I Blogged Myself

Why do you always come here? I guess we'll never know. It's like a kind of torture, To read this blog, y'know.

Welcome to the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational blog since Kermit left just a little bit of the swamp in his pants.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My Addiction - Part 4

I remembered what else I had planned to say yesterday: It was on the point of the 'presenters'.

Basically, I was going to say that there are some presenters who can do no (or very little, anyway) wrong. For my money, Andrew Denton is one of these, which is made all-the-more amusing by his stereotypical nerdy little school boy appearance. If you don't know him, don't be fooled by how he looks. He's actually a very sharp, witty and skilled interviewer. Dame Edna Everage is another of these people, but only if you exclude her appearance on Ally McBeal towards the end of that show's run. Tragic mistake for all. However, The Dame Edna Experience from the 80s was one of the most hilarious television shows produced by a purple-wig-adorned, ridiculous-frock-wearing man pretending to be a woman. Whatever else Dame Edna has appeared on has been a ripper. To a lesser extent, 'Rampaging' Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson are also fine examples of this phenomenon. Perhaps looking past The Monday Dump and the less-exciting Ice Dream, etc, their other shows are great value, and it's their approach to their unique style of humour that impresses me most. I loved the Clive James year-in-review specials from the 1980s as well, in which beloved ex-patriot Australian comedian / presenter James would show snippets of news footage from the preceding year and put bogus stories around them, making them truly hysterical. They used to air here on New Year's Eve or something, as I recall, which means we were getting them at about the same time they were airing in England. He sort of went downhill in my opinion after he stopped making these specials, but at the time they were gold. Garry McDonald is also an Aussie gem. Fooling international guests into thinking his bumbling idiot of a character Norman Gunston was a real interviewer - and not knowing what to think of him and his absurd questions - made it so much fun to watch a celebrity interview! I'd have loved to see him do more on television with his Gunston persona ... but also leaving the shackles of Norman behind, as I've seen him act in life drama before as well, and he's fantastic. Going back a bit, Graham Kennedy could always make an event out of any TV show he touched, and in my humble opinion, Bert Newton does it now. Say what you like about the size of his head and his very obvious hairpiece, he has a razor-sharp wit and doesn't mind taking the mickey out of himself (an essential Australian trait). The team from Frontline, whom I've spoken of already, are another group whose Midas touch can't be beat. From their early days with The D-Generation, to The Late Show and Frontline, almost every TV show they've been involved with has sparkled. The possible exceptions to this would be their ill-fated Funky Squad (which I actually thought could have been made a bit better - and been given a better chance by viewers) and the once-trendy but now more-often-than-not-scorned The Panel (currently MIA with no official word on a return date).

I admit to having an affection of sorts with the above-mentioned presenters / comedians, but their choice in TV projects has largely shown excellent decision-making abilities, superb talent and skill, or maybe a bit of a combination of both. As always, there are exceptions to the rule - but in general terms, these examples make great TV.

Now, onto what a show has to do to get on my 'Bad' list:

First, it has to be a lame testosterone-based pseudo-scientific show with a crap sense of humour that replaces a good quality sci-fi show I was really enjoying watching when presumably low ratings get it pulled off the air. That's the number one thing it has to do, which is why I'm so amazed that I forgot to put Brainiac on my list of hated shows. But that's a bit of a personal view, and I don't expect everyone to agree with my reasoning, there! ...

As Peter was saying in the comments section yesterday: Slagging Home and Away for a crappy looking car crash is missing the point. It's a soap. The only question you should ask of it is "is it good soap?" If you want more out of a show that what that show aims to give, then you're going to be disappointed every single time.

Peter makes a great point - I absolutely agree that no one's going to come out a winner (not you or the show) if you go into the experience of watching it expecting it to be something it's not. This is the same in all facets of life, of course, but for some reason most of us forget about this when we sit down to watch TV. I'm not sure why this is; perhaps the grand choice of styles to choose from has spoilt us, and once we see something we love, we unfairly use that as a gauge by which to measure all other shows (despite them not trying to be like the first show at all - in fact, often they're running in completely different directions on purpose).

Let's pretend I buy an apple and an orange* and I choose to eat the apple first. I love the apple; it tastes fantastic; it was just what I wanted. Then I eat the orange. This orange is sweet, juicy and delicious. It doesn't taste bitter, it has no bad aftertaste - I don't even have any hassles with pips, rind or bits of orange flesh getting stuck between my teeth. But if I screw my face up and say "Eww, this doesn't taste anything like an apple!", then I am a gigantic idiot.

That said, however, we're all human. You probably all have shows that you just don't like, and I know I have them as well (the above example of Brainiac being a good example of one of mine). As stated in Part 2 of this multi-post, there are shows I just don't like at all. I've explained why Survivor is one of them, and it has the dual-reason of a personal memory being resurfaced (which is clearly restricted purely to myself), and the notion of the angry gossiping and bitchiness that goes on not being appealing to me (perhaps something I share with others, I don't know). As for Home and Away, Peter is right when he says it's a soapie, and we can't judge it as anything else. However, soapies can be done well (or reasonably well at best, anyway!), and overacting, poor scripting, obvious plot developments, and stale or stagnant characters / events / storyarcs, etc, are elements of a bad soapie. I feel that (in the past two years, anyway), Neighbours has been a surprisingly good soapie, judged purely on its own merits, for going with strong characters, interesting plot developments, and for having a distinct lack (at least compared with other soapies) of overacting actors. I can name them if you want to debate this last point, which I know many people may want to do. I'm not saying they could be using more realistic actors, but it's better in Ramsey Street than it is in Summer Bay (or certainly any American soapie you care to name). As for the storyarcs on Neighbours, I've been somewhat impressed that the typical "everyone's life on this plane is in jeopardy - and somebody will die" storyline has been handled well, with the gradual retrieval of most survivors / bodies / runaways, etc, and it was never 100% clear who would die (unlike at other times, when the outcome is already general knowledge or obvious from the credits, etc). It's still pretty unlikely that people would inter-marry and really only have friendships with other people who lived within four doors of each other, but that's part of the nit-picking I was referring to yesterday that simply doesn't wash with me.

Let's talk Dancing with the Stars. Actually, let's not. It's just a poor excuse for watching C- and D-grade celebrities potentially embarrass themselves learning ballroom dancing in front of the nation and being roasted by so-called judges afterwards - not to mention the easy money it makes by getting people to ring in their favourites. And don't get me started on Daryl Somers. He was bearable on Hey Hey, but this resurgence of his career is just a joke. (Oh, and Sonia who-now?)

Looking to the dramas I included on my list, unfortunately all three of them Australian, I find myself wondering if I'm being too critical of local products. The answer is no. I'm supporting plenty of Australian-made stuff, but only the good stuff. For all its faults and the incredibly high crime rate for such a small country town, Blue Heelers is a great Aussie drama - particularly over the past year or so. I've talked about Neighbours already. Last Man Standing was a hopeful new fave, but was slaughtered by its own network (in my opinion). I've mentioned Frontline enough times, but put that together with Kath & Kim and you've got some brilliant Aussie comedies as well. However, The Alice just didn't cut it for me (it was nothing more than a glorified cross between Always Greener and McLeod's Daughters for mine), McLeod's Daughters itself is aimed at chicks (so I can't honestly be expected to have warmed to it), and All Saints is just one of those "ho-hum, another medical drama" things (to say nothing of the new Aussie show The Surgeon, which comes hot on the heels of America's Grey's Anatomy and isn't anything like it at all!). The characters and situations and events on All Saints just don't appeal to me. I think their over-dependance on Georgie Parker earlier on in the series turned me off it, as well.

Current affairs shows are a disgrace more often than not, and American talk shows are simply unhealthy for everyone. The only thing left to discuss from my 'Bad' list is Hey, Dad! - and anyone who's ever seen it will back me up on this: I don't need to justify why it's on this list.

Part 5 will come next week. Have a good weekend, people. Enjoy your televisions. They're part of the family too, you know.

"Tune in and tune out."

* This is clearly a fictitious example, as I would never buy fruit.


At Saturday, November 19, 2005 1:44:00 am, Blogger Gianluca Di Milano said...

My favorite presenter is George Orwells. Are you know him? He is present the big brother. Is a very craze TV show. there are some many gays in a small house and they are try for talk about themselfs for 30 days non stop to win a big money. Evry day the peoples are vote for kill one people. Is a popular in italy.

At Sunday, November 20, 2005 8:49:00 pm, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

Bevis, I agree about Brainiac, it's a show that just shouldn't have seen the light of day, but as usual, put a couple of women in bikinis and get them to blow something up and badabing, you got a show. Total crap.
Darryl Somers has once again turned a TV show into "It's all about me". I see he's produced another album and was singing at the end of each show. I never say it but I heard about it. Please Darryl, give it up. I used to love him, in a child/TV star sort of way, in his cartoon cornet and Hey Hey days, but towards the end of hey hey, he really did just start to piss me off, probably coz Ozzie left and the remaining staff were just a bunch of ass lickers.
Hey Dad was atrocious(sp) but it did put Walgert on the map (whereever that is). It also gave us "the little fat kid from Hey Dad" phrase which put Mick Molloy on the map.
I like your list of presenters and agree that Clive James is now suffering from the out of sight - out of mind syndrome. He is one of my favourites. Maybe you could have slipped in Don Lane? hey ho ha!
ummm.. Funky squad needed to have Rob Sitch in it not Tim Ferguson, that would have helped it along.

Looking forward to part 5.

At Sunday, November 20, 2005 9:13:00 pm, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

Just thought of something which you haven't talked about and that is the documentary. I'm especially fond of the Ken Burns one on the Civil War, just brilliant, and the Baseball one is pretty good too.

At Sunday, November 20, 2005 9:39:00 pm, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

hi bevie. read your comments back under part 2. thank you. i know i got carried away, and just started listing all shows that i didn't hate. ie some of them were not in the wonderful category.

one quick question. neighbours - do we know what thing might have happened in the past of zeke and his sister to make them look meaningfully at each other when their father was lecturing the daughter about seeing the bad boy behind his back, something about bad things happening?


At Monday, November 21, 2005 8:54:00 am, Blogger BEVIS said...

Gianluca di Milano, welcome! Your comments make me smile. We don't know George Orwells in Australia - our host of Big Brother here is an ugly man called Gretel Killeen. I found your description of the show to be very accurate no matter which country's version you're watching. I hope to hear from you again! :)

Clokeeeey, thanks. Frankly, I don't see what's so attractive about those pale, disproporationately-aligned British women whose bodies are plump in all the wrong places. I don't mean to offend British people here - I'm sure many are attractive just like in any country, even George Orwells in Italy, but the ones they feature on Brainiac aren't the pick of the litter at all. But hey, that's just my view. I considered Don Lane but wasn't sure if he had the 'midas touch' that most of the others on the list have. Although that might not be fair - he just hasn't been on TV for a while, so maybe he blind-sighted me. I agree about Rob Sitch in Funky Squad, too. The character was written for him, but some kind of scheduling conflict (I knew what it was at the time but I forget it now) meant that they had to re-cast the role.

MelbourneGirl, did you notice the link, though? Did it put all your frantic self-doubt to rest? Am I - as many people have so far claimed - your hero?

No problem about getting carried away - that's what this blog in particular (and perhaps all blogs, to some extent?) is all about.

As for the Neighbours question, no - I think that's something they're going to play on and dfrop hints over for a while, before we find out that they used to have another sibling or the daugther was nearly raped / abducted, or the mother's death wasn't everything they've so far said it was, etc.

It's the identity of the person who has set Izzy / Paul in their sights that intrigues me most, though. Is it Gus? Is it Darcy? Is it one of Paul's ex-wives? Is it someone we've never met before?

I reckon the revelation of this person's identity will be the closing moment of the show for 2005. (Even though that's technically the same sort of ending we had last year with Paul Robinson appearing amongst the faces watching the pub and coffee shop burn down.)

At Monday, November 21, 2005 10:17:00 am, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

mr bevis, please to explain who is gus, who is darcy?

hehe, gretel is a man. this reminds me of borat calling madonna a "real transvestite" at the recent whatever awards...

this also reminds me of a fantastic blog/website i came across years ago, 1999? a turkish dude who'd set it up to meet women. i will try and find it for you. it was a classic. he became a celebrity overnight, and travelled the world. sometimes i think gianluca is a little bit of borat, and a little bit of this other guy. i'll get back to you about that.

now the link... i have to go back and look again???

[trots off obediently]

At Monday, November 21, 2005 10:22:00 am, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

oh THAT link. yes. thank you. i had a crush on hector. he was the doltish astronaut. i think max was the cooler one. i had a thing for dolts when i was little. i liked gilligan too. that says it all.

yes, you are my hero.

this afternoon princess and i visit the neighbours website to do the survey. how excitement. also princess told me she wanted to write something on my blog.

oh, ethical considerations now! what to do.

perhaps i should try and start a kidworld blog for her? she has an interesting take on life. oh, but what about the creeps? i would have to supervise. mmmm, thinking aloud now. wondering, wondering. might let her do a guest post on my blog.

stay tuned.

At Monday, November 21, 2005 11:52:00 am, Blogger BEVIS said...

Riss and I have explained who Gus and Darcy are back when we gave WAY too much Neighbours information on your blog that time. But for simplicity's sake, Gus is Max's old friend (from his oil rig days, I think it was?), who was the father to Izzy's baby (although she lied and said the father was Karl). He went a bit 'loco' when Izzy rejected him and started to threaten her and Max's family. It all ended when Gus walked in on Paul lighting the blaze at Lassiter's in December 2004. Paul thwacked him, which apparently killed him, and then left him to burn in the fire. We later heard others saying that the police had identified the body by his dental records as Gus, but as we saw no one directly discover the body or any 'proof' that the deceased was in fact Gus, I feel that this could still be open to debate. (We also only 'saw' the event in question - Gus entering the basement where Paul was lighting the fire - by way of Izzy 'realising' it months later; we didn't actually witness it at the time, so the whole scene could in fact just be put down to conjecture.) Maybe he faked his death, etc, in true soapie fashion.

Darcy is Susan's cousin (I think it was cousin), who also had a run-in with Izzy. He was the one who wrote Susan a letter telling her that Karl was not the father of Izzy's baby (because he saw Izzy's medical records and felt that Susan and Karl should be together, so they both deserved to know the truth ... that's what he said in his letter, anyway; maybe he really just wanted to hurt Izzy). He left Erinsborough (supposedly for good) after dropping this little bombshell earlier this year.

While these two are recent 'bad guys' in Izzy's past, it may well be a character from earlier in the Izzy storyline, from before I started watching, perhaps. Or someone we haven't met yet and aren't supposed to be able to guess. Or like I said, one of Paul's ex-wives.

Another thought I had was that perhaps Dan O'Connor's character (Stu's brother) has a split personality disorder or something, and he's not even aware that he's putting these people in danger, but that seems highly unlikely. I think it's definitely someone who knows full-well what they're doing.

BTW, on the topic of Gus' apparent demise (but because we never really witnessed it, he may easily return one day), I feel the same way about Liljana and Serena. Less so with David, as Joe and Sky identified his body, but the two ladies were never found. While that adds realism now to a plane-crash-at-sea story, for some future storyline the writers may like to bring one or both of them back, and this would give them creative licence to do so.

Thanks for trotting off obediently. :) I'm glad you acknowledged my hero status. It's also good to get closure on a life-long mystery like that, isn't it. I remember watching a show as a very young BEVIS about a group of kids who had some kind of magical time-stopping devise in the form of a long piece of crystal or something, that whenever they held it up, time stopped. I recall being amused by how they pulled down the bully's pants as he was about to attack them and then re-started time so he fell over. It appealed to my very young sense of humour and justice at the time. But I've never remembered very much more about it, and couldn't for the life of me remember its name. I should probably do some research on it myself, and see if I can't find out what it was called and more of what it was about. I'm sure it was lame and so on, but I have very fond memories of watching the nasty people being surprised by the tricks played on them.

I also know the site you're referring to, with the Turkish guy's site being inundated by thousands and thousands of hits. I saw it at the time and seem to recall that he had to take it down due to the inappropriate things people were saying, etc. Strange, that! :) I remember laughing myself silly at the site; it was an absolute classic! I very much think Borat was inspired by the site in question and always have.

As for Princess writing on your blog - guest posting, having her own kidsblog, or whatever ... I think this would be AWESOME! Many of us would love to say hi and hear what she has to say. I'm looking forward to seeing what eventuates with this.

At Monday, November 21, 2005 1:45:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sonia Kruger actually comes with a fair degree of authority...



At Monday, November 21, 2005 2:09:00 pm, Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

hey bevis. i found mahir

you can find him here too

his tagline was:



absolute classic

i think you're right. borat always reminded me of him heaps, as does another more recent acquaintance.

At Monday, November 21, 2005 4:41:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

MG, that's fantastic - just as I remembered it! His photos are brilliant, and have you checked out the 'Updated Links' link in the top left-hand corner?

It's got heaps of additional items I hadn't seen before - great stuff.

With your last remark, though ... I can't think who you might mean ... :)

Anonymous, thanks Sonia. Great to hear from you.

At Monday, November 21, 2005 8:57:00 pm, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

Why does neighbours always sidetrack your blog?
How about Molly Meldrum as a presenter, I reckon - crap.
But Countdown was unmissable.

At Monday, November 21, 2005 10:31:00 pm, Blogger Jobe said...

How the HELL could you hate 'Hey Dad'?

I'm beginning to think that we can't be together...

At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 2:25:00 am, Blogger BEVIS said...

C'mon Jobe - opposites attract, after all.

Clokeeeey, I agree with you on Molly, and Countdown was before my time but I respect it for its iconic legendry.

As for Neighbours, I don't really know.

At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 1:46:00 pm, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

Dude, your making me feel old.....

At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 1:47:00 pm, Blogger Clokeeeey! said...

before I get corrected "you're"

At Wednesday, November 23, 2005 1:30:00 pm, Blogger BEVIS said...

Sorry Clokeeeey! :)


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