The Deep

Sardines A new BBC sci-fi drama series. Hmmm. I have not seen some similar series that might have been half-decent and worth watching for a bit of innocent entertainment. Typically, I miss the first few episodes and then fail to jump onto the running train later in the series. The one that I did watch and enjoy was discontinued after a short while. Maybe I was the only one enjoying Defying Gravity.

So, when The Deep was announced, I thought I should watch the first episode. After all, it is a British production, and thus stands a chance of being less silly and stereotypical and boring, with more plausible characters and all that, compared to pure American productions.

Ah well. The Beep missed a good chance here, but missed by a couple of miles. Frustrating:

A mostly inexperienced grew of mainly psychologically unstable young people with unknown qualifications (presumably, scientists), embark on a deep diving mission (The phenomenal depth of 2000ft is noted at 25:40 into the first episode. So much for sci-fi deep diving). The whole mission starts just 6 months after the catastrophic failure of the previous mission – that alone being implausible enough.

A long string of implausible events and details follow, acted out by equally unconvincing characters. At the end of the first series, the crew faces “that big thing” which now hovers above them. It could be alien. It could be a giant Russian foreign nuclear space deep sea station. It could be the new submarine Taliban division. It could be anything, but it is already certain not to be convincing or original.

Good lord BBC. Give me a few days, a room to think, and two creative free-thinking co-thinkers. We’d think up a better story-line for you.

 

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A Seasons Paradox

the chef, aged 3 (?) The telly is full of cooking shows with TV chefs showing off their latest Christmas menu thoughts, or how to do things proper and in the traditional way – recent comment here.

But, the commercial breaks are full of adverts recommending the purchase of scented candles or similar artefacts, designed to get that chemical Christmas cheer into the house.

Tell you what.

Spike an apple with cinnamon and cloves and bake it.

Make a bread or a cake or a sage pork roast.

Simple, non-chemical, and you’ll get the smell and the taste.

 

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It’s Only a Theory

canarywharf It’s Only a Theory is the perfect example. It’s the perfect example for what makes BBC4 television what it is: a TV station regularly criticised for the fact that it fails attracting the huge big audience (criticised by those who oversee the BBC‘s spending of license money), and regularly praised for failing to attract the big audience (like, by myself).

How’s that?

It’s got to do with engaging the mind. Take a look at It’ Only a Theory, for example. A comedy program in which candidates propose and defend a theory, challenged by Andy Hamilton, Reginald D. Hunter, and a guest judge. The theories are serious, but of course chosen for their headline and entertainment value. Their party-talk value, if you like. Previous theories included “Texting improves children’s literacy,” “The first person to reach the age of 1000 years is already born,” and “Romantic comedies make people miserable.”

Similar to QI, It’s Only a Theory doesn’t strike a balance between comedy and something more serious. It’s not serious. It’s comedy, its pure entertainment, but it goes without the roaring-out-load, thigh-slapping style of humour.

Not the kind of show that will save BBC4, and not a show ever to make it out of BBC4. Nice entertainment though.

 

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Wimbledon, All Around Me

jersey I find it very nice to see how the big sports events inspire the kids. During and (now) after Wimbledon, I notice many more than usual kids playing tennis in the streets in the evening. When I cycled past a pretty large public tennis place, it was also full.

How nice, and the perfect proof that public sports events should not be allowed to sell their TV rights to private channels that require an extra pay-TV subscription. It’s just not right, not as long as the same event takes a lot of taxpayer’s money for provision of public transport, security and emergency services and, well, license-fee funded public media for advertising and promoting.

It’s one, or the other.

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TV-free Zone

waterTower Some people ban television from their home. They say it enslaves people, and prevents people from using their spare time for things such as talking, interacting, playing, or reading. Not a bad argument, but I admit being lazy, and while I read as much as I can with a head exhausted from work, I do enjoying some amount of mindless entertainment in the evenings.

When looking around the neighbourhood in the early evening hours, that is, at times when my TV set is still off because I am either still at work, writing blog posts like this one, am cooking and preparing dinner, or enjoying any of the activities mentioned above, I can see that tell-tale blue-ish flickering light in many windows.

I thus wonder what would happen if TV broadcasting paused, nationwide, for some while – say, for argument’s sake, a week. Would people actually talk more, play more, read more? Or, would we simply see an increase in domestic violence, child abuse and alcoholism?

One would hope for the former but probably experience the latter, don’t you think?

 

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Primary Feature

 

During our recent trip to Stockholm, we escaped the rain and visited the Nordisk Museet, the museum or Northern Life. After admiring the lovely patterns of traditional weaving and knitting, we came across a section showing development of interior design in modern times.

Unlike the 50s, the 70s’ living room, as it was pointed out on the sign, no longer featured the television set as the primary feature.

Seems to me we are making a step back these years, with an increasing number of people overspending on oversized flat screen displays. I can’t wait for technology to produce a truly unintrusive yet brilliant display.

Maybe I will simply turn the entire wall into a huge display, showing a photo of chip-wood wallpaper and oil paintings most of the time.

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