There are very few moments in American history when the unrepresented and disenfranchised masses of society manage to muster together enough courage and strength to topple the high watermark of oppression. They seem to come along once in a millennium, but when they do, they give you this warm and fuzzy feeling inside that maybe life doesn't suck as much as you thought it did and everything, like the movies, may actually turn out alright in the end, closing credits, fade-to-black.
The early days of the American colonies saw the uprising of the Boston Tea Party in which angry settlers grew tired of unreasonable taxation. The mid 20th century saw the sluggish but eventual snowballing steamroll of the Civil Rights Movement. And I like to think that the new millennium's moment of triumph goes to the total destruction and annihilation of Fox's 'Spaced' remake. Granted, I'm not setting the bar very high, but it's only been ten years. Baby steps.
Pop Candy also says the project will co-star director Spike Jonze, which seemed like a misprint, but Slashfilm seems to confirm that. The series will get six episodes, a standard series run for U.K. television, and will air on Channel 4. No word yet on any plans to air the series in the States, but the obvious eventual outlets would be HBO or Showtime, and/or a DVD release.
Well, shame on me for being late with more news, because it wasn't until reader Erik pointed it out that I saw that the entire series of Green Wing is now on Hulu. Having both seasons and the finale special means that you get the laughs and closure. Isn't that nice?
Hey, gang! It's time to get your sketch comedy fill and kick the Saturday Night Live summer break shakes.
This week, I'm here to educate you on a little British program called Big Train. It was created by Arthur Mathews and Graham Linehan, the brains behind Father Ted, and ran two seasons/series in 1998 and 2002. Most of the sketches were surreal and played with the most beautifully serious deadpan expressions. There are people in giant cat and mouse costumes getting in fights, professional evil hypnotists lurking in hallways, as well as jockeys being preyed upon by Prince, so it's a wonder the actors could ever keep straight faces.
I recently -- and giddily -- posted about Hulu.com's inclusion of Channel 4's Green Wing, one of my favorite programs. Hulu is definitely on my good side right now, as they also have the first season of Peep Show online now. Those of you that don't have this in your list of British comedies to conquer, you should. Now. I mean, once you get over David Mitchell's extra-weird, giant, almost-black eyes, it's pretty enjoyable.
Well, I've got some good news ... for 1/100ths of the rest of the world.
Hulu could be coming to the United Kingdom and include more programming than what's available in the States. So if you Brits have been hankering for some Facts of Life but don't feel like the necessary humiliation of having people see you buy it at the local video store, you're in luck.
All right, let me back up. I am a British comedy nerd. Some of you more eagle-eyed readers may already know that one of my favorite shows is something called Green Wing, which aired on Channel 4 way back in 2004. It's one of those programs that perfectly blends the quickness and quotability of sketch comedy with the engaging story arcs of more traditional sitcoms. There is no laugh track (thank goodness) but a beautifully quirky score that heightens the comedy instead of fighting with it. Plus, it's just plain snazzy.
This is a GLOBAL economic meltdown. Everyone is feeling that pinch and looking forward to the day when they can grab that lobster by the antennae, throw it in a boiling pot of water, rip off the tail, sprinkle it with butter, pepper and herbs and serve it in a roll with a side of waffle fries. Damn I'm so broke and hungry.
The British Broadcasting Corporation, however, has an interesting way of dealing with their economic problems. Instead of trimming at the bottom, they are aiming their gardening shears squarely towards the top.
After years of reaching US audiences as only a series of forwarded video clips and teh internetz, the original Channel 4 British sitcom The IT Crowd is finally coming to American TV. The IFC Channel has picked up the series and will begin airing it September 29.
I had to make an extra point to specify that this is the UK IT Crowd and not the NBC remake starring original cast member Richard Ayoade and Joel McHale. No, no, that project is still dead. As much as I love Ayoade and McHale, I couldn't help but feel a little relieved that the show didn't take off. I'd rather get my fix from Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and The Soup than see them attempt to tip-toe through that dangerous territory of American remakes.
The script for the IT Crowd's third season has just been completed, and folks from the show are looking for some help to dress up the set. Calling all geeks with decent knowledge in pop culture! If you've never seen the show before, it's basically the geekiest show about IT guys in the history of British programming. "Did you turn it off and on?" is a recurring joke, so that should say enough.
The UK's Channel 4 had decided not to broadcast a drama featuring British soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees so as not to exacerbate the current situation surrounding fifteen Royal Navy personnel currently held captive in Iran. The debut for the movie was moved to May 17, which will most likely remain now that the soldiers have been released to the British Embassy (and assuming their return to British soil).
The drama, Mark of Cain, is somewhat based on the true-life story of three British soldiers who were convicted of abusing Iraqi civilians at Camp Bread Basket, Basra, in May 2003. The drama itself, however, is entirely fictional according to Gerard Kearns, who plays a soldier in the made-for-TV movie. Due to the tumultuous nature of the diplomatic standoff, the channel decided it was better to avoid anything that might endanger the lives of the fifteen soldiers, who were held captive in a secret location for twelve days.
The purpose of the movie is to show what the implications such an event would have in a world where we can't take shampoo on an airplane. The investigation in the movie will focus on a Syrian-born man, who may or may not be the person who did the deed. The movie will be shown on Channel 4's digital channel and will also be shown at the Toronto Film Festival.
Of course, showing a real president, especially one as controversial as Bush, getting assassinated is a risky move. Not sure if any US outlet is going to have the fortitude to show this movie over here.
The 13-week long marathon that was the seventh series of the popular reality TV show Big Brother in the U.K. ended last night, with Tourette Syndrome sufferer Pete Bennett ending the show as the last remaining contestant in the house and earning himself £100,000 prize money in the process.
Having re-introduced former evictee Niki back to the BB house last week (and thereby confirming what a sham the whole Big Brother process is), viewers watched as the final six housemates were left to slug it out and then departed the house one at a time on the whim of the public, starting with Liverpudlian Jenny, then Niki, followed by Canadian Richard.
Davina McCall then chopped it down to the last two when Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace was evicted from the house, leaving just Pete and Welsh lad Glyn.
When the announcement finally arrived, Pete jumped around the house throwing pillows into the air, and found it difficult to speak to Davina in the traditional post-celebration interview. Glyn was presented with his exam results and a message from the Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who described him as an "inspiration for other young people in Wales".
I haven't updated on the U.K. Big Brother series for several weeks, mostly because it started to lose whatever appeal it ever had as a reality TV show when the producers introduced half a dozen new housemates half-way through the series, but also because it started to feel like I was watching some kind of bizarre, mind-numbing TV marathon that had absolutely no point to it whatsoever.
In the intervening weeks since my last post on the show, we've lost Nikki (the most irritating person in the western hemisphere), the 'golden ticket' housemate Susie, loudmouth Jayne, Irish DJ Spiral, Michael and Mikey.
Things picked up a few weeks ago when Big Brother introduced a hidden prison in the house and split the housemates up like some kind of Stanley Milgram experiment, but it was temporary relief from the mundanity of this overly-extended offering from Endemol.
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