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Archive for June, 2008

QI

After Doctor Who I hit a sort of dry spell. I ran out of episodes and I just wanted to watch something new. Luckily, my mom sent me a link to the site for Mike the Headless Chicken. But what does Mike have to do with British TV, you may ask. Well, when I was looking at the website I noticed that they had links to youtube videos relating to Mike. One of them happened to be this video:

Intrigued by this, I determined to find out what this show was. I soon found out that it is the quiz show QI or Quite Interesting. The show features Stephen Fry as the host and Alan Davies as the only regular guest. Unlike other quiz shows, no one gets any prizes or money, and the point system doesn’t make any sense anyway. The guests are notable comedians such as Phil Jupitus, Jo Brand, and Jimmy Carr. Guests get points not necessarily for right answers, but for answers that are interesting. Points are taken away (usually in large quantities) for answers that are not only wrong, but horribly obvious. My favorite part of this show, though, is that the guests can just go off on their own weird tangents and that when they are making jokes about each other, it’s all in good fun and no one really takes offense.

This is one of my favorite clips, the question was “What Rhymes with Purple?”

This clip shows what happens when someone gives an obvious and wrong answer.

This one is just plain hilarious, and I think encapsulates the show quite well.

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The Doctor

I’m not much for American TV. I’m pretty bored with it actually, so for the past couple of months I’ve been exploring the joys of British TV including regular shows, quiz shows, sketch shows. Pretty much anything besides Hollyoaks. And what started as something to occupy my time while waiting for the Office to come back on turned into a kind of obsession, so I decided to share my newfound knowledge of British TV with my American brethren.

I decided to begin with Doctor Who just because it was the only show I knew other than The Weakest Link and Liam Lynch did a podcast entirely devoted to Doctor Who. For those who aren’t aware, Doctor Who is about a Timelord known only as the Doctor who travels through space and time in a spaceship shaped like a blue police phonebox named the Tardis, usually with a companion. The first episode that I watched was the Sontaren Strategem (from Season 4) quickly followed by The Poison Sky and I was hooked. David Tennant’s Doctor was so energetic and clever that he just sucked me in right away. So far I’ve managed to see all of Seasons 2-4, but I’m still working on Season 1.  If you’re looking for an episode that doesn’t require a lot of back knowledge of Doctor Who, you could start with episodes like Love and Monsters or Blink which don’t have a ton of scenes with the Doctor in them, but they are a good way to get a feel for how the Doctor Who universe works and they’re also pretty exciting as well. I’ve posted one of my favorite scenes from the episode Tooth and Claw from Season 2 below.

Check back soon for the next show on my list, and before you ask, no it isn’t Monty Python.

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As a break from reading and British TV, I watched I’m Not There – the movie that has six different actors all playing Bob Dylan. The film itself is rather surreal and a bit confusing, but it still had the ability to pull me in.

In a way, it’s the same feeling that I get from reading T.S. Eliot. For every five phrases that make no sense, there is one that makes all the sense in the world and resonates with the intensity of a steel baseball bat to the temple. Out of the six performances, I’m intrigued most by Ben Wishaw for inexplicable reasons. I’m haunted by Heath Ledger’s for reasons that become more clear to me each time I watch it, though they are not necessarily the reasons you might think. Richard Gere and Marcus Carl Franklin confuse me the most, Cate Blanchett makes the most and least sense just as she most resembles the image of Dylan that I hold in my mind.

Below is one of my favorite Ben Wishaw scenes which also conveniently sums up a lot of the movie for me.

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Gee, How Nice

Aw, Facebook wished me a happy birthday. Well it would be nice if it wasn’t automatically generated and kind of creepy. So here it is, the big 2-1 and like the big party pooper I’ve become there really isn’t much going on today beyond cookies, reading and work.

Oh, and since I’m here, I thought I might as well start a book list of what I’ve been reading thus far this summer (in case you’re looking for a good book to read this summer) which I will update at the end of subsequent posts.
*The Book Thief – Mark Zusak
*Book #11 The Grim Grotto – Lemony Snicket

Also, just a fun fact for this particular post, Office fans should rejoice because today could have been Pam and Roy’s 2nd anniversary.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Paul DeGeorge from Harry and the Potters as well!

Reading: Tangerine – Edward Bloor

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Regrets No More!!!

For the past year or so I’ve been kicking myself for not going to Bradley Hathaway’s seminar on poetry performance at last years Cornerstone. Today I finally got around to checking out the schedules to find out what day I want to go this year only to find out that he’s giving another seminar this year! Joy of joys!  I am not missing out this year! When one o’clock that Friday rolls around I’ll be sitting in the front row ready to experience and learn about something just a smidge (ten miles) outside my comfort zone. I might even manage to catch a concert or two as well. 🙂 This will be a year filled with literary genius, I can feel it!

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