Monthly Archives: April 2012
The Return of the
Hello everyone. How are you all? Good! Glad to hear it. Me? Well…… When writing my age I have added one since the last time I spoke to you. I have had a wee break. I went on a little holiday, did a little home improvement and went to see a few gigs, oh, and recorded a single (more to come on that). But now you have all of my attention…..(sort of!)
I have started working on a couple of things now. So in the next few days look out for an overdue review of the recent Graham Coxon gig and my yearly viewing of Oceansfall at the Wee Red Bar. I’m hoping to write about my experience at the recording studio and I fancy maybe tackling Saturday night TV and the lack of new quality shows (or is it something else?). Will also review any films I see. Heard this new comic book film that’s out is ok, something about a Justice League or something ;D
Till later this week,
Hello all. You know those times in life where everything happens at once and time is not on your side. Well it’s looking like April is going to be one of those times. unfortunately it means the blog takes a back seat to other exciting projects, a wee holiday and turning 25.
Basically there will be little activity for the next week or so BUT my promise to you all is that I will pick up the pace again once I have been on my wee holiday. So about the 23rd or so. There maybe a film review or something small if I can get time.
Hope you are all well out there,
Wait for me……..
(p.s. The picture is not really relevant but made me laugh when looking for something that was.)
A look at TV “Talent Shows” and why one stands out
Unless you live under a rock or have been in a cave for the last century you will be well aware that every Saturday the UK’s biggest two channels go head to head trying to out do each other with either some kind of singing competition or a celebrity dancing face off. Throughout this time ITV/STV (depending where you are) have always had the upper hand as far as viewers go. Starting with “Popstars” with the unforgettable “Hear’Say” and then the still slightly-about-the-music-but-only-just “Idol” franchise. This then developed into the hideous “lets all laugh and the shattered dreams” X factor and ironically named Anyone-can-be-famous-for-anything-but-really-its-just-a-singing-and-dancing-comp “Britain’s got Talent”. Although I am not a fan of these shows they do give the viewer what they want. A bit of staged easy to follow drama, people with back stories that would make Hannibal Lecter weep and a nice wee pub singer doing a number before someone runs from the show crying. They are clever, clever television and prove undoubtedly that Simon Cowell is a genius and more than likely the devil.
But the poor old Beeb just don’t have the same punch that the “Cowell Factor” gives the channel 3 offerings. So far the BBC has churned out things such as the limp “Fame Academy” which had all the evil taken out but also left out the talent so it was a timid affair. Also who could forget Graham Norton’s quest to find a tribute act to play for a couple of months in a Vegas bar. What you can’t? It was “The One and Only!”……still nothing. oh well. After all these attempts they decided to aim for a different market. They employed a wax work that looked a bit like Andrew Lloyd Webber to cast his eye over his prey and whichever contestant survived his grasp would be given a part in a show. These camp-fest musical shows tried to counter the dark side by being overly nice and quirky but ended up alienating much of their past viewers who permanently jumped ship to the HMS Cowell. But to be fair to the BBC it has had a bit of success with their dancing shows such as “Strictly” and….eh…. so Strictly.
So the BBC have had one last throw of the dice. One last go at toppling the Cowell empire. It’s a Monopoly board. All the BBC has left is Old Kent Road but it’s not over yet. The BBC have given us “The Voice”.
My first exposure to this show what the advert. First thoughts: ” Not another shitty talent show, how can it be different or even more horrible than STV’s shows”. Then I saw Will.I.am turning his back on a singer and it was clear. They were going to humiliate people to such a degree that the contestants were going to vomit their insides out live on TV. Well, it’s a gimmick I suppose. But no, the premiss is that the four judges will not look at the contestants and judge them on solely their voice. The judges will then turn round if they like what they hear and if they are the only judge to do so they will take the singer onto their “Team”. If more than one judge turns then the singer picks their side. Each judge gets to pick a team of 10 and then I suppose it’s a ballet to the death live on the box.
So who are theses Judges. Well….. The human auto-tuner Will.I.am, walking-insanity-time-bomb Jessie J, denim on denim duchbag Danny O’Donoghue (of the Script) and God. Sorry better give him his mortal name, Tom Jones. Despite the judges appearing to be pick at random out a 12 year olds iTunes selection they have decent patter between the bickering and it is always fun when they try to work out if the singer is a boy or a girl.
The dynamic that they can not see the singer works better than you would think as well. Basically each judge can only pick 10 singers so they need to be selective. Sometimes they don’t turn round as they are expecting a person past their peak who is just not good enough and it turns out to be a fresh-faced 17-year-old with a unothadox singing style than could have been moulded into something amazing. The judge’s response of shock and genuine regret make them infinitely more likeable than Piers “Shit grin” Morgan and his rag-tag bunch.
I applaud the BBC. The show is by no means perfect and I’m definitely not won over to the “reality TV’s Ok” side. There are still the tedious back stories but they don’t go on for to long. The show also has the “Talent power house” than is Reggie Yates, a man who should be on TV as little as is possible to stop his ego from engulfing western Europe. But what the BBC has done is to take all the crap out and replaced it with actual Talent. Everyone can sing and all the judges genuinely want to win and have a right go at it. The feedback given (Will.I.am excluded) tends to be sound and will actually help the singers progress.
It’s a good (stolen) concept and has been executed well, which for the BBC on a Saturday night reality show has been a long time coming.
Till next time,