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No, not my residence. It's the TV show, House. I'm sure my US readers are all familiar with it, but it is now showing on some Sky channel here, and HWMBO discovered it through a friend of ours who likes it.

I call it Sherlock in a hospital, and my feelings were confirmed when I saw a picture of House's house, with the house number "221B". Briefly, someone has an accident/incident at the beginning (à la Six Feet Under) and is taken into the teaching hospital where Gregory House, a brilliant but very eccentric doctor is the head of diagnostics. He's got a coterie of three young doctors with him, and when the victim^Wpatient is brought in, they all normally kill the patient at least once and bring out the paddles. The graphics of what is going on inside of the victim^W patient are gruesome. House had an accident of some sort when he was a younger drug-addicted doctor, and is lame in one leg. He pops Vicodin like TicTacs, and is grumpy, nasty, manipulative, but brilliant. At the end the patient is normally discharged beaming.

Now after the first season I happened to sit down to watch with HWMBO, who always complains I spend too much time with the computer. I found it interesting, and have continued to watch it for a couple of weeks, sometimes two or three episodes in a night: Sky+ records each daily episode.

My problem is that it is affecting my dreams. I take beta blockers, and one side effect of these pills is to give you vivid dreams. So I wake up in a cold sweat, after some operation or other, and have difficulty getting back to sleep. The dreams often have some medical theme, and they're gruesome. I wouldn't call them nightmares, but they are VERY vivid, and thus are disturbing.

My diagnosis is that House is very bad for my imagination. I must quit, cold turkey. Perhaps I'll start on Vicodin.


Jun. 13th, 2012 09:27 pm
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David Attenborough is one of the United Kingdom's National Treasures. He has brought nature to the TV viewer for decades, from the North Pole to the South, around the Equator and on every continent and on and under every ocean.

He has usually been associated with the BBC, but I came across one of his latest efforts, of which I had been ignorant. A 3D (which I can't see on my computer) program about the flying pterosaurs. It is one of the most beautiful programs I've ever seen on YouTube or, dare I say it, on British television. Please watch it—I'm sure you will be as fascinated as I was. I consider it one of the best 70 minutes I've spent in a very long time. Enjoy! Do make sure you put it on full screen for the finest experience.

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I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the wonderful English comedy series, Fawlty Towers, with its madcap owners Sybil and Basil Fawlty, the Spanish waiter Manuel, and the only sane member of the staff, Polly.

Well, have you ever thought after tucking into a Waldorf salad that perhaps you might want to dine at Fawlty Towers?

Now you can.

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I don't happen to remember this product, but I wonder about the wisdom of having a toy able to shoot projectiles with caps so near to the hand. You might end up with five fingers after all.

One other observation: anyone else old enough to remember when commercials were at least a minute long? Nowadays a 30-second commercial is a long one; anything longer than that and the channel-hoppers will go to the next offering of chewing gum for the mind (as Newton Minow named TV).
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Not being from rural England, and not being up on the latest slang, I was amused by this article from the Register that referred to jam rags. If you follow the link, you'll find a helpful picture, which I will even more helpfully produce below:

I think that the production people were playing a prank on the actors. Unfortunately, when it went out, some people were annoyed about having to see such things on a shopping list chalked on a board on the wall.

However, I presume the makers of feminine hygiene products and Preparation H were delighted at the unusual advertising opportunity.

Nota bene: Emmerdale is a UK TV soap opera set in some unspecified rural area of England.
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...and I apologise to my friend Alex, who was typecast as the Japanese Santa, but Clash of the Santas on ITV1 was dreadful. Absolutely dreadful. When a friend appears on TV, you feel compelled to watch, but now I want to get some eyewash to wash my eyes clean of the filth they picked up by watching this stupidity.

The highlight of the thing was the closing credits. I had to tape it for Alex (who doesn't have a TV) and the tape now rests in a brown paper bag (yes, really) next to me.

And the plot? If there was one, I missed it. I'm glad that Alex is getting regular work, but boy, this was almost as good as the commercial he did for channel 666 (I am not kidding either) when it was running 24-hour ads for Virgin's cable services. He asked me to tape that too, but in order to tape it I had to watch it, and it took about 1-1/2 hours for the channel to run that particular ad segment.

All I can say is: it must have been something I did to God.
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For those who watch the BBC, wherever you are, you may be familiar with the series Last of the Summer Wine, which has had many characters up and die on it. Well, Nora Batty, a.k.a. Kathy Staff, has died at the age of 80. She is the battle-axe with whom Compo (Bill Owen) always waged a battle for a kiss.

While I haven't watched in ages, I'm certain that 3/4 of England is in mourning tonight for Nora and her wrinkled stockings.

May she rest in peace and rise in unwrinkled-stockinged glory.
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HWMBO told me yesterday that the Sky satellite TV box was not working. The only thing on the TV screen was "No Satellite Signal being received". I went through all the diagnostic stuff that their website suggested, and none of it worked. I then had the bright idea of going outside and taking a look at the dish, and it seems that the cable from the dish to my TV has been pulled around a bit, perhaps by someone throwing a rock or using a pole. It's hanging off the dish rather than being fastened to it. So I called Sky and, oddly enough, got a very polite person who was helpful and only tried to sell me one thing (a Sky+ box, which is like a TiVo box). I declined politely. He actually wanted me to go to an independent installer, but I told him that I just wanted it fixed, didn't want a service plan, and how much was it. £65 later (he took my credit card details over the phone) we have an appointment for Thursday.

We are now going through Ugly Betty Season 1 DVDs.
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Most Republicans are slimy snakes who have no ethics or morals, and who shed tears only over Republican cloth coats and small dogs for their children, all paid out of slush funds.

Well, this video of the Republican mayor of San Diego announcing that he would sign a pro-same-sex marriage resolution sent to him by the City Council, makes me wonder whether, perhaps, some Republicans are discovering the ethics and morals they abandoned in the wake of Reagan's election in 1980.

If I were in San Diego, I'd consider voting for him, and I hope you would too.
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...and we came out with this one, which seems to be well-thought of in reviews and is bigger than HWMBO wanted (he'd probably be satisfied with something the size of his Ipod screen) but smaller than I wanted (40": I'm no size queen!). It's HDTV ready and should work also with everything we've got at the moment.

They will install it and take the old one away (which will save me the trouble of calling the borough to take it away). We won't get it until Thursday, which means that HWMBO will miss Doctor Who this evening...but I'll be able to watch Have I Got News For You next Friday--that's the program on which the old set finally fizzled out.

The whole thing, including a stand and installation, was GBP 804.93. And yes, I am aware it might have been slightly cheaper elsewhere. Comparison shopping is so boring, and when you're TV-less, the quicker you get one, the better.

Now I have to unhook the old TV and clean the living room. In every silver lining, there is a cloud.
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As we pay more than GBP 110 (US $220 and SG$ 330) a year for a TV license, when the TV dies it is a major problem. Technically we do not have to pay the license if we don't have a working TV, but we really need a new one. So, we're off to Curry's this morning to look at TVs.

This TV is one that I think we could live with. HWMBO, of course, feels it's too expensive and perhaps too big for the living room. I think it's more likely that it will fit (as there's nothing much at that end of the room anyway) and it will be enough TV for all the innovations that we will be needing in the future. High definition, digital, with all the connectors one needs. The Samsung (RIP) only had a SCART lead and an antenna lead, as life was simpler then. HDTV was only a gleam in someone's eye, if that, as was the DVD player. VCRs were about as sophisticated as it gets.

This TV is also attractive, but with the GBP 50 surcharge for a large product it is pricier than the previous one.

As we don't watch much TV, we don't want to spend TOO much on this one, but I think it's important not to spend too little and have a dinky TV that doesn't do everything that we will want it to do and, worse, will have to be replaced later on when new things come out that we might want. So, it's off to Curry's we go. More later when we've finally agreed on something.

Oh dear, I'll have to clean up the living room, too...
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BOLD those shows you've seen three or more episodes of in your lifetime.

I won't tag anyone, but you'll find that your answers will be greatly affected by your age. I added two myself.

Read more... )
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I have been down with what I think was the flu since Monday night. While at first I thought it was connected to the antibiotics, these were the same dosages I tolerated pretty well the last time. I was useless Tuesday and Wednesday, but have rallied today.

There is nothing worse than having a flu that demands that you just sit in a chair watching daytime TV. This is possibly the worst fate ever. I even watched "Wine TV" for 1/2 an hour. I'm doomed.

On a brighter note, I've just confirmed a tutoring gig for the end of the month; my first paid work since January. I'm hoping it will be the first of many. After all, I want to live in the style to which I wish to become accustomed. And it's not fair to HWMBO to continue to support me unaided.
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Animated music is here. Those of you old enough to remember "Dragnet" will love this one.
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...this. I gather it's some sort of TV reality show. Boy, was it real! I think that some astrology or solstice party might help her unwind.
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Remember him? The little guy? He's shilling for a loan agency, here, but watch out for the 'flash if you don't like that kind of thing.
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I'm watching FBI Files right now instead of BBC 10'o clock news. George Best died today and all the news outlets have been full of it. He's said to be the best football player ever (=US soccer, of course), but his last years have been marred by his alcoholism, his liver transplant, and his subsequent return to drinking. There won't be much on this in the US (although it was on CNN online). He's been dying by degrees for the past month, and last night he was supposed to be imminently dying. It took a while. The satellite trucks and commentators were hovering around the hospital. So I presume that the first 10-15 minutes of the news tonight, like the first 10 minutes of the BBC4 6 o'clock news, will be devoted to him. I already know enough about him.

So while I'm sad he's gone, and gone in that particularly unfortunate way, I just want to avoid the news until he's been planted.
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Watch out, the homosexual lifestyle vigilantes are on the loose, in the Onion, here.

On a related note, I wonder why there is no lesbian variant of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I should think that the potential for an interesting show is quite high.
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This is a new program on Channel 4 here in the UK. A failing parish in the north of England, under the urging of their archdeacon, calls a priest from the United States to serve as vicar. They use the services of an ad agency and the priest's industriousness to try to reverse the fortunes of the parish.

It's an interesting program, made more interesting to me since I know the archdeacon. The Ven. Jonathan Greener was curate at St. Matthew's at the Elephant, before becoming, in succession, Chaplain to the Bishop of Truro, Vicar of Church of the Good Shepherd in Brighton, and now Archdeacon of Pontefract in Wakefield diocese. He's apt to have a mitre on his head before long.

The Grauniad says that the show includes a "faintly silly archdeacon". Well, he may seem silly to some, but it's probably because of the editing of the show.

We shall see what the parish and the priest get up to next week.
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We watched it last night; I do hope that they up the comedy ante this season.

Some of the old skits absent this time around are: the projectile-vomiting lady, the giant agent and the very tiny actor, and the shopkeeper and his wife "Margret!?, Margret???" New this time around are: an incontinent elderly woman who loses control of her bladder in a shop, and a man who sends away for a mail-order Thai bride (pictured as slim and sexy in the magazine) and who gets a rather obese lady complete with suitcase ringing his front doorbell.

Returning are: Sebastian and the Prime Minister (who needs Sebastian to destroy some evidence), Dafydd (the Only Gay in the Village, who's put up a personal ad at the local newsagent's), Vicki Pollard, the wheelchair-unbound man with his friend (both of whose skit-names I forget), the "We are Ladiez!" couple, one of whom discovers in Brighton that she hadn't shaved that morning and goes to a chemist's shop for surprising results. (I like it when these things are filmed in places I've been and remember well). And, of course Bubbles de Vere, who meets her ex-husband's new wife for the first time when they show up at the spa.

I think that this may be the last season, judging from some of the quality. They're going for the belly-laughs from slapstick (watch Vicki trying to compete with a young lithe break-dancing girl; cringe as the incontenent lady pees more than an elephant all over the floor, see the Prime Minister in Sebastian's clutches), and the new skits aren't necessarily very funny. One of the glories of British TV humour is that, generally (with the notable exception of Absolutely Fabulous) the writers and cast of a show know when it's time to stop and do something different.

Innovation often becomes tired after two to three seasons. One of the reasons Fawlty Towers is still endlessly rerun on all channels that can is that it was hilariously funny and didn't wear out its welcome. Thus, we welcome it still. I hope we'll be able to welcome Little Britain for years after it's ended its run, and the the stars will continue to innovate in other vehicles.

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