Absurdity

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You do have to wonder about just how dumb people are

Like this post at the ever amusing Broken TV describing some ‘we’ll text baby names to you’ at quid fifty a go for six months deal advertised on UK TV. You might say ‘who on earth would do that?’ but apparently the answer would be ‘loads!’. Think Broken TV guy has a point about questioning evolution after reading this piece.

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Filed under: Absurdity, TV etc.

Studio 60 and a partial apology to Channel 4

Just been listening to the Media Guardian podcast and it seems I was a bit harsh on Channel 4.

Heard interview with their Cheif exec Andy Duncan who genuinely seemed to get it. He talked about trying all kinds of combinations of downloading from ‘rental’ for 99p to buying programmes for ¬£1.99 to a possible subscription model. Which for those of us who live outside the UK may have some merit (always assuming that it is available to us of course and not some ridiculously outmoded idea about territorial rights doesn’t get in the way). Read a little about it here.

But the point is that he seemed to understand that people can now get the content (one way or another) and watch it how they want and when they want. And if the TV companies don’t get with the program they will simply be cut out of the process.

There is an arguement that this is possibly too late for many of in the Channel 4 target audience (18 to 34) (I am great deal older than their target audience by the way) who have already cut them out of the process getting the prime US content from a mixture of bit torrent sites and iTunes (US). On iTunes incidentally these shows are $1.99, i.e approaching half the cost Channel 4 is contemplating. As always many of these companies who spend a lot of time talking about a ‘global market’ have little idea what that actually means.

And, interestingly we find Andy Duncan now talking about how he wishes they’d get more rights. No shit Sherlock! Well, of course he does! You can’t sell what you don’t own.

This is also interesting because it raises a lot of the same issues relating to the business model of publisher. What exactly is their role going forward? As the logical extension is that people just get their favorite shows directly from those who make them – Isn’t it? With the TV companies becoming (as Rob Jones over at Snowbooks suggests) the ‘backers and risk takers’ for getting programmes made?

Anyway, in the spirit of getting what you want when you want I had a couple of emails from friends asking about what is this Studio 60 thing of which you speak. So, anyway here is episode one which I’ll leave up for a couple days (sorry couple of days has no passed so link taken off).

Filed under: TV etc.

Dexter and the dumbness of TV companies

Dexter

Television companies despite literally years and years of notice still have absolutely no idea that it is no longer 1986 in terms of their business model. To take a small example – Channel 4 in the UK expect me to wait months after it has originally aired in the US before I can watch the Sopranos. And on top of that they expect me to sit through a 50 minute programme padded out to one hour fifteen minutes once a week. Oh, and to top it off Channel 4 will then as they have with so many US imports (the West Wing being a classic example of this) then have it on a different time each time as the season progresses.

So, to summarise I can follow the Sopranos at some point in the week and at some varying time and with half an hour of crap thrown in. Are they bonkers?

So, the alternative that I and so many others now do? Go on line download a day or so after it has aired in the US advert free. As far as I’m aware there is no legal way to purchase the Sopranos without waiting a year or so for the DVDs to be released.

I do buy some stuff via iTunes so far as it available but this is only available through the US store. So, I have spoofed the store that I am registered and downloading in the US just to bloody buy anything. That’s right I have to deceive them into allowing me to give them money. Which leads me to the ridiculous ideas some of the content companies have about DRM and territorial rights – seriously guys it is 2006 are you really that fucking stupid or are these rules just something you made up to bemuse me and piss me off at the same time? No Sopranos there anyway.

But while I am on the subject of the iTunes store. I did have a subscription on the store to the Daily Show but dropped it because I was sick of the episodes arriving in bunches sometimes days later (and I know from talking to a couple of people that this is not an isolated case). Now, I don’t know if you have seen the Daily Show but kind of the point is that it commenting on and referring to events as they have unfolded within that day or so. So, receiving Tuesday’s episode on the following Saturday morning kind of kills it. So, what so I do now? Well I download it for free from a bit torrent site couple of hours after it airs.

Anyway, what this does do is makes us a little out of sync with some of our friends who may not see some of this stuff for another year or even then. The classic example of this Dexter. This is brilliant, innovative, funny, intelligent television. Stars, the guy out of Six Feet Under Michael C. Hall (the gay Fisher brother) as forensic police guy who is a serial killer by night. He is quite frankly brilliant in it. Read a bit about it here.

And you can download the first episode and see what I mean here (sorry the day or two has passed so link no longer works). Will leave it up for just a day or two. But, it means that people that may not have come across it or get the opportunity to see will then seek it out when it does come to Europe etc and/or will be a ready market for DVD when that comes out. Well, at least that’s how I’m justifying it to myself anyway.

Filed under: TV etc.

Can all breathe easy again and Studio 60

Got sent this article from the BBC website on the continuing life for Studio 60 (for now at least!).

Filed under: TV etc.

More on demise of Studio 60

This today from The Independent.

Filed under: TV etc.

Studio 60 gets pulled

I just don’t get it we’ve been watching it and yes, you can say all kind of stuff about the thinly disguised go it is having at SNL of recent years etc etc. But it is intelligent, funny and engaging on every level just how did it fail? Does this mean that the networks will just look at more reality leaving anything else to cable? Anyway, this article in the Guardian tells you a bit more.

Filed under: TV etc.

Hope for America …

Probably the one thing that stops us abandoning all hope in America is the Daily Show. If you were just to watch US news TV like Fox News you would probably be reading this from a bunker deep in the heart of Switzerland. The Daily Show gives hope that there are people in America who do have some sense and humour.

I am constantly reminded by people that for all the time I have spent working in America over nearly the last decade now I actually don’t often go to ‘America’. New York; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago and Boston are not apparently America. On all the time I have spent in Miami nobody seems prepared to commit on where the hell that is. Admittedly, I have spent the bulk of my time in those areas (all the publishers are in those areas!) but I have also been all kinds of other places as well – Houston, Texas; Knoxville, Tennessee; Kent, Ohio for instance. And always I am left feeling how can such nice people think such strange things.

Anyway, the point of this post was to point you in the direction of this article from the Independent with new Jon Stewart alumni Jon Oliver describing his experience of joining the show.

You may find no end of Daily Show clips on youtube just by searching on the title.

And on the theme of exploring the importance of shows such as The Daily Show and Colbert then  I refer you to this excellent post on Rare Autumn.

Filed under: Absurdity, TV etc.

Sopranos

Have watched the first batch of the new split season six (12 episodes to start with and apparently another 8 to follow in the new year) with mixed feeling – not sure it worked as well as previous seasons – but for me and certainly my stepmother it is still the benchmark against which all other tv is judged.

It is just starting to show in the UK and this article from The Guardian makes some good points.

Filed under: TV etc.

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