Radiation by Fiona Rae

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Radiation: Ghosts of television past

22 Responses

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Anyway, who doesn't want to see A Dog's Show again?

    My memory of this programme is it was tediously dull and my parents always picked it over whatever was on the other channel. I watch some sheepdog trials at the Easter Show a few years ago and I was momentary entertained before I left and got a battered sausage.

    Also, my Friends In England can testify that The Adventure of English is a really good documentary series. It unveils the rich history of our loveable bastard tongue. Also, Melvyn Bragg is choice.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Kingdom is really very comfy slipper indeed. Friends in England shipped us the first three eps and I'll probably watch the rest of it, but even though I like that sort of thing I found it a bit bland.

    Anyway, who doesn't want to see A Dog's Show again?

    Only watchable with most of a loaf of still-warm fresh sandwich bread in an orange waxed-paper wrapper with a monk on it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    oh no, I loved A Dog's Show - but then I'm a dog nutter so that stands to reason. I'm also thrilled to bits about Men in Trees. I'm not a great Heche fan (I stuck with Ellen in the divorce) but it is a great little series. She's not overly annoying, Jack floats my boat, and I do like the characters very much. Ma Mai is particularly acerbic and has some very sharp lines. Is anyone else enjoying Studio 60? Once again, I've never enjoyed Matthew Perry overly, but I'm liking this series.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Friends In England can testify that The Adventure of English is a really good documentary series

    You don't need Friends in England to tell you that about this one - Friends who closely read the TV guide should be good enough - this aired on TV 1 in 2005 (at the 'useful' time of 10am Sunday). It is good, and I also recommend the documentary currently featuring in that slot Time.

    I don't know why TVNZ does it, but 10am Sunday has seen a wealth of literate documentaries in the last couple of years. Occasionally 3pm Sunday on TV3 too (the now finished Space Race, the best of late).

    As for TVNZ6, I asked the question in Monitor without a bite, but there seem some interesting choices: the two season 1972-74 Hanna-Barbera creation__Wait Till Your Father Gets Home__ stands out as somewhat of an oddity. Any word on The Governor or something like Pukemanu?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3207 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Speaking of friends overseas... any idea when Flight of the Conchords might start screening here? Some of us are up to Ep 5 and we can't talk about it in case it spoils things for others and this is unsatisfactory.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Another vote in the pro camp on A Dog's Show. But only the eye-dog segments. The barky ones never gave you the combination of deeply comforting, quietly-spoken commentators (why *did* they talk so quietly anyway? It's not like they were actually herding the sheep themselves) and nail-biting tension: in this epic mental battle between the ovine and the canine, who will come out on top? Is there a bolshy sheep in the mix? Because if there is, all bets are off! The dog might think it's got them penned, with the farmer stretching out his walking stick as far as it will go, trying to nudge them inside... and then drama! One little bastard will make a dashing break around the fence, while you can see the typically taciturn farmer's shoulders collapse, grimly, under the weight of failure. Awesome stuff!

    Besides, that instrumental 'Flowers on the Wall' theme song rules. :)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Besides, that instrumental 'Flowers on the Wall' theme song rules. :)

    In the '90s I had a conversation on whether this ruined "Reservoir Dogs" for New Zealanders or made "A Dog's Show" cool. No satisfactory conclusion was reached.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Fiona Rae,

    Hmm, so votes for and against A Dog's Show. I think like anything nostalgic, it depends on how it sits in your memory, although when you see some of these programmes now, they are so slow. Whole plot lines in Mortimer's Patch consisted of someone making the tea. Also, movies. I've talked up my favourite movies (__Bladerunner__, Alien) to our number one son and when we sit down to watch them, embarrassingly, he just gets bored. The question is, is television giving us a shortened attention span (MTV generation, etc), or has the technology of television just caught up with the speed of human thought?

    PS: Prime has said later in the year for Flight of the Conchords (it would make a perfect replacement for Extras, eh?). I suspect they have to wait until it has screened in the US before they have the rights to screen it here.

    Point Chevalier • Since Nov 2006 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . is television giving us a shortened attention span (MTV generation, etc), or has the technology of television just caught up with the speed of human thought?

    Of course, whatever the brain does during that shrinky-dinky attention span may not necessarily involve thought.

    Longer commercial breaks? For the last couple of decades at least so-called 30-minute shows clock in at 22 minutes or less. Episodes of the aforementioned Wait Till Your Father Gets Home ran to a full 26 minutes. Doubt if your kids will be grabbed by that ancient Australian-animated precursor to Family Guy, unless "topical" cracks about such pressing 70s pop-cultural issues as Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, or guest spots by shittily-drawn dead celebs such as Don Knotts happen to rock their boats. Maybe if they'd dragged it from the frozen tombs while the 70s were still hot.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . is television giving us a shortened attention span (MTV generation, etc), or has the technology of television just caught up with the speed of human thought?

    Of course, whatever the brain does during that shrinky-dinky attention span may not necessarily involve thought.

    Longer commercial breaks? For the last couple of decades at least so-called 30-minute shows clock in at 22 minutes or less. Episodes of the aforementioned Wait Till Your Father Gets Home ran to a full 26 minutes. Doubt if your kids will be grabbed by that ancient Australian-animated precursor to Family Guy, unless "topical" cracks about such pressing 70s pop-cultural issues as Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, or guest spots by shittily-drawn dead celebs such as Don Knotts happen to rock their boats. Maybe if they'd dragged it from the frozen tombs while the 70s were still hot.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    The question is, is television giving us a shortened attention span (MTV generation, etc), or has the technology of television just caught up with the speed of human thought?

    On a Screen Wipe episode earlier this year, Charlie Brooker looked at how the advent of digital editing technology in the late '90s changed the sort of telly that was made:

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Thanks for that Robyn - it explains things very very well, especially for those of us who are "reality" TV freaks. I, ahem, of course,[facaetiousness ensues] am a pragmatic viewer of these televisual delights, so, of course, believe nothing I see on screen, knowing it all to be cleverly edited so as to manipulate the emotions of the more gullible plebs out there.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Also, my Friends In England can testify that The Adventure of English is a really good documentary series. It unveils the rich history of our loveable bastard tongue. Also, Melvyn Bragg is choice.

    Amen. It stands above most stuff of its kind, because of the way that Bragg engages you as a viewer, in his avuncular, yet oddly ageless, fashion.

    Also (and I really must get the lads to make embedding images here as simple as embedding clips is), here is a particularly choice screen grab from the series.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    ...quietly-spoken commentators (why *did* they talk so quietly anyway?

    I had a girlfriend once who used to get horny listening to the commentators on Pot Black. Those dulcet whispered tones did something to her (put her in a state of hypnosis?) and I discovered she was always ripe for sex afterwards. She wasn't aware of it, and I didn't actually like the show, but I always somehow managed to 'accidently' 'discover' it was on while flipping channels.
    I eventually started to feel bad about watching it (or should I say making her watch it) since I knew why we were watching it but ....

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    In the '90s I had a conversation on whether this ruined "Reservoir Dogs" for New Zealanders or made "A Dog's Show" cool.

    Heh. I had the proverbial blown mind when I saw whatever Tarantino film it was and recognised that tune, because I only knew it as an instrumental theme song. I don't think the movie was ruined for me, but it did make A Dog's Show seem somehow more mysterious and menacing! So I think I would come down on the side of the latter...

    I had a girlfriend once who used to get horny listening to the commentators on Pot Black. Those dulcet whispered tones did something to her...

    That is thoroughly wonderful. I'm still confused by the 'dulcet tones commentary rule', though: it applies to dog trials, snooker, and golf, but not to someone kicking a penalty in soccer or rugby, or shooting free throws in basketball. Why?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • paul mckessar,

    Atanarjuat aka "The Fast Runner" is one of the most incredible films of all time. not so comfy slippers viewing for the dog show fans tho. i am just peeved that i got my public-address-update-reminder-complete-with-radiation... a day after it screened on mts. i will let you guys off cos it is birthday week tho.

    aukolofa • Since Jul 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Oh my yes, they give the dogs stick in Atanajuat, a movie we've been watching (it's 188 minutes long) over the last few nights.

    Fantastic.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    If only they'd pitched it to HBO and not NBC ...

    Kath and Kim* (NBC U TV) NOT ORDERED
    Exec producers: Nancy Pimental (writer), Gina Riley, Jane Turner, Rick McKenna, Ben Silverman
    Logline: The adventures of love and denial as only a mother and daughter could live it. Adapted from Australian format.
    * Will fill in on summer sked

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Heh heh heh ...

    But these shows were picked up and no doubt TVNZ/TV3 are devising a local equivalent as we speak ...

    The Singing Bee (Gurin Co./Juma Ent.) PICKED UP
    Executive producers: Phil Gurin, Robert C. Horowitz
    Logline: Contestants sing the lyrics to popular songs

    World Moves (Warner Horizon TV) PICKED UP
    Executive producers: Randy Jackson [American Idol judge], Rob Lee, Howard Schwartz, Karen Schwartz, Harriet Sternberg Logline: Dance teams compete for international touring contract

    NOTE: All titles tentative.

    I'm guessing that with The Singing Bee contestants are given random song titles, some of which THEY MIGHT NOT KNOW, and are forced to sing them -- with often hilarious results!!!!!!!!

    My sides are already splitting in anticipation.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Bad news for Martin Henderson. ABC said no ...

    Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Regency TV) NOT ORDERED
    Exec Producers: Simon Kinberg, Doug Liman, Dave Bartis
    Cast: Jordana Brewster, Martin Henderson, Bridgette Wilson Sampras, Rebecca Mader
    Logline: Based on the hit feature about a married couple who are both spies.

    Okay. I'll leave it at that, but there's a mine of trivia on that link I gave above if you're interested. The US version of Vicar of Dibley starring Kirstie Allie has 'not been picked up', and there's a host of other 'whatever-happened-to' talent that can't seem to get arrested (they said no to Lasse Halstrom).

    Kinda explains why Jo Cotton et al were happy to go on Pop's Ultimate Star. The rent must be paid ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I'm guessing that with The Singing Bee contestants are given random song titles, some of which THEY MIGHT NOT KNOW, and are forced to sing them -- with often hilarious results!!!!!!!!

    Aha! I actually saw a clip of this on The Soup (my favourite E! show by miles) on Sunday. People had to sing, erm, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. It was just as terrifyingly cheesy as you might imagine. My husband said 'if Kurt could have killed himself more than once, he would have done it about thirty times based on this'.

    (No, no one got the words right. Especially not 'a mosquito, my libido' or 'a denial, a denial, a denial...')

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Off topic, but somehow this reminds me of one of the funniest things I ever heard on the radio (NAtional Radio, but it was a UK show).

    Contestants had to sing one song (say, Barry Manilow's Copacabana) to the tune of another (say, the Dam Busters' March).

    I nearly wet myself laughing. "Her name was LOLA, she was a SHOWGIRL, da da da dahhhh dah, da da da daahhh"

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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