Posts Tagged ‘Guardian’

Guardian Unlimited – Travelog Blog

February 15, 2008

Gogarty 

You’ve probably already heard about this… my attention was first drawn to it by Football365’s Mediawatch section. I’m still ploughing through the comments now, and it’s rekindling my faith in the general public.

Unless it’s a huge wind-up and I’ve fallen for it, hook. line and sinker…

If it is some kind of viral advertising campaign, it’s pretty sickening in and of itself.

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Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe

October 11, 2007

Brooker 

Right, we’ve been skating round this one for long enough now.

Early on in the days of WWM, some little tool piped up and, in other words, called we contributors ‘Brooker-lite’. Needless to say, he was subject to a written stream of abuse and pretty much to this day the names ‘Charlie’ and ‘Brooker’ have become WWM’s equivalent of paedophilia-scat. Piss.

The main issue here is that Brooker does pretty much what we do. He slags off telly using lots of hyperbole, metaphors, cynicism and witticisms e.t.c… for the sake of amusement and largely at the expense of genuine criticism. Yet we don’t mention him on here, which is a bit weird seeing as I’m betting that most of us watched Screenwipe on Tuesday night and found it fucking funny. Why do we dare not speak his name? A sense of pride? Jealousy? Competitiveness?

Brooker has two weekly columns in The Guardian, his own TV show and is turning into a bit of a celeb. He’s fucking won already. Pretending he doesn’t exist (and we do whether you acknowledge it or not) is bizarre.

Here I go then. Firstly, this series isn’t as good as the last one.

Already I am putting myself in the firing line by suggesting Brooker has lost it, is past it, is somehow not as good as he was, when I’m merely saying he’s going over similar ground from series one and the first time round it was funnier. That’s all.

In the first series there was something self-deprecating about the way he presented himself. Innocence, if you will. He was clearly uncomfortable being filmed yelling at the TV and couldn’t help smirking at his own overacted rages. There was something rather, well, endearing about it and about him, like Stephen Fry crying himself to sleep.

Now Brooker has had a second series commissioned and probably a third because it’s jolly good, it leads one to thinking that all of his ‘oh isn’t the TV biz awful’ stuff is a tad misleading, even divisive. I mean he whacks off in perpetuity about how shit it is getting into TV, yet there he is on TV after essentially getting known through a short Saturday column in one of the less popular broadsheets. Indeed, my brother was a runner for about a year before ending up with a great job at the BBC as an editor a few months back. Yes, it can be a bit shit but doing anything for the greater good is, right?

Brooker is now becoming a pastiche of himself. Now, this needn’t be a bad thing. To be frank it’ll probably work out well but at the moment I’m still watching the transition. He’s polarised between the real Charlie, a funny defamatory TV critic, and Brooker, the shouting TV comedy reviewer actor-clown. Christ – he even tried slapstick last night.

So, this series isn’t quite as good as the last one. So what? Despite a few niggles, it’s by far and away one of the best, and funniest, shows on TV.

Knocked Up

September 21, 2007

Knocked Up 

So much has been written about this marginally-above-average comedy that it feels slightly slack to even make any effort proffering an opinion, paradoxically enough.

Peter Bradshaw, who usually writes like a misery having double-dropped a curmudgeon-capsule gave it a four out of five. That seems excessive, as does his praising the subtlety on display in this really quite shallow film. Despite a superficial liberal dusting of equal rights recognition, this isn’t really a subtle piece.

Andrew Collins wrote a blog here praising the film while Joe Queenan wrote this article in the Guardian, the latter of which seems to border on the hysterically PC, if you ask me.

I don’t agree with any of them, to be honest. But as I can barely be arsed and because so much has already been said, here are some bullet-pointed opinions from the back of my brain. I’ve tried to avoid spoilers.

  • This is watchable in a Look Who’s Talking, Happy Gilmore kind of a way. By that I mean, worth watching once then forgetting.
  • There are plenty of half-decent jokes. I didn’t laugh out loud but I smiled at points.
  • A barrier to enjoyment was Seth Rogan’s character – Ben Stone, a 23 year old stoner.
  • Inexplicably he’s managed to live on 12 grand (in US Dollars) for 10 years. Is it just me, or do the maths not add up there? Six grand (in English quid) lasts 10 years? Even without rent to pay and eating a lot pasta, nobody can keep a serious skunk habit alive on that.
  • He’s 23 and hasn’t had a job, ever. Yet when the trite phase of Seth’s having to face his responsibilities comes around he lands a decent-looking job and gets an amazing flat, straight away.
  • He’s a twat. Yes, he may have got the girl into bed, but he would never, never have got her. Like, really got her.
  • The stoner sequences are typically American and cheesy. Why do Americans act like such dicks when they’re caned?
  • The mushroom sequence was pretty good.
  • All the ethnic minorities, jewish folk aside, were stereotypical. Giggly oriental girl – check. Over-authoritative oriental man – check. Sex obsessed black man – check.
  • It went on for way, way too long.
  • The ‘crowning’ special effect was sanitised. I’ve seen videos of real childbirth and it’s a lot more sticky, blue, red and mushy than that looked.

Rather than stump up for a cinema ticket, I’d spend your hard-earned on some of the weed Ben’s smoking. It must be dirt cheap for him to realistically afford it.