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Posts Tagged ‘ Channel 4 ’

Avengers – Age Of Ultron

wikipedia.org

 

Spoiler warning:
So, am I allowed not like this film? I really wanted to like it, I really did. As far as the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes I’m certainly a fan, even the lesser entries like Thor – The Dark World didn’t really bother me all that much. With Age Of Ultron however it’s not so much that it’s bad rather that it just doesn’t seem to fit in with anything that has come before it,  strange considering the first Avengers film set so many of the tropes and benchmarks in place.

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McCririck: Female Athletes Should Earn Less

John McCririck on SLTV

“It hasn’t been a great year for me” admits John McCririck. Having been sacked by Channel 4 and losing the resulting age discrimination case after being branded ‘unpalatable to a wider audience’, McCririck has once again put his foot in it, this time on Sportlobster TV.

The UK’s most recognisable horse racing pundit, referencing his time in the Big Brother house, said: “I was in there with Germaine Greer who has ruined the lives of millions of women. Her feminist book, The Female Eunuch, gives women ideas above their station. Ideas they keep striving for but cannot reach. I can’t stand the woman for what she stands for.” Continue reading

The Goggle Box : Walking In A Walter Wonderland

Episode 15 - "Granite State"

Episode 15 – “Granite State”

So, that happened. Breaking Bad went as far off the reservation this week as it has ever gone. The speculation that last week was the true ending, and all of this is epilogue is clearly true. In this penultimate episode, and presumably next week’s finale too, we are seeing the loose ends tying up. And as a result it all feels a little different, but stops just short of being wrong. Continue reading

Top Five Comedy Shows You Must See Before You Die

All of the television programs on this list are made in Britain and feature British/Irish actors and actresses. That’s not being elitist, at least intentionally, against American comedy, which is often very good (Ted, Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation spring to mind) but usually has the tendency to be very direct. Humour in this region of the world is more often much more subtle and much funnier as a result and few other television shows over the past decade exemplify that particular brand of humour more so than the following five:

The IT Crowd

Have you tried turning it off and back on again? Written by Graham Linehan (also involved with Black Books and Father Ted), The IT Crowd follows the adventures of geek genius and socially awkward Maurice (Richard Ayoade) and the laidback and rather unlucky Roy (Chris O’Dowd), two IT guys under the supervision of the somewhat clueless Jen (Katherine Parkinson), relationship manger and head of the department who actually knows nothing about IT. Much of the humour comes from internet and computing in-jokes, Jen’s complete lack of knowledge concerning computers (of which Roy often takes advantage) and her attempts to build a bridge between the basement dwelling IT department and the rest of Reynholm Industries which leads to Roy and Maurice’s many awkward and failed interactions with those from the higher levels.

Spaced

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have proved their humour can translate onto the big screen with the hilarious and successful ‘Hot Fuzz’ and zom-rom-com classic, ‘Shaun of the Dead’. But it was on the small screen where they had one of their first successes with Spaced on Channel 4, which Pegg co-wrote and co-starred with Jessica Stevenson. Centred around Tim Beisley (Pegg) and Daisy Steiner (Stevenson) who pretend to be a happy couple in order to meet the prerequisites of the ideal flat on 23 Meteor Street, the show follows the pair as they attempt to navigate love, life and work (or lack thereof) combined with one another’s less than usual friends; would be soldier Mike, tortured artist Brian from downstairs and the lonely landlady, Marsha, rarely seen without a cigarette in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. Known for its rapid fire editing, frequent pop culture references, subtle humour and eclectic music, Pegg and Stevenson pitched it as a cross between “The Simpsons, The X-Files and Northern Exposure.” And it works.

The Office

Famous around the world, The Office, stars Ricky Gervais’ most recognisable character, David Brent, as a manager of Slough paper merchants Wernham Hogg, chosen to be the subject of a fly-on-the-wall documentary. The comedy lies in Gervais’ flawless portrayal of a man desperate to be accepted, who confuses respect with being well liked, mixed in with an awkward and often inappropriate sense of humour. His lieutenant Gareth is clueless and obsessed with his time spent in the Territorial Army and is perpetually locked in a mini-war with Tim, an unpretentious and good-natured sales rep, whose witticisms and actually funny jokes make him almost the complete opposite of Brent. Despite Brent’s obnoxious and often mystifying personality, Gervais manages to inject some poignancy into the character and more often than not we end up sympathising with him. If you like cringe humour (99 per cent of the series), then boy is The Office the show for you.

The Inbetweeners

What can you say about this non-typical coming of age show about four completely different yet normal English teenagers? Subtle probably isn’t one of the most often used words. One word should bring back a host of memories for those who have seen it yet may elicit confusion from those who haven’t – clunge.

Sexual and general awkwardness? Check. Lewd teenage jokes? Check. Rip roaringly funny dialogue and story lines? Double and treble check. Not one for the easily offended or those who have forgotten what it’s like to be a teenager.

Black Books

Like the IT Crowd and Spaced, Black Books comes under the category of ‘good things come in unfortunately small doses’. With only two seasons, and a handful of episodes, by the time you’ve finished watching all of them (not too long after you’ve started, who needs to go to work anyway?) you’ll certainly be left wanting for more.

Dylan Moran stars as the heavy smoking and drinking Irish misanthrope Bernard Black, who runs a second-hand bookstore despite the lack of any apparent desire to actually sell any books. Manny Bianco (Bill Bailey) is Black’s assistant and flatmate who in reality is little more than a slave and whom Black refers to varyingly as ‘Gandalf’, ‘Bigfoot’ and ‘Genghis’ while his best and friend, Fran (Tamsin Greig) runs a shop next door selling odds and ends which is endearingly referred to as “a load of wank.”

Cue lots of dark and sometimes puerile and wine related humour.

Honourable Mentions

Father Ted – Father Ted isn’t mentioned in this list because it has a list of its own – the five best television comedies named Father Ted, all of which are occupied by Father Ted. There’s not much else to say about Ted, Dougal and Jack which hasn’t already been said. Perhaps the classic show can be summed up with a quote from Fr Dougal McGuire, oftentimes the bane of Fr Ted’s existence.

(Dougal has trouble remembering his prayers)

Father Dougal: Our Father, who art in heaven…

Father Ted: (sternly) Hallowed.

Father Dougal: Hallowed be thy…

Father Ted: Name!

Father Dougal: Papa don’t preach…

Father Ted: Dougal, you know you can praise God in other ways.

Father Dougal: Oh yeah, like that time you told me I could praise him just by leaving the room.

Father Ted: Yes, that was a good one all right.

And, of course, who could forget kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse?

 Misfits – Though not necessarily and solely a comedy in the strictest sense of the word – there’s plenty of drama and tear inducing moments to be found in this super-powered series – anybody with a sense of humour could rarely be found dry eyed (in a good way) when Robert Sheehan took to the screen as the loveable Irish rascal, Nathan. Filthy minded, with poor hygiene and worse morals though not without emotion, Nathan took all the laughs and transcended the series from shadow sci-fi to supreme comedy drama. No matter how serious or touching the moment, one could be assured that Nathan would turn up sooner or later with an absurdly obscene comment to ruin it.

Sample quote from Nathan (When asked whether community service has changed him) – “I think I’m taller.”

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