Sunday, 26 January 2014

Last of the Summer Blade Runner

Welcome to what will be a regular spot about how a little Sci-fi make-over could transform some of the more mundane TV programmes or films.

Up first is a questionable blend of  "Blade Runner" the superb dystopian Sci-fi thriller film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford and  the British TV programme "Last of the Summer Wine" The inexplicably longest running sitcom (shitcom?) in the world.  This spirit crushing portrayal of existential boredom in the countryside, centered around a trio of immature aimless old geezers wandering around a Yorkshire village.  Most episodes involved the bored shitless 3 either: careening perilously down a hill in a poorly constructed vehicle, attempting/hoping to catch a glimpse of an old lady's wrinkly stockings or being chased by an outraged woman.    For some reason I've had the same thought for years:

What if Last of the Summer Wine based an episode on Blade Runner?

Imagine the haunting melody of BR but in a LOTSW style, all cheerful and jaunty.  The camera pans first over the Yorkshirescape, then the village,  finally resting on a billboard for Barret Homes with the tagline "Start a new life".  This week our trio hear that there are 3 confused escaped nursing home residents at-large in the area.  They of course decide to track them down having nothing better to do.  Lots of adventure and chases involving boxes on wheels ensue.  Eventually two of the escapees are caught: one gets hit by a milk float while trying to chase a balloon, another captured attempting to buy 20 packs of  Werthers Originals.  The tall one corners the final resident who happens to be a fascinating and attractive woman named Rachael.  He falls in love with her, sheltering  her from the authorities and his friends.   Rachael was once a city lawyer and believes she still is.  The tall one can't bring himself to tell her the truth,  deciding to run off with her in his Morris Minor.  In the last scene the Gromit voice one turns to the tramp one and makes the "Too bad she won't live" speech instead saying  "Too bad she won't remember" meaning she may eventually remember nothing without her meds, but does it really matter when all any of us have is the moment?

Yes I know a load of horse shit, I've bored myself now.  Please feel free to comment with your own ideas for a Sci-fi spruce up and stay tuned for the next abomination.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Why I don't watch The Big Bang Theory

Someone recently asked me whether I watched the TV programme Big Bang Theory. Their surprise at my “no” reply got me thinking. Why don't I watch it? Cos all the ingredients seem to be there. You know, their references to pop culture, video games, technology, superheroes! So I've thought about it & here's why:

Delivery is bland and formulaic.
Despite all these interesting references thrown in, they are usually delivered in a tedious formulaic fashion. Mostly it seems, from their sofa, lines dribbling out of their mouths “blah blah blah” - laughter track. There's no punchy (Do we still say punchy?) editing or camera angles/shots, just static shots of people sitting/standing on their x - spot plodding through their lines, yawn.

Aaaghhh there is a laughter track!!!
I detest laughter tracks with every fibre of my being! Most people with an actual sense of humour realise these exist to disguise the vacuum of real comedy. Even if it's filmed in front of a studio audience the result is the same - a laughter track telling you when to laugh.

The characters are stereotypical geeks All the main characters are bi-dimensional stereotypes: geeks lacking social skills, and frankly pathetic. I'm a geek, and sure I share some of their characteristics. I do however, have more facets than a coin. As do any other geek types I know and so...

I can't help comparing it to Spaced The vastly superior British comedy. A programme that projectile vomited surreal tasting creativity in your face. It threw in relevant up-to-date references - sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle. It credited us with the intelligence to work them out. It respected the interests of the characters. These characters were into comics, video games, quoting Sci-fi films. But they weren't painted as just “geeks” but as complex people who happen to have particular interests. This programme was relevant to the age group it portrayed. This was of course because the programme was written by the two young leads, unlike BBT which was created by two middle- aged men. This was similar for the thankfully forgotten “Game on” (one of the writers was born in 1936!) I still get angry about that offal even now . BBT doesn't seem to like it's main characters, it just appears to be taking the piss out of these people. It's like it's saying “look at these people's unimportant interests, look how foolish they are, they are complete gits for playing LAN games, see intelligent people aren't threatening, they're just sad inadequates” 

 Just think -   Spaced predated BBT by around 7 years and yet it's light years ahead (that's about 6 trillion miles x a lot)

I love you Spaced! and I always will! I'm bored of moaning so will just concentrate on my profound love of Spaced before I retire for the evening

Friday, 10 January 2014

Christmas is my Kryptonite

Don't know why, but the closer I get to Christmas the weaker I get. Of course the time of year has a lot to do with it. Unlike Batman I don't like the darkness. Like Superman I'm powered by the sun. I have happy memories of childhood Christmases, so who knows? For me, Christmas is like a huge locomotive powering down a hill, unstoppable and inevitable. I'm learning though to jump on that train and take the ride. I'm not going to crap on about how it's all become so commercial, we all know about that. I suppose I'm learning to make it my own. I certainly don't watch Christmas adverts or any adverts, only occasionally catching a glimpse. Those Iceland adverts are particularly depressing. There's a reason why that gateau is £3 it's because you're eating “shit and sugar” If you eat that crap, you will never become a Superhero. I'd like to know what Batman's diet is. To maintain that level of fitness requires good healthy food. I just watched an amusing music video called Kryptonite by a band called “ 3 Doors Down” is their name a reference to The Doors? Sorry I'm a bit out of touch with bands. Anyway the video is quite amusing – check it out on:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

What's this blog name all about then?

What was that? Oh you want to know what the name of this blog is about.  Of course, I will be happy to explain.

I've always loved superheroes- reading comics and watching the cartoons.  The live-action stuff wasn't so good at first when I was  a kid.  Spiderman was only able to shoot white rope from his wrists and move like a mime artist.  Superman played by George Reeves on TV was middle-aged and already making excuses about why he couldn't do things like turn back time by zooming round the earth, like when he was younger. TV Batman was fun, but barking mad.  Of course the Superman films changed everything. Despite some of the shortcomings of  superhero portrayal that I witnessed,  I still aspired to be like them.  This began by building up my asthma-compromised body with exercise.  I was lucky as the asthma left my body at around my mid teenage years.  Then as I grew older and realised  that I possessed scant social skills, I read books on the subject - body language, positive thinking etc. practicing what I had studied in the field.  I learnt about integrity and tried to weave that into my daily life too.  Nowadays I'm inspired by acts of heroism small and large in the real world.  I still watch a lot of superhero stuff though.  So that's the heroic bit.

Just having a break here.  By the way, if you think I sound like a crap version of Charlie Brooker, then you're wrong because I started talking just before him, so he is actually a good, successful, witty version of ME!  It's so annoying when you see people on TV doing good versions of what you do in everyday life and being well paid instead of doing a rubbish job.  Remember all the funny faces and noises that Vic Reeves used to make on his big night out? Well I was making them when I was a kid, which was quite a while before he was on TV - my mum pointed that out.

Hands of wetness comes from two things:

Number 1. My life-long love of video games.  I've played many a game and I'm sure you have too,  until my sweaty hands can no longer grip the joystick/gamepad/paddle.

Number 2.  is my complete impatience with practical tasks such as drying my hands.  I get very cross after washing my hands when the drying process takes far too long.  What usually happens is my half-assed attempt resulting in puddles of water on my laptop track pad or gamepad.  I'm probably remembering a non-corporeal existence when I didn't have to deal with this tedious, repetitive, time-consuming twaddle!   That is all.

First Post

So this is my first post.  I have managed to avoid reading, commenting on and just generally having anything to do with blogs since the whole thing started.  Now that some people are declaring that the blog is dead or dying, I have decided to start this one.  I want to share ideas and have nice chats with people on-line.  I welcome intelligent debate, but lets not be horrid to each other.  This blog will evolve with my understanding of the process.  I'm quite techy, but have ignored developments for a decade or so.  Now I'm catching up!