Friday, 26 December 2008

Advertising Standards Bored.

I wrote this today when I was shackled to the switchboard at work, not for any real purpose and not knowing what to do with it. Then I remembered that ads kind of come under the category of television, so I published it here, even though the list is a bit South Australia-centric (it appeared in The Advertiser - make the most of every day!) and nobody apart from me and three other guys live in Adelaide.

So the ten most offensive ads according to the Advertising Standards Board (how do you get on this board, I ask you) of 2008 were:

1. The one with the dad vomiting into the toilet and the little girl asking if he’s okay. While I generally find these “shock” ads to be a bit flaccid, especially if they’re government funded (yeah, thanks Government for telling me what’s cool and what isn’t), this particular series of ads I think are really effective. All the losers who get ill at the sight of dramatised violence and, in this case, vomiting into a porcelain bowl: like, grow a pair, maybe? And perhaps realise that your response was precisely the point of the ads in the first place.

2. A billboard for erectile dysfunction advertising ‘longer lasting sex’, which was altered after complaints about the word ‘sex’ flooded in. Right. I have to drive past this billboard when I go down Goodwood Road and I think, if anything, the ad is even more stupid and lame after the heinously shocking word was redacted, just because it’s such a stupid thing to censor when the whole ad is vile. I hate being reminded that some men, much older and grosser than me, either blow their load too soon or can’t get it up in the first place in the boudoir. Keep your unnatural and manhood-impugning afflictions to yourselves, okay?

3. That ad for tampons or pads (or whatever), featuring the woman taking her beaver around and treating it to manicures, etc. Not that offensive. Certainly not as offensive as those rubbishy feminine hygiene ads featuring the guy who naively asks his girlfriend what the mysterious pad in the bathroom is used for, and then reacts with disgust when enlightened by his exasperated girlfriend. Sexist cocks in the media, I hate you all.

4. Some ad that I’ve never seen before and therefore cannot comment on.

5. The Ingham’s chicken ad which says ‘if you don’t like chicken, there’s something very wrong with you’. Ummm…. All I can say to this is: If you don’t like chicken, there really IS something wrong with you. Even vegetarians sometimes cheat and eat chicken, and I don’t begrudge them for a second because chicken is the best meat ever.

6. Oh, THIS one I hate. The ad for Adam internet with that fat naked guy. EWWW. I had to turn my head in revulsion whenever this ad came on. Seriously, it’s tacky when ads feature gratuitous nudity to sell something that isn’t related at all to nudity (water bottles, for instance), let alone when the naked people are FAT, HAIRY MEN. Ick.

7. The ad on Foxtel with the parents trading their belligerent child for a better one. Are people kidding? This ad is gold! The first time I watched it, right before the punchline I was thinking ‘ho hum, this ad sucks, they’re going to trade the kid’s toy for something better’ but in a comic twist worthy of Shakespeare the parents trade the kid instead. Cue ROFLs.

8. Those boring ‘creeper’ commercials targeting speeding drivers. At first I found them a bit creepy, and wondered whether they were a teaser trailer for some horror movie, but then when the reality of the ads’ intention became obvious, it was a bit like… oh. Meh.

9. Another ad I’ve never seen.

10. Those absolutely insipid KFC ads with the one joke in the whole series: essentially, one guy is munching on a spicy KFC wrap, and the other guy asks how it is, and the first guy turns and slaps the dude in the face, ostensibly to demonstrate the taste explosion occurring in his mouth as a result of the KFC twist. I detest these ads. Not because I hate violence; just because they’re stupid and tacky and boring boring boring. If I had an aneurysm one day and decided to ask a random person about the KFC they were eating, and they responded by slapping me, I’d surgically remove their testicles/ovaries.

I guess you could treat this post as a trailer for The Gruen Transfer, which I love, the second season of which is due to premiere... some time this year! Wow, informative.


Wednesday, 10 December 2008

SESA Mailbox

Dear Channel Nine,

So, let me get this straight ......

NOW you start screening Gossip Girl? 


From the beginning of the first season?

At 10.30 at night on a Wednesday? 


And it hasn't occured to you that anyone with half a brain and an internet connection who wants to see this show has, at some point over the 15 months since the first episode aired in the US, done so, somehow? 

How exactly is it that you are still in business? 



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Sunday, 7 December 2008

Packed to the Rafters

Yeah... more like Fudge-Packed to the Rafters. Amirite?


Friday, 3 October 2008

I've got one word to say to you: Australian Idol ABBA special.

Gosh, you know, after the likes of Tom Williams, that shearer guy, and the Asian John Farnham guy, on top of my favourite being booted off (Brooke Addamo) I sort of said to myself that Australian Idol could do no worse this year. How wrong I was.


Plus this:

Equals this:

(NB: this is not me.)

I think, just personally, it's time to release the dogs. Or the bees. Or the dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.


Sunday, 7 September 2008

90210 or bust?

So, you've been keeping an eye on the development of new 90210. You know that Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars fame, not the Matchbox 20 guy) worked on the pilot and then ran far, far away. You know that a character called Daphne was retooled as Erin, Kelly's little sister from the original. You know that Jennie Garth is back as Kelly and that OMG! Shannen Doherty is back as Brenda, but only briefly, and amazingly, that their first shoot together went surprisingly smoothly (ie. nobody hit anybody). You know that Luke Perry has basically trashed the concept of coming back but the spoilers aren't seeing him sticking to his word. You know that Aunt Becky is in it. You know that Lucille Bluth is in it. You know that the network didn't send out preview screeners of the pilot - which is generally seen in the industry as a clear statement of crappiness. And you know that, just like in the original, the cast all look waaaaaay too old. 

Or, you should know all of that. But should you bother tuning in? And why are you asking me, aside from the (correct) assumption that I would be all over this and have gotten my hands on the pilot some three hours after it aired in the US last week? 

Well, it depends.

If you're tuning in for total shlock you can laugh at .. maybe no. It's really not that bad. Get yourself a copy of The Secret Life Of The American Teenager instead and snark your little heart out. 

If you're a fan of The OC and/or Gossip Girl and want to tune in for some actually awesome teen drama ... maybe also no. It's really not that good. 

If you grew up on the original there might be a little bit here you can appreciate, even if Shannen Doherty has not aged well. There are a few in-jokes for the die-hard original fans (hands up if the expression 'geographically undesireable' means anything to you at all ... anyone? anyone?) and it's hard to deny it's a little bit fun to go back to the Peach Pit, even if it's now a lame-arse Starbucks wannabe coffee house. Whether that will be enough to sustain interest is still to be seen - as is whether they're going to have to retcon the ending of the original to make this one work, and if so, how pissed off the fans are going to get. 

There's even a Models Inc. shoutout, for the really sad among us. 

And fans of Arrested Development will appreciate Lucille Bluth. Her lines aren't as awesome as you might hope, but she made me giggle every time she appeared on screen, which is definitely a plus. 

But ultimately, two episodes (or a two-hour pilot, depending on your point of view) in - it's hard to put together an argument one way or the other. 90210 sits pretty squarely in the middle of every scale you care to place it on: It's got more humour than One Tree Hill, more realistic Dialogue than Dawsons Creek. It's prettier than Friday Night Lights, less preachy than the original 90210, less snarky and less pretty and less fun than Gossip Girl, less heartfelt and less warm than The OC. It's edgier than The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, but not by as much as it thinks it is. The writing is average. The quality of the acting ranges from wooden to passable. The directing is indistinctive. It's just sort of ... there - and it kind of feels like it's still trying to figure out where that is, which makes it all the harder for anyone else to figure out. 

In short: I give it a C. 3 stars. 6 out of 10. One thumb in each direction. A Shrug. A meh - but a charitable meh. And maybe even that little hand movement where you rock your thumb and forefinger up and down to indicate something is so-so. 

Which I know doesn't help much.

So, back to your original question: should you watch?

Sure, if you have a soft spot for teen drama and have nothing better to do with your Monday night.

I guess. 

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Monday, 1 September 2008

Top 24: Round The First

I'm going to be honest and say that I didn't really feel much like writing about Australian Idol this year. After last year, I was kind of over the over-analysis that goes into the whole venture, and despite my earnest efforts, recapping was never really my thing. And so far I haven't been tempted to write, even though a few thoughts vaguely resembling the kind of thing I might put into a post have traversed this little brain of mine. Like, for instance, that red-haired guy with the glasses and how he looks like the illegitimate lovechild of Harry and Ron.

But! Tonight's show, the first six performers to sing live for actual votes, was too loaded with potential blog material that my brain LITERALLY forced me on to the computer to share my thoughts. Enjoy!

Chrislyn is a fatty, this much we know for sure. Somewhat counter-intuitively, I sort of like her. Shocking, I know.

True to her name, Jaden Dowd wore the dowdiest jumpsuit in existence tonight, in a horrific display of fashion blindness from which humanity may never recover. When quizzed on why she chose to swathe herself in said garment rather than donate it to the CFS so they can put it to use beating out grass fires, she said that it was all over the latest spring catalogues. Sure it is, Jaden. Sure it is.

Dude, lose the cowboy hat and pluck your eyebrows. I also don't think he's much of a chance competition-wise; I hadn't seen him on the show at all virtually until tonight.

She pretty. Musical theatre roXorZ!

GAY. And not just because he's an effete little French boy with a girly face. Well, that's exactly why he sets off my gaydar. Say chowda, Frenchy!

Another offender who wears the same hat all the time. I also find it difficult to get past the lank hair and beard and concentrate on his VOICE. It isn't hard to not look like you belong on a sexual offenders register, Wes. A change of hat once in a while sort of helps.

Overall, Idol this year isn't very much different to previous years. It's not worse or anything, but I'm a little dubious that there was suddenly such an unprecedented influx of talent like Dicko et al would have me believe. The absence of Mark Holden, however, is a marked improvement.

I'm thinking Nicole and Chrislyn will get through this round. Anyone disagree?


Tuesday, 26 August 2008

More of Ten's schemes designed to get rich, and quick!

Has anyone else noticed certain.... irregularities about Ten's coverage of the Simpsons? I'm talking about the six o'clock episodes, not the shitty new episodes which air at seven thirty on Tuesday nights (or whatever).

Well, I've noticed that sometimes brief snippets of dialogue are cut out. It's virtually imperceptible to anyone with a nerd rating inferior to my own (I am the nerd equivalent of a black belt, btw), but I'm pretty sure that the episode I watched earlier was abridged in at least ONE place. It was the episode where Homer and Grampa go on the road to sell sex tonic, and there's a bit where the dialogue goes like this:

Abe: Welcome home, son. I broke two lamps and lost all your mail. What's wrong with your wife?
Homer: Never mind, you wouldn't understand.
Abe: Flu?
Homer: No.
Abe: Protein deficiency?
Homer: No.
Abe: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis?
Homer: No.
Abe: Unsatisfying sex life?
Homer: N -- yes! But please, don't YOU say that word!
Abe: What, seeeex? What's so unappealing about hearing your elderly father talk about sex? I had seeex.
Homer: Shudder.

Well, colour me unnecessarily cheesed off, because the bit that I watched was cut at the part where Homer says "don't YOU say that word!"


I know, that's what I said too.

While it's probably likely that Ten are treating their audience with contempt, mistakenly thinking that they can get away with DESECRATING television gold in order to jam more commercials in, I can't help but think that reverse vampires are involved in some way...