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jack_ryder

Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


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jack_ryder

Outland - impressions

On the plus side - it's not all about the denigration of its characters like pretty much every other ABC sitcom and therefore I was not compelled to switch it off after ten minutes of characters shitting on each other.

On the negative side - it's very, very traditional for a sitcom about Gay SF fans.

On the plus side - the geek references are local (they mention Swancon) and are probably better done than Big Bang Theory

On the negative side - pretty much all the characters are caricatures (a combination of an undeveloped script and broad direction) and Paul Ireland's character Andy seemed completely extraneous.

On the plus side - Christine Anu's character Rae does come across as a real person.

on the negative side - We know this is a comedy, we don't have to be constantly reminded by the music, direction and broad acting. It was like the director didn't trust the material. I've found Adam Richard funny on Spicks and Specks - but not on this show.

On the plus side - it's better than another season of The Librarians.

On the negative side - it has a scene with every character screaming at each other and Fab (Adam Richard) crying "This is chaos - absolute chaos" - which is the standard indication that the writers haven't got a real plot structure (see: about 50% of Short and Sweet comedies.)

I think I have to come down with a firm "meh". There's potential there if everything settles down and the characters get more developed - but next week we're getting the "embarrassing picture/photo of character" story so they're not breaking away from hoary sitcom conventions any time soon.

Still - I watched all the way through. More than I can say for "The Librarians" and "Angry Boys".

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Hm.

...

It doesn't really sound worth a look, to tell the truth. Not that "a new ABC comedy" sounds worth a look to start with...

I have the strong impression that whoever the commissioning editor for comedy at the ABC is, they really, really don't like people.

Not that "a new ABC comedy" sounds worth a look to start with...

There's nothing more dire than ABC comedy. Apart from ABC drama. I got to the stage a couple of years ago when I released that sticking red-hot needles under my fingernails was more entertaining and less painful than watching the ABC. My flatmate still watches the ABC so occasionally I'm unlucky enough to catch a few minutes of one of their programs. Fortunately she's getting close to giving up on them as well.

They still have good documentaries.

They still have good documentaries.

The problem with the ABC is that it's taxpayer-funded and when you have a large amount of other people's money to spend it's rarely spent wisely.

Commercial television (at least in this country) isn't a great advertisement for spending other people's money either. Actually, the problem with the ABC is that they aren't funded well enough. Give them a decent budget (like the ABC), and let them dream large. Besides, I'm not giving up Four Corners, Q&A or Insiders.



Besides, I'm not giving up Four Corners, Q&A or Insiders.

Nor should you have to give them up. I simply think they shouldn't be paid for by the taxpayer.

I think the ABC should be a subscription service so the people who want it can freely choose to pay for it. It's unjust that people who don't want it should still be compelled to pay for it. Broadcasting networks should be like newspapers. If you want to read a newspaper you're free to buy it and read it but you have the choice not to. Just as you have the choice to buy a ticket to see a movie or not buy the ticket.

If the ABC has a product to sell that people want to buy then they'll buy it. If people don't want to buy it, then there may be a problem with the product.

Do you apply this logic to, say, hospitals or schools?

Do you apply this logic to, say, hospitals or schools?

Of course not. They're essential services. The ABC can hardly claim to be an essential service.

I'm sure most taxpayers have no problem whatever with paying taxes to support schools, hospitals, the defence forces, the police, the social security safety net, the customs service, the ambulance service, fire brigades and other essential services. These are services that cannot easily be provided in any other way, indeed in most cases could not be provided at all in any other way, and they are services that people cannot do without.

But the ABC merely duplicates services that are widely available elsewhere. There are countless outlets offering both news and entertainment. I manage to keep informed and entertained quite happily without the ABC.

The truth is that if the ABC didn't exist most people would not actually notice.

Where do you stand on SBS?

Where do you stand on SBS?

The best thing about SBS is that it costs less than the ABC. I think it's just as unnecessary.

But the ABC merely duplicates services that are widely available elsewhere.

I'd suggest reading Mark Thompson's recent speech as BBC Director-General dismantling the idea that public broadcasting shouldn't touch stuff which is available elsewhere. The point of a healthy public broadcaster which isn't relentlessly profit-centered is that it forces the rest of the industry to lift its game.

Of course, similarly to the health-insurance situation, that depends on the public option being properly funded so that it can actually do its job. Hence the familiar routine seen everywhere from the ABC under Howard to PBS under Bush, and the early stages of what the Tories are trying to do to the BBC: starve them of funding, make it so they can't do very much, then say they're useless because they're not doing much and suggest axing them completely.

The point of a healthy public broadcaster which isn't relentlessly profit-centered is that it forces the rest of the industry to lift its game.

So presumably the taxpayer should also be funding newspapers that aren't relentlessly profit-centered to force the rest of that industry to lift its game?

I'd also like to see some objective evidence that the products of non profit-centered enterprises really are inherently better than the products of profit-centered enterprises.

I think the ABC should be a subscription service so the people who want it can freely choose to pay for it. It's unjust that people who don't want it should still be compelled to pay for it.

It's called providing a service for people who can't afford it themselves. Justice isn't about giving you just what you want.

Hear hear!

That's what I was trying to say. Good on you, sir!

Justice isn't about giving you just what you want.

LOL. That's precisely my problem with the ABC. You have a self-serving elite wanting to give us what they think we should want, whether we want it or not. God forbid that consumers should be trusted to make their own choices. They might make the wrong choices! Lucky we have the ABC to do our thinking for us.

It's called providing a service for people who can't afford it themselves.

But commercial television provides entertainment free of charge. The internet provides news free of charge. So exactly what service does the ABC provide for those poor penniless unfortunates?

I wanted to like it. I felt like I ought to like it. I didn't hate it. As you suggest, it'll live or die on character development.

I wanted to like it. I felt like I ought to like it. I didn't hate it

Yep, that pretty much sums up my reaction.

You see, I think I've been spoilt by watching Community. Let's find the director and make watch all three seasons. Then he might have a clue. If that doesn't work, we move to Arrested Development and Yes, Minister.

I love The Thick of It, which finished recently. Hilarious. So true re: media and politics.

Last funny comedy on ABC was Norman Gunston.

FWIW, Andy very quickly starts taking the role of the sensible, articulate, grown-up one -- which is a great way of playing against stereotype for the BDSM leather bear!

Next week is the Rae spotlight episode -- and yes, there's an embarrassing photo, but the material with Rae and Simone is pretty sharply done. Hope it grows on you...

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