Friday, 20 August 2010

See You Next Tuesday.

Welcome to Peckham.


M. Night Shyamalan has mentioned in the past that his 'European sensibilities' are the reason a lot of Americans don't 'get' his films.

So it's not that they're just getting steadily less recognisable as coherent sources of entertainment?

Unfortunately his recent efforts have proved that he is clearly clutching at straws. Cheese straws if his comments are to be believed. If you're really so in tune with Britain, why would you call your most recent film The Last Airbender?

Oh Manny, don't lean on us Brits for support. We hated The Village, we mocked The Happening and we don't know what happened in The Lady in the Water, but it's probably not worth knowing.

Shyamalan's latest film was met with giggles and smirks, until the dialogue got too much for audiences who broke down in hysterics. Can you blame us with corkers like this?

"I could tell at once that you were a bender, and that you would realise your destiny."

If you expect anything other than blatant laughter after that, you're expecting too much.

I like to look at this and think that this might be the moment after they told him.

The killer blow for Shyamalan, however, came from his lead actor, the British Dev Patel. When asked why he didn't mention that 'bender' is a slang term for 'homosexual' to him at SOME POINT during the filming process, he simply said that it was 'too integral' to the dialogue.

Is that just a diplomatic way of saying 'cause it'd be a laugh'?


So... what in shitting hell was Grandma's House?

I say this, ironically, as someone who has seen two episodes with no plans to stop. It's one of the weirdest phenomenon's I've experienced with such a sub-par sitcom.

Now the writing isn't as bad as most people think, I can kind of see where they're coming from:

"Remember the 'Royle Family'? Let's just do that, but give them money, make them Jewish, and force Simon Amstell to act at gunpoint. If he makes any attempt at anything other than twatty smugness, blow his face off.'

And to be honest, it sort of works, but not in the way they expected. The script ticks all the boxes to get a BBC commission (it seems ex. NMTB presenters and contestants are mandatory nowadays in all broadcasts), but ends up just being one of the most appalling examples of a sitcom I've ever seen. And this statement should not be taken lightly; I've spent a lot of my youth watching ITV.

However, that's not to say that it's not enjoyable. I cannot deny the significant entertainment that is derived from watching a leading actor so out of his depth. And when you consider that 'out of his depth' equates to playing himself, all the more the joy. I would even venture to say that the episodes are made up of nothing but outtakes due to spending hours trying to convince him that he should probably try and pretend the camera isn't there, then thinking 'oh fuck it, it's only braindead Simon Amstell fanboys watching this shit anyway'.

And don't even get me started on the approach to the darker subjects, which creep into the scenes like an elephant clambering through their double-glazed patio doors. The words 'prostate cancer' are thrown around in increasingly frequency, only being met with a blank stare from a vacant ex T4 presenter. I just don't know what it all means, and I'm not sure I want to. Talk of 'bagels' as a vague reference to an unknown racial slur, just came across as deeply unsettling rather than awkwardly funny.

Something that keeps me coming back to this, however, is the thought I can't shake off that the writers are more clever than we realise. Simon is playing (supposedly) an alternative version of himself, a Larry David of sorts, but ends up revealing that he is probably not that different from the character he's playing after all.

Vacuous, narcisstic and unable to fathom any conversation that isn't aided by an autocue. Is this a sitcom? Seems to me like we're a fly on the wall watching a fascinatingly ironic personality car crash.

Monday, 9 August 2010


I am repeatedly reminded of my own naivety when I express my dismay at articles in 'newspapers' such as the Daily Mail. Moreover, the thing that shocks me most is the placement and precedence of these non-stories.

Move aside, sodden Pakistanis, one of OUR BOYS couldn't even get booze at his Co-Op!

So thousands dead in the worst floods in decades is dutifully bumped for a story of no interest to anyone. Except everyone, it seems.

For anyone not familiar, a soldier visiting his local Co-Op in uniform attempted to purchase some beer, but was turned away by two members of staff who had confused the rule about not serving police officers in uniform, and applied it to the soldier. Even typing this has become rather tedious so I'll move swiftly on without further ado.

So about 4 minutes after getting wind of the story, the Daily Mail has some sort of massive journalistic orgasm and immediately turns this gentleman into some kind of national hero.

I can taste the irony from here.

But the thing that worries me here, or rather, terrifies me to the core of my deepest soul, is not that publications like the Daily Mail leap on these stories with such rabid intensity, but the frenzy they whip up in the warped individuals that lurk on these shadowed pages.

Wow, 3 comments and nothing about 'the bloody Muslims yet'. Or... fuck:

Actually, maybe I'm being dramatic. There must be worse out there than the Daily Mail. Oh, wait! Here it is:

According to verified mentalists, both Co-Op employees were soldier-hating, anti-war, Islamic suicide bombers. Currently claiming JSA and council houses, so I hear.

It's been 4 days and still the saga carries on. Can someone just buy this man a beer so we can have 'the news' back?