Archive for the ‘TV’ Category
Well for a change I would like to announce that Zach Braff, star of Scrubs, is NOT dead. It was some twat on a fake site putting about a fake rumour.
Roll VT, bob:
I was concerned at first, considering the year we are having for celebrity deaths. But within an hour nothing had appeared on http://www.tmz.com, sky news or the BBC. Not even Fox ran the news.
Zach Braff is the star of the long running medical comedy Scrubs, that has won several TV awards.
Here is a clip of this funny series:
Does the elders among us remember V? That mid-eighties TV series that scared the bejeysus out of us when we were kids? The one where the aliens gorged themselves on small rodents and hamsters?
Well it is set to return to our screens next year. Quick, cover the Gerbil’s cage.
So here is a quick teaser for you all:
The big question is will this re-imagined version live up to the standards set in recent years by Battlestar Galactica? Let us hope so. Some of the original stars have expressed an interest in appearing, since it didn’t exactly launch their careers to dizzy heights. The only two of the original cast who had any success were Robert Englund and Marc Singer. The former being, of course, the horror icon, Freddy Kruger. Marc Singer was the Beastmaster in a decent sword and sandals film. SInce then he has done very little and he is getting on a bit.
So we cannot wait to see it when it returns, next year.
It was revealed today that the Model and Authoress, Sohie Dahl, is to make a cookery show. Move over Nigella.
There is clearly no end to the lady’s talents. She produced a book last year called ‘Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights’ which made strong sales, competing against Gordon Ramsey and Marco Pierre White. Now Jamie Oliver’s production company want to make a programme with her. Well, who wouldn’t?
Sophie is the granddaughter of Roald Dahl, the children’s author. She featured in his book ‘the BFG’, as the little girl, the Big Friendly Giant of the title being Roald himself.
Sophie started out as a model in the mid ninties after being discovered by a neighbour, Vogue stylist, Isabella Blow, while sobbing on the doorstep after an argument with her mum. She was far removed from the other models of the day. While the star of the time was the willowey Kate Moss, Sophie was deliciously curvy and decidedly cherubic.
She had round rosy cheeks and blonde hair, large breasts and a noticable behind. Furthermore she seemed, according to Toby Young, oblivious to the effects she had on the men around her. He described her as a sweet girl and a hopeless, soppy romantic.
She shot to fame after she featured on a short lived billboard campaign for Opium perfume. It caused a few traffic accidents and was pulled the same week. Had they made the posters smaller I am sure they would have ended up on a few bedroom walls, namely mine. Actually, they slipped up there.
She took a few small acting jobs while she began her writing career. Coming from a well known literary pedigree, she had no trouble finding a publisher. Her first books were ‘The Man with the Dancing Eyes’, based loosely on her relationship with Mick Jagger. I know, it broke my heart too. Yuck. She is now engaged to piano hobbit Jamie Cullam. Have you seen this guy? Why, Sophie, why?? Double yuck.
Her second book was ‘Playing with the Adults’ was another story based on personal experiences, this time her tempestuous relationship with her mother. I read a small extract and it reminded me of my mother and sister’s relationship so much.
But her first cookery book was a huge success, recounting her easy relationship with food and her childhood memories of it. I sense she gets a lot of comfort from it, which is a good thing. I hope she can undo some of the damage caused by the fad diets of Cosmopolitan and Closer.
Her series is scheduled to start in summer 2010. Can she outdo Nigella’s huskiness? Let us pray..
I remember when I was a boy TV was a lot more exciting. We had no reality TV to speak of, and we were no worse for it. We had fantastic telly, programmes full of action, adventure and larger than life characters.
Knight Rider and the A-Team, the most common examples, have been covered ad nausium so we won’t rake through them again. But does anybody remember this lot?
Airwolf & Blue Thunder
In the era of the Apache and the HIND-D these two look remarkably quaint. Crime fighting 80s helicopters with tremendous ability to blow things up. Every boy wanted a model chopper. Airwolf ran for three years with Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine (who is still going strong at 90). It’s chopper had a turbo boost, stealth ability and three cannon that could whack anything out of the sky or on land. It ran for four seasons.
Blue Thunder was the K-Mart version. It ran as a spin-off from the 1983 film of the same name (in spite of the helicopter being destroyed at the end of the film). It starred James Farentino, Bubba Smith (the huge cop in police academy) and Dana Carvey (long before he became Garth in Wayne’s World). It ran for one series.
The biggest playground debate of 1984 was who would win a dogfight between the two helicopters? Opinion remains deeply divided.
A crime fighting human shape shifter? What’s not to like? Well the special effects were remarkably crap (this was in the days long after the Thriller video), and the acting was somewhat wooden. The main character looked very pompous and English among the Americans and the plots were somewhat over fantastical. Even so it did scrape through one season before it’s under-budgetting problems forced it to be cancelled.
Manimal and it’s predecessor, Blue Thunder, had one major opponent. It wasn’t gun-toting thugs, shapeshifters or even rival helicopters. It was a soap opera called Dallas on at the same time on the other side. And nobody could beat a dose of J R Ewing’s family exploits in those days.
And we had only the one telly. Ferguson, probably.
Moving on we had Knight Rider on two wheels, Street Hawk. I distinctly remember mine and a mate’s response to seeing an advert for Street Hawk on TV. We both had delirious grins, we would definitely be watching that!
See also Highwayman, with Flash Gordon’s Sam Jones driving a high tech truck, very much like Knight Rider. By now a familiar pattern was forming, with CBS and ABC trying to come up with the most imaginative Boy TV they could (and often couldn’t) afford. Usually the best they could afford was a pilot film and a single series.
ABC brought in Glen A Larson, creator of Battlestar Galactica for one last throw of the dice.
Automan was hugely expensive and lasted, surprise, surprise, a single season. It was about a police computer geek who creates this holographic superhero called Automan. Naturally Automan fights crime, drives a car that starts, stops and takes corners instantly in a jump. Both figures can merge into a single conciousness. Automan looked remarkably like Tron, a film released the previous year and ABC had to carefully dodge plagurism accusations. It lasted one series as usual.
Finally somebody came up with something different.
V (AKA The Visitors) was a better than average story of Alien Invasion by stealth. It starred Beast Master’s Marc Singer as a heroic reporter. The antagonists were a bunch of mysterious humanoid aliens masquerading as humans. Under their rubber skin they had green reptilian features and sinister intentions for the human race. They used special effects to project images of aliens swallowing small animals. I remember covering the hamster cage before watching. Well I didn’t want the little fellow to have nightmares.
It wasn’t half bad and lasted a lot longer than previous efforts. They made a mini-series and then a sequel the following year. It was very big budget and starred a lot of acting talent. Unfortunately the series was cancelled unexpectedly and the storyline was left on a cliffhanger.
A remake of the series is currently in post production. We wait with bated breath.
So all that represented a certain golden age of 80s TV, long before Sky, Murdoch, fifty channels of shite and sodding Big Brother has the X Factor on Ice. It is a reminder of the sheer effort some TV producers went to to keep us entertained, long before they realised we were happy enough just watching a room full of dysfunctionals arguing among themselves.
Long live 80s Television.
All of the above are available as boxed sets from www.amazon.com