E4 – Misfits comedy review

Misfits, one of E4’s (Channel 4’s hip channel) new flagship comedy shows, has opened to pretty good success and acclaim this week. Early reckoning shows that the show drew in about 0.5 million viewers which ain’t half bad!

It’s about 5 chaps and chapettes who for some reason are struck by lightning and become endowed with super powers. Uh-huh. So, kinda like Heroes, a bit. We have a time-traveller and a mind-reader amongst others – which is all good. Actually, it’s pretty good yunno – it’s funny in all the right places, doesn’t take cheap swipes at the superhero genre and actually is very entertaining. Just one thing I would mention is that it’s definitely not for young uns – hence the 10pm post-watershed billing.

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Terry Pratchett's Colour Of Magic Logo

Hey! I know! This is a really old review for the color of magic, but I’ve not seen it till now, though it was released at least last year (2008), possible before, I could check it up on the old IMDB, but that’d be too organised. Instead, I’m going to review this Terry Pratchett classic as I’ve seen it, which is now. I’ve read the books, listened to the audio-books, and now I’m watching the TV/Film adaptation. By the way, the English is “the colour of magic” and I’m English, so there! :)

It’s not going to be the longest review because I’m not into that kind of guff that goes into a lot of reviews. I’ll be honest, I know my subject, I’m a keen reader of Pratchett and the first two novels in the Discworld series are very well known to me and close to my heart. There have, to my knowledge, only been two significant TV adapations, the first being The Hogfather, a piffle of an adaptation that, although diversionary, was almost certainly a very bad choice for turning into a TV/Film because it required too much pre-knowledge of the Discworld. As such it came across as a very weak half-joke. Not great for Pratchett fans.
However, this review is about “The Colour of Magic”, which is a TV/Film so incorporating the novel “The Light Fantastic” – the first two Discworld novels written by Terry and very rich in humor, humour and the many legs of the Sapient Pearwood suitcase.

Overall I think it comes across without too much splendour. The quality of the production is very, very high, I’m certainly impressed with the amount of effort put into it, I would simply suggest that it needs, absolutely NEEDS to be a Hollywood production with the cast and money that will truly enable it to become what it ought to be. I mean, look, it doesn’t need to be a Lord of the Rings (3 films, 4 hours each, fantastic BUT not THIS) but it does need a decent treatment. I love David Jason (actually, I love anyone with firstname/lastname variations that can be all turn-aroundy) but really he’s not best suited to this kind of production. Actually thought that Sean Astin was a very good Twoflower, almost because his performance is at least charismatic rather than actually being that brilliant. Christopher Lee as Death is inspired, in future books when Death gets more of a character that’ll be absolutely brilliant in my head as the voice of Death.

To be fair, if you’re considering buying the DVD or Blu-Ray of this I’d say: Yeah, go for it! Why not, the worst you’ll get is a poor adaptation of an excellent story, which at the end of it is still a pretty good fun story to spend your time with.

Overall score: 6/10. Seriously, if you’ve no idea then… you’ll have no idea. Please read the book, or listen to the audio-book. Don’t rely on TV/Film adapations of Discworld books to become your only knowledge of a genius like Terry Pratchett’s work.

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Columbo - detectiveI don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner! I LOVE Columbo, it’s one of my favourite ever TV shows and I guess one of my favourite characters, so let’s review it!

The premise of Columbo

“Yeah, we’re going to show the audience exactly who killed who and how, then spend an hour and a half watching a bizarre Italian-American bumbler catch the guy… even though he really knows who did it within the first few seconds of meeting them. Oh, and he eats hard-boiled eggs. And can’t look in the same direction with both of his eyes.”

Weird! But it works, how he unravels the murder and the murderer is genuinely thrilling. Unfortunately there are a lot of really poor Columbos, but look out for the good ones, to quote Tony the Tiger: “They’re GREAT!”

What is Columbo’s first name?

Lieutenant Columbo… butwhat is Columbo’s first name? Frank! I’ve seen it somewhere, a photo of his police badge that shows Columbo’s firstname. But I love things like that in the show – how many mysteries and questions are there through the thing?

Who is Mrs. Columbo?

The other major question is who is his wife? Does he have a wife? What’s her name? (Mrs. Columbo is the real answer, of course!) The actual TV show Mrs. Columbo was made starring Kate Mulgrew who later went on to star in the Star Trek: Voyager series as Captain Janeway. It was awful – please, really, don’t be tempted to find it, it’s not good. In fact, even the TV bosses realised how poor it was when they changed nearly every aspect of the show so that it no longer seemed to reference the original Columbo, such were the fears that it might taint the original.

Peter Falk

Peter Falk – what a guy! With one glass eye (Doh! Stupidly, it’s only in the last couple of years I’ve even realised this!) he’s made one of the most charming detectives ever seen in a Detective show. And weirdly, the whole scruffiness thing isn’t really apparent in the first few episodes – though the fake-bumbling is. Columbo is famous for his dirty mac, but I think people forget just how good these shows really are, and how clever they are. I mean, can you imagine pitching the show?

Overall I’d give Columbo a wicked 9/10

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This is my review of the Manchester United vs. Liverpool football game which has just finished at Old Trafford. It’s not going to be a long review but it was a particularly good game for anyone who isn’t a Man Utd fan. Obviously especially good for Liverpool fans but also for neutral supporters who can perhaps now look forward to a decent end to the season, perhaps a genuine race including Liverpool, Man U and Chelsea is on the cards.

4-1 though! That’s pretty impressive Liverpool! Especially considering the mid-week destruction of Real Madrid, a team that once British clubs would genuinely think they had little chance against. But it turns out that fancy moves and reputation really don’t do a great deal when up against a decent team.

Perhaps we should be talking about great management here. Let’s face it, Sir Alex Ferguson is a pretty awesome manager by any means. So many trophies, so many titles using so many different teams. That’s impressive. But what about Rafael Benitez? At this point I think we have to say that he really is as good as he thinks he is. Go Benitez!

So, Liverpool have beaten Manchester United 4-1. Good days, good days.

Overall score for the game: 8/10 – it was pretty action packed, certainly lots of goals, penalties and even a sending off. Super!

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Adverts for insurance – a review

My first TV review – wowsers – such an opportunity to tell you how much I loathe the thing… but no, I love TV, it’s ace, the best thing invented since, er, radio, I guess. I love it so much, I get really depressed by adverts. No, really, it actually depresses me when adverts come on, I feel it echo in my chest like a really upsetting thing, I feel lower, my heart rate goes up as I try, fervently, to find some alternative entertainment whilst I’m sitting there bemoaning my ad-ridden fate…

… and then I relax a bit and forget the EPG and settle down to watch and listen to the most appalling attempts to part me from my money. Good God what on earth is going on when a good god would allow these kinds of things to work their way into our receptive, jelly-like brains. I don’t want L’oreal hair-dye… but on the other hand, *I really do*. It’s not fair. Maybe I should be reviewing hair dye, or maybe even L’oreal (is that right, it looks wrong…).

I want, instead to very, very briefly review adverts for insurance: home, personal, car – it really doesn’t matter. It’s all a lot of really irritating, totally impersonal and quite aggressive posturing for my money. Apparently I’m quite stupid for thinking of going with anyone else for my insurance… and frankly, I’d be a moron not to be impressed with what they’re offering me. Yunno, it kinda takes the shine off things when REALLY what they should be doing is reminding me why I bloody need insurance, and why, actually, they’re any good at what they do. I don’t want a free bleeping phone keyring, I don’t really need a nodding dog. I have no need for an aggressive overweight semi-moustachiod man telling me that he’d totally be my best friend if he could represent me next time I trip up on a paving slab.

Ugh! Adverts, bane of my life because I love TV so much. Stop torturing me, telly, give me good programmes instead! PLEASE!!!

Adverts: 4/10
Adverts for insurance: 0/10

Shocking, just shocking.

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