Archive | October, 2013

BBC1. Bluestone 42. A hidden comedy gem in the late night schedules

26 Oct

If you were to take a large dollop of the 70′s hit series M*A*S*H, mix in a couple of teaspoons of Channel 4′s comedy ‘Green Wing‘, add just a soupçon of the ‘Carry On’ films, flavour with an essence of the Oscar winning film The Hurt Locker while not forgetting to sieve out any thought-provoking darkness or depth, the end result? Bluestone 42.

Bluestone 42 is a light-hearted take on what is potentially a controversial subject. The Comedy drama follows the day to day goings on in the lives of a bomb disposal detachment serving in Afghanistan. With Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) accounting for over fifty percent of British casualties in the ongoing Afghanistan war it was always going to be a tricky topic to base a comedy on. The writers, by concentrating on the often mundane downtime in the camp that the troops experience between patrols and being called into action, manage to avoid any really tricky issues.

What you get is a very funny comedy with a focus of banter between troops who find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, and a very unlikely wartime romantic “would they, wont they” arc between an officer and the camp chaplain.

Following in the steps of ‘Gavin and Stacey‘, ‘Torchwood‘ and ‘Little Britain‘. Bluestone 43 has made the leap from the youth programming laboratory that is BBC 3 to the mass market, big audiences and promise of multiple series offered by BBC1.

For fans of Borgen, the Danish political thriller that was a big hit for BBC4, yesterday’s episode of Bluestone had a bit of a crossover with Birgitte Hjort Sorensen (Katrine Fonsmark in Borgen) making a guest appearance as a Danish Journalist. Preview is below.

 

Channel 4 : GoggleBox going from strength to strength…

24 Oct

Sometimes  the most ludicrous ideas have a way of defying their critics and going on to become things of beauty.  Thirteen years ago someone once thought “why don’t we plant a big Ferris Wheel in the middle of London to mark the new  millennium”, people around the country sniggered and probably thought how a fool and his money are soon parted.

Today the London Eye, as it is now known, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

Is GoggleBox going the same way,  can a TV program about people watching TV really capture the nation’s heart? Well, Harry Hill’s TV Burp was a big ratings winner, so who’s to say GoggleBox is incapable of achieving the same, and last night it showed why it has become an unsung hit.

In showing the nation’s reaction to TV programmes that ranged from the plain ridiculous to the endearingly tender, it held a mirror on ourselves.

We all would collectively watch opened-mouth that there is a TV programme about collecting sperm from a Walrus (in all its gory detail!),  we all would collectively acknowledge that Cilla Black is no longer even close to the singer she once was, and we would all collectively understand the fears that a partner feels when they realise that their time on earth with their loved ones is about to come to an end.

As we watch the GoggleBox’s household’s reactions to BBC2′s Natural : Two Tonne Tusker, ITV’s The One and Only Cilla Black and on Coronation Street, Hayley revealing to Roy she has terminal cancer. The reactions we saw were the reactions we felt.

 

TV Advert : Sky’s new broadband advert is class

20 Oct

I not a marketing guy and have no idea if it will get Sky new customers for their BroadBand service. Whether it does or not I think it is a cracker.

I don’t know if it has been showing for a while, but I caught it for the first time during Sunday’s X-Factor Ad breaks. I first thought it was an advert for Toy Story IV, but only clicked it was a Sky Broadband advert. It had all the regulars, Woody,  Buzz Lightyear “to infinity and beyond…”,  Mr Potato Head and The Green Aliens.

It was nicely done but I suspect it would have cost Sky a few bob in copyright fees.

If you haven’t seen it, it is below. Enjoy.