Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Metal Theater Monday Madness

"I should have learned to play the guitar. I should have learned to play them drums. Man, we would have had some fun." Mark Knopfler
Mr Metal Theater offers his views once again and he is most very welcome. - ed. GGBlog
It seems like Monday nights is the only reason for watching TV. First off we have SBS News at 630P. Not exciting, not interesting, not remotely funny, but at least you can find out what's going on in the world. Put up with this for half an hour (and resist the temptation to flick across to see Naomi in her last 10 minutes of fame) and you'll then be able to reward yourself with Futurama.

For some bizarre reason our network programming executives in all their glory decided to re-run (for about the fourth time) the first episode of Futurama last night. Either an exercise in pedantry or just a "suck on this" message to the viewers, it really doesn't matter because it's all still pretty funny.

Viewers of the Simpsons often don't like or appreciate Futurama as much. It took me a while to get into the idea, but thanks to my old housemate James, I fully appreciate it for what it is. The humour is a lot sillier than the Simpsons and often a lot better - and the plots are a zillion times more interesting and better thought out (yes, it's a real number, look it up). This makes the show a lot more well-rounded than later series of the Simpsons. Catch it while you can.

Newsflash - according to Cityseach, Channel Ten (in all their wisdom) have decided to go back to the Simpsons at 7P. Just what we need, another bunch of Simpsons re-runs! “You guys, you so clever.” Next thing we'll be seeing Seinfeld again. (Well not for the moment thanks to Michael Richard's comments at a recent stand-up gig.)

Now it's time for TV enjoyment of the week : Mythbusters. This show has been around for quite a while and is surprisingly the Discovery Channel's most successful show. The two hosts, Adam and Jamie, mesh together quite badly, having completely different personalities. That's fun to watch - but so is the show.

Because it's been going for so long they've quickly run out of myths to bust. But these guys know how extend the life of a TV show well; they've started investigating anything. Movie myths, physics myths, even dumb stories written in by viewers. They've now had to recruit a second "team" of presenters to help pad out the show. While these guys obviously know their stuff (Grant seems capable of building anything) - they seem to lack any personality. Kari fell into the role by default (she helped out the guys beforehand) and is ok, but Grant seems to be lacking any kind of presentation skills. Tory is about the same. Jamie and Adam have a unique skill in being able to make any myth tested be fascinating viewing - the other guys seem to suck the life out it. But that's a small point really. The show is still great.

Moving onto 830P you can enjoy some great rude humour from South Park. It never really lost it's edge and is still pretty funny. Last week was the 'Michael Jackson' episode - and while the writers couldn't have picked an easier target they deliberately played with viewers expectations and made a very funny episode. Worth a revisit if you used to enjoy the show.

And then following up from the rear is "Drawn Together". In what seems like a great premise (cartoon characters from different periods living together a-la big brother) - the show is a disappointment. Trying to "out crude" American Dad and Family Guy is a recipe that's never going to work - and this one falls flat on its face. While treating a taboo subject lightly can sometimes be a source of amusement (if done well and with care) - these guys take it to extremes. It doesn't quite work and is often painful watching. Don't bother.

And if you're feeling a bit night-owlish, you can stay up and watch Drew Carey's "Whose Line Is It Anyway?". Apart from the grammatically incorrect title there's not a lot wrong with this show. The improvisational standards are extremely high and often leave me thinking that perhaps Carey has slipped the actors a bit of advance warning over what some of the situations might be. But mostly the show seems completely un-scripted and childishly fun. Recommended.

No comments: