Tag Archives: tv

QI recording

Last week, Tom and I went to a recording on QI. Last fall I had somewhat of a crush on Alan Davies (of all people!) and, who doesn’t love Stephen Fry? I had been wanting to go for ages, but they only film in April-May and there’s a lot of people applying for tickets. The show we went to had the theme “Long lost”, or maybe it was just “long”. The guests were an American comedy writer, who I think was named Claudia and was quite funny, an old musician from the band Madness (Suggs) and Jimmy Carr. I had hoped for Sandi Toksvig, Bill Bailey and Jo Brand, but sometimes the best episodes of QI is the ones with new people in them, plus Jimmy Carr is always funny on QI.

Stephen Fry did the warm-up for the show, which came as a surprise to me. He made a joke about how people think he knows everything, but he is actually just looking up things on his smartphone. I’m sure he tells it to every audience on the show, but I thought it was funny! Once the show started, I think my favourite moment was when a single confetti slowly descended in the middle of the stage and Jimmy said something along the lines of “that’s the saddest thing ever”. I really hope it makes it into the episode!

My second favourite moment was Alan telling a story about how his wife put salad on her nipples to alleviate soreness from breastfeeding and “unfortunately the salad doesn’t make the baby any less hungry”. He said something about his 2-year old son pretending to be a dog that I don’t think will make it into the episode, but it was really cute. He ended the story with softly saying “oh but I love him so” which made the female audience’s ovaries explode. He’s no George Clooney, but he definitely has the same charm of a puppy that is chasing it’s own tail, but with a bit of added naughtiness.

The third favourite moment that I know isn’t going to make it is when Stephen Fry misread a question, to which Jimmy gave a reply that set off the klaxon. When the producer or whatever realized that Stephen misread the question, it had to be re-shot, and Stephen kept trying to trick Jimmy into saying the same answer again, but Jimmy wouldn’t do it until Stephen basically asked him outright to give that answer.

I think the only question I knew the answer to was what was the oldest living organism or something. Bill Bryson taught me that it was lichen. It felt like they didn’t go through all that many questions, even though the filming must have taken 2 hours? And that’s going to be cut down to just one hour for television. It’s a shame because it was such a good show! There was a couple of times when they took a really long time to get to the answers of the questions though, and at one time Stephen Fry said “We really need to move on because I’m being told to fucking stop it!”. After seeing the recording, I’m guessing both Stephen and Alan take the opportunity to swear quite a lot when they know it’s going to be edited out. He also tried to use the audience quite a lot as Wikipedia, which worked to a varying degree, but he didn’t give us any points! Bad Stephen!

The ending was really funny to, but I won’t tell you because I’m sure TV will retell it much better than I ever could. All I will tell you is that it involves Jimmy Carr’s lap covered in water… 😉

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GOT season 4: What will happen with the “other” big scene

I can finally start to see the end of the tunnel in regards to the year long GOT hiatus. I’ve read all the books and the upcoming season is the only season where I genuinely don’t have a clue how they will write a very pivotal scene from the books. I’m not talking about the purple wedding, I’m talking about… [SPOILER WARNING IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS]

… the one where Tyrion kills Shae.

First of all, his actions in the book are triggered by Shae seemingly betraying him during/after his trial. I say seemingly because it’s not unlikely that she was coerced by Tywin or Cersei, but book!Shae’s actions makes a lot of sense even if she’s just acting out of self-interest. Shae’s character in the books was a lot less sympathetic than show!Shae. We didn’t know much about her and it was always clear that she was a prostitute who was payed good money to act as Tyrion’s girlfriend. He took her at swordpoint and laid down the rules for their relationship when they first met, it’s not exactly the most romantic set-up. Tyrion had a lot of money and went looking for a prostitute who could give him the best “girlfriend experience” money could buy and that’s what she provided. In the show, Shae shows repeatedly that she’s genuinely invested in Tyrion and not just his money. We see how conflicted she is when he marries Sansa. Tyrion and Shae’s arguments makes them seem like a more equal couple than in the book; Shae is more like Tyrion’s paramour or sugarbabe, someone who is enjoying the benefits of sleeping with a royal, but isn’t afraid to tell him off or do her own thing.

Another difference from the books is Tyrion’s shady past. In the books, Tyrion has an extremely traumatic experience as a child/early teen, where he marries a woman he has just met, but is then forced by his dad Tywin to watch as his soilders rape her and is forced to do so himself. He was told that the woman was actually a prostitute and that the entire marriage was a scam set up by his family, which probably contributes to his issues regarding women later on in life. It’s revealed that this is a lie just before he kills Shae, the woman he married was never a prostitute and she was never set-up to marry him, something Tywin Lannister made up to punish Tyrion and/or protect the family name. While it’s clear in the books that Tyrion murders Shae in cold blood, which is indefensible, it makes sense from a character point of view due to his past experience with sexual abuse and issues with women. Book!Tyrion was always a “grey” character, who did quite a lot of questionable things. I think it’s pretty telling that book!Tyrion never expresses regret over murdering Shae, after the deed he is only obsessed with her betrayal. Show!Tyrion is lewd and arrogant, but he has been whitewashed to be more likeable and more of a good guy than in the books. His issues with women isn’t as obvious. I just don’t think it makes sense for show!Tyrion to kill Shae in a jealous fit, especially not since show!Shae is far softer and lovable than book!Shae. Not that it makes book!Shae’s murder any less reprehensible, but having Tyrion murder Shae in the show is going to cause so much more backlash towards Tyrion’s character since both are popular characters.

I don’t know how they will make Shae’s betrayal realistic in relation to the way she’s been portrayed on the show before, or how Tyrion’s actions will make any sense without any focus on his traumatic backstory. But seeing as Shae’s betrayal and murder acts as a catalyst for Tyrion’s arc in the later book, I can’t see an easy way around it without rewriting some major components. Granted, Tyrion’s arc in the latest book is pretty boring and if the show writers can come up with a more exciting story, I’m all for it. I don’t have faith that they can though. I think they’re going to pick one of these scenarios.

1. Shae is coerced by Tywin or Cersei to betray Tyrion to protect either Tyrion or Sansa. Shae is then murdered by Tywin/Cersei before Tyrion finds out the truth and he goes on believing she betrayed him.

2. Shae is coerced by Tywin or Cersei to betray Tyrion to protect either Tyrion or Sansa. As Tyrion murders Tywin, he also lashes out at Shae and inadvertently kills her before the truth is revealed.

3. Shae becomes more and more jealous of Tyrion’s marriage to Sansa and eventually betrays him out of vengeance or self-interest. In the show, Shae is very fond of Sansa so I’m not so sure about this, but something would have to chance about Shae’s character for her to betray Tyrion the way she did in the books.

Anyhow, can’t wait to see what’s going to happen. The show isn’t perfect, but I enjoy watching it and seeing the books come alive, especially as we probably have to wait another couple of years before the next book in the saga. Plus, Charles Dance makes me swoon and slightly more age-appropriate Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is an effin’ dreamboat. The Lannisters are like poisoned honey.

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Can’t drink to that pt: Grand Designs

I have graduated from “Homes under the hammer” and am now watching the slightly higher-brow “Grand Designs” vigorously. Obviously this requires some form of drinking game. After watching some 50 episodes of the show, some pretty obvious rules start to emerge:

Take a sip every time Kevin rings a doorbell and greets the owners and act like they’ve just met, but the camera team is clearly already inside.

Take a sip for every giant window that the house has.

Take a sip for double/triple glazing.

Take a sip for solar panels.

Take a sip when Kevin McCloud speaks in French or Italian.

Take a sip when someone goes over budget because “a house like this needs high-spec furniture and fittings”.

Take a sip when Kevin “helps out”.

Take a sip if the clients go 10 % over budget.

Take a sip every time Kevin says “labour of love”, “marvellous!” or “good lord!”.

 

Take two sips if the client is project managing the build themselves.

– Take another sip if they have no previous building experience.

Take two sips if the neighbours are unhappy about the build.

Take two sips if Kevin indirectly insults the clients, like “some people might say it’s ridiculous”.

Take two sips if the clients go 20 % over budget.

Take two sips if the clients are planning to spend all of their money to half-finish the build and then re-mortgage the build to get the money to finish it.

 

Take three sips every time someone ends up pregnant before the build is complete.

Take three sips if the clients have to import material from a different country to build.

Take three sips if it starts raining at a very inconvenient time, like before the roof is isolated.

Take three sips if the windows costs more than 10 % of the total budget.

Take three sips if the clients go 30 % over budget.

 

Down a shot every time Kevin uses a really budget prop.

Down two shots if he’s bought something just to use it as a prop.

Down three shots if the prop is edible.

 

Down a glass if the clients gets rid of their contractors and/or replaces them.

Down a glass if a part of the build breaks down.

Down a glass if a custom-made object has the wrong measurements/doesn’t fit with some other part of the build.

Down a glass if planning permission is denied.

Down a glass if the clients go 50 % or more over budget.

 

Down the entire bottles if the clients are outright refusing to reveal the total cost of the build.

Down the entire bottle if the clients have spent all of their money to half-finish the build and then re-mortgage, but the bank denies them the mortgage.

Down the entire bottle if the house isn’t finished when the episode ends (I hate those episodes!).

Down the entire bottle if the owners of the build appears to hate Kevin by the end of the episode.

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Ughhhhzzzz. I think I have a cold. My nose is stuffed and my head is mean. It’s nice weather outside and I really want to go outside before my shift starts, but if I know myself I will just lie here on the sofa and feel sorry for myself. At least evening shifts are fairly easy. Because of my sad state, I present you with a very simple, this-is-what-I’ve-been-up-to blog post.

It’s funny how the weather here changes so dramatically from day to day. All of yesterday we had strong wind and rain, today it’s blue skies. We had talked about going in to central London yesterday, but because of the weather we ended up going to Westfield mall. I’m not a fan of malls because they’re always filled with franchises and few stand-alone shops, but it was nice to be able to windowshop somewhere dry and warm. Westfield mall is also a bit more bearable than other malls because it’s quite big and pretty,- and filled with insanely expensive things, of course. It was a mix of pricer brands and normal brands, but nothing really caught my interest. It’s not really uncommon that I spend an entire day at a shopping place and end up not buying anything except a coffee.  I had just bought clothes from Dorothy Perkins the day before (I buy almost all buy clothes from Dorothy Perkins) so I guess my need for shopping has been satisfied for a week or so. I bought a pair of regular blue jeans, which I haven’t owned in ages, a pair of black formal trousers for work and a bright shirt (see pic below).

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I’m the worst when it comes to getting food on my clothes. We were eating at Gourmet Burger when this photo was taken, so when the food arrived I put on a darker sweater. I am NOT getting ketchup on my pretty new shirt. When we got home we finished watching the season finale of AHS. AHS has never been perfect, but I think this season engaged me the least. Zoey and Kyle were boring and bland as cardboard cut-outs, Madison could have been interesting but ended up being too pathetic about Zoey and Kyle, Queenie didn’t get enough character development and Nan got killed off too soon. It could have been a great season but the storylines were really rushed and it felt like all we ever saw was women backstabbing or murdering each other and then coming back from the dead instead of seeing HOW they actually developed their powers. I think Misty was the only one I really cared about, although Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Francis Convoy all played their roles really well. It would be nice to see Jessica Lange play a different sort of character for the next season, since all her roles in AHS have been sassy, strong and cruel women. She does play that role really well but it would be fun to see her play someone a bit softer.

Ramble ramble. I need to get some food cooking before it’s work time. I will try to post an update Monday afternoon, I have like 25 post drafts that I should finish at some point and set so they automatically post at a certain day and time to maintain a more regular posting.

Hope everyone else gets a  better weekend than me!

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Game of Thrones-withdrawal

How mean is it that we have to wait until April for new episodes of Game of Thrones? All the other shows are coming back, but it’s still several months left for GOT. And how many years are left now until we will get the next book in the series?

I started reading the book series some 6 month before the first episode aired, and finished the latest book a few months ago. I think the book series is a very good example of fiction that isn’t in your face about what is good and what is bad, which characters and which actions are evil. I quite like that. The show doesn’t do as well in that regard, since the writers seem to think that they’re “fixing” characters, by having Cathlyn not hating Jon, Cersei showing more weakness and having Joffrey carry out what was one of Cersei’s most evil deeds in the books (ordering the murder of a newborn baby).

The fact that all the characters are all some deeper or lighter shade of grey in terms of morality and that it’s pretty clear that the society in which they live is extremely unfair makes me not understand the complaints that the books are sexist because of the patriarchal world the story takes place in. Sure, the characters live in a very sexist world, but it’s not like the characters (like Arya, Dany, Brienne and Cersei) doesn’t challenge the sexist views of the society around them. We also see in great detail how the female characters suffer because their lack of rights and respect. I’ve heard it said that GRRM should have been more clear in the books that this type of thinking is wrong, which goes back to the whole debate about whether you can depict something in art without rejecting or condoning it. I’ve never had an issue with that, and I think the unfairness of GRRM’s world is one of the things that makes the series interesting. You have people like the Boltons and the Lannisters getting away with mass-murder and heinous torture because they’re lords and rich, while the average citizen is left exposed and vulnerable for diseases, starvation, wars, kangaroo courts and pillage. Actually, going by GRRM’s frequent descriptions of burnt and savaged villages, I’m surprised the Seven Kingdoms have any “average citizens” left. I can see other reasons why some other things in the book series are sexist but I don’t understand people who find the book sexist just because of the way the world is.

The TV-show, however, is just silly when it comes to female characters, but I think that’s indisputable so it’s not as fun to talk about. Boobs, boobs everywhere, no dick, conversation over. Judging by the latest casting decision, which indicates they’re going to start a plotline that doesn’t start until later in the books, I wonder when they’re going to catch up to GRRM and what will happen then. Plus, the show is making changes to events and characters that might prove important later on. GRRM is a sneaky bastard. I’m planning a countdown when it’s a month left to the season opener. I’m pretty sure it’ll be disappointing but I know at least one wedding that I’m looking forward to. >;)

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Introducing your new TV-drama

“The home”.

An action-filled drama following the life in a care home in Britain. Bright, young Thea has just started her new job at a small care home for the elderly and soon finds out that everything is not as it seems. Are the frantic mumblings of the home’s oldest resident, Old Norah, just ramblings of a mad woman suffering from dementia, or do they hold the key to a dark, dark secret? The pleasantly confused lady Mia can never find her room by herself and is always walking in to other residents’ rooms. But one grey, stormy afternoon she walks into the shock of her life; on the floor in room 67 lies the bloody and cold body of senior carer Jane, with no clues to what have happened. Amidst mystery and murder, Thea and the other care assistants fight for time as resources grow smaller and the residents grow more aggressive. Suddenly, long, dull afternoons seems like a distant past as both carers and residents have to work together to stay alive…

I was a bit bored at work and played with the idea of an action/criminal drama based on a care home. To be on the safe side, I should point out that everything is fictional, blah blah, which I’m sure everyone understands. I think the second season would be called The Home: Specially Aggressive Unit because the different units definitely comes with different advantages and disadvantages. I haven’t decided whether it’s going to be a serious show or a satire of actual action/criminal dramas. I’m leaning towards the latter. OK, it’s never going to be a TV-show, but it would be fun to put together a fake trailer for it. I heard an elderly person say something today that seemed like it was taken straight out of a movie: “If you can’t see that you’re a bitch, you can’t see anything at all!“. Oh snap!

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Some late thoughts on Breaking Bad/Meth Makers (spoilers)

Phew, finished and sent in my application for a ph.d position today. I spent literally hours crafting my personal statement/cover letter, because I’ve never applied for a position quite like this before… can’t use the cover letters from my days as a care assistant, y’know. I feel ridiculously under-qualified, but I would hate myself if I didn’t take the chance and applied. Even a small chance is better than no chance.

Yesterday I finished watching Breaking Bad, or Meth Makers as I’ve been urged by unnamed forces to call it. We started watching the show from the first episode a little while after the final episode aired, so I haven’t been following media or anything at all. I have avoided everything about the show because I didn’t want to get spoiled. We watched the last four episodes in one sitting. I knew from the moment that Hank called Marie and said “I love you” that he would get killed and I was so mad! Hank was awful and awesome at the same time. Yeah, he was horribly inappropriate at times but he turned out to be one of the better characters of the series. I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to see Marie grieve more.

I’m also disappointed that there wasn’t any resolution between Walt and Junior/Flynn. It was inevitable that Flynn would turn against Walt, but it just seems unfair that he went from basically idolizing his father to hating him and just have it end there. Sure, Walt was a bad person and he ruined lives, but I would have liked a sign that Flynn would eventually learn to forgive Walt or realize that, while he was a bad person, he genuinely cared for his family. I’m glad Jessie got out of it alive, but at the same time I’m glad he suffered. I like Jessie but I can’t deny he was a part of some really fucked up things and maybe now he won’t feel the need to punish himself anymore. I choose to believe that he got away and got to start a better life. I never really understood Jessie and Walt’s relationship because in one episode they hate each other and in the next they say they’re like family.

When it comes to Walt’s fate, I thought I wanted it but then I felt a twinge of sympathy after all in the end. Like Dexter, I was sure from early on that I wanted Walt to truly face the consequences of what he had done. With Breaking Bad, the show prepared us from the first episode that Walt was going to die sooner or later, so I guess any other ending than Walt dying wouldn’t have worked. I still think I would have preferred seeing Walt in prison or a meth overlord but with his cover blown and everyone knowing who he was and what he had done.

Overall I’m happy with how the series finished. I mean the only other show that I watched that finished this year was Dexter, and in comparison I have NOTHING  to complain about with Breaking Bad. Still bummed about Hank, but at least he got to go out in a relatively dignified manner, not crying and begging for his life. I need to find another show to fill the hole now.

But it’s not urgent; I’ve been longing to read other people’s thoughts on BB for months and finally there’s nothing holding me back. So if you can’t get hold of me, it’s probably because I’m stuck reading every interview and article about BB that I can find. 😉

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Agents of Shield

I watched episode 8 of Marvel: Agents of Shield yesterday. I guess people in the US have seen a newer episode so maybe they know more by know but here’s one thing that has bothered me: Since the first episode I’ve been shouting “You’re a f***ing clone!” at Agent Couldson and he hasn’t realized it yet. It seems so obvious! The hints have been really blatant. If he turns out to be robot or an alien I will be slightly surprised but I swear if they’re going down the clone route I’m going to throw the remote against the TV.

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The suspension is killing me!!

Okay, this is my last post before some radio silence. I’m going to do my best to avoid internet and TV until I get a chance to view the final of The Great British Bake-Off, which I won’t until 11pm, and I don’t want to find out who wins before I’ve gotten a chance to view it. I won’t check the comments in this post either so don’t try to spoil me here.

Speaking off spoilers… just one thing before I’m gone… I have “liked” Criminal Minds on FB and they posted the weirdest description for episode 9.05 (which I think will air in the US tomorrow) and now I’m dying to find out what the fuck happens. The description is obviously spoiler-y but you can read it here. It’s the official episode description, spoil much CBS???Is this a flashback episode or what the hell is going on??? I NEED TO SEE IT NOW.

Edit: OMG I just realized there’s no way it’s a flashback episode due to how things went down during that storyline.

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Saturday in London

 

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Today I visited the Scandinavian show in Tobacco docks to hunt for lingonberry jam. I was a bit disappointed because I expected more representation from smaller craft companies and delicacy brands, but instead there was mostly big names like Fjällräven which are already well established outside of Scandinavia. I did find my lingonberry jam so it wasn’t a complete disappointment. Oddly enough, Kimberly from The Great British Bake-Off was there too, although I’m not sure if she was there to shop and eat like the rest of us, or whether she was there on some form of business. Maybe she was there in hopes of learning more about the Swedish cinnamon rolls…? Anyway, I didn’t approach her so the only thing I can say for sure is that she’s taller than I imagined. I think she’s my favorite on the show at the moment, because I keep mixing up Becca and Frances, and while Ruby is talented she kind of annoys me by being so self-deprecating. I feel like her constant apologizing inadvertently makes the judges go easier on her than the other contestants and that’s not fair to the others.

On our way home we took the Emirate Airlines cable cars to the O2 and had a wander about, then took the tube to London Bridge and checked out Borough Market before taking the train home.

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