tv dinners

watercooler chat about what’s on TV and what you had for dinner last night

Archive for July 2008

An inconvenient mini-series

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Has BBC got a death wish?

Why do they insist on dropping these great mini-dramas on weird nights within the same week? Don’t they know we’re programmed to watch things weekly?

Burn Up

Bradley Whitford was great as ever in this climate change/oil power/Kyoto conference drama. He outacted the remaining cast put together as Mac, unhinged and strangely loyal, pumping action and emotion through each scene. Like a deeper Kiefer/Jack from 24.

Photo - BBC.co.uk Burn Up

So does the backdrop of Climate change add anything to the normal political/big business power games mini-series? Similarly to le Carre’s The Constant Gardener, I suppose it taps into a subject matter than worries us in the same way the bomb or the cold war worried previous audiences.

The fact that there is no conclusion, solution or outlandish precedent for government reacting to a real oil shortage lets Burn Up pull the punches as they wish.

I’m so starved for decent TV that I even thought Neve Campbell was good in this. My only gripe was the finale held on the roof of a sky scraper, which I literally couldn’t watch, as I feel like I’m going to throw myself off the ledge, or at least off the couch. I wonder if this technicque could also up the ante for run of the mill shows; like a random tarantula on the head nurse’s shoulder in Casualty?

Anything else?

Back to You – Great episode last week with a racoon on the loose, maybe this series will turn good, like 30 Rock did.

The Colbert Report – Watch it nation, it’s the best thing on at the moment. Or watch clips online.

The Soup – Yes I know, I’m complaining there’s no good TV and watching TV clip shows. The Soup is on form though, with a nice cameo from Simon Pegg & Jessica Hynes promoting Spaced on DVD.
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Written by Victoria

July 29, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Posted in TV

Pavement, how fitting.

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Tonight we popped into Liverpool to see the tall ships whilst dinner was cooking (free range chicken portions and chunks of potato and kumara roasted with olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper for 70 minutes at 200 degrees C).

So the TV for the dinner tonight was Top Gear, and the show was same old, same old: funny, annoying, funny, offensive, then out of nowhere, the incidental music for Jeremy and James’ 25K luxury car segment was Pavement, Jackals, False Grails: The Lonesome Era. I suppose it’s fitting, but so random, as it’s over 16 years old and was never a hit to start with, despite retrospective admiration.

Anyway, after that bombshell, here’s another – I think I may actually like one of the Dragon’s Den ‘judges’, Mr Peter Jones. No, not because he’s tall, you see Top Gear is the second media exposure I’ve had to Mr Jones this month, and he comes across so much better than he does on the show, where he seems to be fixated by suits and workwear (does he have an investment in formal attire I have to wonder…). So, Mr Jones is planning to give his children their fortune (i.e. his hard earned cash) by annually match funding whatever they can earn, and even tripling it if they decide to go into a worthy, but modestly paid profession. Intriguing.

All the same, will I be watching the new series of Dragon’s Den? Don’t know, as I can’t stand the poor sods being torn down plus the new promo is awful. As someone trying to launch a business though, I suppose I better.

Written by Victoria

July 20, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Posted in Recipes, TV

The Goodies

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Lab rats

Ok, so it’s a little wincy, but Lab Rats is good, solid, British comedy. The female characters are interesting for once and Chris Addison is charming as ever. It reminds me of the Goodies, and I like it, so there.

 The Colbert Report 

If you don’t have FX, you can watch the Colbert Report online. And you should. It’s brilliant satire, and the UK has nothing to touch it at the moment.

Fraid there’s little else on at the moment, plus I’ve got Sky Movies for the next three months. Any suggestions for shows to watch/look out for?

In other news, I’ve been baking.

Written by Victoria

July 18, 2008 at 2:07 am

Posted in Recipes, TV

Thinking and Drinking?

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Jezebel, not just a red dress after all. 

Why the lead writers from Jezebel ever agreed to talk at an event called Thinking and Drinking is beyond me. But they did, and several jokes about rape later, Jezebel (now being toted by Huffington Post as the breeding ground for anti-feminism and the route of all eveil) is in a state of furore.

Jezebel postees are annoyed they are being labelled as anti-feminist, or feminist in equal quantities. There’s a mixed response from the readership on the overiding question to come out of the Thinking and Drinking evening, is it wrong to not report rape? (i.e. you owe it to other women to report it), which is hijacking the normal comments maelstrom that ensues over a photo of Jennifer Garner and her daughter Violet or the weekly roundup of sexism in blogs and the media that makes Jezebel cool. This is all a bit bemusing but I’ll still head to Jezebel for “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing”. It’s a damn site better than Perez Hilton.

The Colbert Report

Wow, FX have Season Four of the Wire (which I can’t watch yet because I’ve never seen Series 1-3, but I might start Sky+ing for Winter anyway – that’s right, I have 48% free on my Sky+ box, I could tape 24-hour news if I wanted), they also have the Colbert Report.

Featuring Stephen Colbert, who used to be a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s the Daily Show, the Colbert Report is a satire on political pundit shows and is worth watching, every Tues – Fri nights.

Criminal Justice

How good is Pete Postlewaithe? Why did BBCs programmers decide to chuck out this great 5 parter over one week, instead of five weeks? Lame!

Back to You

Kelsey Grammar is still more Frasier than Chuck Darling, the returning “preening gas bag”who has to retreat back to PA TV. Patricia Heaton is as good here as Debra from Everybody Loves Raymond, plus she’s believeable as a different character, lead anchor Kelly. The supporting cast is solid sitcom, but I just don’t know, the couple of shows I’ve seen were funny but the chemistry wasn’t either Raymond or Frasier standard. Still, there’s nothing else on, so catch it on E4 or repeated Channel Four on Sundays. If you always fancied yourself an Anchorman, make it happen.

Written by Victoria

July 9, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Posted in TV

Why has Mikey Shaved off his eyebrows?

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Do you even know who Mikey is? Mikey Havoc perhaps, the godfather of irreverent TV from NZ? Naw, it’s some schmuck from Big Brother, which I’m not watching, so sorry if you’ve ended up here, after using Mikey + eyebrow as your Google keyword search.

This week I’m:

Taping (Well Sky+-ing) Criminal Justice,

Watching random BBC shows, Tribal Wives (Quite good, but I had to flip over when the Chief killed the goat and I got sick of past alcoholic Lana crying, so did the tribe, but in a friendly way, “Oh my god she is crying again”), Bears in the Woods (Giant Pandas, Grizzly Bears, Bears fishing) and the inevitable Wimbledon tennis-fest.

Waiting for the finale of Brothers & Sisters (No it’s not incest, Rebecca isn’t a Walker after all! Does anyone else think everytime Calista Flockhart comes onscreen, she’s married to Indiana Jones?)

Still taping Location, Location, Location – three weeks running now

Testing the new E! reality timewaster, Denise Richards’ It’s Complicated – It’s not, she seems kinda normal.

Enjoying sports event song montages – they’re the best bits, no matter what the song.

Looking forward to the first Tri Nations rugby game, All Blacks vs South Africa at the crack of dawn on Saturday. Nothing like the Haka to make you feel patriotic over your breakfast.

Wimbledon & Glastonbury

Seems BBC is getting smarter with their interactive offerings, although the presenters are still a step behind. Tim Henman and Mac were chatting away on the Interactive service, unaware it would seem that we could see them too, as they gestured and giggled (mostly Henman) and saluted passing players, adding an extra dimension and making them both more likeable.

Glastonbury – how long til they phase out Edith Bowman and we’ve got a one man Zane Lowe show?

One idea for interactive would be to have any conversation from the guests in the ‘Green Room’ on Johnathon Ross coming up as subtitles whilst we watch Ross’ ‘lewd‘ antics. It’s a dangerous path for Ross to keep at – soon he’s going to become such a dirty uncool old man that the naughtiness of Graham Norton’s show will no longer be an issue, and there’s no contest for who is funnier and a better caretaker for their guests.

Written by Victoria

July 3, 2008 at 1:03 am

Posted in TV