While I miss my coworkers from Dublin, Irish breakfasts, and the Dropping Well… what I miss most from Ireland is getting the full breadth for BBC programming. Sure, as with US programming, there are plenty of duds, but I miss being able to watch Top Gear without a several month delay and the best quiz show ever: the ridiculously funny (and, of course, Interesting) QI.
The premise of QI is: create a quiz show filled with impossibly hard questions, stock the contestant chairs with comedians & celebrities and then don’t worry about having the answers be right or even on topic. By rewarding the guests for answers which are "interesting" and allowing the conversation to wander far from the original question you are bound to get amusing stories and random facts which are, of course, quite interesting.
Last week I was reminded of how much I miss Stephen Fry when Paula happened across re-runs of Stephen Fry in America running on PBS. Here’s the thing: Mr. Fry’s father was offered a job at Princeton University but, since he turned it down, Stephen feels he was almost an American. But all of this is beside the point because BBC America is an anemic substitute for the BBC and is holding back the best content: specifically QI.
All of this has, however, made me realize why it’s actually interesting for me to be able to watch YouTube on my TiVo: episodes of Qi. A generous YouTuber (YouTubista?) has kindly squirreled away episodes (all the way back to the pilot).
Thank goodness the BBC hasn’t figured out how to advertise to the US in their web videos (they block non-UK viewers) because otherwise I might feel guilty not giving revenue where it’s due.
Also I couldn’t watch the videos on my TV. And, as has already been widely recognized, it is all about me.
Tonight I watched three hours of television, and two hours of it were in reverse. It seems more and more TV writers are using the flashback episode as crutch.
By flashback episode I mean those episodes where at the start of the show you come in at the end of the action. So, after ten minutes of "look, here’s how the show ends!" you have to sit through 30 minutes of review explaining how you ended up where you started.
Here’s my request to TV writers out there: either learn how to develop tension through foreshadowing and character development or go back to film school.
Now this is just pretty damn cool, Windows Media Center, NBC and TVTonic have collaborated to provide Summer Olympic coverage delivered direct to your Media Center (and through that to your Xbox too).
Paula asked the important question: “Why should I care? I’ll just TiVo it.”
True, you can get the Olympics via TV broadcast (and time-shifted via your PVR of choice) or on demand from NBC’s site. The thing I think is a killer feature is that you can specify the events you want to watch instead of having to fast forward through an hour of equestrian events just to watch track and field (or vice versa). Heck, you don’t even need a TV tuner card to get the programming (most of it in ED and lots in HD).
Sure, there are limits: you have to be in the US and you have to have Vista Media Center (32 bit only).
Get the full run down from TVTonic’s site.
SciFi Channel: you owe me an hour.
Here’s the elevator pitch: take the cheerleader from Heroes, stick her in a shadowy government agency like Sydney from Alias and have them hunt super bad guys like Buffy from… well… Buffy.
I really wanted to like Painkiller Jane… a hero who heals rapidly, bad guys with mind control powers and a group of bad-ass G-men protecting the world. Combine that with some cool music and stylish cinematography and you can’t loose.
You know there’s a “but” coming don’t you? Here’s the thing: they hired creative writing students from the local community college to write the scripts. I guess they needed to make sure there was money left over to hire someone to write little mini games for their web site.
Look on the bright side, remember how you were trying to figure out if you should record the new SciFi channel show starring the sexy female terminator from T3 or a rerun of Myth Busters? Problem solved.
My current gaming addiction is Gears of War (GOW)… spent almost 4 hours playing it with friends last night (yes, Paula is out of town… aren’t you clever to figure that out).
Every time I play I can’t help thinking: “Hey, that Cole character sounds totally like Terry Tate.” Well, last night my curiosity finally got the better of me and I looked it up. I was not mistaken. Agustus Cole in GOW is played by Lester “The Mighty Rasta” Speight, recognized by most as “Terry Tate, Office Linebacker”.
I can’t resist the Terry Tate commercials… once I watch one I have to watch them all… over and over and over. Have a little taste of what Terry’s dishin’ out.