Archive for May, 2015

Bates on Fire

Posted: May 30, 2015 in TV

Another week another couple of season binge watches. Only way to fly

Bates Motel Was rather skeptical of this first up but have to admit they have fleshed out a very well know story and here we are at the end of the third season and Norman has only just started to become Norma but does look rather fetching in your basic house dress. There were some unnecessary side stories initially in season 1 but all part of the plan it seems. The strength of the show is the two leads and really some of the interaction between Norma/Norman is getting creepy to watch – keep expecting that first tonguey any moment. Norma’s brother story is a bit soapy but some hammy acting by Opie this season was great to see. The O2 girl adds a bit more soap maybe but she has screen presence and adds a sense of your more normal every day drama. There is a 5 season plan which sounds fine but ultimately the whole series may well be judged by how they nail the Season 5 finale. One suspects it wont be Norman meditating on a hill with hippies. Should involve a shower and a bedroom window at the very least.

Halt and Catch Fire Speaking of Dapper Don this has been referred to in certain circles as Mad Men for Computer Nerds and while I get the connection it is a bit early to be mentioning it in the same breath as MM. It does however show plenty of promise although maybe could do with a few lighter moments. It seems everytime some success comes their way disaster cant be far away – most self inflicted mind you. Central character of Joe is the main self imploder due to a troubled childhood no doubt bu he does display well that 80s ethos of conquer the world and pay for it next year. It may have been about an IBM clone but clearly before that they cloned Mary Stuart Masterson for the role of Cameron! Good character mix even if you want to slap a couple of them at times. The rather climatic final action of Joe before he went stargazing was handled rather oddly in that no great reaction was detected next day ? Season 2 is well set up to see their now divergent paths cross back over once more I imagine.

In other news was much excited for the arrival of Aquarius – especially in block format – until I started reading some reviews. Devoted readers would know of my penchant for all things US Presidential but coming a close second is anything set in the 6os especially if including involvement of the number one Slice and Dicer – good old Charlie Manson (yes oh anal ones I know he was not the actual killer but rather the maniacal leader!). It may be that having DD in the lead is the kiss of death but only time will tell. Watch this space.

Last week also saw the return of many of the Fast Forward etc alumnus in a new sketch show Open Slather. Many of the online critic fraternity gave it a big thumbs down while reviewing through their nostalgia stained bifocals. No, it is not as good as FF let alone the D Generation but my view is even if you only get a couple of good skits – and there were – then that is two more you can watch later you didnt have a fortnight ago. Do the Math. Australia has a rich history of great comedy/satire shows so any chance to add to this is welcome. Especially over another piece of reality crap TV! Just for your interest as I knew you were going to ask next here is my Top 5 Aussie Comedy Shows over the years. Note: IMT not included as really before my time (yes really!) but would not discount its influence on everything that followed or indeed that of Gra Gra himself

1. The Games
2. Frontline
3. D Generation/Late Show
4. Fast Forward/Full Frontal
5. The Big Gig – if for no other reason than DAAS and Sgt Smith

S.O.O. 1

Posted: May 27, 2015 in Sport

Like the latest box office CGI extravaganza no SOO can now live up to the ridiculous hype – and this one fell way short. They are never dull of course but this one bordered on boring and the ANZ surface never helps. QLD find a way to win but what is becoming more obvious is NSW still dont how to on a regular basis. QLD could not score despite having 73 chances in the second half and so we were left with the ridiculous sight of a 45m penalty goal attempt after NSW had just made 273 tackles on their line. Alfie actually physically threw up in the background as he was trying once again for another MOTM award simply for being on the field the most of any actual Queenslander. Meanwhile NSW had two good opportunities for field goal late and blew both .Part of the QLD problem was the left hand attack of Inglis/Boyd was way below par for whatever reason and lets face it GI has not been a factor at SOO for a couple of years really. And much like the Aussie cricket team it is sad to see that the Maroons have the biggest contingent of grubs these days(damn we miss Bird) with Slater and Hodges in a class of their own. As great as Billy may be he is simply a dirty player while Hodges is simply a niggling pest. Anyhoo time for the slide rule

Slater – 7. Tried hard all night and took his hits well. Loses a point for bad behaviour
Boyd – 4. not a factor, short of a run
Inglis – 5. not a factor maybe sick, maybe well marked, maybe on walkabout. Always hard to tell with him
Hodges – 6. Involved a lot but mostly short dummy half runs or niggling. Not a good look son.
Chambers – 8. Best of the back 5 and ran with purpose
Thurston – 7. Quiet in first half, ran more in second. Does heaps of defense
Cronk – 8. Big game, especially first half. Cool and precise when needed (watch him NSW!)
Thaiday – 7. Enthusiastic as always
Parker – 6. Not many offloads and dint run with any real venom
Myles – 6. Does a lot of tackling but lets make this his last year please
Scott – 7.5. Very solid effort if lacked a lot of penetration
Smith 8.5 – very involved all night, best game for years

As for rest both McQuire and Morgan showed they are Origin players with the limited opportunities provided

As for NSW, not going to help them out by pointing out the obvious but lets just say that Dugan and Morris are always dangerous while Tamou and Woods were superb in first half, then went missing. Pearce was ok but Hodgkinson was poor as were both wingers. Refs seemed fine on the night with no obvious howlers that impacted on the match

Hard to see NSW winning the next two but equally hard to get too excited about this current QLD team which is definitely approaching its use by date

Happy Mad Men

Posted: May 24, 2015 in TV, Uncategorized

Everywhere you look there are reviews of the Mad Men series finale. So, one more cant hurt eh.

Read an interesting comment the other day that the series finale episode does not have to be the best episode because it has a specific purpose. Often the penultimate episode is a cracker ( see Breaking Bad) , after which the finale can disappoint, if somewhat unfairly. We really dont want a great series like MM to end so we project some of that disappointment onto our reviews of the episode. Generally, the world wide webby mob seem happy with this finale – but then shows like Reno Rumble rate well too. It was not a bad episode by any means but for a drama series I was hoping for something a bit more definitive with a little gut wrench – this was not Friends after all . Weiner had been exposed to some of the negative vibe from the ambiguous Sopranos finale so was always going to be a bit wary to leave us all hanging. Perhaps best way to review is to look at the various outcomes of the characters. SPOILER ALERT – HAPPY TIMES AHEAD!

Don – the central character was basically a charming and talented asshole. This is why we like him, we associate with him. The general consensus, which I agree with , is that Donny Boy sung a few verses of kumbaya, shagged a few more hippies, and then went back to NYC and created the famous Coke ad we see at the end. Seems to me he got off rather lightly while the two main women in his life got the raw deal – Betty and Sally. Good message, MW. Maybe the most amazing aspect of Don’s last journey was just how many sets of clothes he could fit into his paper bag carryall -amazing!The opening montage of every episode showed Dons fall and even a woman at first appearing to break his fall – and then kicking him? It never was going to be a drop from the 19th floor sadly – but then one could say even though his life stocks fell at times he certainly ended on a high. Nice misdirection, MW. Ya goose

Peggy While it was Don’s story, the strength of the show lay more in Peggy’s rise in the male dominated world. In the second last episode we had that marvellous vision of her walking down the halls of McCann Ericson with sunglasses on, a fag dangling and hauling some porn. This was the perfect ending for her – instead we got the Mills and Boon version where she acted like a 16 yr old about to be kissed for the first time by the hairy one an episode later. Weak ending for a strong character

Roger Always had the best lines ,even in the finale “Well she is her Mother’s age”. Once again his perfect swansong was an episode earlier drinking and playing piano. A slight stutter, a grab of the chest and a collapse on the keys – perfect. Instead he ends up eating french tarts with a french tart – and an old one too. Boring ending for a never boring character

Joan A strong last couple of episodes and maybe she makes a success of her solo adventure but she really got screwed over so many times. Sexism at work and home which of course reflected the times sadly. She remained strong and defiant which would make her the one you want to be in that lifeboat with. Especially when she comes with two extra flotation devices (Note :sexist remark only used in keeping with theme of her character)

Betty/Sally Throw them in together as usually entwined especially in the end. Betty is going to die from lung cancer (yes there is family history)- while every male smoker survives. Sally then is drawn into spending some of her best months/years looking after her and the kids.Another odd choice for character story when everyone else was singing and dancing their way through the Seventies

Pete Last of the major characters and amazingly really did get it all. Went back to watch first episode again just before finale only to be reminded of what a weasel he always was. Yet, at the end he gets his wife back and a great new job. Got me beat

So, given my general distaste for the character end stories if is fair to say the finale disappointed me – and I appear to be in the vast minority here but that is not surprising of course. The show itself though remains a Top 5 of all time effort for me that also has rewatch value if time permits. At many times it was clearly the best thing on TV

Last Sunday Night (or Monday 1500 hrs for the pedantics) it was not.

Is there a Moron Convention in Brisvegas this weekend? Certainly plenty heading south this morning on the roads. Ok, the first and most annoying group are the Cruise Control Castrators. They never get to the actual speed limit but cant quite settle on one either so always fluctuate between 80 and 90 and so you are always accelerating and braking. Then you get to overtaking lanes and they suddenly discover 4th gear and speed up over 100 and then you have to break limit significantly to pass them. Then u settle into some peace and quiet – until you get to some road works where speed drops down 100-80-60……. so you do too and then all of a sudden it is like a scene from Duel as your rear view mirror fills with the same fast closing asshole you passed 5 k back. Apparently they never get to 100 (except when being overtaken!) but they also refuse to drop below 80! Finally you get to the double lines south of Pomona and we now have to deal with a whole new sub species – the Rightlane Raider. They have no grasp of the “keep left unless overtaking” concept. They can be further divided into Daydreamers, Blockers and Dopey Pricks. The daydreamer is just having a senior moment and usually remembers eventually. The Blocker stays in the right hand lane but exactly opposite a car in left hand lane – and maintains same pace! The DPs simply dont have a care in the world – or a functioning synapse – and simply like the right hand lane even if only car on the road. They remind me of the old codger who proudly says “been driving for 50 years and never had an accident” Hey, dipshit have you noticed though how many seem to happen in your close vicinity?? So this is all like a large Venn diagram and the ones you really want to avoid is that small group that intersects multiple groups. They should have their own plates – DC (work it out yourself this is family show) – and have a third slightly wider lane just for them which is one way and contraflowed to go in the opposite direction I am travelling in

What is it with hotels and keeping your “minibar deposit for weeks”?? They take say $100 at the start which equates to a pack of maltesers and a bottled water. On check out “Did u use the minibar Sir?” “No, sadly only got 5 numbers and a supp on Saturday night so couldnt afford it” “Ok, we will send through the cancel request she smirks” Of course that is just the start of the Powerplay Resulting In Careless Kaos. Thats right, Pricks too! Its like the Ticketek nonsense for last week – in 2015 you really have to send off a drunk carrier pigeon with the cancel request?

Pampered Pooches eh. First up can I just add that any dog that does not come up to you knee (on 4 legs, not humping) should just be shot as a matter of course. Yorkshire Terriers are bred for that region where you cant go outdoors for 9 months of the year and as the local people dont bathe the extra smell in the house is not noticeable. There are a couple of issues here. First up are the very sensible and serious Aussie quarantine laws. I always know when I have returned home after latest escapade when I feel a dog sniffing my butt at Brisvegas airport. Observant readers would note this fits in perfectly with previous stated minimum height requirements for said animal. Secondly is the arrogance of the so called A List brigade. Its not deliberate per se but more a case of simply dont care about laws as they dont apply to me – I am a star and I have a Private Jet. Then we have the media that fall all over themselves in the rush for the smartest headline – eg Ruff Justice- and elevate story way beyond any semblance of importance. Surely another Kardashian has changed sex by now.

Big week in politics with the budget and the previous invisible Joe Wobbly everywhere. But this is the LP 2015 version and there were always going to be gaffes but hard to beat the double dippers hypocrisy. Joe just wanted to stay on target and only talk budget, no distractions team, stay on message. Then old Barnaby gets sideswiped about the lack of support for the struggling farmers in the budget and decides to bring up the dog story and threaten to kill them if they dont bugger off. His head swells with pride as he has demonstrated his ocker cred with appropriate good old slang. Which brings us to the lasting image of the week. Good old Tony was pretending to be one of the people out bush but didnt bring a hat. To be fair, in private he usually just stretches his ears together over his skull and covers everything. But old Barnaby takes his hat off and places it on Abbott’s head – where it proceeds to fall down to his nose but sadly leaving his mouth uncovered. So what does this tell us about the relative size of their heads. Who cares? They are both filled with a vacuum.

In space no one can hear you scream.

Tuesday TV Finales

Posted: May 12, 2015 in TV

Mad Men still has a series finale to come ( me sad) so lets run the slide rule over some of the lesser lauded including a couple who popped their cherry this year. Do I really need to add


The Good Wife – only lesser in some eyes this is still a fave of mine and Season 6 did not disappoint although wandered a little mid season with the SA nonsense. Clitinda leaving was the big news and she will be missed but it was handled well. Oliver Platt kept up the record of excellent guest stars with various plot lines and of course the final scene had one of the best in Fox, J.M. Good new direction for show me thinks 9/10

Person of Interest Not really sure why I keep watching this after the SureRoot dynamic passed and with the death of two of the better baddies at the end it may have lost me for good. Harold is good as is the premise but the ridiculous action scenes are just too much and totally unnecessary. Ceweasal is just a dull actor even if part of his caper here. 4/10

Vikings This is good stuff. The attack on Paris in Episode 8 was as visually good as anything GOT et al have done. King Shagonarock mumbles and stares at times but is still a great character as is the evil King of Wessex . Petered off a bit towards the end when religion kicked in a tad too much 8/10

Gotham First of the newbies had its moments but the central character of Gordon is a bit dull and Fish Smelly way over the top. One of the big problems with such a well known yarn is certain things are known eg Penquin is not going to die in Season 1. The show sparked when the famous baddies and their origin stories were touched on eg The Joker briefly and of course The Riddler throughout. Selina is good too but little Bruce is a tad too young. Albert on the other hand along with Logue were the standouts. It looked good and has promise so will watch second season 7/10

Madam Secretary Being a sucker for all things US Politics like I made it through to the end but hard to recommend except for the aforementioned geeks. Basically, if based on Hilary, or as some suggest a subtle endorsement for her, then she should already be President, Vice President and Secretary of State because she can fix anything and everything. Tea Leanonme is an acquired taste and has limited facial expressions that reflect her 3 moods – happy, horny and harried. All of the other characters are very stereotyped. They even went with the old stricken Ruskie sub yarn. 6/10

Last Man on Earth Good premise to start with and when the first couple of extras rolled up it was still ok but then started to wane. Watching Phil squirm and weasel for a few episodes was fun but not 13. Seeing JJ smile for a change was worth an extra point 6/10

Next week will see Flash, Blacklist, Elementary and American Crime wrap up and all have had their highs and lows but there is of course one thing we can all agree on

You can never get enough of Flash

Been a quiet week after the Great Kate Weight dropped and no more executions planned or over hyped fights. So it seems only fitting that a dull week starts with The Logies. As stated in other media commitments explaining The Logie concept to the inevitable invading aliens would be difficult but a lot would rely on understanding the Gra Gra legacy and the revered status of the Gold Logie. Sadly, once they were finally on board with the quaint though perfectly acceptable voting system the inevitable question becomes so who won the last couple? Prepare for takeover folks because our planet is ripe for the plucking! Now Carrie Bickmore may be a lovely lady with a heartfelt and sincere message but it is a sad reflection of the state of Aussie TV. Mind you, you dont need a flashy awards show to tell us that but rather , ironically, a TV Week programme guide will suffice. Luckily though there is always a swag of good shows around that may not always be ratings winners which only confirms long held views on the median IQ of the great unwashed

Mad Men slowly draws to a sad series conclusion simply oozing more class than the oil in Don’s hair. Various theories abound about the finale and it was noticeable the longing look that Don gave to the window in the meeting room and the gaze skyward to the plane and building. Nothing excites the WWW crowd more than weird theories. One of the better ones I read was that it was Bob Dylan he picked up at the end. The DB Cooper one gets a lot of airplay too. Hope they nail the landing much like Don’s triple reverse pike from the 19 th floor. Using my EOAD theory have started Vikings Season 3 and enjoying it. As always there is a fair bit of sword play in and out of the bedroom and although only 3 episodes in it is pretty clear King Shagonarock wants to nail the bunny boiler. Good luck with that one. This year in particular has been blessed with some very clever comedies with Louie and Amy leading the way. Every week is different and her 12 Angry Men parody was nothing short of genius. For every bit of dribble like BBT we need a Louie to balance the Universe. Dave Letterman is coming to an end and provided the highlight of the week if not the century when my Tina clearly showed why she will always be Numero Uno in the spank bank. Sexy, smart and funny but above all else down to earth and just adorable. For those that missed it

Sporting wise it all started with the most over hyped fight of the century. Always intrigued when the commentators say if they can pay him $3 million then he deserves it. Why? Ok, some promoter is taking a big risk but the only reason they make that much money is because they gouge the average Joe who loves his boxing to fork out $60 to watch it at home! And then we have the breakdown in Tiger’s relationship with his current squeeze. I blame the dress she was wearing at the Par 3 shootout – when he saw it later on TV he realised he had to end it. Mind you after 3 years he thought they were still just “dating” so maybe that didnt help. So then he returns for my second fave tournament of the year after The Masters – which to be fair was a snooze fest this year. So tried to watch some yesterday but apparently Tiger was the only one who turned up on the first day. Or so the moronic host broadcaster would have you believe. Seriously it was just a circle jerk in the box. TW was playing with our Adam and OA was going pretty good at 2 or 3 under while TW struggled at 1 over. Still every hole, you only saw Woods “just missed that par putt. He would have got that in 2001” Seriously you had to go on line to look at the scoreboard to see what Scott twas doing. Sadly I see TW just scraped in to the cut so there will be many cutaways tomorrow and Monday to TW playing in the first group on his way to a “solid and encouraging 73”. NRL wise the Broncos tough out another one. Those Aliens, still trying to digest The Logie concept, would ask “so how far ahead are those guys in pink ” ? No, they lost. “WTF, they made 70 m everytime they had the ball!” . ” Defense wins matches just like repelling an Alien invasion – hehe ” Sadly our national defense is more like the Aussies last week rather than the Broncos last night. Speaking of which, riddle me this?

Why does it always piss down when I go to Brisbane?? Actually that is not the riddle. So we had tickets for the game on Friday night which was rightly called off and postponed to Sunday. Fair enough, shit happens. Ticketek offered full refund BUT you had to POST the tickets back?? Ergo, for those that could not make it on Sunday like us then our seats could not be onsold? Surely in 2015 ( or even 2005) when you buy tickets ELECTRONICALLY and PRINT AT HOME you could simply get an automatic refund ONLINE! Anyhoo had a great time at the Emporium in the Valley which is located in a great precinct and easy walk to plenty of eateries and even a few drinkeries. Apparently. Then you waddle down to the river and if you dont fall in , catch a river cat to all manner of attractions. The Annointed One and I were celebrating/consoling our 13 years together – of which we have actually spent about 13 months together, 12 of those OS:) And they said it wouldnt last! Mind you the way my Q Super dived this week we may be seeing a lot more of each other soon

Yes, I may have to become a rent boy! In my case though it will be “Will Mow for Food”