Archive for the ‘Bizarre’ Category

Well here we are, another movie that is loaded with controversy. I must admit, when I first saw the trailer for The Impossible, I myself did think, “Um… it’s a movie about white people… when hundreds of thousands of Asian people died.” It is pretty hard not to think that when you see what they did with the trailer. But I still wasn’t exactly surprised. I figured this for a Hollywood movie – where the American people always get the centre of attention. I was wrong. There, I said it. Don’t make me say it again. 

Firstly, this is a true story, based on a Spanish family. Secondly, it is actually a Spanish made film. And thirdly, the family are actually portrayed as British. Although it is never actually said in the film. I figured they attached the actors and then cast the kids so it made sense. The real Maria – portrayed by Naomi Watts – was actually adamant that they were seen as people, not as any nationality. Still, I can’t help but thinking there was a million stories to be told, and they told this one. About a family of Westerners. There is barely any references to the native population that was killed. In fact, all we really see of the locals is them briefly helping people – all unscathed themselves like it was some sort of isolated event to only effect white people. Don’t get me wrong, The Impossible is a very moving film. I just feel as though it isn’t a true and fair portrayal of the Tsunami. I guess it isn’t supposed to be – it is about one family’s struggle. But there is no reason that family couldn’t have been Thai. I get that they wanted to market the film to an English speaking audience, hence the Britishness, but still – they could have just made the family speak English. Simple. People have been making Ancient Romans, Musketeers and Aliens speak English for years in movies when it didn’t make sense. It would have been overlooked. Also, I can’t help thinking that yes the family were obviously scarred about their ordeal. But they get to go home. The Asian people don’t. Their plight was only just starting. What about the clean up? The hunting for dead? Rebuilding homes?

Anyway… rant over. I suppose I should review the film. I will try to be unbiased! If you look at The Impossible without prejudice and just see it as a story of one family, then it is a good film. I pretty much cried from start to finish. The direction really helped to bring a sense of hopelessness and panic to an already good script. And I was highly impressed by all the actors involved. Special mention goes to the young Tom Holland who played the eldest son Lucas. Wow. What a job he did. When you steal scenes from Naomi Watts, you know you’re a talented lad. Ewan McGregor was, as usual, fantastic – surely one of the most underrated actors working today. Naomi Watts gave every bit the performance you would expect from her, and the casting of the family overall was spot on. They gelled as a unit, and despite little screen time altogether, you really believed they were a family.

For what The Impossible sets out to do – move you – it succeeds. But I stress that, although you do get a view of the Tsunami itself, it isn’t really a retelling of the disaster. I hope that a film properly portraying the Boxing Day Tsunami will follow shortly. Overall, this is a quality, well made film. But ethically, I feel they should have waited to make it. The first movie about the Tsunami should have represented the main people effected by the tragedy.

7.5/10

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Something occurred to me today, while I was laughing away to the latest episode of The Big Bang Theory. Being a geek… has definitely become a lot cooler. When I was a kid, if you so much as mentioned something about ‘Comic Books’ or ‘Star Wars’ you were either immediately ostracised, forced to spend the day undergoing a make over (actually happened) or compulsory left to get picked last in P.E. class. It was never a positive experience. And so I found myself – especially because I am a girl – purposefully hiding the real me.

“Oh… what music do I like? Erm… Oh what’s that new song they were playing on Juice FM… yeah I listen to Juice.” When in reality I had a room with head to toe pictures of Jimi Hendrix and I liked listening to metal when I did my homework. I know this isn’t unusual – the whole hiding your true self, I mean – pretty much every teen in history has experienced this at some point in their lives. But there is definitely much more acceptance for someone with more geekier tendencies these days than there were, say ten years ago. Take this for instance…

Source: weknowmemes.com

^That, right there, pretty much summarises what I mean. People are actually buying glasses with no glass in them, to simulate the fact that they look slightly nerdy! Why? Do you think it makes you look smarter? …I’m pretty sure it achieves the opposite. Then you get the people on facebook who are actually pretending to like ‘so-called’ geeky stuff. Holding up x-box controllers, or writing statuses like – “Just watching Star Wars… wow I’m so geeky.” …Erm, I have news for you girly. Watching a sci-fi flick doesn’t automatically make you geeky. Being like me and owning a replica light saber, a life size R2-D2 and spending your nights questing on The Old Republic… yes, then you could possibly be a nerd. But you’re not doing those things to be geeky. You’re doing them because you God damn genuinely love them.

I honestly think The Big Bang Theory has kind of added to this trend. People who know absolutely nothing about half the things the guys of the show are into still watch the show. Which, I am not ridiculing. It’s a great show and I don’t care who watches it as long as they keep it on the air. But, my boyfriend is prime example of what is wrong with this. He is not a nerd. He hates Star Wars, comics, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, MMORPGs, Star Trek… etc. He despises it all. Yet he loves The Big Bang Theory. Again, nothing wrong with that, I love it too and we have it in common. The only problem I have with it – is this – He doesn’t get half the jokes. In the beginning, especially, The Big Bang Theory had more geeky references than comicon. Sheldon would say a joke about both Star Wars and Star Trek that would only make sense to you if you’d seen either of them. But still… my boyfriend laughs. I don’t get it… on what level is he watching the show on? Because there is no way he understood that joke.

THESE are geeks! And FYI, I hope sincerely that if you watch TBBT you can at least name all the characters/species they’re imitating! Too much to ask for? Damn. Source: TV Fanatic

So this is my point. People watch a hit show about geeky guys and now, suddenly, they think they’re geeky. It doesn’t work like that people. I mean, in a way, I applaud The Big Bang Theory, for making it mainstream and essentially okay to like Star Trek, and to go to comicon and dress up as a Hobbit. The ridiculing has definitely decreased. I once went to a screening of Star Wars episode I with a face painted like Darth Maul. I was 8. But still I was ostracised for it. I got called names at school. And it was then that I started hiding the real things that interested me. Just for an easier life.

Okay, so I can kind of see why I was bullied. This isn’t exactly normal. But it’s what I wanted to do, so I did it. And I don’t regret it. I just regret hiding my love of all things Star Wars all through my teens.

Things like that seem easier now. At least on the surface. Maybe if you pretend  to be a geek you are cool. It’s a strange phenomenon. I definitely like that you can seem to be more yourself now. That kid with the Star Trek lunch box isn’t going to end up eating its contents in a bath room stall, hiding from bullies. Or at least, he’s less likely to.

I think the true moral of the story it this. Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be something your not. This cuts both ways. Don’t hide what you truly like, and don’t pretend to be a nerd so you look cool. It’s a hell of a lot more admirable to be yourself, and be self confident and comfortable in your own skin. Because at the end of the day, no body wants to really end up lying to themselves. Life’s too short.

…And on that note, I’m off to go play with my lego star wars set. Because I’m an adult and I can damn well do what I please!

“Look sir… Droids!”

Oh paranoid humans. Thousands of years ago, some people who were way too fond of pyramid-style architecture decided that rather than pointlessly writing in dates thousands of years from now… they’d stop. And go eat a toblerone instead. Now, all these years later – the paranoid world as we know it, now thinks that this day, of no particular importance, will be the end of the world. The rapture. The end of days. It has a lot of names, not all of which have been made into slightly disturbing Arnold Schwarzenegger flicks. Point is, on the 21st December 2012 – the world is going to end. Well, at least some people believe it will end. Me? Well, I think if it was going to end, we would have seen some sort of sign by now. Locusts. River’s running red. We’d have a Tory government and the global economy would continue to plummet… oh wait…

But I haven’t come here to argue the in’s and out’s of an event that may or may not even happen. Instead I thought I would be useful. If some big, cataclysmic event occurs, I am here to help. More specifically, I am here to help you survive.

I know what you’re thinking. How could I possibly be able to help you survive a nuclear holocaust, or a zombie army… or maybe even everybody on the planet suddenly turning into Liverpool supporters (“Oh dear God… NO!”)? You’re right – I can’t. I am pretty sure no one can. But, what I can do, is give you help, advice and tips that may help keep you alive if you do in fact survive this world altering event.

Quick thinking

Now, this may sound pretty lame. But I am guessing that stupidity, hesitation and down right YOLOness will get you killed in this new world faster than you can say ‘Nicki Minaj’. Be smart and trust your instincts. Before any of us were skyping our friends and online shopping, we were animals. Remember that. Ever see a dog get the willies? Or a cat stare at some unknown object for no reason? That’s because animals are much more in tune with their senses. Hunting and sensing danger comes naturally to them. And it will for us again, if the situation calls for it. Listen to your gut, because as well as telling you that you haven’t eaten anything but a protein bar for three days, it will save your life.

Be careful who you trust

Undoubtedly, no matter what the catastrophe, if society falls – so does the socially acceptable code of morals. Be careful of other people, especially strangers. The world as you know it is over – therefore there are no laws any more. All people have to guide them is their conscience, and that can get pretty wacky when people are trying to feed themselves. The animalistic nature I mentioned before? Yeah, well it cuts both ways. People will get violent and dangerous fast. And eventually that will become as normal as your current morning Starbucks. Also, the psycho’s that seem so rare now? Well they won’t be so rare anymore. The vicious ones are undoubtedly the ones who are more likely to survive a post-apocalyptic world because they will do just about anything to anyone to survive.  Even more than that, they will likely want some degree of power over people. They don’t have any rules any more. Therefore in their eyes anything goes.  Avoid these kinds of people at all costs.

Fly under the radar

This sounds pretty obvious, but unless you actively go out of your way to hide yourself everyday, you could get a little lax. If no one notices you, you won’t get murdered. It is that simple. If you have to, move at night to avoid detection. And don’t start fights you know you can’t win.

Move on

This one is a lot easier said than done. But it is likely you will lose a loved one in the ‘event’. It is important that you come to terms with not only that, but the collapse of society quickly. No one will come and rescue you. Be realistic. The sooner you realise that the stronger you will be emotionally. Save your hope for anyone who has been left behind with you, and for the coming new world.

Don’t abuse substances

I mentioned a few posts ago about how ridiculous it is that people in movies have sex in a crisis and inevitably die. The same concept exists here. Drugs are not a good idea once the world ends. Yes, it may seem like you need that stiff drink more than ever, but it could get you killed. You’re living in a world that needs you to be alert as much as humanly possible. Drinking, taking drugs, or even smoking, could avert your attention. Smoking – I hear you ask? Well, inevitably you will have to give it up eventually. Withdrawal from nicotine can cause severe irritability, difficulty focusing, headaches and drowsiness – to name a few symptoms. In order to survive, you need to be at the top of your game.

Don’t eat mushrooms

“I don’t feel bad at all for giving you bloody diarrhoea and respiratory failure!!”

Not as broad as the others, but important none the less. Mushrooms are often seen as a good food to gather. In fact, this couldn’t be more wrong. Low in protein – therefore often not worth the effort – never eat a mushroom unless you are 100% certain of its type. There are so few edible types, that it is far more likely you will end up poisoning yourself. Put your efforts into gathering food you know to be safe.

Preparation is key

It is likely you never know what will happen next, and therefore it is important to prepare. You will know when the seasons will change. Prepare yourself for them. It’s all well and good avoiding the violent people left behind, but if you are not well prepared for the climate, you could die of exposure long before you run into trouble. If winter is coming, prepare by finding somewhere suitable to spend it. Store food supplies and warm clothing (think layers), and get ready to wait it out. All it takes is one bad snowstorm and one bad winter – be ready.

Find a group

I know this may seem to contradict some of the other tips – but your everyday survival will be strengthened in numbers. Once you can find those people you trust, it will make every day activities like finding food and water, much easier.

Find a knife

…And I don’t mean for protection. A sturdy knife will become essential in the day to day – whether that be hunting, building a shelter or making a fire. A good knife is essential.

Make a survival kit

If you are serious about the world ending, then prepare beforehand. Think about all the things that are truly essential to your survival. Things to make a fire (flint, matches, tinder), first aid supplies and water sterilizing tablets are the first thing that should come to mind. Food isn’t that important in the immediate, but will be necessary later. So if you have space, think about items that could help you get food – like a fishing rod. Obviously it is likely you will be in an urban environment. In that case, stock piling non-perishable food might be a good idea. Also, some supplies for a make-shift shelter are a good idea so that you always have somewhere warm and dry to spend the night regardless of what happens. Carrying these things around with you (aside from the food, of course) will minimise the risk of you not being prepared for anything.

Learn to defend yourself

…Yet there are some people that we know will be okay. Maggie? Wanna be buddies?

Seems kind of obvious, I know. But sometimes no matter how careful you are, and how under the radar you fly – things happen that you cannot stop. If the world does end on Friday – well I guess it’s too late to go out and learn kick boxing, or karate. But there are still a few simple ways that you can try to protect yourself. Firstly – fight dirty. This is your life we’re talking about. There is no fighting dirty in this new world. There are no rules – remember? If your attacker is a man, go for the groin. Hell – if they’re a woman – this still hurts, but is less effective. Eye gauging – although it may be repulsive to think about, it could save your life. Once you have successfully immobilised the attacker – don’t hang about. Run the hell away. This isn’t about being tough. This is about survival. The initial blow is there to allow you to retreat. If possible use improvised weapons to fend off the attack. Like I said, there is no such thing as fighting dirty when its your life. Unfortunately, if you’re female, this section is extra important. The chances of sexual assault will increase. Therefore it is important to be ever the more self aware. Remember, however, your number one priority is to survive. If fighting back severely jeopardises that – be smart, and don’t.

Remember who you are

You will change. This huge traumatic event has happened – of course you will. But it is important to remember the person you were. In a world were black and white will be so blurred, you will need to remember the way the previous you approached things. Likely – if you were any kind of stand up person before – this will be a good gage at making sure you are doing the right thing. The last thing you want is for you to slowly turn into one of the crazy one’s without even realising you were.

Live every day as though its your last

…And no I don’t mean YOLO. It will be the small things that will become important. Do you have a meal in your belly and a warm fire to cosy up to? People you trust around you? Then it has been a good day. Learn to appreciate them.

Evaluate where you would be safest

In movies, often when something like this happens, people travel to some place they think they will be safe. It is a good idea to have in your head before hand possible safe places, each at furthering distance. For instance, if there was a zombie attack (hypothetically… I do know zombies don’t exist!) I would try and find an island to inhabit. Given I live in Britain, it would be one on a lake. But the nearest one is miles from me, so I would have to come up with back ups closer, and then closer again, to home. So, it is important to evaluate your threats (depending on the disaster), and find somewhere suitably safe.

…Yet if you’re a paranoid millionaire, you probably already have this covered.

Get fit

Fitness may not be fun, but it is essential in your survival. It will improve your overall health, efficiency, hunting and gathering, defence and mood. Do your best to keep active, as stamina will become very important.

Don’t go for weapons

Weapons are way down on your list of priorities. Unless there is a zombie apocalypse  you need other supplies way more. The people who head for the weapons are likely the one you would end up needing them against. Therefore, to at least prolong the chance of a confrontation, put finding  a weapon way down in your priorities. If you have one to hand – great. But if not, wait until you are at least partially settled. The food and water and much more important at this stage.

To conclude…

Finally, I just want to point something out – Don’t be afraid of death. It is the only certainty we have in life, and eventually mankind’s time will end. Dying in the cataclysmic event probably wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Being left behind? Well, that would be much worse. Surviving in a world with no structure, law or society, well needless to say it would be far from easy. If the world does end and you’re one of the lucky ones who goes, without so much as a whimper – count your chickens! If you survive and are left behind, well – good luck. You’re most definitely going to need it!

‘Cos the guys on the Walking Dead look like they’re having a riot… NOT!

…And I hope these tips did more than just terrify you about the impending apocalypse. Oh and remember, if you are worried about Friday – just remind yourself that you’re listening to a bunch of people who died thousands of years ago, and whose past times include painful body modifications and ritual human sacrifice.

10) Go caving; The Descent

In what possible way does this look FUN?!

The Descent is a pretty nifty British horror flick about a group of women who go caving and get a little more than they bargained for. Needless to say, I was God damn terrified before any monsters were introduced half way through. Just being trapped in a creepy, pitch black cave is enough for me to veto caving for good.

9) Midnight swimming; Jaws

I have a feeling I’m not alone in this one. Jaws revolutionised the way we see the ocean. And the several similar copy cat films that have come since haven’t changed our minds. If you must go swimming in the ocean, do it with lots and lots of people around… rather them than you.

8) Pick up a hitchhiker; The Hitcher, Wolfcreek, Thelma & Louise, Freeway. 

I swear, nothing good ever came from Hitch-hiking. At least not in Hollywood. I’m pretty sure it isn’t as dangerous as we all think it is, but thanks to the people over at the studio’s, you’d be hard pushed to find someone who didn’t think Hitch hiking resulted in getting murdered, raped or mutilated. Or possibly all three.

At least the guy’s honest…

 

7) Have dinner with Lindsay Lohan; Every movie she’s ever made…

I kid. I kid. Seriously though, that is one woman I shall still be giving a wide berth to. Just saying.

6) Vacation at any cabin whatsoever; Cabin Fever, The Cabin in the Woods, The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th and like another million movies. 

Cabins to me either equal encounters with Bigfoot, getting murdered or some scenario that involves death and never seeing your loved ones again. As the recent flick The Cabin in the Woods so brilliantly illustrates, there are so many ways one can meet their end when staying in a cabin – at least in Hollywood’s eyes. With that in mind, I’m pretty sure I don’t want my last thought to be, “Damn… I knew I shouldn’t have come to this cabin.” No woody adventures for me. Wait… that came out wrong.

7) Go to the deep south; Texas chainsaw massacre, Deliverance, The Devil’s Rejects, The Hills Have Eyes, Wrong Turn… 

If there is one thing that has set the Southern US’ tourist board back, its movies. Ask anyone who has never actually set foot there… The deep south has a reputation as being full of gun toting lunatics, inbred’s and mutants. Ain’t nobody got time for that…!

Thanks to this film, I can’t even look at a chainsaw. It makes chopping wood such a chore…

6) Listen to really loud music when wearing head phones; The Day After Tomorrow, Friday the 13th (2010), Sharks Tale

…And there just the films I can think of off the top of my head. In movies, bad shit goes down and the head phone wearer is always totally oblivious as they bop along to their nice little tunes. Hell… when even a kids film shows having loud music on while working can have disasterous consequences – well yeah, that pretty much puts this up in 6th place.

5) Drive; Too many movies to count (Duel, Joy ride, Final Destination, All the Hitchhiker movies)

This one isn’t strictly true; I probably will drive one day. With that being said, movies don’t exactly paint a good picture of driving. If people aren’t crashing, their being chased down, or being blown to Timbuktu in some sort of car explosion. Of course there are thousands of movies of people driving and nothing bad happens to them. But at the same time, think about all the horrible events in movies that people have driven to. None of this shit would have happened if y’all just got the train. Hell I’d even take the risk of flying… much less likely to end in disaster. Think about it, even your garden variety action movie always has someone’s car blowing up. Remember the cabin’s we talked about before…? Did you drive there? I rest my case. If its too remote to get to by train or plane… don’t go there.

4) Go on the Tube at night; Creep, 28 Weeks Later, Mimic, Stag Night

The tube is creepy of a day time. Believe me. I didn’t need to get brainwashed by movies to learn that. But, of a night? Well, films pretty much teach us that psychotic homicidal maniacs lurk down there, and somehow have been on a long and arduous killing spree without no one noticing or getting caught. Plus its underground… It’s bad enough fighting a deranged killer, but doing it in a confined space? Um… No thanks.

 

3) Go to prison; Shawshank Redemption, Escape from Alcatraz, The Green Mile, Das Experiment, Lock Up, Con Air, Brokedown Palace,

I know what you’re thinking. Of course no one wants to go to prison. It’s prison – it wouldn’t be a punishment if it was all sunshine and rainbows. However, they really try their hardest in movies to make prison look like a total corrupt shit house. So next time your thinking of downloading a few songs off the internet… just remind yourself of the laundry room scene in Shawshank.

2) Have sex during a crisis; Every slasher flick ever made.

Films teach us that not only will you die a horrible violent death if you’re a slut, but you will be also descend into having an IQ  below 50, meaning you will likely be killed first.

Really people? Really? Your in the middle of a crisis. One of your best friends has just been gutted like a fish, and you wanna get busy?! Oh yeah, ‘cos nothing says horny like a bloody massacre.

1) Sleep anywhere were there has been suggestions of ghosts; Every ghost story. 

If there is one thing that scares me, its ghosts. Real or not, the idea of the scares the bejesus out of me. I think it is because you can’t really fight a ghost. If someone attacks me, or if there’s aliens – or hell, even if a deadly virus breaks out – there are things within my control that I can do. If a ghost attacks me, what am I supposed to do? Call Ghostbusters? A good argument against me here is that ghost’s actually can’t really hurt me either – in theory. What do I say to that? Ever been so scared you felt your heart pumping in your chest like it was about to explode? …Then you will know, it is possible to be scared to death, by having a heart attack or heart failure.

Get away!

I’ve never understood people who would willingly go somewhere they would likely be terrified. I understand the buzz and the adrenaline, like going on a rollercoaster, but there is a pretty big jump from that to watching a scary Japanese girl walk out of your TV. No thanks. I’m out.

Coeliac disease. It’s a bitch. It really is. If I wasn’t so busy right now eating gluten free mince pies and sipping my lactofree cup of tea, I’d be right over there to kick Coeliac disease’s ass. That’s right, you heard me CD!

If I was a superhero I’d have this emblazoned on my chest. Is that sad? Oh damn it…

Don’t get me wrong, there are worse things to have. A mild autoimmune disease where you can’t eat wheat, barley and rye is definitely not the worst thing in the world. But its one of those conditions that has one of the worst adverse effects – it’s so God damn annoying. You can’t take a pill and expect it to go away. Its wired into your system. Like whether you can roll your tongue or not. That shit’s in your genes. You can’t forget about it, because you inevitably need to eat a minimum of three times a day. And you can’t just be a bit naughty and indulge yourself for a little while… No, your intestines don’t allow for that.

So, I got thinking about all the crazy ass symptoms – medical and otherwise that make me so certain I have Coeliac disease. I’m not talking about a positive antigen test, I’m talking about the everyday things that I myself notice. Check it out, and see if you share anything similar or whether I’m just in fact crazy…

5) Nightmares about food. 

I’m not messing. I wish I was. I have had actual full on nightmares where I have casually eaten a piece of garlic bread. Afterwards the whole things turned into the final scene of Braveheart  with lots of screams of “Nooooooooo!”, manly tears and the odd bad Scottish accent. It ain’t pretty. The average person is having nightmares about zombies. I’m having traumatic recurring dreams about lasagne.

In the dream I have less hair than Mel Gibson. And bizarrely I don’t look as good in a kilt…

4) Dreams about food. 

Oh it cuts both ways my friend. When I’m not having doughy gremlin type REM sleep, I’m having fantasies about pork pies, pizza and pistachio covered Baklava. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up, dribble all over my pillow, sweat glistening my brow, my heart pounding in my chest… all because my boyfriend picked up the phone and ordered a Domino’s. Yes, when others have sex dreams… I have food dreams.

3) Nervous twitching when someone is  handing out food.

If you have Coeliac disease, you will be well aware of this one. It doesn’t matter where you are; a party, work, supermarket – when the nice lady is slowly coming your way, handing out ‘samples’ of food to people – the twitching starts. I don’t know what it is, but there is a level of panic inside that makes you go from death con five to one faster than you can say sausage roll. Why? Well I guess its a mixture of the fact that you see the woman slowly approaching like a wheat-riddled zombie army, and you have to decide how to act. Do I just say ‘No thanks.’? If I do will they be offended? Do I tell the truth? If I do that, people either fuss or look at me like I’m one of those crazy people who believe carrots have feelings. And then there is the scenario that is out of my control – the person realises my condition, and after holding the plate of sweet smelling goodness under my nose for fifteen seconds, realises and then utters – “Oh sorry, I forgot.” That bitch.

2) Imaginary celebratory high fives when you discover a new food.

I don’t like custard creams. I never really have. In fact, I hate custard so it’s no surprise. But that doesn’t stop me gorging down a whole packet of gluten free custard creams like they’re going out of fashion. It as though, I feel obliged because some company has gone to the effort of making this thing gluten free – solely for me – and so I must buy it. It isn’t enough that the friggin’ packet costs me three pounds. No, I must show my gratitude. I find myself eating things I never ate before just because they are gluten free. It’s absurd. I feel like a heroine addict, desperate to get my wheat-substitute methadone. So if its new, and its got the gluten free sign on it, I’m happy – and I’m eating it. Regardless of whether that said food is in fact kangaroo testicles.

1) Stalking.

Is it me? Or does John Hinckley look remarkably like a more conservative Elton John?

I don’t mean stalking in the John Hinckley sort  of sense of course. But there is something quite perverse that I find myself doing from time to time. I gravitate towards the wheat filled food like its a table of Jodie Foster memorabilia. I find myself staring at it, thinking – “Ohhh… bourbon’s. Nice.” And then I escalate. I find myself gravitating next to the person eating that said bourbon. Its like I’m insanely and pitifully living vicariously through anyone eating a God damn biscuit. Then the staring comes. More thoughts: “Ohhhh… I bet that bourbon tastes real good. Oh it’s been so long…!”  And then there’s a look… a disturbed uncomfortable jostling away from me as people realise I’m ogling them like they’re playboy bunnies and I’m Hugh Hefner. Needless to say – people either a) think I’m a lot weirder than I actually am or b) realise totally and utterly how weird I am.

Either way… I’m doomed.

It is that time of year again when we all start looking forward. I know what your thinking – “It’s May – what is this bitch on?” Well I’m on a healthy diet of TV, TV and more TV – and so for me, May is essentially the end of the year for television. Those shows that keep us all warm and cosy are ending, and networks are canning the shows that didn’t make them enough money weren’t very good and releasing the trailers for those new shows that will be starting in the fall – that’s Autumn to us Brits. So, where am I going with this? Well, I got thinking about a few of the shows that the brain dead networks have in store for us when the new fall season starts. And I noticed an interesting trend.

Brit shows being remade into US shows. 

Is this a new phenomenon? Hell no. The Office, Shameless, Skins, Prime Suspect and Kath and Kim are all examples of shows that were remade from international imports. The thing I will point out though, is that 3/5 of the shows I just mentioned, didn’t make it past the first season. Now this isn’t exactly a strange thing, given how many shows in the US don’t make it past that all important number. But it begs the question – Why do they keep putting so much stock in remade shows? Not just Brit shows, but shows copied from all over the world. Trying to understand the logic of the people who commission US TV shows is like writing a book about a baby’s opinion on the current economic climate. But when I saw the line up for next years new shows – well I couldn’t help wondering further…

Three up and coming shows piqued my interest. And it wasn’t because I was excited for them. But because all of them are British remakes. And that’s the thing about US TV that I don’t understand. Every country in the world that has any sort of freedom within the media, watches shows from around the world. In the UK, we enjoy several US imports – yes – but we also watch shows from other countries. Forbrydelsen or The Killing, a Danish crime drama, was particularly successful in Britain. The US, instead of enjoying the original product, remade it. Kath and Kim, a particular favourite of mine, is an Australian comedy following a mother and her daughter. Its so hilarious, and works so well because they are Australian.  The US remade it, and it was cancelled after one season.

I’m not saying the US are alone in their remakes. Lord knows every country does it occasionally. But the US does it so frequently, and usually so badly that I just can’t understand the trend. Sometimes the remakes work. Take The Office – there are many who consider Steve Carrell’s version as superior to Ricky Gervais’ original. However, its important to remember, Ricky Gervais was totally on board with the production of the US version, hence why it was so successful.

Really I can’t help begging the question about networks opinions on their viewers intelligence levels. Do they think Americans can’t read? Hence last years The Killing remake? And also the countless movie remakes that happen every year. Do they think Americans don’t understand an accent unlike their own? I just don’t get it. If anything, it is an insult to their own country. The BBC’s very own Dr Who has done amazing in the US – proof that imports can work, and do work, better than remakes. Top Gear, a show I love whole heartedly, also did well in the US – and the US remake of that is absolutely terrible.

I honestly could go back and forth questioning this all day. And I don’t think it takes a genius to realise I have a hatred of remakes in any form. And so it is hard for me to see any future in those three special upcoming shows that I’m subconsciously earmarking for failure. However, I’m going to preview each show, and compare it to the original and basically weigh the pro’s and con’s on whether I think it will survive the season. And then in a years time (or longer if its a Summer show) I will look back and see whether I was right or not.

And so to the first show.

Mistresses; ABC – adapted from the British BBC series of the same name (2008-2010)

First off, I should probably divulge the fact that I love Mistresses. Refreshing, well-written, and with a superb cast – Mistresses was a series about the trials and tribulations of four friends. None of them were perfect by any sense of the word, but that was what made the show so watchable. Each woman had a complex relationship with men (and in some cases – women) and while the plot twisted and turned, the four women’s friendship remained stead fast. My personal favourite was Orla Brady’s Siobhan who was fabulously portrayed from beginning to end. And while I found the final series to be a little below par, I still think it is one of the best BBC drama series of the last ten years.

The remake is similar, but not quite a copy of the UK version. And while I was initially sceptical about the remake – I am slightly more optimistic because of the cast who are on board. Alyssa Milano has been a favourite of mine since her time as Pheobe Halliwell on the hilarious series Charmed. And I honestly think Alyssa is a highly underrated actress, and so I think she will fill the ‘Siobhan’ role well. Also in the cast is Lost’s Yunjin Kim who impressed me from her time on the island, and I am very interested in seeing her turn her hand to something totally different. So lets take a look at the trailer…

From the trailer however, the remake looks totally totally different. Not in terms of story – but because it looks far less dark than its UK counterpart. I can understand that – us Brit’s like our serious drama and that wouldn’t necessarily translate, but I’m still a bit dubious. I think it would be best for me to go into this with an open mind and wait and see…

Odds of renewal: 3-1

Elementary; CBS – Not quite a remake but can’t be a coincidence given the success of BBC’s Sherlock. 

Lets get stuck in – BBC’s Sherlock:

CBS’s Elementary:

Firstly, I must be one of the few people in the UK who doesn’t watch Sherlock. And for me, that really is an achievement. But I’ve never really been into the Sherlock franchise, and upon watching snippets of the show – well it wasn’t really for me. That being said, I can still appreciate how well it has done, and how well made it is. And so, CBS has a big challenge. Not only does it have Sherlock to live up to – but it has Robert Downey Jr.’s movies to overcome as well. My first thoughts on seeing the trailer for Elementary went something like this – “Hey, that’s Lucy Lui… Wait…? WHAT?! She’s playing Watson?!” Yup, CBS cast a female Watson. Why do they do this to themselves? Sometimes I feel like networks like pushing treacle up a hill. They make it deliberately tough on themselves. If they learned anything from last fall, it should be this – Charlie’s Angels was remade. Bosley was young and hot. It was cancelled after a few weeks. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be daring. I’m not saying change is a bad thing. But there are a few guidelines that you should use to ease yourself in at first. Elementary has ignored that.

I like Lucy Lui. She’s talented, and I usually like her shows and movies. But having a female Watson is an issue that the creators made for themselves that needn’t have been there. I just don’t get it. And so it is for that reason that I’m sceptical about Elementary’s chances…

Odds of renewal: 5-1 ouch. 

Unnamed Only Fools and Horses remake:

They want this guy to play Rodney?!

When it was announced that the US were in the process of remaking the absolute BBC classic Only Fools and Horses, I think the whole of Britain screamed. Actually I think there is a good chance a large portion of the world screamed. Picture this, I once was in a jewellery store in a small town in Egypt. A man approached me who spoke no English, and started repeating the words – “Lovely jubbly! Lovely jubbly!” Now if your not familiar with Fools and Horses, that will mean nothing to you. Just know that it is a very famous ‘catchphrase’, for lack of a better word, from the show. Fools and Horses is that much of a classic that people who can’t even speak English quote it when they meet Brits. That is the task that the US version faces. It is pretty much destined to fail before it has even begun. On top of that, legend and lead Sir David Jason has came out and denounced the remake of the show, and the two rumoured leads are John Leguizamo and Dustin Ybarra. Its like they wan to fail.

If the show even gets picked up I will be surprised. If it gets renewed – well then I do believe in miracles. And possibly the Devil.

Here’s a preview of the amazing original. And I don’t have a trailer for the remake as it hasn’t got that far. Enjoy!

If you’ve never seen the show, get on it immediately. Its the best of British comedy, a show made for everyone, and one that I grew up watching.

Odds of renewal: 100-1 – That’s if it even gets picked up in the summer…

And so that’s it for now. I hope I’ve enlightened you a little bit! I will leave you with some of the trailers/clips for the original shows I’ve mentioned in the post for your entertainment. Enjoy! 

  • Kath and Kim
  • Skins
  • Prime Suspect (with the wonderful Dame Helen Mirren)

No, there wasn’t a swarm of locusts. There was no endless solar eclipse. And I haven’t seen any mushroom clouds on the horizon… But that being said, if there was ever a time for you to rush out into the garden, and start building a fallout shelter – this is it. Why – I hear you ask. Well because the world has officially and utterly reached a social and cultural point of no return. Who is Paul McCartney is trending on Twitter. 

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FUCK ME. Is our world so full of Belieber’s and totally uneducated morons?!

Yeah, Paul McCartney is only a member of the biggest musical act of all time – The Beatles! Not just artist or a group – that includes all musical acts of all time! The world is doomed.

NB. Oh and its Sir Paul McCartney you douches.