Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: american dad, bbc, Dr who, family guy, humor, humour, ITV, Parts Of Britain Like The Wire, the simpsons, The Wire
So I’m sat here watching the excellent Californication (starring sex addict David Duchovny) with my good mate Snide, and it dawns on me, again, that British Telly doesn’t compare to what the Americans have to offer.
Now I’m not some kind of yankophile, but they do know how to make great television. Lets start with the Wire. Now I’m sure you’re sick to the fucking back teeth of everyone saying how great the Wire is (if you haven’t seen it that is, if you have then you’ll be nodding, probably going “sheeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiitt”) but it is the prime example of how Television should be made.
Well written? By ex Po-leece and a Bawlmer journo. Well acted? Dominic West excels as a pisscan Homicide Po-leece. Well produced? So finely done that the story of Bubbles makes you root for a heroin addict. In contrast lets look at Dr Who. Well written? Not unless you like sub par science fiction that sounds like its been written by an 8 year old. Well acted? A fine blend of overacting & wooden performances. Well produced? Only if you think the production values of Prisoner Cell Block H are the epitome of the art.
I know the two are hardly comparible programmes, but both are lauded to some degree and I wanted to highlight the contrast. So why does television from these fair isles tend to be shite?
I personally think its down to people being happy to settle for less, that whole stiff upper lip business. If you don’t like it, don’t complain, just keep your fucking mouth shut. This has led to us being fed utter bilge over the years, I can’t think of any ITV “comedies” off the top of my head, but they’ve never made a funny one, the BBC persist in making dark and “gritty” police dramas that are anything but and don’t get me started on their costume dramas.
Maybe its because we have two broadcasting behemoths which are loathe to deviate from anything thats nice and safe or middle of the road. Whereas our yank cousins have the likes of HBO, a paid for television channel that has repeatedly handed us television programmes that are so far from the norm, they manage to become something more than mere actors on a screen.
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: american dad, animation, cartoons, family guy, humor, humour, Matt Groening, simpsons, south park, the simpsons
1: Cape Feare 07/10/1993
Sideshow Bob tries to kill Bart and the Simpsons are placed in the witness protection programme. Brilliant for the scene where the FBI try to get Homer to answer questions in his new name “Mr Thompson” and Side Show Bob and a lot of rakes.
2: Homer Badman 27/11/1994
Homer is accused of groping someone. Classic scenes include “See you in hell candyboys!” and Grounds Keeper Willie being described as “Rowdy Roddy PEEPER”.
3: Homer the Great 08/01/1995
Homer joins a secret society called the Stone Cutters. Notable scenes include the Stone Cutters song (Who holds back the electric car? Who makes Steve Gutenberg a star? We do).
4: Hurricane Neddy 29/12/1996
The Flanders home is the only house destroyed during a hurricane and Ned snaps. One thing “I’m Dick Tracy, take that Prune Face, now I’m Prune Face, take that Dick Tracy, now I’m Prune Tracy…”
5: You Only Move Twice 03/11/1996
Homer is head hunted by the friendly super villain Hank Scorpio. A personal favourite of the author. Hank Scorpio is the perfect boss, doing everything to help the employees of Globex Corporation, he even gives Homer the Denver Broncos for his help with Project Arcturus. Another episode with a great song, this one is at the end and is a top piss take of James Bond theme songs “and on Fridays the lunchroom serves hot dogs and burgers and beer! He loves german beer!”
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: american dad, family guy, hang overs, humor, humour, simpsons, southpark, the simpsons
15 years ago, the Simpsons was without a shadow of a doubt, the funniest programme going, so whats gone wrong? How have they gone from lampooning the classic remake of Cape Fear with the brilliance of Kelsey Grammar as Sideshow Bob , to Homer going to Scotland to catch the Lochness fucking Monster? Well lets have a look….
1: The Writers – From what I can gather, many of the writers that contributed to the brilliance of the Simpsons during the “golden era”, have moved on to bigger and better things. As this is to be expected when people are producing comedy gold as part of a large team, surely the producers could have brought in people that captured the zeitgeist? Or even held some of the writers on retainer or invited them back, rather than people that seem to think comedy is slapstick randomness more suited to Sponge Bob Squarepants.
2: Try to pander to viewers – With the likes of Family Guy, American Dad & Southpark providing animated humour for adults, the Simpsons has had to change to try and keep up, except that without an adult twist, its unrepentant wackiness (Tomacco anyone?) has made it look like a middle age man trying to prove how cool he is (or once was). Remember when the Simpsons handled political satire with a touch so subtle that both children and adults could appreciate the humour on numerous levels?
3: Loads of Money – The Simpsons is undoubtedly one of the most successful franchises of all time, I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess but I doubt Matt Groening, James L Brooks & Sam Simon are wondering where their next meal is coming from. Anything that makes that kind of money is going to end up selling out to a certain degree and its cash cow status for Fox means that they’ll always have a hand in what the show churns out. But at one point they were fearless, no political figure was safe from the yellow skin treatment (George Bush Snr being sent up as an old crank stands out) and it was much better for it.