Archive for the TV Category

Fifth Gear’s fraud reporter

Posted in Tagged, TV, Venting with tags , , on July 4, 2009 by Apollo

Ugly female ghostSad to see another episode of Fifth Gear with Johnny Smith still bringing the quality of the program down.

Even the other presenters used the expression “run out of talent” as we saw the lacklustre Smith destroy yet another Smart Car, as he rolled his “wheelie car” onto its roof. Even when his more talented co-presenter landed his larger wheelie car on Smith’s car, he failed to crush Smith’s roll cage with the additional weight. Sadly, some real design failures going on there.

Unfortunately, unlike an earlier incident in a previous series, where one of the other presenters managed to end up with a broken foot after his modified Rascal van had an off, Smith managed to thwart the assassination attempt, as the crew had done an unacceptably responsible job on the Smart’s roll cage, and rather than collapsing in the incident, it stayed complete and protected him.

I guess we can thank Health & Safety for this mistake, and no win no fee claims, which even he would have been able to use if he had been killed.

We were then subjected to his excruciating attempts to be clever, as he tried to make some funny remarks while driving the Ghostbuster’s car.

Laugh? I nearly stopped sticking pins in my eyes just stop the tears so I could see ECTO 1.

The funniest part of the whole thing was the fraud presenter had chosen to invite a psychic to partner him during the piece. A fraud accompanied by a psychic – appropriate or what?

Typical of the pathetic attempts he makes to present a report was the hackneyed and clichéd scene he put together using low-light cameras shooting in the dark in a supposedly haunted room.

That must have taken all of nearly a second to dream up, and then he adds to the insult to our intelligence by trying to convince us that everyone’s really really scared, and that strange things happened in the room.

Please Fifth Gear, just give him the order of the boot, and your standing against Top Gear will take an immediate rise.

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Conman David Blaine caught out

Posted in TV, Venting with tags , on September 25, 2008 by Apollo

Looks like I was right the other day, when I fingered David Blaine’s latest supposed “stunt” as nothing more than yet another of his cons dressed up as… well, I don’t know. He doesn’t do illusions, he doesn’t do magic, he just hoodwinks people.

His latest money-spinner was a claim that he would be hoisted by his heels over the Wollmann ice rink in New York on Monday, and that he would remain that way until Wednesday night.

I said it was rubbish, a rubbish idea, and a rubbish claim – don’t take my word for it, I can’t stand the guy, even looking at him is enough to irritate me, let alone his smug, condescending, arrogant and insulting approach to everyone.

See what his fans said on the BBC:

But some claimed they had been duped into believing Blaine would remain inverted for the entire 60 hours.

“I am totally unimpressed,” said one onlooker. “If his name hadn’t been David Blaine I would never have come.

Blaine shrugged off criticism during the stunt, telling one interviewer that he was “not going to pee all over myself”.

No, leave that pleasure for the rest of us, you’ve been doing it to us for long enough, we deserve a chance to get out own back.

Ach, he’d probably video it, and sell it to a fetish site.

More boring that watching dried paint drying

Posted in TV, Venting with tags , , on September 19, 2008 by Apollo

I’ve always thought the most pathetic so-called illusionist in the world, the insipid and insulting David Blaine, was good for nothing other than offending anyone that he conned into watching him, as his “feats” were such blatant fiddles (and have had their “how-to” shown by proper illusionists, presumably similarly unimpressed), but I was wrong, and although he won’t be hanged the right way to make his next three-day sopor even vaguely relevant, Apollo’s cat came up with a suggestion for making the thing a bit more interesting:

Inspired by the cat’s thoughts, here’s my suggestion for making David’s 3 day special more interesting:

Some worship him, I really don’t know why, his magic is far from impressive, his attitude is far from endearing.

I can only assume he knows the right people, and who to give shares in his ridiculous takings. An undated entry in one of the Blaine-worshipping sites stated he made $6 million from performing street magic in a year. If that’s the case, then I can only say he’s overpaid by about $5,999,999 or so.

If he was actually going to be hanging upside down for 3 days, there might be a chance of something hemorrhaging – other than the wallets and cheque books of any gullible mugs around him – but he’ll have some sort of fiddle organised so he’s not really hanging there for 3 days, so there’s no chance of an outcome.

Conned by American Inventor

Posted in TV, Venting with tags , , , , on September 14, 2008 by Apollo

Last year we (non-satellite viewers in the UK) were treated to the second series of American Inventor. A rather dire presentation of a few worthy people insterspersed a morass of others that have no idea about what an invention or business is, or with any finacial brain cells between their ears – if the riduculous amounts of tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of dollars that they claim to have spent on their ideas is to be believed. Not only they, but their families need looking after by psychiatrists or guardians.

We’re currently being treated to another series, and after I had a look at the show’s background was disappointed to see that we’ve been shown the only two series in reverse order. What we saw last year was shot in 2007, and the current offering is from 2006! The only good thing found was the concept seems to have been dropped.

I likened the first (second?) series was something akin to “car crash TV”, and as the presentations rolled up in front of the judges it was less a case of “What’s next?”, and more of “Oh no! What Now?”, as a series of largely deluded individual strolled in, sometimes with their similarly deranged (brainwashed?) families in tow. You just wonder which one is going to mow the judges down in a bloodbath, or alternatively is going to collapse and drop dead from a heart attack or stroke when they’re turned down.

It’s a real shame – if the producers had just vetted the applicants seriously, instead of for entertainment value, there could have been a good show here, and not a travesty where success was more dependent on hard the applicant might cry and plead about being peniless, living in a carboard box, and having sold the kids off to slavery – and sent the partner out (or gone out) on the street to make some money for food.

I think there are two great surprises associated with this show.

The first is that Peter Jones was not only associated with, but is said to have been party to its creation. Even though there was the chance of picking up a good business investment somewhere along the line, listening to him speak about business would suggest he’s not that intersted in quite such a longshot.

The second is that I’m watching a show produced by smarmy creep Simon Cowal, who has made millions by doing nothing other than getting a cut of money earned by others in the name of celebrity – something they should pay for privilege of, rather than having ordinary people fund for their worthless hides.

Dragons’ Den Series 6 ends

Posted in Noteworthy, TV, Venting with tags , , , , on September 8, 2008 by Apollo

Monday nights have taken a dive from tonight as the sixth series of Dragons’ Den came to an end on BBC2.

The series makes a fascinating insight into the reasons behind making a business investment, and I’m sure those that with genes that programme them to be “employees” rather than “employers” must watch in disbelief each week (if they watch) as so many deserving applicants are turned out of the Den to the words “I’m out”. One example was the inspired, but misguided, effort by one father and son pairing to gain investment in the form of sponsorship for the lad’s motor racing career. While they spoke a good deal, and the initiated not having to place their own cash at risk would probably have wanted to jump at the deal, which promised the investor a sizeable cut of the driver’s future earnings (and gave examples of drivers like Schumacher and Hamilton who have risen to make millions per year), the wily Dragons saw the fundamental flaw in the plan which would have sucked them into further, huge investments in subsequent years in order to make it to that final promised return, IF the lad has fulfilled his championship promise. A look at the BBC’s Dragons’ Den web site comment area showed that many of those offering negative comments on this deal just didn’t get the idea, and couldn’t (and probably never will) comprehend the fundamental basics of a real business investment.

While I’ve been watching Dragons’ Den since series 1, I’d still only claim a basic understanding of their thought processes. I’m getting better, and probably get 90% right when predicting the outcome, but that remaining 10% can still be something of a mystery. I do know where I go wrong in some cases, and that’s when I let myself be ruled by personal bias rather than business logic. For example, just like some of the Dragons’ who pop the phrase “I’m out” almost instantly of someone bring in a proposition that is alien to them, or they object to on ethical grounds, I do the same if something has anything to do with the curse of Celebrity, or Designer Labels. Involvement in either of these areas would make me lose sleep at night, as I consider both to be fundamentally evil, ripping money off people by selling them impossible dreams that only a literal handful of the millions it cons.

Attention will have to shift to Tuesday nights now, and the Abysmal American Inventor series we’re getting on Five now. This is so dreadful it makes compulsive viewing – and is probably a pretty good definition of “car crash TV”. You just keep watching it to see when the disaster will happen.

American Inventor airs over the period of an hour, but the programme could easily be halved in duration if they made it serious. I don’t want to home in any of the individual offerings or I’ll be typing all night, but the show could use the time saved to show us what happened at the exit from the studio – where the men in white coats should be waiting to collect some of the inventors, slip them into jackets with no holes at the ends of their sleeves, and deposit them in rooms with nice, soft, padded wall. They should also stop wasting time with folk who come along with daft ideas, and can provide no other justification for winning the $1 million than that they are broke, are ill, have ill relatives, are dying, or something similar. This reduces it to little more than embarrassing begging. While everyone should have a chance, and – believe it or not I would fight for everyone to have that chance – that right comes with the responsibility of coming along with an invention that is at least partially serious, and that means, for example, not a stick that you insist on calling a wand, and try and convince the judges that they can defend themselves from wild animals with.

It’s a shame there’s so much rubbish in American Inventor. Without it, it would make a pretty good show, instead of something to watch each week for no other reason to see how dire it can be.

The first series managed to end on a serious note, with a device for automatically extiguish Christmas tree fires – I’m not going to go hunting to find out how the current series will end, and can only hope that it manages to come up with something equally worthy, and not a stick, or a song, or…

Ridiculous TV wages

Posted in TV, Venting with tags , , on July 29, 2008 by Apollo

I used to be something of a TV addict, which was possibly something of an achievement as I don’t have any interest in any of the slops such as the soaps or reality (have you ever seen anything less realistic?) shows. Probably more of a drama, factual, documentary, comedy person, this used to include quiz and game shows until they were taken over as showcases for nobodies that wanted “5 minutes of fame”.

As it is, I don’t even bother to wire in any of my video recorders into the system any longer, and I used to have four (together with a home cinema system to control them all), and just watch what comes along when it suits – and that generally means something from the past, probably the 1960s, 1970s, or 1980s. That’s probably the period before the talentless discovered they could become famous by belching, farting, or smashing themselves in the face with a hammer.

Channel 4’s Countdown was a nice simple bolthole that one could take refuge in, and has largely avoided most of the irritating jazzing-up that producers seem to think is necessary with each new series. The only thing it really suffered from was the guest commentator, or celebrity, although the mild nature of the show at least ensured they appeared much as themselves, rather than their persona, so they were largely bearable.

I recall Carol Vorderman’s first appearance on TV, as a presenter on Tomorrow’s World, soon deserted. She kept on popping up, and we learnt she had earned millions from writing books years and years ago, so she’s never been short of a penny or two, or in need of another paying job. But, that didn’t stop her, and it seems she’s been coining it in for 26 years on Countdown.

Now that she’s leaving the show – and there seems to be all sorts of nastiness being stirred up around this – her wages have come into the news: Vorderman’s agent said on Saturday that the star felt forced to step down from the show when she was told to take a 90% pay cut from a salary understood to be in the region of £1m. The reason appears to be in dispute, but no-one had jumped in to dismiss the figure given.

I don’t think I’ll be watching Countdown again – whether it’s Vorderman or a replacement, the idea of someone being paid £1 million per year for placing nine cards into a grid a few times over the course of the programme, occasionally solving a simple mental arithmetic puzzle, and laughing on cue at the host’s jokes is just something I can’t take. And this million is on top of whatever is still coming in from the books, and any other exhorbitant fees for the other TV programmes and appearences she makes, and any celebrity jollies she’ll pick up a penny for showing her face at.

Nice work (that’s work?) if you can get, as they say.

If she enjoys the job so much, she can easily afford to do it for nothing, or at a nurse’s wage level. I don’t fly the flag of nurse’s pay, but it’s a handy comparison in terms of reward with regard to the value of the individual concerned.

To reuse the word “ridiculous”, that’s the only way to describe a comment made by Kathryn Apanowicz (Richard Whiteley’s ex-partner) who said of a 90% cut in that £1 million wage: “She was even contemplating taking this ridiculous figure that they offered her”.

I could probably be talked into shuffling some cards for £100,000 per annum.

It will be interesting to see if the truth about whatever is going wrong with the programme surfaces, since the current host, Des O’Connor, also handed his notice in at almost the same time, and I thought that was something of a coincidence – and started waiting for the conspiracy theory to appear in the news.

Boiled Horse and Cat

Posted in TV with tags , on July 22, 2008 by Apollo

No, not spotted on the menu during an evening out on the town, but a pic spotted on the net of Sarah Jessic, oops, a potential boiled horse grooming an innocent little kitteh, just look where that long is pointing:

cat
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