Monday, 20 February 2012

The Rotten Republic

While I may have come across as a bit mean on my Tallafornia review, it is a show still worthy of my attention. It is a show that knows what it sets out to do; Shame the Irish with a corny Jersey Shore knockoff, to the point of self parody. More importantly, it works on that level, and does not strive to be anything more than that (at least for now).

the Stir is still getting stirred

A rather different show, on RTÉ is the Republic of Telly. It is the national stations best shot at studio comedy, and aims to be the #1 show from Irish territory aimed at the young Adults of the country.
For those not in the know, the Republic of Telly is a blend of comic sketches and mocking other shows, usually that of rivals TV3, but not afraid to take the mick out of its own programmes too. It has Dermot Whelan as host, with Bernard O Shea and Jennifer Maguire as support.

While the show has always made a smile come across my face now and then, it rarely has had me in stitches since its beginnings in 2009.

time to dig for the laughs?

I do enjoy a few things about it, notably its three main comedians and the idea that independant shorts get aired. Dermot does a better job than Neil Delamere did while host, making it much livelier and just clicking with the show overall, and the supporting cast can deliver on most fronts.
The supported content is a plus too, with the Rubber Bandits, Handy Sandie, Damo & Ivor and Damo Clarke to name a few contribute to the shows time on air, mostly through posted sketches. Here is a personal favourite of mine about the joys of hangovers.

But ultimately, it fails to deliver many laughs outside of these segments. Slag Tallafornia all you want this series, but it does not hold a candle to epicnewsdaily's Swipes, even when you have a song based on how crap it is.

Clear Winners

Also of note is the many swipes at shows that are not really the best to slag in the first place. We already know about kids beauty pageants and gypsy weddings but getting some laughs out of it somehow feels like getting blood from a stone at times. Maybe the audience already got the pokes at the differing lifestyles and it just didn't need explaining? The cookery shows are often desperate searches for some form of innuendo's, a lot of the daytime show is also a search for an elusive dirty word.

Other skits just aren't funny full stop. Jennifer getting pissed off at people? I got it the first time, but she does it at everyone, all the time, Y U no change?

I find comedy to be similar to an oscilloscope, a nice wave is made with highs and lows. If the bar is set to 11 all the time, as in Jennifer's, you cannot appreciate it if there isn't a skit of a calmed down and chilled character. With Bernard, its too low, with high points when he gets into a stand up routine over being a creepy stalker, but he needs more stand up and less faffing about.

It feels that the writing is holding the trio back more than anything else. There are lines that make the show feel like it is trying so hard to pull off jokes, and it feels very unnatural a lot of the time.  They do so well at what they do, but only as good as the lines they are given. GET BETTER WRITING IN!
Another excuse to use this fun pic

This is meant to be Ireland's best in Comic sketches, but it fails to beat the likes of Harry Hill's TV burp with its writing, nor its earlier incarnation, Colin Murphy's Blizzard of odd, in terms of programmes to swipe.

Am I the only one that remembered this?

At a production level, it beats a lot of what the land has to offer, yet it feels like its fallen short, and its ambition to be the top dog isn't working. Its amusing, but not hilarious. Im watching the next few episodes with a happy face, but I long to see things getting better, or else it'll lose my attention.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Tallafornia: Making the rest of us feel better

As said before in my Haywire review, I dislike overseas (notably american) portrayals of the Irish. On a somewhat related note, I hate the americanisation of Irish culture. Its why Santa gets milk and cookies instead of bottles of beer every Christmas, and why the D4 invasion has been unstoppable. 
OK, so maybe it isn't SO bad

But we don't quite get what works from American TV just yet. We as a country tend to do alright with what works in Britain because of the relative similarities in culture and obvious influences. We have similar shows, stations that transmit the same mush (TV3 and ITV is the best example) and British television also seems more 'grounded' than the smash hits that make American TV so great. Take me out, Master chef, and Come dine with me, are all shows of recent times that have been well made from a British base to work in Ireland.

American reinterpretations though have been quite mixed. We have taken influences from 'the Hills' and ended up with 'Fade Street', a dire take on improvised dialogue and basic acting skills. However, The Apprentice is definitely a hit, working with a very Irish Bossman in Bill Cullen  to work with a modern Ireland.
But we now have taken things down to a very low level with 'Tallafornia'.

The format is based on 'Jersey Shore', where a bunch of muscly men and skanky women share a house and then go clubbing and shagging every time they have the chance.

Theoretically the format does not make sense to work within a country like Ireland. Geordie Shore is on in the U.K so why not leave it at that, because a lot of the Irish MTV viewers see it anyway. Dublin is not the place to find these type of people either. the Name Tallafornia implies people from Tallaght, so anyone outside the place probably thought of these sort of characters...

But instead we have a different set of much better looking people, who just happen to live in the place.
With the house itself, it is about right for the location, a semi-detached gaff with the usual rooms (and a cheesy 'score room') save for the one fact that there is a hot tub in the back garden. Unless you are high up and rich, I don't think anywhere in Tallaght has a hot tub.
Finally, it seems a bit hard to find things to do in Tallaght aside from clubbing and shopping, what can the creators do about it?

But, to be honest, I had some strange feelings about the show once it got put in practice. It reeks of an amateur work mixed with professionalism. The main cast may not feel like true 'Tallafornians', but they do a lot of what many others in Dublin do. Trips to Tesco, The Wright Venue, play the Wii, head to a 21st in a clubhouse, all feel very grounded. At the same time, they do what very few of us would, such as absail in Killiney, bring women to the hot tub, or spend a couple hundred quid on condoms, lube, eggs and tuna.

Maybe the producers had this plan all along, to have it feel deliberately corny and be a satire of the American and British counterparts, and in that case it worked a charm. Its entertaining in the right mindset, and the cast of characters, while single dimensional, are growers. Some make for hilarious TV, such as Cormac, the most muscly of the men, but also awkward as f**k, adding to finished punchlines, walking like the terminator and just having a 'forever alone' stance in many situations.

"The Stir has been Stirred"

Theres other characters, such as Nikita, who judging by the show wants sex, no matter who or what it is. There's Jay , who acts grounded until his clothes come off, Natalie, who is into fashion and the vajazzle, Kelly who must have done modelling before this because she is in lingerie a lot of the time, Phil who acts as a typical man-whore, and Dave, who is getting with Kelly every other time I watch the show.

For all its efforts, it works on an unintentional hilarity, but to take it in 'highbrow' seriousness its a failure in most ways to any other televised show. Perhaps more practical if they based it off the D4 stereotype, but If you cannot bring yourself to watch this type of show, consider watching epicnewsdaily's version, which provides a running commentary on the show's highlights. Its among the funniest commentaries of anything out there, and what myself as a viewer seems to think at the right moments.

Give it a watch, for better or worse, you are enlightened by a show like this

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Time Management: Act II (featuring Bebo!)

So another cold winter night descends, while the sun flees behind the Dublin mountains, ready to strike at dawn.
Except its not winter, its officially Spring.

Times have changed quite a bit from where I struggled to get up before midday, for lack of activities to do, or just that there was no real motive to get up earlier than that time. Its got to the point that Thursdays and Friday's are the main days to have chance of a lazy day in. and while I still would give my girlfriend all of the spare time, it seems far less than the amount she would have got from the last time management post.

This week has been the usual 2 hours of college work, but add on a photoshop side course, extra freerunning, money jobs and seemingly more activities being made, it all adds up to a week with a busier schedule in every way. Also in the mix is my venture into eBay, where every sale counts and getting your products sent off ASAP is what gets street cred. Heck, I somehow missed any info about the supposed death of Bebo, once Ireland's most visited website!


It turned out to be a technical glitch, but one must wonder who is actually using it these days, when facebook has it beaten in most categories. nothing is really keeping the Irish from moving from facebook to bebo, unless there are nostalgic photos to look at, or facebook runs itself into the ground with unnecessary updates and layout changes. Maybe then there will be a return to using the luv, or the colourful wallpapers, or.......xxxxXXt3h B3b0 sTuNnAs!!!XXxxxx

Or maybe its easier for Hell to freeze over

One must think of the Idiots at AOL, buying it at its very peak for 850 million dollars, and selling it for under $10 million. It netted Michael Birch $595 million profit, resulting in (I can only guess) a big boat, a tropical island, tonnes of cars, and a very happy wife

he would have aced Deal or no Deal

Back to the time management, and I still cant plan my escape from a plastic bag, but at least I have enough going on to make sense as to what to do and what not to do. Anything I could potentially plan would fit in a day that does not have anything going on (durr) but Friday and Saturday are the only ones to make plans for, and then anyone else would beat me to the post with something better than a cinema trip. Perhaps drunken bowling or a crazy golf game is the way forward to a night out organised by moi.