March 18, 2008

Moment of Truth – Cruellest gameshow ever?

Posted in Nine Network at 11:40 am by Give Me The Remote

I watched a large chunk of this program last week. Firstly I must admit however that I only half-watched it whilst doing some household chores, so perhaps my intake was skewed.

Okay, so aside from the fact that it’s really quite boring .. slower than Millionaire even, it is really quite cruel.

This guys goes on the show hoping to win the bucks. He think he’s honest – easy money! As the cash values go up, the questions get more personal. Some of the stuff that he admits to can really ruin his relationship. But the real catch with this show is that it relies on a polygraph machine to determine whether you’re lying or not. The old lie detector, whose evidence has never been proven to actually be worth a grain of salt in any legal sense.

So the guy bombs out and gets absolutely nothing. Did he lie? Maybe he sweated a bit? Perhaps the question was so vague he didn’t know the answer. I’m sure it’s in the fine print that the lie detector’s decision is final, but poor guy. So he goes home with absolutely no cash and he’s told the world his dirty secrets and damaged his relationships with loved ones.

So not only his hopes of winning big cash – any cash even! – are dashed, but he’s actually become worse off personally. How cruel.

This happens for weeks and weeks. Stupid people demoralising themselves all in the lure of big bucks. Does this take reality tv/gameshows to a new low? Shock television. Why do we like watching people squirm. Are we a bunch of sadists?

Maybe I would have liked this program if it were more interesting.

I’m trying to think of a crueller game show than this.. anyone?

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March 8, 2008

Skins

Posted in SBS one at 10:14 am by Give Me The Remote

Skins is over. It’s a little bit sad. Here was a perfect example of what a teen drama should be. Forget the niceties of Dawsons Creek, the spoilt rich kids in the O.C. and One Tree Hill. Start thinking Heartbreak High and you’re getting a little bit closer.

Skins1

This show is very.. real. Real in the sense that these kids lives aren’t all rosy. There are some pretty far flung adventures that I imagine the majority of teens wouldn’t have experienced. But this is a telly show after all – it’s got to be interesting.

There’s quite a bit of drugs involved in the program – mainly smokables but occasionally pills and powder. There’s also a teacher/student sexual relationship, which doesn’t have any negative ramifications. In other words, there’s a lot of instances in this program of kids behaving badly.

Skin2

How excellent, then, was it that SBS picked up this program rather than a commercial network (or even possibly the ABC). Anybody remember Californication? (Don’t worry there’s a second season of this coming) There is no way that Skins is tamer than Californication. If conservative, middle-aged parents actually watched SBS (more than World News and Inspector Rex), I don’t think they would like what they see. I think that perhaps being the ‘Special’ Broadcasting Service, parents often just turn a blind-eye and hope that their kids don’t realise that there is television not from 7,9 and 10.

But I’m so glad that the family groups didn’t try to shut this one down, because there are a lot of very important issues brought up in this show that are handled with care and a realness that forgets the icing sugar.

Each episode focuses on a different main character and tells their story, providing insights into their family life and inner torments. Cassie is struggling with an eating disorder, Jal faces the pressures of being gifted, Chris is abandoned by his parents and has a massive crush on his teacher, Sid’s parents separate, Islamic Anwar refuses to continue being friends with former best friend Maxxie because of his sexuality.

Tony is the manipulative alpha-male and Sid his submissive sidekick. Sid is in love with Tony’s girlfriend and doesn’t see that Cassie is in love with him. Cassie and Sids characters are the most likeable and evoke the most emotional response, due to their often unrequited generosity and selflessness.

The program is beautifully shot and the music is very independent (i.e. good!). The theme music by ‘Fat Segal’ is thoughtful and electronically ‘now’, whilst The Gossip’s ‘Standing in the way of control’ is the perfect signature turne. However, much of the music in the television show has been replaced by new tunes in the DVD release (I imagine due to copyright/royalties).

Season two is currently showing in the UK, but we probably won’t get it until next summer. The DVD release will surely come out quicker than that, but until then, go out and grab series 1 on DVD and (re)watch a very memorable television series.

No more hiatusing.. I promise..

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:58 am by Give Me The Remote

Just like a struggling TV show, this blog is undergoing a bit of a format change. This life thing that I’ve been trialing for the past score years or so has become a bit more hectic of late and there is much less time for me to be updating this blog as I once was.

Previously I’ve tried to bring lots of news stories that let’s be honest, are being covered elsewhere on the net (usually many times on blogs). It’s just too time consuming for me! Instead, this blog is going to become more opinion based and random in its thoughts. By ‘its’ I mean mine, of course.

Onwards, and upwards! (or outwards.. either way)