For a fast-paced 21st century update of ‘X-Files’ ‘Fringe’ doesn’t half crawl at a snail’s pace at times.
Archive for April, 2010
I’ve written before of the importance of timing to political comedies. ‘The Ghost’ goes to show that the same can hold true of political thrillers.
When published in 2007, Robert Harris’ ‘The Ghost’ still had topical punch. Tony Blair had just stood down after 6 years of Iraq, Afghanistan and post-September 11 intelligence and torture controversies.
The remake of The Prisoner hadn’t even transmitted on British television before fans were leaping online to express their opinions on this apparent travesty.
Quite a few people didn’t get my video ‘YouTube Closes Down For The Night’. This didn’t surprise me: it is a culturally specific gag, which I make no apologies for but can’t really flag up before you watch it. (One commenter did tell me not to waste his time by posting things he couldn’t understand, [...]
‘Turf’ may be written by Jonathan Ross, but it breaks new territory for celebrity written comics with a thoughtful approach to its vampires vs gangsters vs aliens high concept.
One of the big drawbacks of being an indie/small press comics fan is that you find yourself reading a lot of autobiographical stuff.
In itself, that’s not a problem – it’s pretty much par for the course. The problem arises when you read a lot of it en masse. You start to notice that quite a [...]
Thanks to the magic of iPlayer, the rest of the UK can catch up on BBC Scotland’s latest sketch show, ‘Burnistoun’. I’ve now seen the first two episodes.
The sketches are mostly surreal takes on mundane, everyday experiences. Setting the show apart from most sketch shows is its amiable tone, as well as the length of [...]
You’ve doubtless heard of ‘Penny Arcade’, and may well know the basics: videogame based webcomic by Jerry Holkins (writer, aka Tycho) and Mike Krahulik (artist, aka Gabe); undoubtedly the most successful webstrip in the short history of the medium; vast empire of spin-off projects including a game, a convention and a charity; creators currently riding high on the ‘Time’ most influential people list.
With a title like ‘Ninja Assassin’ and a dynamite creative team behind the movie, surely it would be a great action flick?
A rollercoaster this week, but in the worst possible sense of the word as a dull start gives way to a brilliantly promising central act before stuttering to a sedate and underwhelming halt.
The latest animated incarnation of Batman has been running in the States for a while and is, I believe, shown in the UK at an hour in the morning that I refuse to acknowledge the existence of. Thankfully, it’s being very slowly released on DVD, four episodes at a time.
With ‘The Dark Knight’ providing a [...]
With ‘Everybody Loves Hugo’, ‘Lost’ finally crosses the roller coaster apex and is in free-fall, with more twists and turns in a single episode than I can recall in a long time.
As a fan of ‘Being Human’, BBC3’s post-watershed horror drama about a vampire, werewolf and ghost sharing a house in Bristol, the first question that came to mind as I read ‘The Road’ – the first of three tie-in novels – was, “who is the target audience for this book?”.
It seems odd that the novel [...]
I lately dumped a pile of weak ‘Catwoman’ comics (everything post-Brubaker – and I was tempted to get shot of the ones with the terrible Paul Gulacy art, too) at the Notting Hill music/DVD/book/comic/clothing exchange. I love that place for two reasons: one, they promise to take anything off your hands, even if it’s just [...]
I really loved the Great Ten – a Chinese super-team with an outlook pointedly different from Western groupings like the JLA – from the moment they first appeared in the pages of ‘52′. Their mini-series has been anything but disappointing.
I’m not sure whether Kevin Church is the first person to treat writing webcomics as a career where you can work in a number of different genres with different talent at once, rather than grabbing an over-arching brand name for your gag strip, seizing the URL and then hammering any idea you have into your [...]
Brilliant title, but all but irrelevant to the story of this week’s episode (bar a brief appearance of the game ‘Cluedo’), a fairly vanilla piece of plot development in spite of the gruesome monster-of-the-week: James Heath, a Cortexiphan test-case with the ability to give people fast-acting cancer through [...]
‘Ashes to Ashes’ is not a great TV drama. It’s enjoyable, and a pleasant lightweight watch for the weekend. But it’s not a great police procedural series, and it’s not an overly complex mystery series.
Do you remember when British television used to be good? I mean consistently good?
Good stuff like ‘The Avengers’, not Z-list celeb-reality tat or auditions for Lloyd-Webber’s latest West End ‘hit’. I’m talking G.O.O.D.
It’s impossible to approach ‘V’ without a knowing look in the direction of ‘Battlestar Galactica’. However, it is not just a shared Frankenstein-like interest in reviving long dead sci-fi franchises of the early-to-mid 80s that unite these shows: both also have a heavy reliance on crisp visuals and slick special effects and an ambition to exist as genuine social commentary.
I think Betty Draper may be one of the most interesting characters in ‘Mad Men’, which wasn’t something I ever expected to write. As the third series comes to a close on BBC4, I’d like to shine a little more attention on Betty.
If you like comics, and want to use your iPod’s earphones as an innocuous way of frittering away the many, tedious hours of the working day, you could do a lot worse than investigate the archives of the Word Balloon podcast.
All you need to know about this episode is that it is a Desmond episode.
That very knowledge, as a fan of ‘Lost’ (and let’s be honest, if you’re still watching the series – and I certainly think it has maintained a high enough quality that you should be – you’re dedicated to the mythology and [...]
…an excellent day for an exorcism.
With all the other 1970s and 80s horror tropes and films being remade endlessly in the cinema at the moment, the one film/series that has been surprising left alone is the Exorcist saga. With the exception of The Exorcism of Emily Rose in 2005, this is the first collision of [...]
Rather than shatter the ‘X-Files’ mould, ‘Fringe’ has shown every sign of making itself snug and comfortable within it, and this trend has not changed with season two.
As previously discussed, the show skips between monster-of-the-week specials, chin-stroking social commentary and a broader plot arc.
The first two of these have been well-represented; we have had 100-year-old [...]
Writers Chris Sims and Chad Bowers create the kind of stories a sugared-up nine year old would come out with. A vampire skateboarding detective, a hero who is all the classic monsters at once… in the words of Frasier Crane, the Action Age comics ask ‘if less is more, how much more would more be?’
Bryan Fuller does love his disconnected main characters. Like his other 2003-04 show ‘Dead Like Me‘, ‘Wonderfalls’ has a Gen Y heroine who refuses to engage with the real world around her.
In place of George Lass, who is killed on the way to her first dead-end job and winds up ushering dead souls into the [...]
The final season of ‘Lost’ has been impressive thus far, but ‘The Package’ is a disappointment.
Shiny Shelf newcomer Sarah Jane Vespertine previews ‘Castle’, which starts its first UK run on Alibi from Wednesday 7 April 2010.