give the viewer a fuzzy image and some of the films audio is so low its nearly inaudible, even with the sound at full volume.  It still has its appeals though, recommendations based on what you have viewed and your preference ratings make it easier to decided what to watch. You might even discover something you didn’t know you’d like. For the price of a cinema ticket once a month you can’t really argue.

There is still a lot of kinks for the people at Netflix to work out but when they do they will be on to a winner.

Twit of the week….. Erm, ‘Tweet’ of the week!

I struggle with the definition of a ‘celebrity’ at the best of times, but when it comes to the definition of an Irish celebrity herein lies a much greater challenge. Like most, I’m not quite sure why many of the so called ‘Irish celebrities’ have acquired the title and furthermore, why such a title requires them to overload the web with a plethora of tweets on the current darling of social media, Twitter.

This week we’ve delved into the intriguing (mundane!) lives of celebrities, which they have so generously shared with us, via Twitter!

Poor DJ Ray Shah seemed to be at breaking point this week… it appears that the life of a DJ is more taxing than one would think.

‘Ah here…. brain is FRIIEEEDDD’

Clearly… as it has impinged upon your ability to spell Ray!! Whatever the reason, it did serve as a gentle reminder that DJs too have brains!! Never doubted you for a minute Ray!

Talking of brains, or lack thereof, Kamal Ibrahim tweeted…

‘It’s been an emotional week! 😦 I miss everyone already x’

I can’t say the feeling is mutual…. we hadn’t even noticed that Mr. World himself had gone MIA / relocated! Word of advice: staying away from the homeland (your celeb land) for too long will result in a downgrade to your already waning celebrity status! (i.e. no more VIP entrances into Dublin’s finest nightclubs!!)

And then there were those celebrities who proved to us that Twitter is a mere medium on which you can detail to your followers what it is you’ve eaten for breakfast….. or in Niall Horan’s case, what you haven’t!!

‘I’ve been asleep for the last 4 hours… I just woke up and everyone has eaten but me.. no one woke me.’

Ever heard of room service Niall?!? You’re not in Mullingar anymore mate, I’m sure the celeb lifestyle which you are currently enjoying stateside can afford you the luxury that is room service! #stop complaining!

Ah, but do not be fooled, celebrities can deviate from the usual ‘I’ve just had a boiled egg for breakfast’ tweet and can instead  offer something more, something profound perhaps…

‘Looking for inspiration #vipstyleawards … Hair/make-up/dress’

Actually scrap that, I read the word inspiration and got a little excited! My bad! Pippa O’Connor Ormond is actually just advertising for a new stylist, well that, or she is unaware that she’ll find the aforementioned in her walk in wardrobe!!

Lastly, my tweet of the week comes from an English celebrity and was one which I couldn’t pass as it offers an insightful glance into the life of one of the UK’s finest celebrities.

‘Right, after late nights I’m off to bed early.(Fills hot water bottle, shuffles into slippers, pours toddy, fetches reading glasses).Night…x’

Too much information Richard!! Surely some of the above needs to be censored?! Sometimes, Richard Madeley can get carried away with the alluring existence that most celebrities enjoy… you really are living the dream!!

#never a dull moment on Twitter

New playwriting initiative for original talent: Play On, Macduff

This year’s Dublin Theatre Festival programme sees the launch of a new playwriting initiative to seek out and support fresh talent. Play On is the exciting new venture and its organisers will be searching out writers with a ‘distinctive voice, vision and style’ in contemporary drama. The Director of DTF, Willie White explains, ‘This exciting new initiative underpins the Festival’s commitment to develop and mentor emerging practitioners in Ireland’.  Writers are eligible to be involved in Play On if they either were born in, or are resident in Ireland.

Aspiring playwrights should now sharpen their pencils and pay attention to the all-important details. The first stage in the process is to be an open call for playwrights to submit a play or even just a first scene (produced or unproduced) by the deadline of 5pm, 20th March 2012. A limited number of writers will then be selected to join various programmes, which will run from April until October. New writers will be invited to participate in a playwriting course while the more experienced writers will be mentored or involved in writers’ group meetings to hone their skills. If you are selected, the cost of participating in the programmes will be €100 but anyone not selected may receive some free help and advice depending on numbers.

Finally, both new and experienced dramatists will have the opportunity to give readings of their work at this year’s DTF in October. Leading the new scheme will be Graham Whybrow, former literary manager at the Royal Court. Whybrow has a fine reputation in the field of contemporary drama. Indeed, distinguished theatre critic Michael Billington has written that both the former Director of the Royal Court Ian Rickson, ‘and his dramaturge, Graham Whybrow have nurtured a generation of dramatists’. It seems as though Play On will be in excellent hands and that October should see an interesting crop of new Irish talent on show.

The Dublin Theatre Festival will run from 27th September until 14th October. For further information on the festival and Play On: and for enquiries about Play on:


Tallafornia Is As Real As Reality TV Gets

The first series of TV3`s hit show Tallafornia has just finished up after gracing our screens for the past few weeks. With a second possible series in the pipeline, cast member Dave Behan reveals the truth about what goes on behind the scenes as he writes exclusively for Irish News Review.

When we first entered the house there was obviously a lot of nerves, none of us had ever been on TV before and we didn’t really know each other. I knew Cormac for about 10years but wasn’t that close to him. I knew Phil and Jay from the gym but only to say hi. We met the girls about a month before going into the house, there were initially four but one of the girls pulled out last minute, she was the worst looking so we didn’t mind to much!

My first impression of the girls was I thought Nikita was very cute, Natalie was defo a party girl and Kelly loved herself!

 The first day was a blur, we literally walked in the door and the cameras were switched on! there was no script we weren’t told what to do or say so like any Irish person we started to drink…a lot! It really helped us relax and forget about the camera so that’s when all the drinking games started and everyone got a lil freaky! People don’t know this but me and Kelly snuck off for a quick shower off camera, she pinned me in the bathroom and wasn’t taking no for an answer! We were actually kissing every night from day 1 but they eventually caught us after 3days of filming. I felt bad for her boyfriend at the time but that was her decision, it’s always up to the girl whether u score or not!

 The first 2 weeks flew in, every night was starting to roll into one, there was a lot of drink involved but there could have been more. Most nights we had to leave the clubs by 2am, the crowd would be getting locked by then and starting to get a bit rough! Every night we came back to the house we weren’t aloud have music on and the lights would be fully on for filming, its awkward bringing people back because of this but we got used to it!

 By week 3 and 4 you could see we were getting tired and people were getting run down, people were fighting over lil things. I think it was only me Kelly and Natalie who stayed in relatively good form, Nikita was shouting a lot, Philly was starting to get in everyone’s face, Jay was becoming very quiet and Cormac was just done with all of us…one of his quotes was “I have nothing to say to u guys” during one of the scenes which was funny!

 It’s funny looking back now because there’s a lot of footage left out for certain reasons, probably due to the X-rated nature of them. There was small cameras in all the rooms but they couldn’t use any of the footage, the quality wasn’t great thank god!…that’s where all the juicy scenes were, like me and Kelly hooking up, Cormac was with another girl they just didn’t show, so there was actually a lot more people didn’t get to see!  

To be honest I don’t regret anything, I don’t think I portrayed myself too bad, that’s me so you either like me or you don’t!

Everyone’s true colours came out after 3weeks, its real life people keep asking if it’s scripted…trust me it’s not!

The producers were trying to make a TOWIE/Jersey Shore type of show that’s why they don’t show all the sexy footage and why they show a lot of us doing normal stuff.

In all I can’t believe the response we are getting, people are running down the street after us, girls are nearly in tears when they meet you it’s funny becauses 3 months ago no one wanted to know you now apparently your one of the sexiest men ever…you just have to take it all with a pinch of salt!

 I really think Ireland needed a show like this, it’s easy watching it’s just a bit of fun and it shows that we also have people who look after themselves and take pride in their appearance and we are not just a bunch of paddys!

 I definitely think a season 2 would be very different, we would be way more relaxed and there would be no sitting on the fence on my behalf, your thinking at the time oh I don’t want them to see me saying anything bad about them but after seeing what the other cast had to say about certain things I know now what there really like!… I defo think there would be unbelievable drama and especially if they add in one or two more characters…but we’ll have to wait and see!