Saturday, 1 August 2009


23x48 No Fjords in Finland Part 2 [season finale]
I didn't actually watch this, I happened to see the last 10 minutes. Normally I wouldn't mention such a minor happenstance, but I felt compelled to, because my God is it dreadful! I swear it wasn't as bad when I used to watch it (probably about 15 years ago now), but then maybe I just didn't have the critical faculties to assess it. I don't want to lay the blame at everyone's door -- the directing is adequate, the performances too (I've certainly seen a lot worse on prime time TV), but the writing is appalling, each scene and line of dialogue seemingly dragged wholesale from The Big Book Of Drama Cliches. What a pile of tosh.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

2x03 Episode 3 [2nd watch]
Came across this in the same way as last week, funnily enough, but it really does stand up to repeated viewings.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Proms 2009
Prom 22 A Celebration of Classic MGM Film Musicals
Live on BBC HD, with 5.1 Surround Sound -- lovely! The story behind this prom is pretty incredible (see today's Articles post for more) and the music was suitably glorious. I'm not a great one for the Proms (as you'll've noticed by their lack of mention here before now), though I often feel I should give them more of a go, but this filmy one appealed to me and it was certainly worth it. It was a huge surprise to hear Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane was performing at it, and perhaps even more surprising how right he was -- if you didn't know better you'd believe he was just a professional musicals performer.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


May starts building Lego house
(from BBC News)
Those Top Gear lads have the best ideas. I sincerely hope this is being filmed for a TV special sometime soon (I mean, it must be, surely).

Technicolor for the Ears: Reconstructing Hollywood's Musical Past by John Wilson
The Making of Make Believe and Programme Notes by David Benedict
(from BBC Proms - Prom 22: A Celebration of MGM Film Musicals)
Liner notes to accompany the 22nd 2009 Prom (read more about that in today's TV post).
The first piece is by the conductor, discussing the lengths he had to go to in preparing this concert -- unbelievably, all of the sheet music for MGM musicals was destroyed in 1969 -- while the second piece discusses the history of musicals more generally. Finally, the Programme Notes discuss each piece performed in more detail, though sadly (but unsurprisingly) skip the encore.
All three (and a bit more) can be read in a full digital version of the programme available here, while just the track-by-track programme notes are also available as a normal webpage here.

Watchmen Dominates Video Charts
"Watchmen shot to the top of the [US] home video sales and rental charts in its first week in stores, with 36% of the total unit sales coming from the high-definition edition. The 36% Blu-ray sales number is a record-breaking figure... The previous BD percentage record was for Quantum of Solace, released March 24, 2009, which got 28%...
Coraline snagged the No. 2 spot... A solid 18% of the cartoon's unit sales came from Blu-ray Discs, a surprisingly strong showing that indicates the format is fast moving out of the early adopter phase and into the mainstream."
Hurrah for Watchmen (follow the link for info on how it did in rental charts), but also interesting commentary on the rise of Blu-ray.