Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

Hurrah for Japanese Ingenuity

April 4, 2011

So this is what I have been geeking up to over the last couple of days. Building my Space Battleship Yamoto. Lovingly bought back all the way from Japan. ( I went late last year before the catastrophe that befell that great nation ). Those Japanese really do know how to mass produce models for building!

As you can see a very productive day. Now all I have to do is paint the damn thing….


BBC iPlayer Partner Schedules

February 18, 2011

So I’ve been working on the BBC iPlayer Interlinking Project on and off over a 6 month period and it’s live now so check it out! I will say that its been a very tough project and I’m glad to see it released. Although I was a very small cog in the wheel I had interactions with other developers on the project and there were some major loops and hurdles to run through.

You may look at the site and think that looks easy, but it wasn’t. If you think about it, its a very complicated process. We have to gather data feeds on programming schedules and on demand programmes (these are TV shows that you can watch via the Internet for a given period of time i.e. ‘on demand’ ) from all our partners and add them to our system. OK that sounds straight forward. However these are all 3rd party companies that probably store their own data in a different way to the BBC. They have to consolidate and output their data into a standard feed that the BBC can ingest and import. Then once this data is in our system we have to index it to make it searchable and make the schedules available. Plus all of this has to be automated so that changes from our partners appear as quickly and as accurately as possible on the iPlayer website. And we need to make sure we are not wasting time and (license fee) money babysitting feed ingesting 24/7.

Not an easy project!

Curb Your Enthusiasm

December 18, 2009

Larry David: ‘Do you respect wood?’
Jerry Seinfeld: ‘Yeah but this is cheap low grade wood!’
Larry David: ‘So you discriminate amongst wood?’

Brilliant Finale!

Breaking Bad

January 27, 2009

Another amazing new series from the US. Its so good. I was a bit sceptical at first, in particular because of the actor playing the main lead, Bryan Cranston, I didn’t think I could take him seriously after Malcolm in the Middle but he is outstanding in this, don’t get me wrong he was great as Hal in Malcolm but this is on a whole other level.

Watching it, it makes me wonder why British shows can’t make TV shows like this. I mean its not just the production costs, the show is relatively cheaply made. Its the writing which is just so off the hook. British TV is too wrapped up in making costume dramas and not facing up to writing decent contemporary drama.

30 Rock

October 12, 2008

This show is hilarious, it has some amazing one-liners and Alec Baldwin’s performance is pure genius. Anyway here are some quotes from the episode entiltled ‘Seinfeld Vision’:

Jack: All of my summer replacement shows were big hits – America’s Next Top Pirate, Are You Stronger Than A Dog, MILF Island.
Liz: MILF Island?
Jack: 25 super hot moms, 50 eighth grade boys, no rules.
Liz: Oh yeah, didn’t one of those women turn out to be a prostitute?
Jack: That doesn’t mean she’s not a wonderful, caring MILF.

Jack: [to Liz, after noticing Jenna’s weight gain] She needs to lose thirty pounds or gain sixty. Anything in between has no place on television.

Tracy: She knows I can’t sleep without the sound of the ocean and the smell of Bacon

Tracy: Remember that night we had the three-way with Elayne Boosler
Jerry Sienfeld: I don’t think that was me.
Tracy: Oh yeah you know what? I think that was a mirror.

Jack: You Owe me! Remember St Barts? When I saved your life from that shark?
Jerry Seinfeld: Alright Jack, I’ll come back. But I still think you shot a dolphin!

Masters Of Horror

September 2, 2008

I’m coming to this a bit late and I’m not a huge Fan of Horror ( just ask this guy ) but, from the few episodes I’ve seen, I’ve been really impressed. Particularly ‘Homecoming’. Its the best satire on the ‘Bush Years’ that I have seen. Its also the best thing that Joe Dante has done for a long while ( and I’m a fan of his so that’s not a flippant remark ; ) )

Homer Simpson

May 19, 2007

OK so the quality of The Simpsons has dipped in recent years but every now and then it still manages to come up with some great lines:

Homer: Why did you have to let that bum stay here?
Marge: Its about ‘Christian Charity’!
Homer: Christian Charity!!! What’s a porn star got to do with this?

“Kill Gil, Volumes I & II”

Ruddy Hell its Harry and Paul Vs Peep Show

April 15, 2007

Ok I know I’m probably comparing apples with oranges but what the hell!

I’m sorry to have to say this but the new Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse show just doesn’t work for me. I found the sketches iritating and un-funny. The Nelson Mandela sketch where he sells alcopops…why is this funny? Because its Harry doing an impression of Nelson Mandela…or because its Nelson Mandela selling alcopops? Either way it didn’t work for me. The old american tourist couple sketch..again why is this funny? Because they are Americans? The worst sketch was the Computer billionaires; ‘Billl Gates’ and ‘Steve Jobs’ (played by Enfield and Whitehouse), they played them as geeks who were getting turned on by RAM, Disk space and new Windows Vista functionality while being totally obliviousto the fact that their respective wives were having affairs with ‘big beefy’ men. Now I am no fan of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and enjoy anything that mocks them but if I was going to do a sketch about them I’d do some freekin’ research!! Those guys got where they are not because they are geeks (well not solely because they are at any rate!), but because they are hard-arsed businessmen/’Entrepreneurs’. The sketch was so unfunny and it made it glaringly obvious how dated the pair had become and its a shame because I’m a huge fan of their work (although I always thought Paul Whitehouse was the smartest of the two…I really enjoyed that series he did with Chris Langham called ‘Help’).

Now Peep Show is a funny show, its smart, not too obvious and seems incredibly fresh, even though we are into the fourth series. Comparing the two shows (which I know doesn’t make too much sense since ones a sketch show and the others a sitcom), the writers of ‘Peep Show’ seem to have captured my generation’s foibles in all their glory (‘Oh my god, I’ve become a firestarter…a twisted firestarter’) while Harry and Paul seem to be stuck with staid white, male, middle-class, middle-aged anxieties (coffee shop sketch where Eastern European women talk to each other in their own language and appear to be deriding Harry’s character…xenophobic anyone?).